Monthly Archives

October 2018


The importance of security for any business

October 15, 2018

If you run or manage any kind of business, then security is one of the main things to get right. It will not only help to protect your employees and sensitive business systems but also any customers on your premises. With this in mind, it is very important to consider all aspects of your organizations security set-up and if you have the necessary measures in place.

While much is rightly made of online security, you should also remember that physical security is still important. Being able to combine both security aspects into one overall plan will help your business remain secure and fulfill your responsibilities as an employer.

What makes security so vital for business?

To really get a sense of why security is such an essential element for any business, you have to dig into the fine details. Here are some good reasons why it is something you should pay attention to:

  • Firearm safety – gun detection is an increasingly serious issue in society. That is especially true for businesses where irate customers or thieves could suddenly arrive with a gun to threaten staff. Being able to provide the security to deal with that kind of threat is essential to keep employees safe and prevent gun crime. The latest security camera systems now use AI technology to spot a criminal wielding a gun and will alert the police automatically!
  • Keep staff safe – as well as CCTV systems to help secure your premises, having physical security is also essential for some businesses. The physical presence of security staff will protect employees from verbally or physically abusive customers and deter people from entering premises to commit crime. It will also give customers and staff members peace of mind that someone is around to keep them safe.
  • Protect business systems and data – cybersecurity is very important for all businesses now. This helps to keep your sensitive customer data safe from malicious hackers along with stopping competing businesses from stealing commercial secrets from you. A robust online security strategy is essential for keeping your business safe.
  • Prevent thefts – of course, a major reason that you need security for your business is when no-one is on the premises. Whether it is a CCTV system or employing security patrols to check for you, effective security will deter thieves from trying to break in and steal your stock. It will also help prevent vandals from causing damage to your work premises or property.
  • Evidence of crimes – although modern security systems cut down on the need to actually review footage or sit watching what is happening to detect crime, CCTV systems are still very useful for recording evidence of incidents. That can then be passed to the relevant authorities to help identify the offenders.

Do not neglect security for your business

To run a business that has happy, safe staff in an environment that customers also feel safe visiting, adequate security is vital.


An insight to retail’s supply chain: how technology has helped

October 12, 2018

If retail businesses want to remain ahead of the game, they must acknowledge the technological advancements around them. But how has it affected the supply chain specifically? Read on as we explore how technology has transformed and helped businesses maximise their supply chain efficiency, including making deliveries speedier and keeping up with fluctuating consumer demands.

What your customers want

Consumers now have higher expectations and want retail businesses to offer the level of service they deserve — but many brands don’t know how to react and see this as a challenge.

You must consider what is most convenient for your customer. When they’ve received one service from a business, the bar is raised, and they expect that all their other favourite brands will do the same.

If you want to stay on top of your game, you must offer a next-day delivery service as well as product tracking. This is what your customers want. To achieve this as a business, this means that an efficient supply chain with a well-managed inventory tracking system is essential. And, when it comes to getting in touch with the business, customers expect instant contact through the channels that they’re most used to — Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging platforms.

The first steps

Before anything else, the product must be created. In the Digital Age, more products are being tailored to the buyer due to their love for personalised purchases. But, as they still expect a speedy delivery, manufacturing and delivery must be efficient. How has technology created more of an efficient supply chain?

Cloud storage continues to develop, and this has allowed data to be stored automatically. This prevents delays involving computer crashes and data loss.

Has your business considered the use of 3D printing? The process of 3D printing is what people are referring to as a form of ‘additive manufacturing’.  This is where there are no wasted raw materials. Through this technique, this type of printing is able to create products with time and material efficiency.

Technology has the ability to run 24/7, which can speed up manufacturing processes. When it comes to tailored products, this means that they can be created on demand, providing an efficient creation and delivery service.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

To begin making any changes across a retail business, brands must consider looking over their current supply chain and come up with a strategy to cater to the demand of customers.

According to 2017 findings by McKinsey & Company, taking an AI approach to the supply chain could reduce forecasting errors by up to 50% and overall inventory reductions of between 20% and 50%. This sort of technology can think and learn like humans, reacting to stimuli often without human input, too. In the supply chain, AI is able to assist with packaging, research and development, and inventory management which can help make the process more efficient.   

