Supply chains and technology trends

Supply chains and new technology trends

New technological advances across the supply chain are changing the way businesses run their day to day operations.

Traditional supply chain management is fast becoming obsolete, with warnings from many top logistics specialists about the dangers of falling behind in a rapidly changing landscape. A technological revolution is happening across many industries and those who want to stay ahead of their competitors must consider embracing new technologies, to deliver a faster and smoother service to their customers.

Supply chains and technology trends

Big Data

Many new tech trends have come off the back of the big data revolution, which is changing the way companies look at their supply chains from beginning to end. Put simply, big data refers to high volumes of complex facts and figures from across a supply chain that can be turned into real life actions or decisions.

Data can range from sales numbers and buyer trends to weather conditions and global supplier issues. Collecting and accurately utilising big data using traditional methods of supply chain analytics generally, leads to inaccuracies and is often impossible. Ultimately, this means that company’s making the most of the new technology available to them are at a distinct advantage in the marketplace.

New technologies

Businesses can utilise new technological trends to crunch big data and stay ahead in the market place. One of the easiest and most popular new trends comes in the form of social sourcing; using social sites to predict trends and feed information back to S&OP. Public cloud networks are another increasingly popular tech trend, with big software companies such as Infor buying up cloud based supply chain management platforms.

Machine learning and predictive analytics are another technology trend transforming the way businesses manage their supply chain. Predictions and simulations based on real-time data from a company’s sales, the price of raw materials and even global political factors can improve the supply chain. This could help companies prioritise supplies, increase profitability and generally run a smoother operation from beginning to end.

Cloud software and machine learning is developing rapidly, whilst quickly becoming accessible to both smaller and larger organisations across the globe. These fast paced changes make it imperative for businesses to remain ‘future-proof’ in the face of growing customer demand and intelligent tech.

Business collaboration

Whilst taking advantage of growing tech trends is crucial for organisations wanting to stay competitive, it’s important for business owners not to hand their entire supply chain over to a machine.

Business collaboration

Tech is becoming increasingly intelligent but there are some things software cannot do and the need for collaboration is still important. For businesses to truly grow, everyone in the supply chain must make a commitment to cooperate seamlessly so that big data and intelligent software can be utilised efficiently. Collaboration with trusted partners in the industry is another essential tool for business looking to grow and can be a good starting point for owners that don’t have as much spare capital to put into the latest tech.

Making use of supply chain specialists is also a lower cost option for businesses on a budget. Professional logistics experts can advise on the best low-cost tech options available to harness the power of big data. With technology trends evolving all the time, it’s now easier than ever for businesses to make the most of the smart technology in the supply chain.

Small Business Concerns About Apprenticeships

Common Small Business Concerns About Apprenticeships

While a recent report by the FSB highlighted that 1 in 4 of their members already offer apprenticeships there are still many UK small business who would love to offer apprenticeships, but don’t.

So why is this the case?

Despite the benefits to UK small employers of offering apprenticeships, there are some big concerns that need to be overcome.

Common concerns include:

  • school leavers not having the needed businesses’ skills
  • A lack of work ethic among candidates
  • Employers lacking the time needed for day to day apprentice management
  • A further lack of skills and time for properly training
Small Business Concerns About Apprenticeships

Many Small Business worry about their ability to provide the right training.

Government Apprenticeship Support

However, there are existing Government support for employers wanting to offer apprenticeships including details on:

  • Grants
  • Pay and Conditions
  • Apprenticeship agreement
  • Apprenticeship training agencies

Free Up Extra Time

In addition, many small businesses can become more efficient and free up time for managing an apprentice. One area that often eats away at a small business owners time is accounts and invoicing.

Switching to an online accounting and invoicing solution can reduce the time it takes to keep business finances up-to-date. It can also make it much easier to employ new staff including apprentice helping with complex areas like payroll and tax returns.


While as a business owner you might have concerns offer an Apprenticeship is possible and can bring a real benefit to your business.

It might also be the push you need to start improving and streamlining areas of your business that will ultimately give you more time to develop and grow your business.

industrial workers

What are the Requirements for Accessible Welfare Units?

