Inventory Time: Tips To Avoid The Top 5 Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, but when you make them over and over again, it can start doing real damage to your business. Here are the five top ones most businesses make and how you can avoid them.

This is the biggest mistake businesses make. They haven’t properly prepared their store. They haven’t done a physical count of all inventory, and they haven’t entered it into a good inventory management software program – one that’s capable of tracking all goods in the warehouse or storage room.

Prep your store by taking the time to lay out your inventory on a spreadsheet first and then transfer that information to your software program.

Once your inventory is in the system, it’s time to check your stock and make sure that it’s consistent with sales figures. In other words, make sure you have appropriate inventory levels so that you don’t run out of stock before your next scheduled reorder. If you do happen to sell out, and you know it’s not a seasonal rush or an anomaly caused by a special promotion, then change the restocking so that you carry more of that item next month.

You must prepare your counter if you run a retail establishment. If your employees are not properly trained on how to count product that’s set out for sale, then your inventory control goes out the window. It seems like such an insignificant aspect of your business, but it’s very important.

If you’re not auditing your inventory regularly, you’ll miss mistakes, potential employee fraud, or vender errors. Mistakes happen all the time in shipping. And, while you want to trust your employees, Employee theft is still a major problem in business, with estimates from the U.S. Small Business Association claiming 5 percent of a company’s annual revenue lost to employee fraud and theft.

In hard numbers, this means $50,000 per $1 million in revenue. It might not sound like much, but it’s an employee’s salary, possibly two. That means you could have at least one more employee making your business run more smoothly had you been able to keep that money in-house instead of losing it.

Of course, tight integration with a sales system will tell you about any disparity between the register and inventory, but it’s not always clear that it’s theft that’s taking place.

If you conduct flash or burst inventories, you must have a clear cutoff date for that inventory. Anything that’s part of the transfer or shipment of that inventory should also be closed and resolved before taking receipt of it, and it should be reconciled afterwards.

When errors do crop up, what do you do about them? They must be resolved prior to the final submission of inventory. If there’s a discrepancy, it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in overstocked items.

Throwing the best BBQ ever

August has been a bit of a wash out but don’t put away your shorts and t-shirts just yet. Perhaps we will be lucky and get an Indian Summer as September is often a warm and sunny month. Time then, to get that barbecue back out. Need to know how to throw the perfect barbecue? Here are some top tips:

One of the most important things is to make sure your grill is hot enough. It’s best to begin with a thoroughly clean, well-oiled and super-hot grill. For a gas grill, turn it on and leave for around 15 minutes before putting any food on it. Charcoal varieties will take a little more experience. You’ll need to develop an eye for when the coals are ready, but they normally take about twice as long as a gas grill. When the coal has developed a white-ashy exterior, spread them out evenly and you can begin.

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Always be sure to turn your meat whether cooking on gas or charcoal. It’s crucial for the meat to cook evenly, right the way through. Once cooked, place the meat in a little foil tent to let it soak up all its juices so it will taste amazing.

The barbecue staples include sausages and burgers, but you might want to switch things up a bit with your own bespoke menu. You could consider fish, kebabs, potatoes and grilling vegetables. If you’re inviting guests, make sure you have a variety of food to suit all tastes. For a lot of guests, remember it will be easier to keep things simple with prepping in advance.

Keep the drinks flowing while you’re busy cooking with Mobile Bar Hire Gloucestershire from

If you’re feeling experimental, you could try your hand at making your own burgers and sausages. There are loads of instructions on the internet and it’s far easier than you might think. Don’t forget your vegetarian guests might be happier with some of the delicious meat alternative products on offer. Just don’t cook them on the same grill as the meat!

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Spice things up a little with vegetarian or lamb kebabs. Buy some skewers and mix up the meat or veggies with courgette, peppers and onions for a delicious barbecue with a twist.

The key to relaxing and having a good time is to do as much prep as you can the night before or the morning before the barbecue. If everything is ready and all you need to do is fire up the grill when your guests arrive then you’re the master of barbecues!

Don’t forget the all-important sides to compliment your barbecue. No summer barbecue is complete without a bowl of potato salad, a leafy green salad and a large tub of coleslaw. These can also be prepared beforehand and make a delicious accompaniment to the main event.

Have plenty of condiments available so guests can tailor their hot dogs and burgers exactly how they like them. You’ll need things like mayo, ketchup, mustard and special burger relish.

Hosting solutions, create a site among options, speed and price

Which hosting is best to choose to host my website? How can I register a domain? Better to choose hosting with shared or dedicated server? Can I transfer a site or a domain to another hosting? There are so many, too many, questions that we can formulate in this area and of course, find the appropriate answers. If you want to create a complex project without using pre-packaged websites, you should consider these suggestions.

