Reviews

Interior design with a twist

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We all know that the way choose to decorate our homes says a lot about who are and the same can be said of offices too. The structure, layout and décor of an office will speak volumes about the company and those who work there. With competition fierce for hiring top graduates and retaining the best candidates, some companies are going the extra mile to make sure that their office space is ergonomic, attractive and technological advanced. Continue reading

Reviews

Getting to Grips with Cookies

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An online browse nowadays isn’t complete without a website asking you if you’re willing to accept its use of cookies. Most of us say yes automatically – just so we can continue browsing unhindered. But what are cookies exactly, and should we be concerned about them?

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A lot of media coverage in the past has tended to focus on the potentially negative aspects of cookies, which have been positioned as pieces of digital spyware, rather than what they are, which is harmless small digital files designed to facilitate user experiences online.

So what are cookies exactly?

Firstly, the key thing to know is that cookies are not computer programmes. They are simply text files which perform no actions. You can even read them if you want to; and if you do, you’ll see that they contain a user ID – unique to the device – and a site name.

The beauty of cookies

These simple but powerful text files are downloaded on to your laptop or PC when you first visit a website. If you allow the cookie, your device will remember the next time that you visit the site, and look out for a relevant cookie. This allows the website to identify if you are a previous visitor, and it can then tailor information that is shown back to you. For example, it might remember fields in a form or other actions which help to improve your user experience and reduce admin time.

Other cookies provide more in-depth and sophisticated information, such as user browsing time, click-throughs and even the user’s preferred colour schemes and page structures. They can also be used to capture analytics on items bought or stored in an online shopping cart. This has real benefits for businesses. Swansea web design and SEO agency http://www.accent-adc.co.uk use the information to make targeted online advertising campaigns, and help businesses to reach their target audiences more easily.

For customers, the experience is also beneficial, making the site interaction generally smoother and easier and reducing the amount of time spent filling out forms and setting preferences.

Any downsides?

There are opposing views to the value of cookies and their role in the online world. This viewpoint often depends on the user’s own perspectives on ‘big data’ and personal information being stored by organisations and companies. The information stored may not be exceptional or even particularly confidential, but some people do not want to have their information captured and added to marketing data lists at all.

The legal perspective

Whereas the use of cookies used to be seen as secretive, today websites are obliged to flag up their use to website visitors and check that they are happy to opt in for cookie use. Express permission has to be given by the user before cookies can be used on the site, which is given by a tick box. The UK’s Information Commission monitors companies to make sure they are complying with this legislation and strict data laws that define and manage how customer data may or may not be used. So ultimately, depending on how you feel about privacy and ease of browsing, your interaction with cookies online very much depends on your own preferences.

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Is your business getting left behind?

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Technology is everything in this day and age. It is easy to think that you are engaged in an older craft that doesn’t rely on technology, but you would be surprised. Unless you are the only person in your area doing what you do, you are likely to need to compete with similar local businesses. One of the most cost-effective ways to do this is to use technology.

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Using technology well

The media often reports that children are using too much technology, that we use our smartphones too much and ignore our children, or that we are turning into hermits; however, this is not always the case. As an example, take the Tech4Good awards. The Guardian reported that the winning product was a bionic arm made by a company called Open Bionics. This arm can be made for notably less money than its competitors, and it can be made quickly. In this case, technology is giving people the freedom to get out there and live their lives.

Ongoing progress

Every day there are new inventions in the world of technology. Even if you only really use a smartphone, you are still likely to make the most of new innovations. The BBC reported that Apple is making it possible for people to use their smartphones as digital wallets. In the future the likelihood is that we won’t even bother to carry a purse or wallet when we are shopping.

What does this mean for my business?

This basically means that you need to keep up. Don’t worry, you don’t need to invent the next bionic arm or throw away all your cash, but why not develop a really great website?. Using a local company such as rycomarketing.co.uk, which provides web design in Dublin, will allow you to work closely with the designers without spending a fortune.

Who knows, you might end up thinking outside the box like Open Bionics, which was a startup company when it invented something invaluable to people all over the world. Think about your field of expertise. What does it need and how could you invent it? Could a fabulous website help you to promote your invention or your existing business? The question is, could you be the next big thing in technology?

Reviews

6 Innovative Flooring Solutions For Commercial Premises

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Your floor is something that makes a surprisingly large impact and when considering flooring solutions for commercial premises it’s important to consider not just aesthetics, but durability too.

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There are plenty of durable, long wearing flooring options available and it’s important to consider what type of wear and tear will take place before you settle on a specific covering.

These six options offer something for every building and to suit all tastes, requirements and preferences.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Craftwood is an innovative new product that comprises of an engineered hardwood with an oil finish. Laid in planks like a standard wooden floor, Craftwood is designed to be easy to clean, colour stable and long lasting.

Rubber Flooring

If you like the look of vinyl flooring, then rubber may be your best bet. Nora Systems has created a high performance rubberised floor that’s ideal for busy environments and that reduces noise and enhances comfort.

