Emerging Trends in Cold Chain Logistics

With more requirements than ever before for safe and efficient refrigeration, pharmaceutical and food companies are feeling the heat when it comes to managing refrigerated freight. Both sectors are being pressurised to ensure that the cold chain is meeting quality standards in terms of temperature control, energy dependence and regulatory requirements.

Emerging Trends in Cold Chain Logistics

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As a result, more and more research is being ploughed in to the industry, leading to some key trends which look set to improve logistics and achieve efficiencies.

Current Trends in the Cold Chain

As consumer demands grow more complex, there has been a recent shift towards globalization. For example, with tastes for products such as Alaskan salmon becoming more mainstream, firms have had to swiftly amend their outlook to accommodate ways of sourcing and shipping foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals safely across extended distances. VersaCold report this demand is prompting innovation, with transit control a priority.

This shift in consumer expectations has also impacted cold chain commitment to maintaining refrigerated warehouses across up to five disparate temperature zones. To avoid the inevitable changes to taste and texture through fluctuations in temperature, firms are battling to maintain consistency as well as safety, speed and quality. There is also a move towards temperature-assured reefers and other containers to accommodate increased sensitivity for pharmaceuticals which need to be shipped at consistent levels.

Increasing Demands on Commercial Refrigeration

Directives issued by the European Union on distribution of medicinal products in 2013 called for manufacturer-established recommendations to be observed not just in storage, but across the entire transportation process. The coverage also applies to over-the-counter medicines. This mandate has greatly increased the demands for consistency across the entire shipping of products.

Strategically, firms are now considering positioning of suppliers across the flow of goods to ensure they are able to accommodate the new quality requirements. This means considering speed, consistency, location and capabilities in addition to cost-effectiveness. For example, Nestlé Canada has adopted Lean principles to ensure quality can be managed in addition to maintaining cost effectiveness, while https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/ commercial refrigeration experts are seeing much more demand for high-quality, highly compliant solutions.

While industry regulation and increased quality is positive for consumers, these trends are placing increasing pressure upon the cold chain industry. Only those firms committed to considering innovative solutions will maintain compliance while remaining cost-effective.

Student Loan Petition Thrown out by Government

Students have had it tough financially following the introduction of tuition fees, and an increasing move towards experience-based attributes over academic prowess.

Student Loan Petition Thrown out by Government

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A recent refusal by the government to honour a petition to axe a retrospective hike in student loan interest rates has added to the challenges faced by many young academics.

The petition, which was launched by Durham student Alex True, generated over 120,000 signatures over the course of just a few days. However, despite overwhelming support for the petition, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills turned down the request, suggesting that an alternative approach to repayment thresholds would undermine the equality of the student support system, whereby all students can access a university education, regardless of financial standing or ability to pay back loans. The statement suggests that the government are remaining firm in their decision to freeze the repayment threshold to maintain a unified student support system.

The BIS continued by confirming that applications for university admission by disadvantaged young people is at a record high, and taxpayers need some way of managing this increase.

Increasing the Need for IVA Debt Management

In 2010, the government stated a promise that as of April 2017, the repayment threshold for all student loans would rise each year, in line with average earning rates. Alex True’s petition focused on the fact that the government has now backtracked on this statement, by freezing the threshold at £21,000. This means that all graduates will now have to pay more for their student loans.

BIS stated that the petition was considered carefully prior to the decision being made to reject the request. The decision was made, they said, as a result of considering the wider socio-economic impact of a repayment threshold which rises to reflect national rates of inflation and average earnings.

The decision is increasing the difficulties many students face in repaying student loans, leading to a number of graduates turning to https://www.carringtondean.com/individual-voluntary-arrangement-iva/ Individual Voluntary Agreements to manage their debts, to ensure that they can repay loans.

‘Disappointed and Disheartened’

In response to the decision, campaigner True has stated that he feels disappointed and disheartened with the response, which did not address the issue that a retrospective change to the existing loan agreement without mutual consent from all parties was unethical.

Financing a netball facility: what are the options?

Running your own netball centre is an exciting prospect. You may be setting up new teams within your district or feel you deserve better facilities than those presently on offer. You have a few choices when it comes to financing your new venture. You can buy outright, lease the ground or look into running a franchise.

Financing a netball facility

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The most important thing is to get the location right so that players can easily access the site. Then you can decide whether you want to buy the land or rent it. Owning outright is the best option if you can afford it because you’ll have more choice in terms of what to build. You also won’t face the prospect of your landlord giving you notice to quit.

