Daily Archives: January 10, 2019

5 Key Logistics Considerations for Business Success

logistics concept

One of the keys to business success lies in the effectiveness of the logistics and all the surrounding support systems that help move each inventory. Unless you’re able to manage logistics internally by yourself, you’ll depend a lot on the reliability of the logistics consulting company that you’ll hire to handle all your needs.

The difficulty lies in both the number of companies out there that you can hire as well as the lack of understanding of what services you can expect from a prospective company that you are looking to hire.

Here are five things all the best logistics companies should be able to provide:

Capacity

A reliable logistics company must be able to handle the load of deliveries you require. This is something that requires an understanding of your delivery load monthly to be compared against the overall capacity that your prospective logistics partner can offer you. If they don’t match up or can’t match up on a consistent schedule, then you’ll have a problem.

Expediency

Even if a logistics company can handle the load, check if they can meet delivery promises on time. They won’t be a great partner for your business if they can’t be punctual. While delays are expected from time to time, these expectations should be managed well by the company you’re looking to partner with. It’s a simple matter of checking their own successes over the course of years with companies that are of the same size as yours.

Warehousing

two managers in a warehouse

Another critical component of a logistics consulting company, as ReverseLogix noted, is that most people don’t realize that they can benefit from being able to stock and manage inventory as organized as possible. This is a critical consideration if you’re looking to grow and expand your operations. What you need to check here is the security of the warehouse offered as well as its capacity.

Returns

While no one wants to have product returns, either for a refund or a replacement, it’s still an important and critical part of any business that moves inventory.

When it comes to returns, it isn’t just the reverse logistics capability and expediency that’s necessary, there must also be a robust and reliable system in place. This way, you can handle the processing of the complaints associated with the returns. This will help make the process faster, delighting your customers in the long run.

Warranties

Another inevitability when it comes to shipping is that there can be some losses along the way. While these can’t be helped, the best logistics companies offer some protection to ensure that the loss isn’t too heavy for you to bear. It’s not an absolute requirement to success with regard to logistics company partnerships, but it’s something that’s worth looking into to ensure that there isn’t any bad blood when it comes to such losses.

Logistics is the key to ensuring that your inventory and stock is moved efficiently and effectively. Finding a great logistics company to partner with will ensure that your business will succeed by keeping customers happy that their orders come on time. As long as you keep these five things in mind, you can be sure to find a successful partnership.

a professional man

Safety Apparel: What Performance Class Types Are There?

a professional man

Workers in dark or dim work environments and those handling various machines are at a heightened risk of facing injuries. Visibility apparel is an essential part of these work environments to alert other people of a worker’s presence and minimise injuries in your workplace. High-visibility garments primarily comprise three materials, including the background, combined-performance and retro-reflective materials.

The background material of the apparel you get from safety clothing manufacturers is a coloured fluorescent base material. The retro-reflective material is a band that reflects light while the combined-performance materials are a combination of the fluorescent and retro-reflective materials. The height depends on the set minimum requirements in relation to your background material.

High-visibility garments are grouped into the following performance classes.

Performance Class 1

Garments grouped as performance class 1 offer the minimum visibility amount. They differentiate wearers in non-complex work environments. They have a background material of a minimum 217 inches. The combined retro-reflective and background material size is 155 inches while the combined-performance material size is 310 inches. Performance class 1 safety clothing is used by workers in off-road environments.

Performance Class 2

Garments in this class offer more visibility for wearers compared to those in performance class 1 since they have more torso coverage. They have a 755-inch background material height and a combined-performance and retro-reflective material size of 201 inches. Workers in TTC zones and low-speed roadways and those working between physical barriers and traffic use performance class 2 garments.

Performance Class 3

Apparel in this class also includes trousers and sleeves other than a visibility vest. The background material in performance class 3 garments is 1,240 inches while the combined-performance and retro-reflective materials measure 310 inches. Performance class 3 garments are used in urban areas, high-speed roadways and high-crash areas, and when there is no physical traffic barrier.

Performance Class E

Garments in performance class E take the form of shorts or waistband trousers and can only be used with garments in performance classes 2 or 3. When worn along with performance class 3 or 2 garments, the ensemble is considered a class 3 safety ensemble. The background material for performance class E garments is 465 inches, and the combined-performance and retro-reflective materials measure 108 inches.

a policeman

Public Safety Apparel

This class of safety clothing is used by law enforcement, emergency medical service and fire service personnel who work near roads. Safety clothing in this class feature access to belt-mounted appliances and can tear away from a wearer’s shoulders in case the person is stuck. It also features panels, pockets and public safety official identification tags along with different colours. Red is designed for fire service personnel, green for EMS and blue for those in law enforcement.

Other than picking the right performance class for your employees from the above, you should ensure you get the right colour. Your choice apparel colour should contrast with your work environment to ensure the wearer stands out. You should also consider changing weather patterns and ensure the colour remains visible in rainy and clear weather conditions.

an agricultural sprayer

Understanding the Different Types of Agricultural Sprayers

an agricultural sprayer

There is no limit to the number of sprayers available currently. They are, after all, an essential component of most residential and industrial applications. Not all of these sprayers, however, will suffice for the agriculture, floriculture and horticulture sectors. In farming, you will primarily need sprayers for the application of herbicides, fungicides and fertilisers. The wrong type of sprayer will significantly affect the crop’s quality since it will not deliver your liquid to the crops efficiently.

