Ideas for Reducing the Operating Cost of Your Membership Organisation

As your organisation grows, so will the cost of running it. That’s not to say you have to front up the money, and there are multiple ways you can save money and reduce your overheads.

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Embracing technology is a great way to reduce costs. The world of technology is ever-changing and many of your organisation’s processes can be carried out by a computer, lowering your expenses considerably. Try and remove all unnecessary paperwork and digitise all your organisation’s book keeping. Cloud computing is also a great way to store more information, run accounts and manage all your systems online. Communications over e-mail are free, so save money on all those stamps by digitising your communication systems. Flexible working hours could improve staff productivity by allowing them to work remotely from home.

Reduce Energy Costs

Energy costs will be one of the biggest outlays your organisation will face. Becoming eco-friendly is a big step towards lowering your outgoings. By fitting energy efficient lightbulbs, turning off idle machines and programming thermostats, you can lower your energy bills and improve your bottom line.


Getting an external company to manage all your admin could lead to a more streamlined business. If your organisation has a number of fee-paying members then membership management systems such as can deal with all your admin needs, leaving you to concentrate on your profits. Outsourcing some operations can lead to happier members and improving and growing your membership numbers.


Do you require materials? Could you save money by importing those materials from abroad? These are the questions you should be asking yourself if you’re serious about saving your organisation money. Buying from suppliers from foreign countries is generally a lot cheaper than buying within the UK.

Re-evaluate Phone Services

Business phone systems can cost hundreds if not thousands of pounds per month. If your organisation is not making constant phone calls from a number of lines, then the chances are you are paying too much for your phone system. By reconsidering and shopping around for a new phone service and upgrading or downgrading your minutes, you could be saving your organisation plenty. A less complicated phone system could also save you money in maintenance bills.

The latest outlook for the metal bonding adhesives market

The latest outlook for the metal bonding adhesives market

Using adhesives to bond metal is an increasingly popular technique. It offers many advantages over more traditional mechanical fixing methods. These include evenly distributed stress loads, better resistance to vibration and flexing and making it easier to join irregular shapes.

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The latest application techniques make for neat joins with minimal waste of material. In assembly environments and even in the construction industry, the use of adhesives can lead to faster turnaround times and more accurate bonding of components, leading ultimately to a better, longer-lasting product for the end user.

Growth Market

There’s been rapid growth in the market for metal bonding adhesive in recent times, and use of the technique has spread to a wide cross-section of businesses. These include the motor industry, electronics, packaging, logistics, medical, furnishings and industrial assembly lines.

Properties like high bond strength and good resistance to both high and low temperatures have helped to drive this expansion, and new research into adhesives means things are unlikely to slow down any time soon. The development of new formulae that bond faster, along with moves towards non-toxic and biodegradable adhesives could see further expansion into food, agriculture and other areas of business where the take-up of adhesive bonding of metals has so far been slower.

Stuck to the World

The growing use of adhesives to bond metal is something that’s a trend around the world. In the UK suppliers of adhesives such as are seeing strong growth. The Asia Pacific region is also seeing greater use of these adhesives, mainly due to the high numbers of companies in the region making manufactured goods and electronic equipment both for home consumption and for export.

In North America too uptake of adhesive bonding for metals is strong among manufacturing businesses. While growth is still expected in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East too, it’s likely to be slower than in other regions.

With major chemical companies, including 3M and Dow, involved in the production of adhesives for bonding metal, there’s a clear commitment to research and development. This should keep the market moving forward and able to adapt to changing needs and the use of new, more eco-friendly materials. This is market that is set to continue to expand as more businesses see it as the best method of joining metal parts.

5 Reasons to be an entrepreneur

Is being an entrepreneur fashionable? Perhaps that is the way it is, or maybe that spirit of wanting to do something more and something that some people carry inside has been liberated, pushed forward or motivated in the last years of economic crisis and the events that resulted from it. Be that as it may, the word entrepreneur is heard every time and the number of brave men increases per minute. Read more

The Benefits of Having a Chest Freezer for Your Business

The Benefits of Having a Chest Freezer for Your Business

There are lots of reasons to consider buying a chest freezer, particularly if you run a restaurant or cafe. You might quickly find an improved level of efficiency of operation for the whole business, and when you work for yourself, every penny counts.