Shop around for finance

It should be possible to borrow the money from a private investor or bank loan, but shop around for the best deal and talk to several different financial institutions. Rather than building new, you may find there are existing sports centres for sale that just need a little work instead of starting from scratch. This could be something your local authority could help you explore.

You may want to rent part of an existing sports complex or find a property owner with a spare plot of land who is willing to lease it to you. Make sure a proper contract is drawn up so you know who pays for the upkeep.

Start a franchise

There is a third option of running a franchise, which could be a quicker way to set up netball sessions and leagues in your area. The advantage is that you will have the franchisor’s proven business formula and marketing skills to fall back on, but you may have to pay a management fee, which could put it out of reach financially.

Once you have opened your netball centre and attracted players, you will need to make sure that enough of them return every time so you can set up a team and keep a decent cash flow. There are many netball drills you can incorporate into training to improve players’ skills in all areas. You can find examples at http://www.sportplan.net/drills/Netball/drills.jsp.

You could also perform an online search for other netball business owners to find out their financing experiences and long-term forecasts.

N8 Agrifood Research Programme Launch: Ensuring Healthy Sustainability

With population growth and climate change high on the global agenda, the issue of ensuring healthy and sustainable food supplies for all is paramount. How to address these crucial issues is the focus of the recently launched N8 Agrifood Research Programme launch.

N8 Agrifood Research Programme Launch

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Bringing together big players from the food industry, leading supermarkets, DEFRA and the National Farmer’s Union, N8 Agrifood aims to promote collaboration between government, farmers, researchers, industry and academia to address the pressing need for a sustainable food system. This unique forum will bring together experts in plant biology, nutrition, soil health and waste and resource management.

The critical issues under examination by N8 Agrifood will have an impact on all areas of food production, including food security, public health and innovations in agriculture.

Sustainable Food Production

Taking a systems based approach to sustainable food production, N8 Agrifood will look at the use of pesticides and fertilisers, the surveillance and treatment of crop and animal disease and genomics.

Two billion people rely on rice as their staple crop. N8 researchers are currently involved in the search for rice strains that are both drought and submersion tolerant, to cope with the droughts and floods predicted as a result of climate change.

Resilient Supply Chains

In a changing world, guaranteeing food security and sustainability is a huge challenge, and resilient supply lines are key. N8 will consider the impact on nutrition, the environment and fair trade.

Improving Consumption and Health

N8 will also focus on dietary needs and public health through the SATIN research project. With the obesity crisis reaching epic proportions, this research examines the ingredients and processing methods that promote a feeling of ‘fullness’, and will assess the suitability of SATIN as a weight management tool.

The Environment Factor

N8 Agrifood focuses on every area of food production from farm to fork, with a particular emphasis on environmental impact. We all recognise the need to reuse and recycle precious resources. For example, you might consider investing in used food machinery to reduce your company’s environmental footprint. Companies like used food machinery specialists Clarke Fussells will guide you through the process of purchasing recycled equipment.

By creating one network of key players in the food industry, N8 Agrifood is aiming to produce multiple solutions to the challenges facing the 21st century food supply chain.

Guildford Nights Out – Essentials for Summer 2016

Guildford has been gaining a growing reputation as a popular and vibrant town for great nights out. Recent developments linking the town to Woking have meant it’s now considered to be an outer area of London, but it retains the charm and appeal of its Saxon roots.

Guildford Nights Out

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Whether you’re looking for a great meal out, a night visiting the local bars and pubs or something a little more adventurous, Guildford’s broad range of entertainment options makes it easy to find the ideal venues for bringing friends together, a romantic night out or stag or hen parties.

Best Pubs for Guildford Nights Out

For chilled-out friendly venues, Pews on Chapel street is a great option. Recently refurbished, the bar offers a combination of local food, drinks and entertainment. North Street’s All Bar One is popular for cocktails and has a lively atmosphere, while Epsom Road’s Rogues Bar offers live music and an up-beat atmosphere. It’s not hard to find the ideal pub for meeting up with friends, going out after work or just letting your hair down after a long week to kick off the weekend in style.

Hiring a party bus in Guildford is worth considering to get the atmosphere started before you even arrive at your chosen venue. Millbrook’s Kokomo, Milkhouse Gate’s Fahrenheit 55 and MKB on Alexandra Terrace are all popular venues for stag and hen parties, with options to use a party bus in Guildford to go on to clubs for more partying. A party bus is a great way of organising your evening based around safely transporting larger groups without having to pause celebrations to co-ordinate the transport.

For more venues in Guildford for stag and hen parties, check out http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/16-buzzing-bars-clubs-guildford-9992497 and https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attractions-g186390-Activities-c20-Guildford_Surrey_England.html.