“This is especially important in the case of industries like fast fashion, where user tastes change very quickly, and supply chains are usually slower to react. In such scenarios, having a direct link between the actual data being gathered from users about their tastes and what they’re interested in — and conveying that back up the supply chain — means that designers and developers in the business can come back with the right products, in much shorter lead times” commented Sangeet Paul Choudary, founder of Platform Thinking Labs.

Now, customers can determine what products are most popular with customers. Machines with AI abilities can also gather information on location so that warehouses in certain areas can stock more of a product that’s popular in the area. This goes on to improve delivery times and customer satisfaction.

Human error has become more common too, but AI can remove this worry that many brands have. This process removes the potential error of miscounting inventory or recording inaccurate information, which could then go onto lead to the wrong amount of stock being replenished.

One brand that has looked at is supply chain recently is QUIZ. The brand says that its 180,000 sq. ft distribution centre in Glasgow provides “a strong platform to support future growth”. The company also uses insights and live data on product performance to allow “informed key buying decisions to be made quickly”. QUIZ also implements a test and repeat approach to its supply chain so that it can “introduce new products to stores and websites within weeks of identifying trends and reorder successful products quickly.”

An employee’s point of view

We can’t ignore that technology is being heavily invested in across all sectors and many employees are worried about their careers.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that in some instances, jobs have been lost as a result of new technology. At Amazon, for example, employees who were once in charge of securing multimillion-dollar deals with brands have been replaced with software that can predict exactly what shoppers want and how much should be charged.

You must look at the full picture, though. The huge warehouses that store products require people to manage them. For example, when John Lewis opened two new distribution centres in Milton Keynes in 2016, 500 new jobs were created as a result.

Computers can’t offer compassion or understand clients’ needs in the way that humans can, for example. And people are still required for product delivery, as well as for offering after-sales services.

What does the future hold?

It’s time to review your supply chain. When it comes to AI, any platform that has access to customer insights and data has the ability to connect directly to manufacturers to integrate and better inform the process.

To keep up with consumer demand, it’s likely that brands will invest further in warehouses to store inventory. Last minute order? You could potentially have a men’s blazer for yourself or daughter’s prom dress delivered straight away. or As more people want the same amount of choice at a higher speed, this means that warehouses must stock a wide range of sizes, colours and styles at each of their locations — in close enough proximity to anyone who orders. In fact, there are already massive distribution centres, equal to the size of a town, which logistical networks that pick products from the shelves and send them on their way to customers.



Timeless Bedroom Color Palettes

October 8, 2018

Whether you’re looking to emulate a change of seasons, a life change, or simply refresh and lift your spirits, updating bedroom color palettes can make a big difference. Your inspiration may be drawn from the Pantone colors of the year (2017 was Greenery, Pantone 15-0343), a mood when lingering at paint chips, a visit with a friend, or a page from a magazine. Wikipedia defines timeless as “not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion.” Others may attribute a more personal association with timeless as something you simply enjoy seeing day in and day out over a long period of time. Here are some timeless bedroom color palettes to consider as you plan your next room redesign:

White – Yes, white is timeless, and it’s also possibly the broadest available in the color spectrum. Each of the leading paint manufacturers may count 50 or more whites in their palette, even though these may each provide a hint of grey, yellow, pink, blue, green, or other blend. My own walls are painted Benjamin Moore Montgomery White (HH-33) which I’ve always described as a “buttery mustard” and even then as the light shifts, so does the color. In some places, more “lemonade” and in others, a “spicy brown mustard.” It’s in part what makes white a timeless bedroom color palette. It can set the tone of the space, reflect your furnishings and finishings, and bring light into your room.

