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Innovation

Benefits of Using a Lift Table

warehouse

Lift tables are some of the most useful machines in a factory, warehouse or any work setting. They are available in many forms including hydraulic lift tables.

Lift tables in their available variations are highly beneficial in areas in which they are applied. Here are some of the benefits of using lift tables.

Enhance safety

One benefit of automation in the work place is improved safety. One of the many risk factors present in the factory is the lifting of heavy objects. Also, sometimes, many workers need to work on heights for example when cleaning windows or working on overhead electrical or telecommunication wires.

When a lift table is used, it helps lift or raise heavy loads without straining the human workers. When a scissor table used to reach heights, it reduces the risk of people plunging to their death.

Reduces injuries to workers

Factory workers tasked with loading and palletizing have to bend down often and lift substantially heavy weight loads.

This is a health risk. However, the use of lift tables ensures that the frequent bending is no longer a part of the job and helps improve the health and working conditions of the workers.

Easy to use

Regardless of the task carried out by the scissor table, it is quite easy to use. Hydraulic scissor tables have a lever that is used to operate the lift till it gets to its appropriate or required height. When working on heights, the scissor table can lift you to the height that you need to get to quickly and easily. Besides hydraulic lifts, there are also pneumatic and mechanical lifts.

Scissor lifts are easily operated and help reduce fatigue among workers and operators.

Mobile

Mobility is another benefit that scissor lifts offer. They can be easily delivered to the areas where they are required. They can be moved around in the factory and can also be moved around for tasks outside of the factory.

Enhanced productivity

With a scissor lift, productivity is enhanced. Like with all automated functions, a machine is much faster than a human being.

The scissor lift will lift much heavier loads than any human being. Also, it will lift it faster than any number of human beings. As a result, production will take place faster and more efficiently. They help avoid manual labor and save time in the production process.

Lower maintenance cost

Scissor lifts are highly cost efficient. With proper use and care, they will rarely need significant maintenance processes that need high financial investment. Further, they are durable and sturdy machines suitable to work in many factory conditions.

Compact

When not in use, scissor lifts are very small. They are folded and quickly and easily stored in the factory. They do not occupy a lot of space. As a result, they will not interrupt any of the other processes. In addition, they will not increase the costs of space required to keep them safe.

Evenly lift weights

A scissor lift ensures that the weight of every item they lift is evenly distributed. As the scissor lift moves, it balances the weight of whatever it is lifting. The flat table surface onto which the weight is loaded helps lift loads that have uneven shapes and weights.

Available in a wide range of sizes and weight capacities

Scissor tables are present in a wide range. Different table lifts have different weight and capacities. This ensures that different users can acquire those that fit their needs. This also results in a wide price range for ease in affordability.

Companies with heavier loads to lift will buy scissor lifts that can lift heavy loads while the rest can buy those with lower weight capacities.

Conclusion

Like every other automation equipment, scissor lifts are highly beneficial when used appropriately. They help reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury on workers and help workers and loads reach appropriate work heights. Scissor lifts are beneficial to all factories that deal with heavy items of heights.

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Innovation

What The Pandemic Has Taught Businesses About Staff

post pandemic

Businesses can be optimistic about their future post-pandemic. Countries are opening up, and customers are leaving their homes to frequent their favourite stores. If your company was performing well before the pandemic and enforced lockdown, then it stands a great chance of a quick recovery and in time thrive again.

However, there is no hard and fast rule for success; there will be challenges ahead. If your business is in a sector drastically affected from closed borders, then your business will be on a slower recovery trajectory and in the meantime, rely on Government support.

As many businesses have never been tested, COVID-19 was a shot in the arm of a new reality. Not only did owners realise they failed to have a disaster recovery plan they also had no contingency funds to see them through three to six months of low or no sales. There is a new normal and pre-pandemic business, as usual, will never return.

Company boards and owners and management team will not make the same mistakes again. Albert Einstein famously said:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

The time has come to try different approaches to every aspect of the business.

Staff Resilience and Resourcefulness

Managers have learned a thing or two about their workers’ resilience and resourcefulness during the enforced ‘working from home’ aka remote working.

No longer will managers micro-manage their team as they did before COVID-19. Remote working has thoroughly tested self-management with accountability monitored online with tracking software, social intranets, video conferencing and other team collaboration software.

