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Enhancing Bar Operations: How to use RFPs to Select the Right Tech Partner in Singapore

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, technology plays a pivotal role in optimizing operations across various industries. The bar industry in Singapore is no exception, as bar owners and operators are increasingly turning to innovative solutions to enhance their efficiency, customer experience, and overall profitability. However, choosing the right technology partner to navigate this digital transformation journey is crucial for successful implementation.

Selecting a tech partner requires careful consideration and a well-defined process. This is where the concept of Request for Proposals (RFPs) comes into play. An RFP is a formal document that allows businesses to solicit proposals from potential tech partners, outlining their requirements, objectives, and evaluation criteria. RFPs serve as a valuable tool in the selection process, enabling bar owners to assess and compare different tech solutions and choose the one that best aligns with their unique needs and goals.

In this blog post, we will delve into the realm of enhancing bar operations through technology in Singapore. We will explore the significance of selecting the right tech partner and how Request for Proposals (RFPs) can guide this selection process. By understanding the challenges faced by bars, the benefits of partnering with a tech solution provider, and the essential components of crafting an effective RFP, bar owners and operators can make informed decisions to elevate their establishments to new heights of success.

Understanding the Challenges in Bar Operations

Bars in Singapore face a range of unique challenges that can impact their profitability and sustainability. Recognizing these challenges is crucial to identify the areas where technology solutions can make a significant difference. Here are some key challenges faced by bars in Singapore:

  1. Increasing Competition: The bar industry in Singapore is highly competitive, with new establishments constantly entering the market. Bars need to differentiate themselves and attract customers amidst fierce competition. Standing out and offering unique experiences have become paramount to success.
  2. Changing Consumer Preferences: Consumer preferences and trends in the bar industry are constantly evolving. Customers seek personalized experiences, innovative cocktails, and immersive atmospheres. Bars must adapt to changing preferences and provide offerings that resonate with their target audience.
  3. Operational Inefficiencies: Many bars in Singapore struggle with operational inefficiencies that affect their overall performance. Inefficient inventory management, manual processes, and outdated point-of-sale (POS) systems can lead to inventory discrepancies, longer wait times, and reduced customer satisfaction. These inefficiencies can hinder revenue growth and operational effectiveness.
  4. Staff Management: Managing a bar’s workforce can be complex, especially during peak hours and events. Staff scheduling, training, and communication can be challenging without streamlined systems in place. Ensuring optimal staffing levels, effective communication, and efficient training are crucial for delivering excellent customer service consistently.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: The bar industry in Singapore is subject to various regulations and licensing requirements. Complying with these regulations can be a time-consuming process, and non-compliance can lead to penalties and reputational damage. Technology solutions can help automate compliance processes and ensure adherence to regulations.

Benefits of Partnering with a Restaurant-Tech Solution Provider

To address these challenges effectively, bars in Singapore need to leverage technology solutions. Collaborating with a tech solution provider can offer numerous advantages for bars in Singapore looking to enhance their operations. Here are some potential benefits of partnering with a tech partner:

  1. Increased Efficiency: Implementing technology solutions can significantly improve operational efficiency. Tech partners can offer software systems and tools tailored to the unique needs of bars, streamlining processes and automating manual tasks. This can result in faster service, reduced errors, and improved overall productivity.
  2. Streamlined Processes: Tech solutions can optimize various aspects of bar operations. For instance, inventory management systems can automate stock tracking, enable real-time inventory updates, and provide alerts for low stock levels. This streamlines the procurement process, reduces waste, and ensures optimal inventory levels. Similarly, POS systems with integrated payment options can simplify transactions, minimizing errors and speeding up the checkout process.
  3. Improved Customer Experience: Technology can greatly enhance the customer experience at bars. Tech partners can provide solutions such as mobile ordering apps, self-service kiosks, or tableside payment systems. These offerings empower customers to place orders conveniently, personalize their preferences, and make transactions seamlessly. Such improvements lead to enhanced customer satisfaction, increased repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
  4. Data-driven Decision Making: Tech partners can offer data analytics tools that provide valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and sales trends. By leveraging these insights, bar owners can make data-driven decisions regarding menu offerings, promotions, and marketing strategies. Access to real-time data allows bars to adapt quickly to changing customer preferences and optimize their business strategies accordingly.
  5. Cost Savings: Implementing technology solutions can lead to cost savings in various ways. For example, efficient inventory management reduces waste and minimizes overstocking or understocking issues, resulting in better cost control. Additionally, automation of manual processes reduces labor costs and frees up staff to focus on providing quality customer service. Tech partners may also offer scalable solutions, allowing bars to pay for the services they need and easily scale up as their business grows.
  6. Technical Expertise and Support: Partnering with a tech solution provider brings access to their technical expertise and ongoing support. They can offer training programs to ensure smooth implementation and assist with any technical issues or updates. Having a reliable tech partner by their side allows bar owners to focus on their core business while relying on experts to handle the technology aspect.