Blue – Long considered to be a color that evokes emotions of serenity, trust and welcoming, blue provides a timeless bedroom color palette. Did you know that nowadays more websites have a blue base than any other color? How better than to search or shop than with great peace of mind. Designers suggest that it’s a bedroom paint color that will never go out of style, and this isn’t referring to a nursery “baby blue.” From blues that draw images of clear oceans to ones that reflect a nighttime sky, there’s a blue out there for everyone. A denim hue can provide for the timeless backdrop for a child – boy or girl – from infancy through adulthood. Cornflower can work from one owner to the next. Transferable, transgressional, timeless.

Pink – Again, it’s time to think beyond the nursery, although what is more timeless than starting the surroundings for a new life in a color that sparks light, innocence and femininity? Pink makes for a timeless bedroom color palette from that light baby’s breath tone to a rich blush that draws from an heir of romance. Complement toile or shabby chic whites, or contrast pine or cherry wood to add sophistication. Shades of pink can pop, surprise, sooth or delight, placing them in the timeless bedroom color palettes profile.

Green – As with blue, there are shades of green that cross into the white and grey spectrums such as sage green. Or, others that will whisk you off to envisioning yourself at the shimmering water’s edge by strong teal. But the timeless shades of green to consider for your bedroom color palette may actually be the rich tones in the hunter or sage green family. Do these rich tones make you think of flowing flower fields, beautiful trees waving in the breeze or a snow-capped forest? Yes, most of the classic greens will spring ties to nature. Select the color that invokes great visions and warm memories and you’ve found your own timeless color palette.

Earth Tones – A broad category offering a classic range of browns, rusts, beiges and mixtures therein, the earth tones may give an heir of history to your bedroom color palette. Always timeless, these colors can support deep floral wallpaper, rich furnishings, or blend with a zen-like room allowing you to create your own oasis getaway. PPG Paints named their 2017  colors of the year a collection of 24 “rich, timeless mid-tones with an earthy edge.” Their spin on “classic shades with a contemporary edge” offer colors that mix colors from the categories of “Outdoorsy,” “Luxurious,” “Modern” and “Traditional.” If you’ve already pictured how these colors might look in your bedroom and had a positive emotional response, you may have just honed in on your own bedroom color palettes.

Grey – There are more than 50 shades of grey to consider as a timeless bedroom color palette. What was once considered a dramatic color targeted to bathrooms and dining rooms has now become a timeless bedroom option. From the pale greys that cross into the white spectrum to the medium greys – so classic that Dulux paint even has one named just that, “Classic Grey” – it’s a neutral like no other. Sometimes dark, sexy, and other times light with reflections of pink. Grey complements silver and light wood and offers a striking contrast to brass, dark woods and metals. It provides a new neutral backdrop for yellows, blues, reds and more.

Online style guide suggests that timeless color palettes for those in your bedroom and beyond can be found in pairing the right color tones. Their contributor’s favorite match-ups? Some may sound at first a bit shocking, but as each color holds a range of hues, close your eyes and envision how these complementary colors may offer you inspiration to set your own bedroom color palettes: Yellow and Blue; Black and White; Pink and Green; Navy and White; Yellow and Grey; Red and Beige; Orange and Blue; and Chocolate and Lavender.

Whether you are updating only the paint in your bedroom, or planning a full room makeover, play with color. Maybe a deeper – or softer – tone of your existing shade will be just what you’re looking for. Or, refreshing with a new timeless shade from the other end of the color spectrum is just what you and your room need. White? Grey? Blue? Pink? Green? Beige? Play with color and choose a shade you can see bringing your space new life from year to year.


Did You Know That Gutter Guards Can Cause More Problems Than They Solve

October 8, 2018

Nothing is more destructive than water damage.

Every year, about one in 50 insured homes files a claim for property damage caused by water.

And, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, the average residential flood claim is $30,000.

Water damage can start in many areas of your home and from a variety of things. If you head to the top – your roof – that’s where the real trouble can begin. If your shingles have sustained damage, water can seep in. If the flashing around your chimney pulls away, water can leak in.

But what about your rain gutters? Are they part of the problem, too?

When your home was built, gutters were attached at the edges of the roofline to protect your home from damage. When everything is working correctly, water flows down your roof, into the gutters, where it moves through the gutter system, and eventually away from the foundation of your home.