A website , including CMS Joomla and WordPress, to be consulted all over the world, needs a solid reference point ( hosting ) for which it can exist and be reached without problems on the network. For this reason, it is vitally important to choose the most appropriate hosting for real needs and for the purpose that we really want to give to our project. Read more

Steps in the new product development process

To survive in this era of competition, every company needs to offer new products and services to their clients. But bringing out a new product and popularizing it to the customers isn’t easy, particularly if you don’t use a holistic product development approach. It needs proper understanding of the nature of market, requirements of the customer, cost, time and quality. That’s the reason why you should follow a full-fledged product development process that uses different variables to develop continuous practices and strategies for design, implementing and marketing a product in the market. The steps to this process are-

Idea generation is crucial for product development process. When a new product is supposed to be launched, the organization or enterprise has to think of something that’s valuable for the customers. Therefore, through the use of product development software, the company should go for SWOT Analysis, wherein every idea’s strength, weakness, opportunities and threats are deliberated and discussed. Brainstorming for a new product, analysing it is essential before moving on to the next step.

Once a few ideas have been brainstormed, the team should move onto the concept of idea screening, where unsound concepts are cleared to avoid wasting time. Ideas are screened for their potential or target market size and growth forecasts, current competitions, industry sales and trends, profitability and whether or not it is technologically feasible.

Once one or more ideas are chosen upon, they are developed and tested. For instance, their engineering details will be developed, so as their marketing plan and product features. Then, it shall be tasted in a sample of target market to know their reaction and whether or not the product is deemed as cost-effective. Product feasibility is also taken to consideration.

Estimations are made regarding the product, based on customer feedback and market competitors. Its profitability and break-even point shall also be taken into consideration.

Product’s physical prototype or mock up is tested in the market, more often in its typical usage situations. Conduction of studies and introduction at product launches or trade shows. According to the initial reports, special adjustments are made and initial run is done to the market to see whether it is accepted by the customers.

A quality management system is finalized for the product, along with resource estimation. A logistics plan is designed along with resource plan publication and contingencies (if needed).

The process involves proper launch of the product in the market, along its critical path analysis. The distribution pipeline is filled with the product. Advertisement, online and offline promotion system is established for marketing the product among masses.

This is the last step in product development process. It involves value analysis of the product, alternative competitive technologies and product costs deliberations. Product prices are selected along with a forecast for volumes, profits and revenue.

What Is Vacuum Forming?

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Forming objects through the use of a vacuum is also called thermo-forming, because it’s a process that uses heat. It’s the way that many objects that we use every day are developed and made. At its simplest, a sheet of plastic is heated and then draped over a mould. Next, a vacuum is used to suck the plastic sheet into the mould. After this, the sheet is ejected, now in the shape of the mould.

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Obviously, there are variations to this basic process that are more sophisticated. Special pneumatic and heating controls can deliver high production speeds and produce very complex and detailed moulds in a range of finishes.

Clamping and Heating

From Polyester Copolymer to Polystyrene, Polypropylene, PVC, Polyethylene and Acrylic, the process can use a diverse range of thermoplastic materials. Two of the main processes these are subjected to are clamping and heating. See the pictures in this document to get an idea of the components used in the forming set-up:

The plastic sheet has to be held firmly in place during the process. A sheet of up to 6mm thickness can be vacuum-formed using one heater, and twin heaters can form a sheet of up to 10mm wide.

The heaters themselves have an infrared element situated within a reflector plate, usually made of aluminium. The sheet has to be evenly heated, with the entirety of its surface heated, and heat transported through the whole thickness of the sheet. To achieve this, the heater has a number of zones controlled by regulators. Quartz heaters are generally faster to heat up than ceramic heaters and are therefore preferred in high-temperature applications.

How the Melting Is Controlled

The accurate control of the heating temperature depends on a sensor called a pyrometer. This picks up the melting temperature of the plastic sheet and passes this information to a process controller. According to, when the vacuum forming needs to be carried out at a very precise temperature, twin quartz heaters are used because they can accurately form material at high temperatures. The heaters have to compensate for loss of heat from the plastic sheet caused by air currents, for example.

This is a great example of a basic process that has been adapted and refined to enable the high volume, low-cost production of sophisticated moulded products.


The St Bernard. Not just there for mountain rescues.