By collaborating with a tech solution provider, bars in Singapore can leverage these benefits to enhance their operations, differentiate themselves in the competitive market, and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers. The next step is to understand how Request for Proposals (RFPs) can assist in selecting the right tech partner to maximize these advantages.

The Role of RFPs in Selecting a Tech Partner for Bars

Request for Proposals (RFPs) play a vital role in the selection process when seeking a tech partner to enhance bar operations. An RFP is a formal document that outlines the requirements, objectives, and evaluation criteria for potential tech partners. It serves as a communication tool, allowing bar owners to solicit proposals and compare different solutions on an equal basis. Here’s an explanation of the significance of RFPs and the key components of an effective one:

Significance of RFPs

  • Clear Communication: RFPs provide a structured and comprehensive way to communicate bar owners’ needs and expectations to potential tech partners. It ensures a consistent understanding of project requirements among all parties involved.
  • Equal Evaluation: RFPs level the playing field by providing all tech partners with the same information, allowing fair and objective evaluation. It helps bar owners compare proposals based on predefined criteria, ensuring a thorough and transparent selection process.
  • Efficient Decision Making: RFPs enable bar owners to gather and analyze relevant information from tech partners in a standardized manner. This streamlines the decision-making process by providing a consolidated view of potential solutions, making it easier to identify the most suitable tech partner.

Key Components of an Effective RFP

  • Company Overview: Begin the RFP by providing a brief introduction to your bar and its unique characteristics. Include information about your establishment’s size, location, target audience, current technology infrastructure (if any), and specific challenges or goals you wish to address through technology.
  • Proposal Objective & Functional Requirements: Clearly state the objective of the RFP, which should align with your overall goals for enhancing bar operations. This section should outline the specific functional requirements you expect from the tech partner’s solution. For example, you may require features such as inventory management, POS integration, table management, loyalty programs, or analytics capabilities.
  • POS System Checklist for Bars: Since the point-of-sale (POS) system is a critical component of bar operations, dedicate a section specifically to the requirements and expectations related to the POS system. Include elements such as order management, customization options, compatibility with mobile devices, reporting capabilities, integrations with payment gateways, and support for promotions and discounts.

Importance of Clearly Defining Requirements and Expectations

Defining requirements and expectations in the RFP is crucial for several reasons:

  • Accuracy: Clearly stating requirements and expectations helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures that tech partners accurately understand the scope and objectives of the project.
  • Relevance: A well-defined RFP allows tech partners to tailor their proposals specifically to meet the bar’s needs. It enables them to propose solutions that align with the bar’s unique challenges, enhancing the chances of a successful partnership.
  • Evaluation: Defining clear requirements and evaluation criteria enables a fair and objective evaluation of proposals. It allows bar owners to assess how well each tech partner addresses their specific requirements and determine the best fit for their business.

By leveraging the power of an effective RFP, bar owners can ensure a structured and transparent selection process, attracting tech partners who can provide tailored solutions to enhance their bar operations.

Crafting an Effective RFP for Bars

Creating a comprehensive and well-structured RFP (Request for Proposals) is essential to attract qualified tech partners and ensure a successful selection process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you craft an effective RFP for bars:

1. Introduction and Company Overview: Begin the RFP with an introduction that provides background information about your bar. Include details such as your establishment’s name, location, size, target audience, and any unique characteristics. This section helps potential tech partners understand your business and its specific needs.