Waterproof Floating Floors

Ideal for high traffic areas, NuClic no wax flooring can be installed over existing floors and is a flexible and interlocking covering that does not affect the original floor. A site like http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/ could tell you more about this type of product and other similar bacteria-resistant options.

Vinyl Tiles

A great option for any area that needs to be kept clean but look good too, vinyl tiles come in different shades and textures, include wood, marble and stone. The appearance of tiles with the ease of use of vinyl makes these tiles really attractive to commercial enterprises.

Tile and Grout Flooring

Mosaics have become very popular and are an excellent choice for areas that repeatedly get wet. The tiles are laid and grouted over, and thereafter they are easy to keep clean and to maintain. This system can work with smaller or larger tiles and looks very appealing too.

Plank Vinyl Tiles

Similar to vinyl tiles, plank vinyl tiles are laid in long planks and look like wood, stone or any other similar material. They may also have designs on them. The enhanced rolled edges of these tiles add depth and are designed to withstand high traffic and regular use. Low maintenance yet very attractive, plank tiles are often used in areas between warehouses and similar, where flooring needs to withstand heavy use.

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Safety Concerns in Pallet Racking

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There has been concern over the safety of racking systems in Australia, after WorkSafe Western Australia carried out a far-reaching inspection programme across the region’s wholesale industry. Concerns were raised that the industry was failing to use adequately safe racking systems.

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A Full Scale Inspection

The series of inspections took place across regional and urban areas alike, with officials going to 127 wholesale premises to assess the range of hazards that workers face in their daily jobs.

Joe Attard, the Director or WorkSafe, said that wholesaling by its nature include a range of activities that could be dangerous and result in injuries to staff. As a result of the visits, the inspectors issued over 200 notes of improvement, and two more serious prohibition notices. This majority of these notices were issued specifically for unsafe pallet racking practices.

Common Injuries in Wholesaling

The most common form of injury with wholesaling comes from muscular strain and injury from carrying, lifting or putting heavy objects down. This can be partly mitigated with the use of automated machinery, but the nature of the job means that most workers will need to engage in manual lifting and shifting for at least a portion of their day.

Quality and compliant pallet racking in Ireland, such as those provided by groups like duffydiscount are suitable for businesses wanting to ensure that their premises are kept safe, to protect both staff and customers alike. Without these, there are three key areas of concern:

Firstly, many racking systems do not display safe working loads, which make them subject to overloading and the risk of toppling or falling. Secondly, racks are not always bolted down or secure, making them unstable and in danger of being topped by forklifts.

Last but not least, poor quality or poorly maintained pallet racks tend to be missing their safety lock pins, which are an essential safeguard to ensure that supports are maintained in place.

Other notices were also issued in relation to warning signs, hazardous substances and machinery guards. WorkSafe reminded wholesale business owners that they had a responsibility to their staff and customers, to maintain safe working conditions and to protect people on site.

As well as better pallet racking systems, training was recommended to help workers to lift correctly at all times and to identify potential health and safety risks within their work environment.

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A look back on Windows 10

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Windows is one of the most commonly used operating systems, so the release of a new version is always a major event. When it launched Windows 10 back last year on the 29th July it was set to be bigger than most because of the way it was delivered.

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Existing users of newer versions of Windows (7, 8 or 8.2) had noticed that a new icon had appeared in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. When the mouse cursor is hovered over it, the text ‘get Windows 10’ was shown.

Microsoft wanted to get as many people as possible to upgrade to the latest version. So for the first time, the company had offered a major Windows release as a free upgrade. For the first year of its life, Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users could get Windows 10 for nothing.

Can I still Upgrade to Windows 10?

Windows 10 doesn’t seem too different at first from the previous version, but there were some big changes. The most evident is that the Start menu made a comeback. A lot of users missed this feature when it was dropped from Windows 8. The new Start menu is a mixture of the menu seen in earlier systems such as Windows 7 and XP and Windows 8’s tiled Start screen look. There are improved search capabilities, and users are able to resize and customise the menu to their needs.

Windows 10 has a new internet browser called Microsoft Edge. This is built to make reading and researching online simpler. So for web designers in Taunton like somersetwebservices it made creating an easy to navigate mobile responsive site all the more important, especially with the latest rank brain algo that came out a few months ago.

The Cortana voice-controlled personal assistant, already familiar to Windows Phone users, will be in Windows 10 too. Apps will be included for things such as photos, music and maps. Some features of older versions will disappear, though – Windows Media Center, for example.

Windows 10 is compatible with touchscreen and tablet devices as well as conventional PCs, so it will suit a wide range of systems. There are links to Xbox and it allows for the streaming of games from Xbox One to PC.

Getting Windows 10

Of course, software testing services will have had early versions of Windows 10 for some time. For the rest of us, users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 with the latest updates may already have seen the Windows 10 icon.
Once you’ve updated, it will be download in the background. You’ll be notified when this is done so you can install it at your leisure. If you’re thinking of buying a new computer, there’s no need to hold on all new Windows systems bought will be eligible for the free upgrade.

