Archive for: May, 2023

Consider the Menu of Services a Project Will Require Before Interviewing Professional Consultants

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Google the word “Consultant” and millions of links immediately pop on to your computer screen. Refine the search term and a smaller, but still massive army of sites will become available for search. Consultants are everywhere and offering every imaginable service.

How does a business or entrepreneur in need of acquiring professional skills go about winnowing down and selecting the right team for their specific need? I am asked this question often while performing work as a Consumer Product Development and Marketing Consultant. There seem to be two key elements to consider when making this calculation.

The first is to consider what skills you, or your group, possess in the area in which you desire assistance. If you are an excellent writer, and are seeking to build a web-site, preparing the copy and visual layout for the site might be work you could handle by yourself. In that case, the need for a web-master for construction and a site manager to control your PPC and SEO campaign may be the totality of the help you need.

More detailed projects require different and more comprehensive skill sets. Does your team have the ability to create a Business Model, a Business Plan and execute each work element required to successfully push a product or service into the marketplace? Unless the answer to this question is a hard “yes” you should be interviewing Managing Consultants.

The second important consideration is to assemble a menu of services the project will require. Do the consultants you are interviewing have the capability to manage the whole project, or are they going to specialize in their area of expertise and hand off important work elements to others.

We work internationally, with large multi-national companies, and increasingly with entrepreneurs, inventors and small and micro-businesses. Large clients typically hire our firm for a specific piece of project work. Smaller clients tend to want us to act as Managing Consultants. Many people have successful businesses and careers, family responsibilities and, for course, mortgages. They often want and need to stay with their chosen work.

A Managing Consultant should be able to take a project from idea or concept stage, to market launch. The capacity to manage product development, prototype and product design work, source manufacturing, organize fulfillment and logistics, create customized Marketing Strategies, handle Public Relations, produce creative elements, packaging design, develop funding possibilities, and Sales Models are only a few of the work product elements that successful Managing Consultants should be able to provide to their clients.

The Managing Consultant’s job is to provide their client with the best options for each item on the work product menu. You should expect the Consultant to provide these options and then detail why, if this were his business, he would choose option No. 2 over options No. 1 and 3. The Consultant works for the client and all final decisions are made by them.

A good consultant should save clients Time, Money and Mistakes. Experience, professional contacts, a long rolodex and instinct are what separate the really successful consultants from the out of work, down sized corporate manager that has real experience only in structured environments. In the current economy, the market is chock full of this type of consultant. Performing proper due diligence when selecting Consulting help will make or break your projects chance for achieving success.

by: Geoff Ficke

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Ultra Low Emission Fleets: Inspiration for Courier Companies

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The future of courier companies is looking decidedly green, with the government’s new Road to Zero strategy outlining an ambitious plan for the transport industry. It pledges to give dedicated financial support for green vehicles, slash UK emission levels, and make all new cars and vans ultra low emission by 2050.
So, what can fleet managers do to cut their emissions, in line with the government’s aims? How can they ensure their company is at the forefront of the low emission future?

This article looks at three inspiring case studies of courier companies that are paving the way to the greener future.

UPS: Lots of Green at a Low Cost

By merging energy storage and smart-grid capabilities, UPS developed a new charging system that facilitates the recharge of a fleet of electric vehicles without the need for upgrading the power supply grid. In other words, they can now recharge their entire fleet without any substantial change to their existing power infrastructure.

This new tech, thought to be the first of its kind in the world, was developed with the support of the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). While over 60 electric vehicles already operate out of UPS’s London base, this new and significant step should allow the company to go 100% electric in the coming years.

Royal Mail: The Royal Standard

With nearly 50,000 vehicles on the road, the Royal Mail launched not one but two low emission initiatives in 2017. On the one hand, they launched a fleet of electric vans, built by Peugeot Partner. On the other, they trialled a number of delivery vehicles (7.5 tonnes) built by the pioneering electric manufacturer, Arrival. The results of that trial are now being eagerly awaited by industry professionals across the country.

Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare: Driving the Future

The medical distributor, Drive DeVilbiss, partnered up with the Energy Saving Trust to enact a package of low carbon programmes, at the same time as doubling their fleet. Alongside strategic developments such as implementing more efficient routes, increasing driver training and producing a green-orientated driver handbook, they switched older vans to models that complied with the Euro 6 regulations. They also installed monitoring devices in all vehicles.

As a result, the company have achieved:

• A reduction in speeding offences of over a quarter • A 20% cutback in fuel use per van • A fall in carbon emissions per vehicle from 9.78 to 8.40 tonnes, across the course of just one year.

Achieving the holy grail of all couriers, companies like the Royal Mail, Drive DeVilbiss and UPS have managed to combine green credentials with sound economic and business sense. As the Road to Zero strategy unfolds over the next few years, what will your company do to achieve that sought-after balance?