2. Proposal Objective & Functional Requirements: Clearly state the objective of the RFP, which should align with your goals for enhancing bar operations. Outline the specific functional requirements you expect from the tech partner’s solution. This may include features such as inventory management, POS integration, table management, loyalty programs, analytics capabilities, and any other requirements specific to your bar.

3. POS System Checklist for Bars: When selecting a POS system for your bar, it’s important to consider specific features that cater to the unique needs of your establishment. Here’s a checklist of key features that are essential for bars:

  • Cloud-Native POS System: A cloud-native POS system offers numerous benefits for bars, including automatic data backups, real-time syncing across devices, and remote access to sales data and reports. It ensures that your data is securely stored and easily accessible from anywhere, providing flexibility and convenience.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Having reliable and accessible customer support is crucial for bars that operate during extended hours. Ensure that the POS system provider offers 24/7 customer support to address any technical issues or concerns promptly, minimizing downtime and ensuring smooth operations.
  • Offline Mode When Internet Is Down: In the event of an internet outage, it is essential for your POS system to have an offline mode that allows you to continue processing transactions. This feature ensures that your bar can operate seamlessly even during temporary disruptions in internet connectivity.
  • Split Checks: Bar patrons often prefer to split the bill among a group. The POS system should have a split checks feature that simplifies the process of dividing the bill among multiple customers. This enhances customer satisfaction and streamlines the payment process.
  • Table Design Management: Efficient table management is critical for bars with table service. The POS system should offer table design management features that allow you to visually map out your bar layout, assign tables to customers, track table occupancy, and streamline table turnover.
  • Order Customization: Bars often receive customized drink orders from customers. The POS system should support order customization, enabling bartenders to easily modify ingredients, quantities, and special requests. This flexibility ensures accurate order preparation and enhances customer satisfaction.
  • Menu Management: A robust menu management feature is essential for bars that frequently update their drink offerings. The POS system should allow you to easily create, modify, and manage your menu items, including pricing, descriptions, and availability. This simplifies menu updates and ensures accurate pricing and inventory management.
  • Multi-Location Management: If you operate multiple bar locations, it’s crucial to choose a POS system that supports multi-location management. This feature enables centralized control and reporting across all locations, simplifies inventory management, and facilitates consistent operations and branding.
  • LIVE Business Dashboard and Reporting: Real-time access to business performance metrics is invaluable for bars. The POS system should provide a live business dashboard and comprehensive reporting capabilities. This allows you to monitor sales trends, track inventory, analyze customer preferences, and make data-driven decisions for your bar’s growth and profitability.

4. Additional Requirements: Consider including any other specific requirements unique to your cafe or bakery. For example, integration with loyalty programs, integration with accounting software, or data analytics capabilities.

By following these steps and including the key elements discussed, you can create a comprehensive and well-structured RFP that attracts qualified tech partners and sets the stage for selecting the right partner to enhance your bar operations.

    Free RFP Template for Bars

    Free RFP Template for Bars

    Elevate your bar experience with the right tech solutions. Download our free RFP template, exclusively designed for bars, to find the perfect POS system, inventory management tools, and more.


    Evaluating RFP Responses

    Once you receive responses to your RFP from potential tech partners, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough evaluation to identify the right partner for your bar. Here’s an overview of the process and key factors to consider during the evaluation:

