Temporary Storage, Warehousing and Shipping Solutions

For many businesses that are managing to grow their operations, there comes a time when the amount of physical space at the business premises becomes a limiting factor on the business output.

This can be a difficult problem to solve for many companies and may result in lost work and the inability to bid for new contracts. The cost of relocating to new premises can be massive and finding the right premises, at the right cost is becoming ever more difficult with a shortage of commercial premises across the UK.

So what options are there when space becomes your limiting factor. Read on to find out our recommendations.

Temporary Storage 

This is possibly the lowest cost way to free up some space at your business premises. In most cases temporary storage facilities can be hired on a rolling monthly basis. When the need for the extra space comes to an end you simply give 30 days notice and hand back the keys at the end of that time.

Other benefits may include 24 hour on-site security and CCTV facilities and even 24 hour access to your storage space.

We spoke to The Strorage Works about their storage facilities for businesses. They told us “Self storage isn’t just for people doing house clearances. We frequently lease storage space to businesses who need some extra room. Our most recent business client has recently upgraded some machinery at his manufacturing plant. The old machinery is stored here while it is waiting for a buyer. The business owner simply didn’t have the space for the old machines when the new equipment was installed.”

Warehousing and Warehousing with Shipping

For manufacturing businesses, outsourcing your Warehousing or Warehousing and Shipping needs can bring savings in both costs and in space.

Imagine only needing the space for one days manufacturing output in your warehouse. Using an outsourced warehousing solution could make this a reality. Daily collections of the previous days production can be arranged. Your products are taken to a storage facility where they are held until they are ready for shipping to your customers.

This solution can free up more storage space for raw materials or even the re-allocation of storage space for other business uses.

We spoke with one of the UK’s leading warehousing and shipping companies, Masters Logistical who told us “Using our Warehousing and Shipping services allows businesses to use far more of their business premises for manufacturing. Our services also cut costs for our customers – they don’t need to have their own fleet of delivery vehicles. Our same day shipping network gets their products delivered to their customers, wherever they are in the UK.”

When your business is starting to feel limited by the premises that you’re in it’s time to think creatively about the use of that space, especially if relocating just isn’t an option. In most cases reducing the space devoted to storage will yield the most space that can be used for other purposes.

If you have recent experience of freeing up space in your business premises and would like to share your experience and solutions, please leave us a comment on this blog. As always thanks for reading.

Warehouse Operation Efficiency

For businesses with warehouse facilities of all sizes and scales it is important that your storage facilities are not only safe places for your employees to operate but also ones that are laid out to maximise the efficiency of your operations.

Read on to find out more about how a warehouse re-fit could improve the efficiency of your business operations in all areas of the business..

Does your warehouse have the optimal layout? 

In many businesses, the warehouse space will have been adapted over time to accommodate new products and meet the needs of your growing business. Usually this means fitting new racking or adding mezzanine floors to the only areas that are free. This might not be the best place for the new storage to be and will almost certainly not be the best place for the efficient workflow of your employees.

How do you achieve the optimal layout?

Ideally you’d be able to stop operations in your warehouse, clear the space completely and start again with a layout that suits your needs better. In the real world this isn’t possible. So how do you achieve the optimal warehouse layout without disturbing the operations and performance of the warehouse?

  • Consult your warehouse / despatch department managers. They will almost certainly have a ‘wish list’ of things that would improve their ability to meet the demands of the business. Their input in to any redesign is essential.
  • Approach a specialist company such as Acorn Warehouse Solutions who will be able to conduct and assessment of your business operations and the available space, then create a warehouse design based upon them. Professional warehouse design and installation businesses such as Acorn will also be up to date with the latest safety legislation and the latest equipment.

It is essential to bring in the outside help not only for the redesign, but also to get the expertise to keep your warehouse running and safe whilst the re-fit occurs.

What are the benefits?

To be competitive in the current financial climate, every area of the business has to be considered for efficiency improvements and the reduction of overheads. If your warehouse staff are able to store materials and ship products faster, the productivity in other areas of your business can potentially be improved too.

To fully capitalise upon the efficiency improvements made in your warehouse across the whole business, seeking the advice of a Lean Process Consultant is highly recommended. Whilst a detailed description of their methods is beyond the scope of this article, a team of Lean Process Consultants will analyse all areas of the business, from Admin to Manufacturing to Warehousing for improvements in efficiencies and reduction of waste and redundancy (excessive stock on hold etc).

Is now the right time to invest?

Many businesses are cautious of investing in new facilities and equipment during the current economic climate. Whilst it might seem counter intuitive to invest at this time, now is indeed the time to consider improving your facilities to pull ahead of the competition.

As the old saying goes ‘you have to speculate to accumulate’. We hope that investment in your warehouse efficiency helps bring growth across the whole of you business.