The available farmer spray machine options primarily rely on a high or low-pressure concept to eject a liquid from a tank. The machines thus provide optimum performance with minimal efforts on the operator’s part. Here are the best sprayer alternatives you have for your farm or greenhouse.

Hand-Held Sprayer

This holds approximately a gallon or two of liquid. Its pumping mechanism is located at the top of a container with a spray nozzle attached to an application wand’s end. The operator holds the application wand and presses it. The pressure generated propels liquid from a tank connected to the wand via a rubber tube. Hand-held sprayers are generally used for small greenhouses or direct application of fluids to a plant’s base on large farms.

Backpack Sprayer

This comprises a tank that holds approximately four gallons of liquid and a hand-held pump. Pressure is applied to an application wand with the tank strapped to the operator’s back and propels the fluid from the tank. The application wand and rubber hose connected to the pump extend into the tank’s bottom, making the liquid easily accessible. A backpack sprayer is generally used in large greenhouses and small farms.

working on an agricultural sprayer

Pull-Behind Sprayer

This is used on large farms. It comprises a boom that is mounted on and extends on the sides of an all-terrain vehicle or tractor. Pressure is generated by a mechanical pump inside the sprayer, which is driven by the vehicle’s electrical system or a battery. The liquid is then dispensed through multiple nozzles located on the vehicle’s back. A pull-behind sprayer has a device or remote control connected to control lines, which regulate the sprayer’s pattern and flow.

Aerial Applicator

This is an ideal choice for large farming tracts. Tanks with booms and multiple nozzles are attached on a small plane or aerial applicator. The pressure inside the tanks is generated from mechanical pumps powered with the applicator’s electrical system. The pilot of the applicator controls the spray flow and pattern using an electrical device or remote control. Application of liquids using an aerial applicator is sometimes called crop dusting.

Self-Propelled Sprayer

This is a self-contained sprayer comprising application booms, an engine and a tank. Some self-propelled sprayers also have hand wands to spray crops like grapes. A mechanical pump generates the pressure in the tank, and the sprayer is manoeuvred up and down crop rows using a remote.

Your sprayer choice makes the difference between a failed crop and a bountiful harvest. Therefore, diligence is essential when choosing one from the above. Work with an experienced supplier to guarantee you make the right choice.

a printing plant

The Biggest Printing Trends to Watch Out For

a printing plant

Printing is not dead, but the technology has never been the same over the last decades. The dot-matrix printer, which reigned the markets in the 1970s and 1980s, almost became unheard-of as the new millennium rolled in. Today, these are the booming industry trends to watch out for:

1. 3-D Printing

Some experts tout 3-D printing as the future of the industry, and it’s likely on track. Data from Grand View Research revealed a massive growth between 2018 and 2025. Within this period, it should have a compound annual growth rate of 16.5%, easily surpassing the market value of $7 billion in 2017.

Hobbyists and industries position themselves as the technology’s biggest users. Between the two, though, the latter will likely take up almost 80% of the market.

Among the industries, healthcare, automation, and aerospace will be the leading sectors. 3-D printing’s use will be critical in designing and prototyping.

Education is also a budding market. The technology becomes essential in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities.

2. Eco-friendly Printing

The printing inks market will remain robust. Until 2025, the market value will reach close to $26 billion, according to Grand View Research. Among the types of inks, the industry will see a rapidly increasing demand for sustainable options or the eco-friendly ones. Two factors will most likely boost the need for this type of ink. One of these is the universal shift to sustainability.

A Nielsen survey of 60 countries revealed that 66% of consumers are willing to pay a higher price for sustainable goods. Among the millennials, 77% will consider it. The preference then extends to packaging and, subsequently, to the method and kind of ink used.

Environmental regulations are another factor. The standards for manufacturing inks have become more stringent in light of studies that highlight the effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemicals to health and environment.

a variety of colours

Eco-friendly printing solvents don’t come second fiddle to the conventional ones either. In Australia, Roland eco-sol ink can produce superior-quality digital printing with a much lower running cost. The colours don’t fade fast as well. With its UV, water, and scratch resistance feature, an image remains vibrant for at least three years.

3. Printing Electronics

Technology accelerated the fastest within the last 50 years. As manufacturers obtain access to better tools and skilled professionals, it can even grow a lot in a shorter time.

The popularity of printed electronics is part of the reason. With this tech, manufacturers can produce lightweight electronic components for a significantly lower price and higher efficiency.

BCC Research data showed this market would have a stellar performance from 2017 to 2022. Within this period, the CAGR will reach 13.6% while the market value will grow up to $26 billion. It will be almost double its worth at the beginning of the forecast period. Of the many market segments, sensors will be one of the biggest users as it achieves a 23% CAGR within the forecast period.