Workers now want to work part of the week from home, and businesses should encourage it. Why? Well, our best work happens when we are fully rested and relaxed. The workplace has many distractions, and some people just don’t get along, which is stressful for them and the coworkers around them.

Innovation

Therefore if the solution to keeping all your talented staff is remote-working part of the week and the outcome is your business has harnessed higher productivity that will deliver more value to the company. A happy team are more creative, and innovation is required in downturns, i.e. recessions.

Empower your staff to do their best work and to use their remote working time not stuck at their workstation but getting outside in the fresh air exercising. Being in the zone in a repetitive activity inspires new thoughts and inspiration.

The recovery of your business will need to lean on its workers to come up with the goods and also mix it up. They need to seek opportunities to improve on your company’s existing products and services as well as design and develop new tools and features to meet the needs of consumers today.

Invest in Online Resources

If ever there was a time for improving your online resources for customers – now is it. Even the most reluctant online user is now up to speed with online shopping, social media and video chat.

Make sure you a chatbot, so your visitors have instant access to your business support crew. Also, remember your front window is now many sites, not just your website.

Social Media Presence

Your business Facebook page, Instagram account and Twitter feed are just a few of the many sites available with millions of users. Find the social media platform that works for your business. For example, LinkedIn is typically the site for professional services, whereas Facebook and Instagram are perfect for hospitality and retail.

Dedicate ample time to these channels and delegate the task to the team members best suited to the role. Remember if you enjoy something you will spend more time doing it. Therefore give the responsibility of managing your Facebook page to the employee who gets a lot of satisfaction from it.

Summary

The pandemic has taught businesses to trust their workers while they work from home. Reverting to how it was before is not an option, so changing it up to meet the new normal is the path to success.

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Innovation

How To Grab Attention On Video Conference Calls

woman on phone

We are in the age of ‘COVID-19’, and our lives will never be the same again. Expect to be working from home more and with it using video conferencing for meetings with colleagues, management and customers. In-person meetings allow for verbal and non-verbal cues. Body language can play a significant role in negotiation, for example.

Changes in body language or small facial expressions can provide observers, i.e. the meeting attendees messages on how to respond to get the right outcome. If you’re someone who uses non-verbal cues to sway discussion in your favour, then video-conferencing is a challenge. So how can we get what we need from these online meetings using what we have at hand, i.e. the small visuals of meeting attendees?

In this article, we provide tips on how you can get your points across, even when the other attendees are more extroverted than you.

Use The Camera

Focus on the camera and what it can do for you. There is a temptation to stare at your screen and the other attendees in the meeting. Get past this action as soon as you can. Allow yourself a few minutes to view all the other participants then turn your attention to the meeting’s contents.

Active listening is required and if it helps you to remember what is being discussed – take notes. To assist this action further say which participant explained the point, for example, Attendee John (Manager): “we will now always work from home two days a week”.

When you’re talking stare into the camera and not at the attendees faces on your screen. This is very unnatural, and at first, you’ll think you’re rude or ill-mannered by not looking at the attendees like you would if you were in an in-person meeting. However, looking deeply into the camera not only focuses you on what you’re saying, but you also won’t get distracted with attendees non-verbal distractions.

Mastering the skills for video conferencing productivity will take practice. The multi-tasking of taking notes while actively listening and remembering to optimise the time spent looking into the camera will be your juggling act!

What you’re working against is human nature and the obsession we have with ourself. Dale Carnegie says if we’re not thinking about a project, we’re thinking about ourselves. A lot of time is spent and indeed wasted thinking about how we feel, what we want, and what other people think of us, so you can see what you’re up against to master video conference meetings as an active participant or meeting lead.

Use Your Voice

Understanding the basics of human nature can be gained from studying neuroscience or neurolinguistic programming. Introverts are less likely to sit tall or speak up than extroverts; however, they can practice doing both, and without the non-verbal cues getting in the way, video conferencing is a great levelling feature.

When you’re on a video call, always speak louder than your usual speaking voice. Plus use your voice to express yourself through using pitch, high and low, vary it to keep your audience engaged. For extroverts, they are experts in changing tone and adding volume to grab attention and express themselves. Introverts will also master this skill in the knowledge that they are in the room with the meeting attendees and that no one is spending much time thinking about them!