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Bulk-Buying Saves Money

There are few things that do not provide a cost saving when buying in bulk, and having somewhere to store food items allows you to take advantage of those savings. Aside from the money saved, buying in bulk also means that you are less likely to run out of a particular ingredient or dish during a busy day.

Less Wastage

Being able to freeze food saves commercial catering businesses money but also huge amounts of waste, too. It gives you that flexibility to keep food for longer, which is particularly useful on days when business is slower than expected.

Fresh produce does not keep nearly as long as frozen, and the current thinking is that there is no particular health benefit of fresh over frozen, provided that the food is frozen promptly. Do ensure, however, that you have a system for dating food and a clear policy of stock rotation to ensure that food is eaten in the right order.

It also allows you to prepare in advance, improving efficiency.

More Space

A big freezer unit is also efficient for storage space. The depth of the freezer makes the most of the footprint, which is particularly useful in a small kitchen where space is at a premium. Specialist online retailers such as supply commercial fridges and freezers in a range of sizes and designs to help ensure you can find the right one to suit your space and your business.

Of course, there are laws and guidelines relating to commercial refrigeration. The Food Standards Agency outlines some of the specifics relating to storing and preparing foods commercially.

There are more details on HCFCs and current legislation and how it relates to your commercial fridge freezer on the government website.

Now you have started thinking about how a chest freezer might benefit your business, it’s time to start considering where you might put one. Once it’s installed, you’ll quickly wonder how you ever managed without one.

Tips To Transform Your Floorboards

Tips To Transform Your Floorboards

Making the most of the flooring in your home is an important part of daily living. Floors are heavy traffic areas, and if there are pets or children, they require a little more care and attention than anything else in the home. Your choices when it comes to cleaning and maintenance depend on the type of flooring you have.

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Maintaining Flooring

Properties that benefit from bare floorboards will be in a great position for maintenance as a quick sweep or hoover is all that is needed, along with a damp mop to clean up. Laminate flooring is also easy to maintain because all that is required is a quick cleanup. Whitewashed floors tend to need to be soaped and cleaned very frequently with a soap solution. Painting bare floor boards a neutral colour such as white or beige can also brighten up the home. This paint has to be specialist so no that no one slips on the floor, but it can really add character and light to the house.

When you decide you would like to add a little bit of oomph to your home, it is important to be ethically aware of the materials you are using. According to The Guardian, you can choose floor paint that is ethical and eco-friendly so that you can do something nice for your home and the environment at the same time.

Spruce It Up

Whether you choose to go for varnish or opt for the opposite approach and lay down black painted floors against white walls, your choices are never limited with flooring. Waxing floors is becoming very popular as the years go by because you can protect the floorboards. By using natural oils like linseed oil or sunflower oil, you are also being eco-friendly. If your flooring is laminate, you can make the decision to change to wooden boards should you choose. Distressed boards give the home an eclectic and well-worn look that is sure to impress. Having flooring that is aesthetically pleasing along with matching décor can make a big difference, so try using a site like to find the most cost-effective option for your home.

Choose your flooring wisely. If you know you’ll make changes over time, choose bare floorboards to ensure you have room to make the change.

Office layout techniques designed to boost employee productivity

Office layout techniques designed to boost employee productivity

All companies have a corporate image to suit their brand that should in incorporated in every aspect of the business, including the office layout and furniture. The look and feel of an office can speak volumes about a company, and it can also be good for employees. Here is a look at a few office layouts that can boost employee productivity.


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The power of eight

Google is famous for its treatment of employees and office design. Its offices in Switzerland and Ireland are filled with wide-open spaces, but they also have rooms with eight desks in them. This is all about trust and territory. The average family size is seven people, give or take one or two either way, and anthropological research has shown that groups of seven – plus or minus up to two – create the strongest trust bonds and reinforce these cultural patterns.

Open spaces

Many offices are open-plan in a bid to be more egalitarian. They believe this works better than when the boss is shut away in a big office. However, the office cannot look so big that it is off-putting, so sliding doors or partitions along with open areas for meetings work well. The idea is that people will communicate more and bounce ideas off each other.