The Alpine Mastiff, Bernhardiner or St Bernard dog is a large, actually giant, working Dog famous for its ability to orchestrate mountain rescues and slobbering a lot. The national Dog of Switzerland, it is traditionally seen with a barrel around its neck that has a little tap and the letters XXX written on it. This is to give the lost person a revitalising alcoholic drink so imbibing them to get down the mountain.  In one film Donald Duck drinks too much of it after being rescued and the rescue dog join’s in with him. They start singing badly and loudly.

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Ok so that’s the Disney cartoon version of the famous Dog and whilst the dogs did not organise the actually rescue they were certainly used for them. It’s also thought that the bit about the barrel under the chin is true as well. This follows on from a famous painting by English master Edwin Landseer in 1820. It features two St Bernard’s trying to awaken a stranded mountaineer. They are a huge 90 cm high with a smooth coat and long hanging tale. Imagine trying to find somewhere for them to stay whilst their handlers were on holiday? Although I’m sure Dog Boarding Surrey firm would have been able to help, if they had been a bit closer to Switzerland. They were originally known as Alpine Cattle Dogs used for farming. They were so large they were able to herd animals but also provide much needed protection against wolves and bears that were quite numerous in the mountainous regions. They are a working Dog and a hard working one at that.

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The name St Bernard is derived from the Monks that bred them at a Hospice located at the Great St Bernard Pass. This is an ancient pass that links Italy and Switzerland and has been used since ancient times. As it provided a gateway across the Alp regions there were many merchants and traders that used the pass and would get lost. The Monks and the Dogs were on hand ready for rescues. Hard to believe but the most bravest and successful rescue Dog was called Barry, although it’s more likely it was pronounced Berry in Swiss. Barry was responsible for getting a small boy to climb on his back and ride down a mountain with him, although that’s possibly just a story, but he was recorded as being involved in anywhere between 40 to 100 rescues of stranded travellers and mountaineers.

The dogs we see today are different from the traditional St Bernards as they are now all cross breeds. There is a reason for this. During two particular hard winters in the 1800s many of the breeding stock were lost to avalanches whilst on rescue missions. They were crossed with the Newfoundlands and this meant they lost the sleek fur to have it replaced with a long fur. The snow weighs down the dogs so they can’t function in the weather.  The dog enjoyed a renewed popularity following the Beethoven films and comedian Bernie Winters dog Schnorbitz.

The science of Gritting. Keeping the roads clear.

There is an old saying “How do the Road Gritters get to work?” It’s usually a thing that DJ’s say when it’s snowing and your crawling along the A40. It’s also closely followed by a comment of how “here’s Coldplay to take us up to the news” and you wish the Gritters had done a better job, so you’re not stuck in the car having to listen to it. There is a simple answer, the Gritters are out the night before and got the job done. It might well be that your stuck in the carpark and haven’t even attempted to get home. If that’s the case, then it’s a quick call to get someone to do some Car Park Gritting done like What actually happens when the grit hits the road.

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First of all, we no longer “grit” the roads anymore it’s actually rock salt that has been crushed. The main reason Rock salt is used is that it is much more of an environmentally friendly substitute to grit. In this day and age, we need this more and more. The Gritters (Rock Salters doesn’t have the same ring to it) spread the stuff all over the road the night before or well before the weather is about to close in. This is the how they get to work. They don’t wait until its actually snowing.

The most important part of the process is that once the grit is spread our cars, bikes and buses need to get out onto the road so that the rock salt gets mixed up creating a saline solution as you would expect as its Salt. Grit was not a great substance as it made for a slippery surface slightly defeating the object of the process. It also blocks drains.

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The problem with Salt is if the temperature drops below minus 4 centigrade then the salt starts to lose effectiveness below minus 10 and it becomes next to useless.  It’s worth using though as you need to remember that snow will not fall in those temperatures the saying “it’s too cold to snow” is actually pretty accurate. This is the reason why the rock element is added to increase its longevity.

If you think that there’s not enough grit down you should think again, two million tonnes of the stuff is put on the road. This costs about one hundred and fifty million pounds. However, if it saves lives, and it does as it makes the roads considerably safer, then that’s a fine cost to pay. So, don’t think “it won’t be gritted” it probably has and if you decide to go out then you really helping the clearing of the roads.

Why end of tenancy cleaning is so important

Whatever the size of your property business, it is vital to have your flat or house cleaned professionally when the new tenancy begins. This is variously called end of tenancy cleaning, move out cleaning, deep cleaning and tenancy cleaning.

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Put cleaning in the contract

Deposit protection organisation,, mentions cleaning as a leading factor behind deposit disputes between tenants and landlords. It is therefore vital that the tenancy agreement contains a clause regarding cleaning.