If you have recent experience of improving your warehouse and despatch facilities and would like to share the your experience, please leave us a comment on the blog.

Advertising With A Difference

When it comes to marketing your business, regardless of whether you offer services or sell products, it’s ultimately the case that those who go the extra mile and do something that little bit different. As such, we wanted to take a look at two approaches to advertising with a difference and showcase who we believe are the brains behind such innovative but ultimately highly effective approaches.

Inflatable Advertising


When it comes to going all out and advertising your business in a way which really does help you to stand out from the crowd, you simply cannot go wrong with investing in inflatable advertising. If increasing brand awareness is the goal of your advertising and marketing campaign, imagine how a branded hot air balloon or inflatable product at an outdoor event could help with this? Very few forms of advertising get people talking in the way in which inflatables do and when you think about it, that’s the whole point of advertising…to increase the awareness of your products and services and to get people spreading the word!

If inflatable advertising sounds like the perfect approach to visually represent your business and products, our top tip is to consider using a dedicated inflatable advertising agency such as Bloon. We strongly believe that these guys are the leading company for delivering complete inflatable advertising solutions in the UK and were recently responsible for creating the world’s largest inflatable beach ball in Blackpool. See the beach ball for yourself to the left.

Aerial Videography & Cinematograpy

If you’re still utilising TV advertising for your business then good on you. Many businesses in recent years have moved away from more traditional forms of advertising to digital approaches. Whilst there’s no denying that many do now watch TV on ‘catch up,’ so long as your ad stands out from the crowd, it will be seen! In addition, with many choosing to watch on YouTube, there’s further opportunities across that avenue for your ad to be seen.

In terms of doing something a little different in terms of TV ads, however, a company called Cloud 12 have been brought to our attention, a company who specialise in offering aerial cinematography and videography to film producers and the like using drones to get as close to the action as possible. Utilising aerial shots in your ads adds a completely new dimension and really can take your audiences to places where they’ve never before been. Whilst we could go on reeling off the benefits of utilising such shots in ads to help to capture viewers attention and turn your ad into a talking point, we feel it’s far better to showcase a few of the recent ads Cloud 12 have been involved in:

When it comes to planning your advertising campaign, always strive to do something that little different from everyone else. There is a whole host of innovative approaches out there however it’s simply down to you, as a business owner, to find them!

Organising Your Corporate Event – Things To Consider

conference_500_01When it comes to organising a corporate event of almost any type, be it on a small scale or a large scale, there’s ultimately certain things which you need to consider but which often slip your mind! You’re probably far too busy concentrating on organising the entertainment and the schedule to stop to think about smaller but oh so important things which need attention paying to. As such, we thought we’d take a look at just a few things which you ultimately need to consider when organising your corporate event.

1. A PA System
Regardless of whether you’re simply hosting a spoken word event or have live entertainment of some sort going on, you’re going to need a PA system! It’s not unusual that you’ll have absolutely no idea as to the spec of the system needed, so why not remove all of the stress and approach a company who can handle everything for you? For London based events, we’d always recommend A.T. Music Group! This way, you won’t have anything to worry about and can continue sorting out that which your skills are best at!

2. Catering
Whilst we know you won’t forget to arrange catering, it does need a little more thought! What sort of food will go down best? Is your event during the day or in the evening? It always pays to put a bit of thought into how to approach catering and, in order to do so, we’d suggest you sit down with a specialist caterer. Why not search on the NCASS to find one in your area?

3. Offer Directions & Parking Details
One thing many people forget to do is to send out details on directions and nearby parking. If you’ve been to an event yourself, you’ll know what a nightmare it is when you don’t know the area and don’t have directions and parking information. Don’t put your guests in a difficult position; provide them with all the information they’ll need and they’ll thank you for it!

4. Toilet Facilities
If your event is indoors, you’ve usually nothing to worry about, however if, as many corporate events are, the one which you’re planning is outdoors in the summer months, one thing you need to consider and arrange is toilet facilities. Common options are bog standard portaloos, however are they really the best option for your corporate guests? Of course not! Whether you’re hosting a client get together or a public event, your guests deserve the best at all times and that’s why we strongly believe you should take a look into the luxury toilet hire options available from companies such as Regency Toilets. With these, you’ll ultimately impress your guests and ensure that, even when they need to spend a penny, they’re well looked after!

The Most Impressive Exhibition Stand For Your Next Trade Show?

Does your business exhibit at trade shows and conferences? If so, like thousands of other business, you probably spend months planning each event and working with various agencies and individuals to ensure that you get it right each and every time. Sometimes, however, we all get things wrong and exhibitions aren’t as successful as we’d have liked and don’t generate anywhere near as many enquiries and leads as we’d have hoped and expected for. In this situation, it’s absolutely key to look at why this was the case and work to turn things around next time. Exhibitions are still a fantastic way to market your business and get in front of your target market, however they do need careful planning and, above all, your strategy needs to evolve over time, just as any other marketing campaign would.