Making the office more like home

Trendy offices for millennials are designed to look more like a quality home rather than a traditional office. This could include putting in a lounge area or dining table to encourage people to meet and exchange ideas. Redesigning the office could be a simple matter of investing in new office furniture, such as pieces found at, to create better living and working space.

Bringing the outdoors in

Another trend is indoor-outdoor living and a natural feel. This could mean installing reclaimed wood panelling or flooring and incorporating floral patterns in fabrics and artwork. Yet another interesting trend is using plants to create a living wall. Again, this creates a cosy, more homely feel to make employees feel more at ease.

Create a colourful environment

Colours can create different moods, with some being more positive than others. Traditionally, offices have been dull, grey places, but a splash of colour can be a cost-effective way to brighten the mood, particularly in accessories and furniture.

The Best Software for Financial Advisers of 2016

The Best Software for Financial Advisers of 2016

Independent financial advisers are increasingly reliant on technology that helps them engage their clients, whilst also devising appropriate retirement or investment plans. These software packages generally allow the adviser to compare two or more investments and display this comparison in an easy to understand, visually stimulating way. Many also give the user a number of equity evaluation formulas, including volatility and risk measures, that can be used for stocks and shares.


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The role of a financial adviser has become more complex. With hundreds of different software packages available, we’ve compiled a list of the best.


EMoney have released this powerful financial advisory software to ensure a high-end client experience. The software has retirement, estate, investment, goal-based and cash flow planning tools, practice management, aggregated accounts and secure online document storage. It also provides metrics and analytics to aid understanding of client finances, therefore ensuring they get the best advice.

Finance Logix®

This software from Envestnet includes an advisor portal, client tools and some add-ons. The advisor portal includes estate, retirement, insurance, goal-based and education planning, asset allocation, cash-flow analysis, interactive plans, data integrations and efficiency tools. The client tools include a client calendar, email and text alerts, a document vault and an interactive plan.

Total Planning Suite

Money Tree have devised this incredible software with the client’s needs firmly in mind. The software provides data summaries, client access portals, third party integrations, cloud based operations and company branding, whilst also having bank-level SSL encryption. This top of the range software incorporates three additional software packages: Silver Financial Planner, Golden Years Cash Flow and Easy Money Power Planner.

MoneyGuide Pro

MoneyGuide Pro from PIEtech includes a number of unique features, including a college funding planner, health care strategies, social security maximisation and a retirement planner to give the client an easy to understand, personalised report. This software costs around $1,000 per adviser, so is one of the cheaper packages available. However, may be an even more cost effective option with their IFA software.

NaviPlan Select

This upgraded software boasts great functionality and allows for a comprehensive analysis of liabilities and assets, retirement planning and a very detailed cash management module. The beauty of this software is in its onscreen, side-by-side comparisons that are visibly superior to anything else on the market.

Shielding your company from cyber enforcement

Shielding your company from cyber enforcement

While businesses may usually focus their attention on ensuring that they are well protected against the criminal threats they face in the digital realm, it is also essential to consider the need for a consistent, persistently evolving approach to regulatory compliance.


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Regulators may seem slow-moving when compared with the fast pace of the IT market, but they are becoming stricter and more savvy when it comes to assessing the organisations that they regulate and enforcing the rules they set down.

Instances of highly publicised cyber enforcement are surprisingly common, especially when major firms are involved. Those that suffer the wrath of regulators can incur embarrassment and reputational damage, as in the case of Morgan Stanley, which was fined for failing to protect customer data.

Avoiding such incidents should be a priority for companies of all sizes, which is why many make use of a software testing service, like that offered by to ensure their systems’ privacy and security is up to scratch. Here are just some of the ways that you can shield your company from cyber enforcement today.

Prioritise compliant policies

Firms which tend to be hit hardest by regulatory action are those which have failed to formulate an effective governance framework, which has clearly outlined policies on how to proceed in relation to a range of cyber topics, from data protection and security to the monitoring of any third party providers that are used.

Included within this should be the decision to embrace many essential solutions which are designed to provide the base layer of protection that regulators and customers will expect, including firewalls, two-layer authentication and antivirus software suites.