Clubbing Opportunities

For people looking to party into the small hours, the university offers Rubix for student heaven, while Onslow Street’s Casino offers multiple floors of entertainment, themed evenings and cocktail booths. Popworld on Bridge Street is popular for disco-themed nights combined with a fusion of modern tracks, flashing lights and dancing. Cameo on North Street offers a traditional-style club night with contemporary music and drinks deals, while independently owned music venue Boileroom provides live music events from rock to pop, with an in-house noodle bar providing reasonably priced meals.

4 Impacts That A Presentation Folder Make

A growing company does not allow its employees to just sit and be given their job and work all day without assessing their outputs. They do not allow the regular employees to trust all the thinking to be done by the team managers and the back office, they require employees to put input and to prove what they have done and accomplished so far with presentations. Continue reading 4 Impacts That A Presentation Folder Make

8 activity streams to drive customer loyalty

With so much competition in today’s marketplace, winning customer loyalty is increasingly difficult. To keep up with customers’ heightened demands, entrepreneurs need to keep sharpening their initiatives just to stay afloat.

8 activity streams to drive customer loyalty

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With so many people turning to social media to post reviews or comments at the speed of light, gaining customer satisfaction is crucial; in fact, it is so important that up to 95% of companies say it is their top strategic priority.

Eight ideas to help you succeed:

1. Your team is central to your company’s success; therefore, make sure that you employee top-notch candidates. All employees should share the company’s vision and its expectations, as every member of the team is part of the customer experience.

2. Provide continued mentoring and coaching for your team, Training does not end; instead, staff need to be continually updated and upskilled to ensure that their skills match and exceed those of your competitors.

3. Listen to your customers and interact with them regularly. With technology driving so much of today’s world, the art of real interaction is often glossed over. Not everyone shares the same view. Talking to customers is still the best way to identify their needs and respond accordingly.

4. Sell your unique qualities. Customer loyalty is built on idiosyncrasies – what is it that sets you apart from other companies? What is your USP?

5. Word of mouth spreads. Use recommendations or testimonials to boost your reputation.

6. Keep your customers at the heart of your business. Membership management systems can assist with the admin tasks; however, you should choose wisely to make sure the system can expand to include more sophisticated features as the business grows. Companies such as http://www.ofec.co.uk/membership-management-system-portfolio.aspx specialise in such systems and offer a wide variety of packages.

7. Incentives give reasons for customers to return time and again.

8. Keep your customers involved. Announcing new products or events can build excitement and expectations, keeping customers coming back for more.

Obtaining advice

Luckily, finding advice is easy; for example, School for Startups helps would-be entrepreneurs in the initial stages and the government publishes up-to-date advice and publications.

Increase your customer satisfaction and loyalty by implementing some or all of these ideas and by seeking advice where necessary. Good luck.

Reducing your home energy bills: tips from the pros

Cutting your energy bills doesn’t necessarily mean spending thousands on a complete overhaul. Here are five top tips on how to reduce your home energy bills without breaking the bank.

Reducing your home energy bills

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Lock Up

It’s common sense to keep doors and windows closed in cold weather to stop warm air escaping, but you can make an even bigger difference by locking windows and doors. The security systems within the locking mechanism are strong enough to prevent forced entry, but also reduce any escaping air.

Use the Sun

More and more people are investing in solar panels to harvest the sun’s natural energy, and have even provided some with grants to encourage people to use them. While solar panels are fantastic piece of technology, their price and size makes them unobtainable for many.

You can still use the sun’s natural energy without solar panels. In the depths of winter, the sun is still emitting energy even through the clouds and there are often bright and sunny days. Even if you can’t feel its warmth, you can harvest it by keeping curtains open and letting the light stream in. Increase the effect by installing new, aluminium radiators like those from http://apolloradiators.co.uk/View/3/52/129/category/modena/modena-horizontal- and your rooms will be toastier than ever!

Chimney Fix

If you live in a traditional house with a chimney, you may enjoy the odd roaring fire. Given the price and inconvenience of buying coal and wood, however, the likelihood is that your main source of heating is the boiler. The problem with open fires is that the chimney is open to the elements, and you can often feel draughts.

Luckily, you can use ‘chimney balloons’ to fill up the space in the chimney, blocking cold air and stopping hot air from escaping. The balloons have a mechanism that makes them deflate if you light a fire having forgotten they’re there.

Wrap it Up

This is an old student trick that really works. By placing transparent plastic wrap onto your windows and glass doors, you can save up to fourteen per cent on your heating bill.

The wrap must be heated using a hairdryer in order to stick to the glass. Once it has cooled it will stay in place, providing more insulation from the elements for next to nothing!