    • Technical Capabilities: Assess the technical capabilities of each tech partner. Look for evidence of expertise in developing and implementing POS systems for bars. Evaluate their understanding of industry-specific requirements and their ability to deliver solutions that align with your bar’s needs.
    • Experience and Track Record: Consider the experience and track record of each tech partner. Review their portfolio or case studies to see if they have successfully implemented POS systems in bars similar to yours. Check for positive client testimonials or references that highlight their ability to deliver results and provide excellent customer service.
    • References and Client Feedback: Request references from the tech partners and reach out to their existing clients to gather feedback on their performance, reliability, and customer support. This step helps validate the claims made in their proposals and provides insights into their working relationship with other bars.
    • Financial Stability: Evaluate the financial stability of potential tech partners. A financially stable partner is more likely to provide ongoing support, updates, and system enhancements. Consider factors such as the company’s revenue, growth trajectory, and stability within the industry.
    • Detailed Proposals: Request detailed proposals from each tech partner. This should include a cost breakdown, implementation plan, and ongoing support details. Evaluate the clarity, thoroughness, and alignment of each proposal with your requirements. Look for partners who provide comprehensive information and demonstrate an understanding of your bar’s specific needs.
    • Alignment with Requirements: Assess how well each tech partner’s proposal aligns with your defined requirements and expectations. Evaluate their proposed features, functionalities, and customization options. Look for partners who offer innovative solutions that address your pain points and can contribute to enhancing your bar operations effectively.
    • Scalability and Future Growth: Consider the scalability of the proposed POS system and the tech partner’s ability to support your bar’s future growth. Look for partners who can accommodate increasing transaction volumes, new locations, and evolving business needs.
    • Cost and Value: Evaluate the cost of implementation, licensing, and ongoing support in relation to the value offered by each tech partner. Look for partners who provide a balance between affordability and the quality of their solution and support services.

    By conducting a thorough assessment of RFP responses, considering technical capabilities, experience, references, financial stability, and detailed proposals, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right tech partner for your bar. Remember to prioritize partners who demonstrate a deep understanding of your bar’s unique requirements and offer a comprehensive and tailored solution.

    Selecting the Right Restaurant-Tech Partner for Your Bar Business

    Selecting the right tech partner for your bar requires a careful assessment and comparison of the proposals received. Here are some insights to help you evaluate and make an informed decision:

    1. Expertise and Experience Alignment: It’s essential to assess how well the tech partner’s expertise and experience align with your bar’s specific needs. Consider whether they have successfully implemented POS systems for bars of similar size and complexity. Look for partners who understand the unique challenges and requirements of the bar industry and can offer tailored solutions to address them effectively.
    2. Scalability: Evaluate the scalability of the proposed POS system and the tech partner’s ability to support your bar’s growth and expansion. Consider factors such as the system’s capacity to handle increasing transaction volumes, accommodate additional locations, and integrate with other software or hardware solutions you may need in the future.
    3. Integration Capabilities: Assess the tech partner’s integration capabilities with other systems and platforms relevant to your bar operations. Determine whether the POS system can seamlessly integrate with your existing software, such as accounting, inventory management, or customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Smooth integration ensures efficient data flow and eliminates manual workarounds.
    4. Ongoing Support and Maintenance: Consider the level of ongoing support and maintenance offered by each tech partner. Evaluate their response time for resolving issues, availability of customer support channels, and the comprehensiveness of their support packages. Look for partners who provide timely updates, security patches, and feature enhancements to ensure the long-term stability and optimal performance of your POS system.
    5. Cost-effectiveness: Assess the overall cost-effectiveness of each proposal. Consider the initial implementation costs, licensing fees, and any additional charges for hardware, training, or customization. Evaluate the value provided by each tech partner in terms of the features, functionality, support, and long-term benefits. Look for partners who offer a competitive pricing structure without compromising quality or essential features.
    6. Vendor Reputation and References: Research the reputation and credibility of each tech partner. Look for reviews, testimonials, or case studies from their existing customers to gain insights into their performance and customer satisfaction levels. Consider reaching out to these references to gather firsthand feedback on the tech partner’s reliability, responsiveness, and overall service quality.
    7. User Experience and Interface: Evaluate the user experience and interface of the proposed POS system. Consider factors such as ease of use, intuitiveness, and customization options. Look for a system that can be easily adopted by your staff without significant training requirements, enabling them to operate efficiently and serve customers effectively.

    By carefully assessing and comparing the proposals based on factors like expertise alignment, scalability, integration capabilities, ongoing support, and cost-effectiveness, you can select a tech partner that not only meets your bar’s immediate needs but also aligns with your long-term goals and aspirations. Remember to prioritize partners who offer a comprehensive solution, excellent customer support, and a track record of success in the bar industry.