Be specific, for example stating that both landlord and tenant understand that the tenant shall arrange for the property to undergo professional cleaning when the tenancy ends, and that they must pay for the job and provide evidence that it has been completed. If they do not do this, the cost of a clean will be removed from their deposit.

Some tenancy agreements simply say that the house or flat has to be in the condition it was in at the start. However, this only works if the prior tenant professionally cleaned the property when he or she left. If they failed to do this and the former condition was by no means clean, the landlord has no protection.

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Using checklists

Getting any cleaning company to do the work isn’t adequate. A deep clean done by a professional that uses a cleaning checklist is required. If you don’t have a cleaning list, the agent may be able to help with this.

For example, a 300-point checklist for a move out cleaning service would cover all bases. Such a list in the kitchen should cover fridge/freezer, oven, work surfaces, appliances, kitchen cupboards and floor. Cleaning goals in the bathroom would include removing limescale from tiles, taps and shower head, cleaning the toilet bowl and polishing all taps.


The cost of cleaning varies according to the size of the property and whether you need carpets cleaned. Do not be tempted by cheap cleaning, since you may pay more to fix mistakes later. Around £165-185 is appropriate for a 2-bed property without carpets.

Property management CRM software, from companies such as, can help you streamline your portfolio and achieve smooth transfers at the end of your tenancies.

For advice on end of tenancy cleaning, see:

It is not advised that tenants do the cleaning themselves, since landlords and agents are strict and use very detailed checklists.

What Does Motor Trade Insurance Cover?

If your business involves motor vehicles, whether buying and selling or servicing and maintaining them, then you are going to need specialist insurance cover.

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But when it comes to motor trade insurance, it’s important to understand the level of cover that you are buying. The following should help you unravel the different types of cover.

Driving Cover

Trade insurance needs to cover you not just for driving vehicles owned by your business but also those of customers while they are in your care. Other than that, it’s broadly similar to conventional motor insurance in that there are three levels of cover available.

Third party cover is the cheapest available. It is the legal minimum required by law to drive on the road in the UK. However, it only covers loss or damage to third parties – that is vehicles belonging to other people or injuries to other people – but it doesn’t cover damage to your own vehicle or to you.

Third party, fire and theft cover is the next level up. This offers the same level of driving cover as above, but also damage by fire or loss due to theft of vehicles in your care.

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The most common cover from suppliers like is comprehensive insurance. This is the most expensive, but crucially it covers damage to your vehicle – or that owned by your customer – in the event of an accident as well as to third parties.

Liability Cover

As a business you will also need liability insurance. If you employ other people, you will need employee liability so that they are covered for any injuries or accidents at work. You will also need product liability to cover you for any damaged caused by, say, fitting a faulty part to a car. Finally, if customers visit your business premises, you will need public liability insurance to provide cover should they be injured and sue you for damages.

You will, of course, need insurance for your premises and any machinery or tools against theft and fire. It is possible to get combined policies that will cover you for these things and for any vehicles stored on the premises, as well as providing the liability cover discussed above.

Insurance for the motor trade isn’t as simple as it first seems, but hopefully you now understand the basics.

How colours and murals can increase productivity

Most office walls are painted with neutral shades, like grey and magnolia – but this could be a big mistake.

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This is because colour has a very strong effect on the human brain. Certain colours have the power to change your mood and boost your productivity… while other colours can make you feel sleepy and unmotivated.

If you want to learn more about how to use colour in your office, here’s how colour can be used to increase productivity.

The power of colour

Certain colours can change your mood. For instance, recent research has found that low-wavelength colours, such as light blue and green, can improve focus and efficiency, which is ideal for an office environment. Low-wavelength colours can also make people feel happy and calm, which is perfect for people who work in mildly stressful environments (such as busy call centres). This is because the colour will reduce any tension that your employees are feeling.

On the other hand, the colour yellow makes people feel energetic and awake. This can inspire people to come up with more innovative ideas, so it could be used in an office of creatives. For instance, yellow would be great in a design studio!

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Red is a colour that you may want to avoid, as research has found that the intense colour increases the heart rate. This can be a little stressful, which isn’t ideal – but it is worth noting that red is very eye-catching, so if you want to get your employees to look at a specific sign it is best to use red writing.

How to add colour to your walls

If you want to repaint the walls in your office, it is best to hire a professional. Design company suggest hiring office fit out companies to do the job, as they will be able to paint the whole thing over the weekend, so you don’t need to worry about completing the job in time for employees to arrive.

A professional company also knows how to integrate the colour without it being too intense. For instance, they could paint the walls in calming shades of blue, and then they may add calming green murals to really help your employees to focus. They will make sure it looks good – and they won’t get any paint on your expensive equipment!

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