Remote welfare units are just one of the responsibilities of a contractor who is hiring out employees for remote work.

industrial workers

The law states that welfare units must be provided to workers if a contract is longer than 30 days or 500 person days.

This requirement is essential to ensure the physical need of every worker is being met whilst they are away from their home. There are several things to consider when purchasing a welfare unit and the health and safety guidelines help to give contractors a better understanding of the minimum requirements that must be met.

Welfare Unit Toilets

The requirement for toilets is that they should be clean and sufficient for a person’s use. For health reasons they must be well ventilated, well-lit and washing facilities must either be in the same area or close by so that they may be easily accessed afterwards.

Welfare Unit Toilets

Drinking Water

This is an absolute must for any welfare unit. Clean drinking water is a strict legal requirement and failure to provide something so vital, may result in the proposed works or repairs being postponed or even cancelled. Cups to drink from are also required, unless the water can be easily accessed and consumed without one.

Washing facilities

Basic washing requirements suggest that water must be clean, accessible and sufficient enough to wash a person’s face, hands and forearms. However, for comfort purposes it is advisable to supply a shower inside. Both hot and cold water must be provided alongside soaps and drying facilities. Particularly dangerous or dirty work means that you must also provide some kind of decontamination area for your workforce.

hot and cold water

Facilities for rest

Seating areas and general areas for rest are also a requirement for your staff members. Comfortable seating with backs, communal tables, access to boiled water and meal arrangements are all legal necessities. If you are planning work during winter months, then some form of heating must also be available to keep workers warm.

Changing rooms/lockers

Changing rooms are mostly needed in welfare units when workers have to get into or out of specialist clothing for their job. If there is no other area suitable for changing, then this becomes a legal requirement. Alongside this, these rooms must provide all employees with a means of drying off and somewhere where their valuables will be safe from thieves or damage.

Welfare units can be customised to suit the specific needs of the job. Whether you wish to provide the basic requirements or put together a unit that has some added benefits, you can quickly and easily build a unit that’s right for your individual requirements.

To view examples of welfare units that can help you meet all your legal requirements visit:

Get ready for your 2014 exhibition with printers in Kent

Exhibitions are a great way to drum up new interest in your business. Using printers in Kent you could offer additional material so that your business is remembered after the exhibition ends!

printers in kent exhibition

Exhibitions have been a great source of new leads for many years. Some would argue that in a world that is moving increasingly towards all things digital, businesses need to bring back the ‘people’ element through face to face interactions. An article from B2B source shows how you can use high quality print to sell your products and make sure your business sticks in the mind of potential clients. Here are some highlights from the article:

  • Personalised stationary including pens which could be used as free ‘giveaways’
  • Flyers offer snip-its of information which can be used as a quick reminder of your company and products
  •  Very important to have a stack of business cards at the ready for interested parties
  • Offer something useful, a mouse mat or office mug that they will use over and over

Read the full article at B2B Source: 

For more information about Kent print services – visit Orbital Print

Rapid Ecommerce growth causes rise in warehouse rental rates

ecommerce fulfilmentThe rise in eCommerce has lead to an increase in demand for warehousing space, according to the Financial times. The warehousing industry was quite severely affected by the global financial financial crisis – the rise in eCommerce has helped the industry to get back on track. We can we expect from eCommerce companies?

  • Rise in ecommerce fulfilment outsourcing – There are several ecommerce fulfilment companies who offer order processing services to ensure the efficient delivery of goods ordered online. 
  • Investing in new warehouses –  logistics consultants believe it is hard to adjust existing warehouses which are deemed as old fashioned. New warehouses must be built to cater for smaller orders.
  • Increase in demand for ecommerce marketing and web development – The success of an ecommerce operation often boils down to how well the ecommerce website is built, maintained and marketed

Does this mean the end of bricks and mortar operations? Many believe that the nature of the two channels (online and bricks and mortar) is different and one often complements the other. To find out how, read the full article – Rapid Ecommerce growth causes rise in warehouse rental rates

For more information about ecommerce marketing – visit