    Implementing the Chosen Tech Solution

    Implementing the chosen tech solution for your bar requires careful planning, collaboration, and effective project management. Here are the steps involved in successfully implementing the solution:

    1. Establish a Project Team: Form a project team consisting of key stakeholders, including representatives from your bar’s management, IT department, and relevant staff members. Assign a project manager to oversee the implementation process and ensure effective coordination among team members.
    2. Develop an Implementation Plan: Create a detailed implementation plan that outlines the specific tasks, timelines, and milestones for the project. Define clear objectives and deliverables to guide the implementation process. Assign responsibilities to team members and set realistic timelines for each phase of the project.
    3. Collaborate with the Tech Partner: Foster open communication and collaboration with your chosen tech partner. Maintain regular contact to discuss project progress, address any concerns or challenges, and ensure alignment with your bar’s requirements. Leverage their expertise and guidance throughout the implementation process.
    4. Configure and Customize the Solution: Work closely with your tech partner to configure and customize the POS system to suit your bar’s specific needs. This may involve setting up menus, pricing structures, table layouts, inventory items, and other relevant settings. Ensure that the system reflects your bar’s branding and operational workflows.
    5. Data Migration and Testing: If you are transitioning from an existing system, ensure a smooth data migration process. Collaborate with your tech partner to migrate data accurately and test the system thoroughly to ensure data integrity. Conduct comprehensive testing to identify and resolve any issues or discrepancies before going live.
    6. Staff Training and Change Management: Prioritize comprehensive training for your staff to ensure a smooth transition to the new technology. Provide hands-on training sessions, user manuals, and resources to familiarize your staff with the features and functionalities of the POS system. Encourage their active involvement, address their concerns, and highlight the benefits of the new technology to gain their buy-in and support.
    7. Ongoing Support and Maintenance: Establish clear channels of communication with your tech partner for ongoing support and maintenance. Ensure that your staff knows how to access support resources and report any issues or questions. Regularly communicate with your tech partner to stay updated on software updates, new features, and best practices to optimize the use of the POS system.
    8. Monitor and Evaluate: Continuously monitor the performance of the implemented tech solution and gather feedback from staff and customers. Evaluate its effectiveness in meeting your bar’s objectives and identify areas for improvement. Use analytics and reporting features to gain insights into sales trends, customer behavior, and operational efficiency.

    By following these steps and emphasizing collaboration, communication, and project management, you can successfully implement the chosen tech solution in your bar. Effective change management and staff training are crucial to ensure a smooth transition and maximize the benefits of the new technology. Stay proactive in addressing any challenges or issues that arise and maintain a strong partnership with your tech partner for ongoing support and system optimization.

    Monitoring the Software and Striving for Continuous Improvement

    Once the tech solution is implemented in your bar, it is important to emphasize ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure its effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. Here’s why monitoring and continuous improvement are crucial, and how data analytics and communication with your tech partner play a vital role in this process:

    1. Measuring Effectiveness: Ongoing monitoring allows you to measure the effectiveness of the implemented tech solution. By analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales, customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and staff productivity, you can assess how well the solution is contributing to your bar’s success. Compare these metrics with the pre-implementation baseline to gauge the impact of the tech solution.
    2. Data Analytics: Data analytics plays a significant role in evaluating the effectiveness of the tech solution and identifying areas for improvement. Utilize the reporting and analytics features of your POS system to gather insights into sales trends, customer preferences, popular menu items, and operational inefficiencies. Analyze this data to identify patterns, spot opportunities for cost savings or revenue growth, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your bar’s operations.
    3. Identifying Areas for Improvement: Regular monitoring and evaluation provide an opportunity to identify areas for improvement within the tech solution. Analyze feedback from staff and customers, conduct surveys or focus groups, and observe workflows to identify pain points or bottlenecks. This feedback can guide you in making adjustments, implementing new features, or addressing any shortcomings in the system’s performance.
    4. Communication with Tech Partner: Maintain regular communication and feedback loops with your tech partner. Stay in touch to discuss any issues, challenges, or enhancement requests that arise. Share your findings from data analysis and seek their input on how to improve the solution’s performance. A strong partnership with your tech partner ensures that you can leverage their expertise and support in implementing enhancements or resolving any issues promptly.
    5. Continuous Training and Staff Development: As you identify areas for improvement, provide ongoing training and development opportunities for your staff. Keep them updated on new features or functionalities of the tech solution and empower them to utilize the system to its fullest potential. Encourage staff feedback and suggestions for further improvement, as they are on the front lines and may have valuable insights into the system’s usability and effectiveness.
    6. Iterative Enhancements: Treat the tech solution implementation as an iterative process. Based on monitoring, evaluation, and feedback, continuously refine and enhance the system to meet changing needs and industry trends. Regularly assess the performance of new features or enhancements and adjust as necessary.