If installed properly, your gutter system works flawlessly. As time goes by, the system can start to fail.

Regular home maintenance means getting up on your roof and cleaning out the gutters. It’s not a fun job. In fact, it’s downright messy … and dangerous. Disintegrating leaves can turn into piles of muck that get stuck. Add in bird’s nests, feathers, twigs, insects, and the problems can increase tenfold.

The natural instinct for many homeowners is to install gutter guards. And in theory, the idea is perfect. They are specially designed to cover up the gutter and allow the drainage system to flow freely.

But as a rain gutter installation service provider, we can tell you there are more problems with most rain gutters than solutions.

If you do a search for gutter guards, you’ll find most information that touts their benefits are from dealers and manufacturers. Of course, they want to push the benefits; they sell them.

When you dig deep and look at what roofing experts recommend, you’ll find lots of information on the problems they create.

The Different Types Of Gutter Guards On The Market

Before we discuss the problems in detail, let’s look at the different types of gutter guards on the market. There are five primary gutter guard systems used today:

Brush – Upright bristles that catch and hold debris and prevent them from clogging the drainage system.

Foam – Used to prevent debris from accumulating in the drainage system while still allowing water to filter around and flow properly.

Mesh – Sheets of metal with tiny holes that act as a filter to prevent debris from entering the gutter.

Nylon – Used in cold areas for its effectiveness to prevent heavy buildup of snow.

Reverse Curve – Prevents falling debris from accumulating while channeling water away from the roofline.

In general, a gutter guard either screens out debris and prevents it from accumulating, or it is built into the gutter in such a way as to make the system more efficient.

As roofing specialists, we’ve seen and worked with homes that have gutter guards, so if they’re working for your home, don’t mess with success as the key is in keeping your home safe and dry.

But if you have problems, or you’re considering upgrading your roof and wondering what gutter system to install, there are two things to consider.

Most Gutter Guard Systems Only Solve One Problem

When gutter guard systems are installed on a home, the purpose is to keep leaves and debris from accumulating in the gutter system and stopping water from flowing down and away from the structure. They do that on some level.

Gutter guards protect your roof line. They are designed to fit around your home on all edges, preventing debris from accumulating in the most obvious places. But that doesn’t stop gravity. Gutter guards do nothing to impact the rest of the system. Debris can still accumulate down around your foundation, where the gutter system is installed to drain and pull water away from your home.

Gutter Guards Can Increase Other Concerns

Here in the Pacific Northwest, trees are in abundance. Protecting the gutter system from leaves is a big concern.

But there is also another problem that can potentially harm your gutter system: moisture. No matter how hard they try, most gutter guards don’t protect from all debris falling into the system. It can also prevent moisture from escaping and evaporating. Over time, biological growth can start growing. Because it never has a chance to dry out, it keeps accumulating, furthering the possibility of leaks and cracks throughout the system. That gives the opportunity for water damage to occur and seep in through various places of your home, including at your roof line, causing potentially significant damage.

What Should You Do Instead?

Which brings us back to the original question: Should you be using gutter guards on your home?

There is no such thing as a perfect solution. Every product you can install has its list of pros and cons.

It’s crucial to have gutters installed to control water and direct it away from your home. That’s what keeps your home warm, safe, and dry. It’s also important to realize that no matter what system you select, there will be home maintenance involved down the road. While your focus should be on prevention, you should also ensure the method you select is easy to clean and maintain, too.  

As a rain gutter installation service provider, we ensure our customers have an efficient system to do what it does best. We make sure your gutters are easy to clean, easy to maintain, and have important features that keep the drainage system as operational as possible. We’ve also found that gutter guards often cause more problems than they solve.

Have questions? We’re happy to answer them. Call us today.


How to Stay Healthy at the Gym

October 4, 2018

While the gym is the perfect place to improve your health and fitness levels, it can also be a haven for many germs, viruses, and injuries if you are not careful. For this reason, you must proactively care for your health when working out.

To ensure you remain in tip-top condition when pumping weights, hitting the treadmill, or operating a rowing machine, here are some top tips on how to stay healthy at the gym.