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day jobs forcourier companies and self-employed drivers in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Road to Zero Strategy

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

In July 2018, the government unveiled its new Road to Zero strategy, promising the biggest change to UK road transport since the arrival of the petrol engine. This is big news.
To unravel the implications of the strategy, this article addresses the following questions:

• What is the aim of the Road to Zero strategy? • When will it come into play? • How does it affect fleet managers and drivers doing courier work? • What is the response of the Freight Transport Association (FTA)?

Aims and Motivations

The overarching aim of the plan is to make the UK a hub of electric transport, through ensuring that at least 50% of new vehicles built in the next ten years are ultra low emission.

There are three major driving forces behind this target:

• A more robust economy • A purer environment • Better air quality


According to the government, the next ten years will transform UK transport, bringing in bigger changes than we’ve seen in the last 100 years combined. So how does this sweeping claim break down in real terms?

• In September 2018, the first Zero Emission Vehicle summit will be held in Birmingham. • In 2025, a review of the number of ultra low emission vehicles on the roads will take place, ascertaining the successes and failures of the strategy to date. • By 2030, the government wants at least 50% of new cars to be ultra low emission. • By the same date, they aim for 40% of new vans to be ultra low emission. • By 2040, the government will halt sales of new, high emission vehicles (i.e. traditional diesel and petrol models).

Impact on the Workforce

Obviously, a major element of the strategy is the increase in infrastructure to support the ultra low emission vehicles, including charge points up and down the country, on roadsides and at service stations and fuel retailers.

Of particular relevance to those engaged in courier work on a self-employed basis, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme will grant around £500 for a driver to install a charge point in their own home. Other grants will also be available on an on-demand basis, for businesses to develop their own low emission initiatives.

Crucially, industry professionals will be able to keep track of, and influence, these changing times thanks to the new Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce. FTA Response

The Freight Transport Association has issued a formal acceptance of the strategy’s target of a 15% reduction in HGV carbon emissions by 2025, alongside incorporating the strategy into its own Logistics Emission Reduction Scheme.

At the same time, it has voiced concerns over the challenging nature of the aim, especially given the relatively tight deadline. It has called on the government to do everything in their power to support those doing courier work, to ensure that drivers and businesses have the necessary infrastructure in place and do not face penalties or extra costs in the process.

To facilitate this support, the FTA has put forward a number of additional proposals, including establishing an across-the-board standard for ultra low emissions trucks, securing extra funding for the Energy Savings Trust, and working to combat congestion on the roads.

Facing the Future

As with all things, change can be positive or negative. The clinching factor is preparation ¬– if we know what’s coming, then we know how to deal with it. Both the government and the FTA should therefore be credited for laying out their plans in this clear, concise way.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

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Keep Calm and Courier On: Resisting Road Rage

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Maintaining an air of calmness during work is important whether you’re an employee or an owner driver. Jobs that involve a lot of time spent out on the road, however, can challenge even the most relaxed people. It’s sometimes difficult to keep your cool on crowded roads when you’ve got a deadline to hit, especially when others around you are angrily honking their horns or just being straight up oblivious to their surroundings.
Feeling frustrated and agitated while driving can lead to road rage, something most motorists are all too familiar with. While it usually manifests in the form of aggressively speeding and manoeuvring, there has been an alarming increase in physically violent incidents due to this phenomenon.

Unfortunately, you have no power over another’s actions – however, you do have control over how you respond in stressful situations. Here are some top tips for how to keep calm and courier on when the driving gets difficult.

Dodge Distress by Taking a Detour

The easiest way to avoid an angry outburst is to not get to that point of intense irritation in the first place. It’s very helpful to know your stressors and reduce them as much as possible. You may also want to try:

• taking deep breaths, • listening to relaxing music, • practising self-care to reduce fatigue (getting enough sleep, taking regular breaks, making sure you’re eating enough), • knowing where you’re going, • giving yourself enough time to complete your route without rushing and • receiving any available traffic alerts so you can miss traffic jams whenever possible.

Don’t Look Back in Anger

It’s more than likely that there will be other drivers on the road who will grind your gears – but responding angrily to their outbursts won’t help anything. When someone finds themselves filled with rage, they often begin looking for any excuse to escalate. Remember that it’s not worth it, and do everything in your power to avoid intensifying the situation. Be the bigger person by:

• ignoring those who are looking for a fight (if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all) or, • giving them a wave or a smile (kindness is contagious – not to mention, it’s quite satisfying watching someone realise they’re not able to get a rise out of you).

What’s in a Name?