Printing technology does change fast, but if all these were any indication, it’s changing for the better.

two people working

Reasons to Get into the Signage Business

two people working

As research sheds light on the myriads of benefits that come with proper branding, there’s a growing demand from these services. Such developments make the sector quite a lucrative business venture that’s worth pursuing.

Sales are the lifeblood of any business venture as it enables the owners to collect enough revenues to meet their financial obligations. Generating more sales is hardwired into each entrepreneur looking to grow their company and increase their market share. However, getting customers through the doors is never a cakewalk, especially in the retail market.

Proper signage has been proven to be an effective way to draw the attention of passersby, prompting them to visit an establishment. Providing such business owners with great signage holds the promise of growing a successful firm as well. To get a head start in the sector, consider buying a sign business in your locality.

Growing Demand

Research indicates that signs are quite useful in attracting new customers, driving sales, and influencing customer decisions. A recent study found that over 70 per cent of the consumers are likely to patronise a new store prompted by their signage. Interestingly, a similar number of respondents recommended a store based on the signage alone.

Captivating signs increase the chances of customers making a purchase by 68 per cent. Recognising the value of such developments, entrepreneurs are doubling down on their store branding efforts. Signs make an incredible yet passive way to grow sales making them an asset to all business ventures. Getting into this line of service lets you tap into a market with a growing demand, which increases your chances of success.

picking a colour

A Broad Range of Products

Ideally, you should not get into the business of making signs; instead, you need to look at your business as a one-stop branding studio. That means you not only help clients create signages but also grow their brands. In addition to helping them build an enticing shop front, you can help them create proper signages with the stores and beyond. Research indicates that in-store branding plays a crucial role in driving purchases.

As branding powerhouse, you can help your clients seize such opportunities to grow their sales and build your reputation. Proper branding instils confidence in the target market, increasing their likelihood of trusting the products they sell. With an excellent knowledge of the market, you can advise your customers on the most effective ways to grow their brands, which results in a win-win situation.

An Evergreen Sector

Although online shopping is becoming a significant phenomenon, brick and mortar stores are here to stay. People will still go out to shop or eat. Hence, the owners of these businesses will need a little help in making their brands stand out and appeal to more customers. You are assured of a large pool of potential clients as long as you’re helping them meet their business objectives.

Based on available consumer preference data, it appears that branding plays a considerable role in their decisions when making purchases. The business community realises the value of adequately branding their outlets, making the sector quite lucrative. If you can provide business with branding solutions, you can enjoy great success in the signage and branding sector.

two people working

Three Golden Rules for Networking as a Starting Entrepreneur

two people working

Smart entrepreneurs know very well that a solid, diverse network is one of the keys to success. In fact, there’s a mantra that goes ‘your network is your net worth.’ But while knowing that the right connections are crucial, it doesn’t make the ‘dirty work’ any easier, especially if you’re a starting entrepreneur. A lot of newbies struggle with building rapport, approaching strangers in conferences or conventions, even.

The good thing about this is there’s already a playbook of the art of networking. It’s then just a matter of following the rules. Here are the golden principles when building your contacts.

1. Begin With a Plan

What many entrepreneurs don’t understand is that networking doesn’t ‘just happen’. Better networking happens when you make it happen. Be intentional. Draw up a plan, starting with the ‘who’. Identify the people you think would help you be successful in the industry you’re breaking into.

For instance, if you’re trying to explore how to start a co-working business, ask yourself who the experts you want to tap are. Refer to different business groups. Or, look at proven business models, like franchises. You’d find fellow entrepreneurs who aren’t just keen on helping business people like you but also has the same business interests as you.

After you’ve pinned down the ‘who’, it’s time to know the ‘how’, the activities you’d do to connect with the people. Plan on attending conferences sponsored by the business group you’re eyeing or sending an appreciation tweet to a seasoned entrepreneur.

2. Give, Rather Than Take

For you to be memorable to people, you have to add value to them in every interaction. ‘Value’ here can range from the simple gesture of offering a listening ear to a colleague you met at a conference or taking them out to lunch to grander acts of sponsoring an event or letting them use your co-working space for a launch. Just like in any other relationship, entrepreneurial networks would require sacrifices. And you must avoid expecting something in return.

a young entrepreneur

But the encouragement here is that even though you may not be receiving anything tangible now, know that you’re slowly cultivating a lasting relationship that could save you from business woes later. So, again, remember the principle: Seize every opportunity to offer added value. The same principle you need to channel when networking with customers. Give, give, give.

3. Follow Up

Remember that networking doesn’t end with only collecting business cards. You’re trying to build relationships with people. Following up is always an overlooked habit of many, and probably it’s because it takes effort and time that would have been otherwise dedicated to other ‘business tasks’, like writing the business plan or securing funds.

Note though that networking is part of your business task. It’s supposed to be at the top of your priorities. If you’d dedicate time in following up, meeting that colleague you met at the conference, you might just get your first investor or find a proven franchise program business plan.

It’s understandable that you might be a little uneasy building rapport with people as you start in the business. But things would get better. And you’ll network better if you abide by these rules.