Team building activities are they a waste of time?

Vodafone UK and YouGov conducted a survey recently into team building activities and discovered that many employees think team building activities do little to improve team communication and working relationships.

The poll of over a 1,000 office workers found that over 50% believed traditional team building activities were a waste of time and stronger teams were better developed through social based interaction.

The researchers discovered that the least liked group activities included extreme sports and trust exercises, including exercises wear individuals are blindfold and fall backwards to be caught by team members. More popular activities included team meals or just going for a social drink together.

Sadly the team building experiences of some 54% had left them with a very negative opinion of the whole group bonding process.

While there is no doubt that companies need effective, strong working teams in order to be successful what this research highlights is that building these teams using traditional group bonding or team building activities may not be the way forward.

Team Building Meal

Fun Team Building

Employees clearly want fun team building based around a social atmosphere where they feel relaxed and able to communicate. However simply going for a meal or a drink together is not enough to really get a team working together. The social activity needs a purpose or goal this is why cooking based team building has become so popular as championed by companies like Venturi’s Table have been promoting corporate cooking events for several years.

Venturi’s Table created the first UK custom-built Corporate Cooking Centre in London, to provide fun team building cooking events for groups of business professionals.

Cooking is the perfect team builder not only is it social and relaxing it gives teams the goals need in order to get them working effectively. Plus the team all gets to sit down and enjoy the fruits of their labour with a fantastic group meal at the end.

With Venturi’s Table nothing is stressful or to labour intensive the experts are always on hand to make each step enjoyable and fun. Corporate cooking events can also be tailored with cooking challenges for the more competitively minded or for real foodies wine tasting or chocolate making can be added to the programme.

In fact group cooking at Venturi’s Table is so enjoyable many companies have chosen it as one of their favourite staff incentives rather than just a team building event.

For more information or to book a fun team building cooking event visit http://www.venturis-table.com

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Cold Storage In Industry

Meat Cold Storage

Cold storage is a very valued solution when working with perishable items like food or pharmaceuticals and is commonly used in a range of commercial industries to extend the life of non-perishable items such as soft drinks or sealed goods. Cold storage containers also offer a secondary benefit by providing a controlled environment for factors such as humidity, which often cause problems in industrial assembly line processes such as assembly of parts using certain types of adhesives.

Food grade cold storage facilities most often handle goods for grocery stores which require either commercial freezing or bulk chilling, and restaurants or similar catering facilities will use walk-in cold rooms or freezers to extend the shelf life of meat, fish, dairy products and other spoilable goods.

The vast majority of cold store systems work using refrigeration processes, which means heat is removed from the container using chemical or mechanical means. Some industrial cold storage rooms are used in factories to liquefy gases such as propane or methane, or in the refinement and storage of petroleum oil.

Some specialist companies provide mobile cold storage solutions in the form of adapted shipping containers; these portable blast freezers or refrigerated containers are weatherproof and incredibly useful for expanding the cold storage capacity of a business without needing planning permission or compromising existing internal warehouse space.

The ability to rent cold storage containers is also very useful to companies who need to expand their capacity short term, for instance for a move, defrost or clean-down, or those who need extended capacity but do not want the sudden enormous overhead of purchasing a new blast freezer or cold store, and are reluctant to outsource. Keeping cold storage in-house allows for maximum stock efficiency and good production control by eliminating the need for rapid perishable product turnover. This is particularly useful for inventory and purchasing workers who need storage facilities operating at top efficiency.

Expert suppliers such as CRS Cold Storage provide portable cold storage solutions which can be hired or leased as well as purchased, and also include a full service and maintenance agreement which helps businesses to minimise their costs by knowing their refrigerated storage is being taken care of by professional engineers. Visit their UK website at www.crscoldstorage.co.uk to learn more.

Signposts and Waymarking

Signposts and waymarks are required in order to Countryside Signpostsenable people to follow a public right of way with confidence. Legally there is no difference between the two terms but generally common use denotes a signpost as a tall post with a finger or arrow-shaped board which indicates direction and path status, and sometimes destination. Signposts are sometimes called fingerposts. The term waymarks is normally used to refer to arrow plaques affixed to gate posts, walls, stiles or purpose-built waymarking posts. These show directions with the arrow and the status of the path using standard English waymarking colour codes; yellow for a footpath, blue for bridleway, purple for restricted byway and red for a byway.