    By emphasizing ongoing monitoring and evaluation, utilizing data analytics, maintaining open communication with your tech partner, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, you can optimize the effectiveness of the implemented tech solution in your bar. This iterative approach ensures that the solution evolves with your bar’s needs, delivers tangible benefits, and helps you stay ahead in a competitive industry.

    The Bar-Specific RFP Template (Free Downloadable)

    To assist bars in creating a comprehensive RFP for selecting the right tech partner, we have developed a free, downloadable RFP template specifically tailored for bars. This template serves as a valuable resource to streamline the RFP process and ensure all essential elements are included. You can download the template here.

      Free RFP Template for Bars

      Free RFP Template for Bars

      Elevate your bar experience with the right tech solutions. Download our free RFP template, exclusively designed for bars, to find the perfect POS system, inventory management tools, and more.


      The Bar-Specific RFP Template is structured to guide you through the necessary sections and considerations when seeking a tech partner for your bar. It includes the following sections:

      • Introduction: A brief overview of the RFP process and its importance in finding the right tech partner for bars.
      • Company Overview: A section to introduce your bar, highlighting its history, ambiance, target audience, and unique characteristics. You can customize this section to reflect your brand identity and specific requirements.
      • Proposal Objective & Functional Requirements: This section helps you define the objective of the RFP and outline the functional requirements your POS system should fulfill. It provides a framework to clearly communicate your expectations to potential tech partners.
      • POS System Checklist for Bars: The template includes a comprehensive checklist of must-have features for a POS system in bars, such as a cloud-native architecture, 24/7 customer support, offline mode, split checks, table design management, order customization, menu management, multi-location management, and a live business dashboard and reporting. You can modify or expand this checklist based on your specific needs.
      • Additional Elements: This section suggests additional elements to include in your RFP, such as implementation timeline, data migration requirements, training and support expectations, and pricing/payment terms. You can tailor these elements to suit your bar’s unique circumstances.

      The Bar-Specific RFP Template is designed to provide a solid foundation for creating your RFP document. However, feel free to customize and adapt it according to your bar’s specific requirements and preferences. Add or modify sections as necessary to ensure the RFP captures all relevant information for potential tech partners.

      By utilizing our Bar-Specific RFP Template, you can save time and effort in structuring your RFP while ensuring that crucial aspects are not overlooked. This template serves as a starting point, allowing you to focus on tailoring the RFP to your bar’s unique needs and objectives.

      Download the Bar-Specific RFP Template here and begin your journey toward finding the perfect tech partner for enhancing your bar operations.

        Free RFP Template for Bars

        Free RFP Template for Bars

        Elevate your bar experience with the right tech solutions. Download our free RFP template, exclusively designed for bars, to find the perfect POS system, inventory management tools, and more.


        Conclusion

        • Selecting the right tech partner is crucial for enhancing bar operations in Singapore.
        • RFPs play a vital role in facilitating the tech partner selection process.
        • RFPs provide a structured framework for evaluating potential partners and defining specific requirements.
        • By leveraging RFPs, bar owners can effectively compare and assess proposals from different tech partners.
        • The right tech partner can bring increased operational efficiency, streamlined processes, improved customer experience, and cost savings.
        • Tech partners with expertise in bar operations offer tailored solutions to address unique challenges faced by bars in Singapore.
        • RFPs enable a thorough evaluation, considering factors such as company overview, proposal objectives, functional requirements, and a comprehensive POS system checklist.
        • The POS system checklist for bars includes essential features like a cloud-native POS system, 24/7 customer support, offline mode, split checks, table design management, order customization, menu management, multi-location management, and a live business dashboard and reporting.
        • Leveraging RFPs empowers bar owners to make informed decisions and select the ideal tech partner.
        • The right tech partner, identified through the RFP process, can enhance bar operations, drive business success, and stay competitive in the market.

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