Put in place regular testing

Policies and platforms are only worthy of investment as long as they are actually proven to be effective in the event of an attempted attack. This means it is important to test and assess the framework you have established on a regular basis, enabling you to find weak points and address them, before they are exploited by cybercriminals or picked apart by regulators.

Employing a specialist to take charge of this process is advisable, enabling your business to thrive, irrespective of the threats and scrutiny that it faces. Being transparent about your policies, as well as being keen to invest in employee training, can also be a good start.

What is the FDA’s role in cosmetic approvals?

What is the FDA’s role in cosmetic approvals?

The US Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act states that the law requires every personal care and cosmetic product and its ingredients to be validated for safety before entering the marketplace and that they must not contain any prohibited ingredients.


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Cosmetic companies take the safety of their products very seriously, and many firms surpass legal requirements by including additional safety measures on behalf of consumers. It is imperative that consumers have confidence in their cosmetics and that claims that products lighten age spots and plump skin, for example, are substantiated. The FDA is quick to issue a warning to any company that cannot prove these claims.

Scientific research

Many personal care products and cosmetic companies invest heavily into safety processes and scientific research in order to certify the safety of their products. They employ and work alongside thousands of biologists, chemists, toxicologists, environmental scientists and other professionals to appraise the safety of the product before it is released to the market.

FDA’s safest product category

As a result, almost 11 billion cosmetic and personal care products are sold each year in America, and very few cause adverse reactions as reported to the FDA. Among those cases that are reported, the majority are related to allergies and rashes. The strong commitments to safety that the cosmetic companies demonstrate has meant that personal care products and cosmetics are the safest product category currently regulated by the FDA.

FDA 510k clearance process

All cosmetics should be submitted for 510k FDA approval before entering the market. The FDA attempts to review and respond to all 510k submissions within 90 days. However, this goal is not always achieved. In fact, it can often take up to six months to complete the process.

Many cosmetic manufacturers consider this too long, and companies such as can help accelerate the process for cosmetic approval by expediting submissions, cutting down the time it takes to get to market by up to 100 days. This fast-tracking of approval allows companies to get their products to the market quicker than their competitors, thereby increasing their business success.

In a competitive market, a cosmetic company’s top priority is the safety of its products. By gaining FDA approval, a brand demonstrates commitment, responsibility and awareness of this, giving the consumer greater confidence in its products.

Five Trends in Warehouse Automation

Five Trends in Warehouse Automation

The trend towards online shopping has thrown fresh focus on the warehousing and distribution industries. In order for businesses to meet consumer expectations, companies need to deliver the right goods on time.


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Increasing levels of demand for online shopping means that the only way retailers will be able to cope with demand is by increasing levels of automation in the warehousing and distribution process. This trend is already under way and is going to see some significant changes occur in the way warehouses operate.

1 Design for Automation

Warehouses will increasingly need to be designed for automated handling, so pallets, storage boxes and pallet racking in Ireland will all need to be compatible with robot handling systems. The design and layout of warehouses themselves is likely to change too, so that picking robots and automatic vehicles have the room they need to operate safely.

2 Heavier Loads

If storage boxes don’t have to be handled by humans, they can be made to hold heavier loads. They can also be stored at greater heights if only robots are going to access them. Bigger, heavier boxes means more efficiency compared to moving a number of smaller units, thus reducing costs and speeding up processes.

3 Less Racking

Warehouse storage systems from companies like duffydiscount are set to change too. Automation will mean reduced use of racking in order to create a more streamlined work environment. It’s possible that this will allow warehouses to store more products in the same space too, thanks to more efficient stacking.

4 Standardisation

As automated handling spreads throughout all stages of the distribution process, it will lead to increased standardisation. We already see this to an extent with industry standard pallet sizes, but automation will increasingly see storage bins and boxes adopt standard sizes too. The use of plastic, reusable pallets and crates is also set to increase.

5 Tagging

For automated picking and handling to work, it needs all items to be properly labelled. This ensures they can move smoothly through the distribution process. While most products have a barcode these days, the use of RFID tags will increase as these allow tracking not just by the warehouse system but throughout the whole process, from manufacture to storage through to shipping. A customer could potentially see where their order is at any time.