The Highway Authority is supposed to always put up signs whenever a right of way leaves a normal road, and also show the status of the right of way. This can give destination and distance (although interestingly it is not mandatory for it to show direction, although most do!) and must be put up in places where anyone who is not familiar with the area would need signs in order to be able to follow the right of way. In fact the regulation wording includes “other signs or notices serving the same purposes” so in actuality all outdoor signs are covered.

Outdoor signs come in metal, wood or plastic, but be wary of installing urban signs in the countryside where they will look strange. Common rural signs are designed as square wooden posts with weathered tops and wooden waymarking fingers, sometimes with a water-based stain to “tone down” the wood’s appearance. These signs are not cheap and will last at least a couple of decades. For longer lasting solutions, some sign manufacturers offer more durable and long-lasting (as well as ecologically friendly) recycled plastic signs, which can be wood-effect so they don’t clash with surroundings.

Waymarking discs are normally plastic and metal, although some local traditions use painted arrows or even stone cairns to blend in with the local area, which is where a creative signage company can be of immense consultative benefit. Painted waymarks are becoming less popular as they tend not to last long, are difficult and costly to keep up to date and often look scruffy, especially on uneven surfaces. Pre-printed waymarking signage is quicker and easier to install as well as looking professional, and while there may be a substantial initial cost these tend to last many years and are extremely low maintenance so are a saving in the long run.

Private London Security Guards

London Security Guards

Today there are many more London security guards than there are police officers, and the role of a private London security company has never been more important thanks to the constant treat of domestic terrorism as well as continuously rising crime rates throughout the city. Hiring private London security guards is a great benefit to many companies in the city who cannot or will not rely on police services to safeguard their personnel, property and brand.

London security guards need to be highly trusted and it is critical to have a good rapport with a chosen London security provider in order to ensure that staff are suitable for positioning in highly visible areas to act as a clear deterrent to would-be thieves and troublemakers during business hours, and as both a visible deterrent and a physical defence at other times. In many cases, the on duty security officer will be the only person on the site of a commercial property after hours, which means that their integrity and judgement must be entirely beyond reproach.

Security guards in London often face a lot of similar risks to the police services, but in nearly all cases the levels of income, training and benefits are drastically less. A good London security guards company will be able to offer full SIA licensing and trained security guards who meet the rigorous standards of the Security Industry Authority in the UK.

As well as providing real, physical protection and deterring crime on a premises, London security guards will be able to offer advice and suggestions on how to minimise the impact of crime on everyday business in the city which is immensely valuable to many companies.

Always ask for security company client testimonials when considering whether or not to hire a London security guard company, as this will give you a good idea of how good their services is in a real and personal sense, not just how good they look “on paper.” Things to look for include responsiveness, professionalism, discretion, promptness and even less tangible qualities like how reassuring and helpful the staff are. Above all, don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest option – you need professional London security guards for your business, not some “cheap and cheerful” cowboy-style company!

Retailers Must Have Robust Supply Chains!

Last week figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK retail sales volumes fell by 0.8% in February when compared against January’s results. These figures have revealed that although there is a general trend of improvement over the last quarter with sales volumes being 1.7% higher than the same period a year earlier retail is still facing a very difficult period.

robust supply chains

Is your supply chain ready for the summer?

For many the internet is now being seen as a possible solution and area for relaters to grow with 10.7% of all UK sales now being made online. With this in mind companies have been prompted to look towards innovation and new technologies in an effort to develop more online sales.

While the benefits of online retail are not in question how best to invest a retailer’s money to ensure sustainable growth is. Tempting as it is to buy into mobile sites, apps and the like this should never be made at the expense of grass root investment in logistics and supply chain operations. Weak supply chains can be disastrous to a retailers operation especially with the expected transport issues expected this summer.

If your supply chain infrastructure and logistics processes are robust and ready for the summer then ultimately customers will be disappointed impacting on sales and company reputation.

Effective Supply Chain Management is an on-going process and often needs an independent eye to see the complete picture. Experienced and independent Supply Chain Consultancy Total Logistics can undertake a complete supply chain review including s & op, logistics operations, plus warehouse design and layout. This supply chain review will assist you in reducing risk while also saving you money.

Established in 1989 Total Logistics has developed a hugely experienced team, (330+ years in total!), all with hands-on experience of managing supply chain operations. Clients have typically experienced savings range between 10% – 20%.

For more information call Total Logistics on +44 (0)118 977 3027 or visit www.total-logistics.com.