Backgrounds

What is in the background when you’re on a video conference call? Take care to have a nondescript background, so your frame is not the meeting’s distraction! Ideally use a plain white wall for your background. If that’s not possible, make sure the shelves behind you have only the objects you don’t mind your work colleagues and customers viewing, i.e. do not place intimate or personal items on the shelves that will end up being the topic of discussion.

Visual Appearance

Even though you’re working remotely and most often from your home, avoid wearing your leisure apparel. Your appearance should be what your colleagues would expect to see if they were sitting next to or opposite you in a meeting room. Once again, the objective with your appearance is to avoid being the distraction.

Summary

Little did we know that three months into 2020 we are experiencing a new way of living and working, much of it within our own four walls, i.e. our homes. Thankfully we’re not entirely cut off with technology empowering us to continue business as usual including daily catch-ups, staff meetings and client appointments.

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Innovation

Business Innovation Saving The Day

AI girl

Innovation in business is admired at all times, but none more so than when it saves lives. In this article, we have the technology that’s helping China and Spain during coronavirus and how eateries can survive by adapting their business model.

Taking Everything Online

There’s no room for hesitation; now is the time to take whatever you do online. Even the enterprises who up to now have resisted the ‘online movement’ have committed to the move even when it means they need an entirely different business model.

Starbucks, for example, in the US and Canada have moved to an online operation, and their decision is right timing as President Trump recommends frequenting pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants and keeping group gatherings to a maximum of ten people.

There is no precedent for what we’re experiencing with the measures to contain coronavirus and business owners are in shock. They need to act fast to have a business at all. Eateries, bars and clubs reliant on social gatherings are no longer viable unless they change their business model and give it all they’ve got to make it work and earn a profit.

Eating Out Is Now Take Out

Some restaurants are reportedly increasing the distance between tables called ‘social distancing‘ however with the recommendation to avoid socialising altogether it’s likely to be in vain.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom as we need to eat and in many regions eating out every day is the norm. For example, the French spend more time eating and drinking than any other nation and that’s not about to change overnight. Call it convenience, laziness, or lifestyle, dining out with friends and family is the norm.

In France, the average total time spent eating and drinking each day is more than two hours whereas in America it’s just over an hour. Americans eat at home more and have kitchens up to the task, as do the other nations including Australia, Canada and South Africa.

You’re more likely to find city-based properties with small kitchens, particularly in Europe where they prefer to frequent a restaurant and why wouldn’t they when there are so many and eating out is affordable.

However, in a crisis like a coronavirus pandemic, these eateries need to revolutionise their business and fast to stay in business now the foot traffic has all but gone. The eateries that have taken their business online have a better chance at survival and remaining in business.

With online orders replacing foot traffic and dine in patronage, menus need to change as do staffing requirements. Drivers who deliver the food replace waiters. Front of house staff are not required with the online model, and instead online, and phone order takers and food packers are needed. The business is leaner, but it can get through a downturn by changing what they do to meet buyer demand.

Ready-Made Meals Home Delivery

UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash and many other food delivery service providers have seen a big jump in demand recently. UberEats provides technology and a system that allows the eateries to focus on what do best, create the meals while they do the rest.

With lockdowns, and, less social gatherings and self-isolation demand is predicted to grow further with contactless deliveries.

Innovation in Technology

Step up the tech innovators; your call-up is needed. Never before has there been a time where we’re reliant on AI, robots and drones. China is showing it’s innovation might, and Spain has found a novel way to keep people at home.

Drones

Spanish police are using drones with speakers in public areas to warn people to stay at home, and it’s just like what you’d see in a fictional movie, but it’s happening in real life.

QR Codes

China is also using drones as well as QR codes. The innovative use of colour-based QR codes, people are checked and stopped from entering public places if they’re infected says Reuters. Once you’ve completed a questionnaire providing your details, and temperature you’re in the system, and it’s used to track your travel and health history.

Robots

Also in China, the ongoing task to remove coronavirus off surfaces in public spaces is a mammoth chore but helping out with the operation are robots who can not catch the virus, nor need rest, or sustenance, unlike their human coworkers.

AI Face Recognition Software

Though the true hero appears to be AI face recognition software which is part of China’s surveillance operations. Artificial Intelligence software firms are upping the stakes with heat detection in the face recognition software, and some can detect the temperature of anyone within a five-metre radius. The delivery of the software is mobile too as it’s embedded in helmets worn by epidemic control personnel.

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