Remember that you’re representing the business you work for and its owner. Driver jobs are often the public face of your employer – after all, you’re travelling with their name on your uniform and vehicle – so negative or aggressive reactions can potentially harm their reputation. Help your company succeed by remembering you’re representing a larger cause and putting your best foot forward.

Whether you’re an employee of a company or an owner driver, jobs that take you out on the road can be a challenge, at times. It takes a very special person to keep their cool and control their road rage. Utilise these tips and make the world a better place by simply doing nothing.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.

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Ditching Dehydration: Top Tips for Courier Drivers

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Dehydration is most frequently associated with those who get a lot of exercise or people who live in extremely hot climates. However, it’s important to remember that it can impact anyone, no matter where they are or what they do – and that includes those working on courier jobs.
The problem with dehydration is that it can often sneak up on you. Even if you are drinking when your mouth tells you that you’re thirsty, your body could already be dangerously low on water. And, with the negative side effects that accompany not remaining properly hydrated, it’s especially important for those who spend their days driving to stay on top of their liquid intake. Not only will be helping yourself and feeling better, you could also potentially be saving a life.

Signs of Dehydration

The most obvious symptoms include a dry mouth and feeling thirsty. However, many others are not as easy to discern. Look for the following signs:

• Fatigue • Low mood • Lack of alertness or a fuzzy feeling in your head • Muscle cramps in the toes, legs and fingers • Cloudy, dark urine (this is perhaps the easiest way to gauge if you are drinking enough water – you should aim for it to be pale and nearly clear)

The Dangers of Dehydration

For those working on courier jobs, it is especially important that you make sure you’re consuming enough liquid. When you’re in control of a vehicle for extended periods of time, it’s important that you’re on top of your game – to ensure not only your own safety, but also that of other drivers on the road. You need to avoid the following situations that can occur when you’re dehydrated:

• Improper braking – too late, too early or without good reason • Slow reaction times • Becoming unaware of the other vehicles around you • Drifting between lanes

How to Stay Properly Hydrated

Luckily, making sure you’re drinking enough doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some tips that anyone working on courier jobs may find especially helpful. Make them a habit and you can significantly reduce the chances of dehydration.

• Drink at least two litres of water a day • Always have multiple bottles of water in your vehicle • Snack on fruit – this is a great alternative way to hydrate yourself • Don’t make excuses that you don’t want to stop for the toilet – factor in enough time so that you can take regular breaks

Just because you spend your days in a vehicle doesn’t mean you’re not at risk of dehydration – in fact, one study reports that almost 70% of UK drivers don’t know the signs. Drinking sufficient water is vital for your body, your health and your safety – and soaking up these top tips will make consuming enough liquids a snap.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,300 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

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Compressed Natural Gas: How Going Green Can Be Good

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

To many, one of the most important (and relatively contemporary) trends is going green. Today more than ever people are concerned about the environment and what humanity may be doing to it. We’re looking to reduce our carbon footprint – and no one knows that better than those who work in the courier business.
This is common knowledge for the employee and the owner. Driver jobs and the ways that switching to alternative fuel impacts them may be of concern to those in the business. After all, couriers are perhaps the most important members in this industry as they are the ones actually transporting loads to and fro. However, they need have no fear – here are all the ways that switching to compressed natural gas is a positive.

What Is It?

Compressed natural gas, or CNG, may not be a household name, but it is something the majority of us use in our everyday lives. It fuels some of the items found in many of our homes, specifically gas cookers and boilers. When used in compatible vehicles, a phenomenon that is becoming more and more common, CNG can get you up to 300 miles per tank.

Why Use It?

The most obvious answer is incentives, which the government place for companies that decide to go green by making their vehicles compatible with CNG (the main advantage being that these companies will be offered a lower fuel duty). This is fixed at 3.16p/l or 24.7p/k until at least 2025.

Although there are still more perks for electric vehicles (they produce no tailpipe emissions), businesses that decide they want to use CNG will find that they are supported by the government.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Before you make the step toward CNG, here are the things business owners should be aware of:

1) Those worried about CNG vehicles running low on gas can fit them with a reserve tank for peace of mind. 2) CO2 emissions are comparable to diesel. When biomethane (a sustainable fuel that comes from organic waste) is used, this shoots up by about 60%. Overall, CNG vehicles are quite good for air quality. 3) The UK still has limited public refuelling stations. However, this number is steadily on the increase. 4) Because of the weight of CNG gas tanks, payload can go down about 10%. However, load space remains unaffected.

Going green by using compressed natural gas is an option that is becoming more and more plausible for the average business owner. Driver jobs remain unaffected, it is better for the environment and the government is putting more and more incentives in place. Exactly what the future holds is still murky, but one thing is clear: you should definitely keep an eye out for this green gas.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.

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