As such, we wanted to take a look at just one reason why businesses don’t do as well from exhibitions as they’d have hoped…because they simply don’t stand out from their competitors. Too many businesses do what everyone else does at trade shows and, as such, they blend into the background. You’ve most likely paid for a certain sized pitch at the event so utilise it the best you can and invest in an impressive exhibition stand!

In order to take a look at the importance of a great, impressive exhibition stand, we’ve teamed up with one of the UK’s leading exhibition stand suppliers, Zoom Display, to outline a few key points of consideration!

  • Always go for the best stand you can. Forget simply using the space for banner stands as these aren’t intended for an exhibition environment and show that a lack of effort and thought has been put in. If you’re exhibiting, make the most of it!
  • If you’re on a lower budget, opt for one of many available display stands. You’ll find that these can add a fantastic backdrop to your exhibition space and give a great visual. They’re easy to put together and fold down fairly small and for many businesses, offer the best solution!
  • If you’re able to, invest in a modular exhibition stand. The only limits here are your imagination and, within reason, your stand can be whatever you want it to be. This really is your chance for your business to stand out from the crowd and attract attention by doing something different. This is your chance to impress event attendees so if at all possible, make the most of it!

For many businesses, it takes a few tries to get exhibition advertising right but by working with the right people on the right projects, there’s no reason why you can’t stand out each and every time and know, for sure, that exhibiting at shows offers a great ROI and boost in brand awareness!

How Can Your Business Benefit From Cloud Based EPoS Systems?

As a business owner, or someone responsible for the day to day running of a company, you’ll be more than familiar with the fact that this role isn’t a 9 – 5 job and it certainly isn’t something which can be carried out from just one location. As a manager or director, you’ll find yourself here, there and everywhere throughout the week and often working well into the evening. Of course, the one thing which stays consistent through all of this, however, is the need to access up-to-date data surrounding the performance of the business, or of a particular store, as an example. Whether it’s presenting sales figures at a board meeting or looking at how a particular product range has sold whilst discussing orders with suppliers, one thing is for sure is that data is vital to decision making and that’s where cloud based EPoS systems come into play.

If you’re still using an older EPoS system which is only accessible from wherever your server is hosted, it’s about time you upgraded your system and take it into the cloud. With a cloud based system, you’ll be able to access your data from absolutely anywhere with an internet connection, making remote working far easier than it ever has been in the past.

In order to take a look in a little more depth as to the main benefits of a cloud based system, we’re pleased to share with you a recently produced infographic from CyberTill which takes a look at just this:

As you can see, a cloud based EPoS system offers benefits ranging from a single product and customer database and the option of click and collect, right the way through to the benefits which come with real-time data and the ease of scaling up operations.

All in all, a cloud based EPoS system is ultimately going to benefit any retail business in 2014 and if you’re still not using such a system, you need to ask yourself why not.

Can A Hot Tub Help Businessmen & Women To Relax?

imageEveryone has to find their own way of winding down after a busy day at work. For some it will mean playing a sport such as squash to release any tension, for others it may mean a good work out at the gym. But many people, especially business owners find there just aren’t enough hours in a day to fit it all in and can’t wait to get home in an evening. So, what are the options open to them to relieve the stress? Well many find just relaxing with a good film and the odd glass of wine can help, whilst others may find a warm bath is all they need to prepare them for a good nights sleep. But why not go one step further, and instead of a warm bath, treat yourself to a hot tub such as those available from Aqua Warehouse to use on a regular basis.

Hot tubs are a great way of reducing stress and also come with other health benefits. They can help to reduce high blood pressure if that is one of your problems, they can help with the treatment of insomnia if you happen to suffer from that, and can be beneficial to anyone suffering from type 2 diabetes. Weight loss is also helped by hot tubs which can be a great help for anyone not able to exercise regularly.

The advantage of owning your own hot tub is that you don’t need to waste precious time travelling to a gym or health club to get the same benefits. You can install one quickly and easily in your garden with the minimum of fuss as many models are literally plug in and go. Just imagine using your tub on a warm summer evening when the sun is just going down, glass of wine in your hand and reading your favourite novel. Makes you feel relaxed just thinking about it.

The Benefits Of Employing A Commercial Maintenance Specialist

If you own or manage commercial property, there’s a good chance you almost always have a long list of jobs which need doing. Whilst you know many of these jobs need doing, it’s not uncommon to put them off for weeks or even months simply because of the fact that it can literally take hours of project management time to liaise with numerous different individual tradesmen. You may need an electrical job doing which needs an electrician, a plumbing job which needs a plumber and a renovation job which needs a builder. On their own, it can be a logistical nightmare to source and brief individual tradesmen on the jobs and individually manage each task. What about, however, if you could employ one team who managed everything for you? You only had to deal with one main point of contact, brief one person and deal with one invoice at the end of everything. Meet the commercial maintenance specialist!