Bring Your Own Gym Equipment

While many gyms will effectively sanitise their equipment, not all will follow the same hygiene standards, which can make a facility a haven for germs. To protect your health when working out, you should bring your own gym equipment with you.

For instance, take your own workout mat when enjoying a Pilates or yoga class, which you should wipe down with soap and water after each session. You also should bring your own water bottle over sharing a water fountain, as many members might use this.

Wipe Down the Machines Before and After a Workout

Think about how many people have held onto a treadmill’s handlebars throughout the day. Unfortunately, common infections can be passed on via surfaces, which could lead to you developing a cold or flu virus once you have left the gym.

Protect your health at the gym by cleaning equipment both before and after you use it. For example, you should use sanitising wipes to clean any surface you plan to touch before working out.

Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard During a Session

While you might want to push yourself harder in the gym each session, you must avoid overexerting yourself, which could lead to an accident or injury. For example, running too fast on a treadmill could ultimately lead to an unwanted quad pain/strain, and it could take weeks for you to fully recover from the injury. It is essential to avoid pushing yourself too hard at the gym, which can impact your physical health and your future performance.

Ask About Your Gym’s Cleaning Practices

If you are concerned about bacteria at your gym, ask a facility about their hygiene practices to ensure they have established a regular cleaning routine. For example, do they clean every workout mat borrowed by a member after each session, and do they have specific towels for wiping down exercise bikes and treadmills?

Don’t be scared to ask how often the facility and equipment is deep cleaned, which will provide you with some peace of mind when using their equipment and amenities.

Keep Your Feet Covered

It is essential to keep your feet covered when at the gym. For example, you should always wear flip-flops when in the shower, and you should wear them until you step barefoot onto your own yoga mat. This will prevent you from encountering athlete’s foot or a nail infection, as the fungus can, unfortunately, live on surfaces for a long time, even if a floor looks clean at first glance.


Why Minimising Your Buying Habits and Investing in Luxury is the Future

October 4, 2018

In the past few decades – and even just this past decade – our buying habits have shifted dramatically. Things are cheap! We can pick up a new shirt one day, and have it cost so little that we could throw it away the next and buy something new. It is for this reason that 10.5 million tonnes are sent to the landfill every week.

Less than one hundred years ago the average woman only owned 9 outfits. These were made to last, could last a lifetime, and were typically much higher quality than anything we could buy in the mall today. Back then, 20% of a person’s income was spent on clothing, despite owning an average of 9 outfits. Today, we spend approximately 4% and are throwing old items out like they were tissues.

Choose quality over quantity, make it last, repair it – these are the mantras that are dominating the world and helping us all move towards a better place. To do this, you need to minimise your buying habits, and instead invest in better, more luxurious pieces:

How Well Made Was the Item?

Learning the ins and outs of materials and learning the difference between a well-made item and one that isn’t will go a long way towards investing in luxury pieces that might not have a designer label attached to them. The better the make, the longer it will last. They also tend to be more flattering and feel better when wearing, so it’s a win-win!

Can You See Yourself Wearing It Again and Again?

One of the biggest indicators for whether or not you should buy something is how often you can see yourself wearing it. That is why high-quality basics and neutrals can be such a great choice. They can be paired with anything and, due to their higher production value, will last you for decades. If they are designer, then you can even potentially benefit from a good resale value if you wanted to pass it on.

Can It Be Passed on to Your Children?

In some cases, investment pieces are so beautiful and timeless that they could be passed down from generation to generation. Pearl earrings, for example, are a timeless accessory, and the better the design, quality, and make, the more eternal it will become. Once you start thinking about a purchase in generational terms, your investment will immediately seem more appropriate. Buying luxury pearl jewelry should be both a treat and an investment, and the more you need to invest, the more incentive you will have to care for it.  

There is a worldwide movement to consume less, make what we have last, and to change our consumer habits so that not only can the world be a healthier place, but so that we can be happier, too. By saving up for big, luxury purchases, you can invest in your wardrobe and style, and, in the case of jewelry, even give your children and grandchildren a legacy they can cherish.