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The ten best delivery companies

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Whether you are operating a large online retail company or a small eBay shop, prompt delivery will be an important issue for you. Here are the top ten delivery companies operating globally today.

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10. Japan Post Service

The Japan Post Service is part of Japan Post Holdings, a state owned company that was ranked number 6 in the Fortune Global 500 in 2010 when it generated more than $200 billion. Whilst Japan Post was entirely state run in the past, it has plans to become fully private in the near future.

9. Royal Mail

Founded as long ago as 1516, Royal Mail is a state owned postal service which was in trouble during the 1990s and at the beginning of this century. It has bounced back during the last five years, however and made its first full year profit in 2009 for more than two decades.

8. Parcelforce Worldwide

Parcelforce is the UK’s largest private shipping service, delivering over a million parcels everyday throughout Europe. Its direct competitors are DHL, UPS and Fedex. Its headquarters in Milton Keynes is one of the largest buildings in the UK, stretching over 43 acres.  From bottles of vape juices that way less than a tennis ball all the way up to unique commercial furniture designed and built by businesses like http://simonkohnfurniture.co.uk/our-work/commercial/reception-areas-and-desks/. Parcelforce are a strong contender in the top 10 delivery companies.

7. YRC Worldwide

YRC is one of the US’s largest transportation service providers. YRC ships heavyweight shipments, usually industrial, retail or commercial goods. Based in Kansas, Texas, the company nearly went bankrupt in 2009 but has since recovered and employs over 50,000 people.

6. TNT NV

Dutch company, TNTNV, is one of Europe’s biggest shipping company, operating in 8 European countries, including Germany, Belgium, Italy as well as the UK. It sold its logistics division in 2006 and now concentrates on express delivery and mail services.

5. Schenker AG

With over 91,000 employees and 2,400 offices, Schenker AG is the second largest delivery company in Europe. Based in Berlin in Germany, it used to be the biggest transporter of goods by land in Europe and the world’s second largest air transporter.

4. United States Postal Service

The USPS only delivers within the US but is still the fourth largest delivery company in the world, with a workforce of almost 600,000 people. Not surprisingly, it is the US’s second largest employer of civilians, (second only to Wal-Mart) and has the biggest fleet of non-military vehicles in the world.

3. FedEx Corporation

Owner of the second largest fleet of aircraft in the world today, Fedex in one of the top three delivery companies globally.

2. DHL Express

Based in Bonn in Germany, DHL is the second largest shipping company worldwide. Now employing more than 500,000 employees, DHL was first created in 1969 to carry goods from San Francisco to Honolulu.

1. United Parcel Service, Inc

UPS delivers in excess of fifteen million packages and parcels every day to more than six million customers in over 220 countries around the world. Its large fleet of iconic brown trucks are a regular sight in almost every town and city. No wonder UPS is the number one delivery company in the world today.

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the best delivery company!

Reviews

Retailers seek more refrigeration options in changing marketplace

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The retail sector has faced challenges over the last year, as the consumer market changes and new legislation came into effect. This has caused them to look at different refrigeration options that can enable them to meet the needs of consumers and comply with energy regulations. In order to meet these requirements, refrigeration suppliers and manufacturers have needed to consider the current marketplace and adapt their offerings to provide customers with the exact products they require.

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Growth in convenience

More consumers are choosing to top up their groceries during the week at convenience outlets. Rather than simply relying on the one weekly shop, they’ll also pop into smaller stores on their way home from work or if they’ve forgotten something. The value of this sector is set to rise to £46.2 billion by 2018 from £35.6 billion in 2013. This will force more retailers to consider their options in this market and provide the solutions that their customers want.

This area of the retail sector is increasing, but this growth has resulted in further challenges. The stores have smaller footprints than traditional supermarkets and are often in difficult locations that are compromised on size, shape or positioning. As they are catering for the convenience shopper, they need to offer a wide variety of products. These generally focus on ready made meals, snacks and essentials. However, this means that stores have to fit a range of commercial refrigeration units into the compact space. This will allow them to hold as much stock choice as possible.

Making the industry more energy efficient

Another key issue for retailers is the requirement to reduce their energy usage. The Ecodesign Directive has set up a framework of compulsory requirements for all products that use energy across the European Union. Establishing themselves as an energy efficient business will not only allow these outlets to lower their overheads, but it will also highlight their eco and sustainability credentials.

These new requirements will force businesses to look closer at the energy rating of products, such as the commercial refrigeration ranges from Fridge Freezer Direct and other online retailers. Currently, up to 50% of the energy that is used by the retail industry goes on refrigeration appliances.

In order to assist retailers in this goal, suppliers will need to provide products that use less energy, as well as consider the use of heat recovery options. Heat recovery is where the heat emitted by refrigeration units is reclaimed. This can then be integrated with other services to provide heat across the building.

All these requirements for change come at a time when retailers are operating on tighter and tighter margins. They need to hold the correct amount of stock to meet the demands of consumers, but they also have to take into account the issues of wastage, which reduce profits and damage their environmental standings. Suppliers can help with these challenges by providing high technology products that maintain the freshness of products for longer.