Many simply assume that they have no choice other than to employ individual tradesmen to carry out the jobs which need doing on their commercial properties but a far better solution is to employ a team of specialists who can handle all of your tasks for you from start to finish! Of course, you’ve even got the option to put in place a maintenance contract which essentially means you’ve got your own team on hand as and when you need things doing! It makes far more sense than employing individuals and you’ll feel far less resource stretched your end!

In terms of the jobs commercial maintenance teams can handle…it’s generally more a case of what can they not handle! Take Durham based Wilkinson Maintenance for example! You can see their extensive range of services here and it doesn’t take long to realise there’s very little they don’t offer! Building, check! Electrical work, check! Decorating, check! Plumbing, check! If there’s a commercial job you need doing, firms such as these have it all covered!

Above all, take a moment to work out the cost of your time to manage individual projects and you’ll quickly see that, everything else aside, it makes both logistical and financial sense to employ a fully fledged commercial team and in addition, you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re dealing with tradesmen who specialise in commercial work, not those who are more used to domestic jobs!

You Might Be Racking Up Your Air Miles But Are You Wasting Money On Airport Taxis?

imageTo put it briefly, airport taxis can cost a small fortune if you’re travelling any distance and, in addition, don’t generally give you the flexibility you want, and need, when travelling. In an ideal world, everyone would drive themselves to the airport and leave their cars in one of the many airport car parks; however, many people have the common misconception that it would in fact cost more to park for two weeks than it would to book an airport taxi. As a general rule, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth and affordable airport parking is certainly available at every single one of the UK’s airports. Where the misconception has come from is the fact that, if you simply turn up on the day and pay for your airport parking then yes, it will cost a fair bit, however it you use your initiative and book online ahead of your arrival, there’s some fantastic deals and discounts to be found.

As a frequent business traveller, you may well be racking up your air miles, but are you wasting money on airport taxis when it could make far more sense to book airport parking before you leave home? Aside from the cost aspect, driving yourself to and from the airport is convenient. When you travel in an airport taxi, you’re pretty much tied to the times and the route and you’ve little in the way of flexibility. When you drive yourself, you’ve got the freedom to arrive at the airport in your own time, utilising executive lounges and the like or making the most of an airport hotel the night before your flight. If flexibility is your thing, it should almost be a given that you drive to the airport as opposed to using an airport taxi service.

If you already drive yourself to the airport but are still paying for parking upon arrival, you need to ask yourself the question of why. Leading airport parking website www.FHR-net.co.uk claim that, when booking through themselves, most people can save up to 60% when compared to what it would cost them to pay on the day and, with these sorts of savings available, it’s hard to see why anyone wouldn’t book in advance. It makes sense, it saves you money and it’s convenient! Next time you fly on a business trip, do yourself a favour and book your airport parking in advance and you’ll see not only how much money you can save but also how convenient and easy it is.

The Importance Of Utilising Social Media For Your Business

imageAs a business, you should always be looking for new ways to market yourself and your products or services  and its absolutely vital that you keep ahead of trends and act quick on the latest methods of getting yourself out there. At this moment in time, that method of marketing is social media and if you’re not currently utilising the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and LinkedIn to your advantage, you’re almost certainly giving some of your market share away to competitors. Social media is current and social media is booming! If you’re not using it at the moment, you need to be and we spoke with Glenn from Speedy SEO, a leading agency who offer SEO in Essex, to give you three key reasons why:

1. It’s Where Your Customers Hang Out

There’s very few people now who don’t use at least one social media platform on an almost daily basis and, as such, you’re going to find that your audience are already using these platforms and are there ready and waiting for you. Social media isn’t that new but, to many businesses, the concept of using it for marketing is. If your audience are there, get yourself on there and start using it to keep them updated with your latest products, newest offers and general ramblings.

2. It Gives Your Company Some Personality

You don’t have to be all serious on social media platforms and, as such, it can really give your company some personality. Customers and potential customers can see that you’re a real person who has interests just as they do and that you’re not just a faceless business. Giving and showing some personality can work wonders for a business and can showcase that you’re not just a service provider or retail outlet but that you’re an industry leader and you really know your stuff!

3. Customers Can Interact With You

Perhaps some would say an extension on the above but social media is great for interacting with customers and vice versa. If a customer has a question, they can tweet you! If you want some input and feedback from customers, why not put out a Facebook status? Social media is great for getting that two way interaction going and, when done correctly, can add some real value for your customers and can give them the peace of mind they want when using a service or buying a product. Be their friend, not just someone who’s selling to them and it will be remembered!

All in all, if your business isn’t currently on social media platforms, what are you waiting for? Get yourself on there today and get building your presence!

« Older Entries