Date archive for November, 2016

Purpose-Driven Protection: Comparing Varnish and Lamination

by Admin - on Nov 22nd 2016 - Comments Off on Purpose-Driven Protection: Comparing Varnish and Lamination

Printed piecesPrinted pieces, such as labels, are vulnerable to external elements such as smudges, fingerprints, scratches and dirt. Coating them with a protective outer material is a great way to keep them clean and neat. In addition, a good coat also gives it scuff-resistance and improves the visual appeal of the piece by adding a smoother and glossier finish.

When coating printed pieces, there are typically two options: either laminate the piece using a self-laminating label or apply a coat of varnish.

The Basics of Lamination

Laminations are slim layers of film applied to the surface of the piece, offering an actual plastic barrier to the piece and its environment. You can apply lamination to your material using one of these two types: linered lamination and self-wound laminations.

Linered laminations, like other pressure-sensitive materials, use a release-coated liner to separate the adhesive. Although expensive, it makes the material look clearer and polished, especially when you apply a substrate to the finish.

On the other hand, self-wound laminations use adhesive on the lam to wind itself like a roll of transparent office tape. Although this process has a chance of leaving irregularities and air bubbles in the finished piece, people use this more often because it is more affordable.

Both types of laminations offer matte, gloss and imprintable versions.

The Basics of Varnish

Varnishes are liquid coatings applied onto the surface of a printed piece. There are many types of varnishes, but the ones commonly used are UV and aqueous varnish. Varnishes can safeguard the piece from scuff and abrasions while adding interesting designs with varying finishes. Satin, matte and gloss, for example, each provide a distinctive image. When people use varnishes for label detection, it can improve manufacturing line processes.

Which is Right for You?

While varnishes and laminations both offer protection for your printed piece, it is important to determine the best option for your needs as the wrong option may be costly. When you have pieces exposed to high-scuff environments, it might be a safer choice to use lamination. Alternatively, when you want to give an exclusive look to your pieces, opt for varnishes.

The secret in selecting the right coating is to work closely with your printing partner. Discuss what effect you are trying to achieve and the level of protection you want for your pieces.

High-Availability Solutions over Disaster Recovery Plans? Not so Fast

by Admin - on Nov 17th 2016 - Comments Off on High-Availability Solutions over Disaster Recovery Plans? Not so Fast

Cloud EnvironmentThese days, companies are seeing the cloud as a go-to location for critical infrastructure. In fact, a 2015 survey conducted by Infosys revealed that at least 81 per cent of respondents were planning to transition their mission-critical apps to the cloud within the next few years.

Given the number of cloud environments offering high-availability solutions with almost 100 per cent uptime, will this affect disaster recovery (DR) planning? In addition, do high-availability solutions permit companies to disregard internal DR tests, procedures and future plans? The answer to both is ‘no’, according to ALLTEKS Ltd — and the following explains why.

Companies Need a Plan for Handling Data Corruption

An important component to a company’s overall business continuity strategy is DR planning. While high-availability solutions are important for critical information and systems, these solutions would be useless in the event that it replicates errors.

DR plans ensure that companies can utilise a backup to recover a system. Another benefit to this is that IT employees would no longer have to spend most of their time dealing with errors and just reapply the backup to fix the issue.

Vendors and Employees Need Concrete Direction

Although companies are free to outsource the management of critical applications, employees should still know what to do in case of major data loss due to power outages and other incidents.

They need to know, for example, where they will work when IT infrastructures are not operational. In addition, they need to know how to access the company’s applications and data required to perform their job.

Cloud Providers Need to Understand the Environment

A company that uses a third party cloud provider to manage their environment must conduct a DR test to ensure that the vendor understands the IT environment of that particular company. When companies have rehearsed and documented DR plans, vendors will know how to react during a business interruption. Vendors could also use this opportunity to go the extra mile and offer custom services that can help the company’s IT department.

Given these reasons, companies should not use high-availability solutions to replace DR plans. In fact, such solutions should supplement the DR plan to make it more effective.

Shipping Workflow Basics: Get More Work Done While Working Less

by Admin - on Nov 10th 2016 - Comments Off on Shipping Workflow Basics: Get More Work Done While Working Less

Shipping SoftwareFor businesses, a single shipping workflow could account for 50% to 60% of their shipping transaction. However, it’s crucial to note that employing flexible shipping workflows that could adapt to all shipping requirements would help you save costs and maximize efficiency. That said, are you currently implementing the most efficient workflow for shipping specific to the requirements of your business?

Evaluating Your Shipping Workflow

A good way to determine the most effective shipping workflow is to determine each step from start to finish. For instance, if a majority of the packages you ship include only one order and shipped through parcel carriers, perhaps you should focus on quicker processing times. If your customers know you offer the best shipping costs or if you offer free or discounted shipping, then your shipping software should be capable of offering multi-carrier or rate shopping options.

Likewise, if most of your orders include several items packaged into several pallets or boxes, then you’ll need to process the actual weight and dimensions of the shipping containers. If your shipments combine types of orders with different priorities, then you will require more flexibility for balancing cost savings with efficiency.

Using the Right Tools

Make sure that you’re using a shipping software solution that will accommodate your unique requirements. For instance, you could go for a solution that will enable you to process shipments in batches without user intervention and in a few clicks. If you ship multiple packages and you need to note weights and dimensions, then a simple pick, pack, and ship workflow might help in ensuring that your capture all required details.

The most efficient shipping workflow that will work for your business depend on the kinds of shipments you process every day, your daily shipping volume, the number of containers per shipment, as well as other relevant factors. In addition, you should determine if your main objective is to boost efficiency in the warehouse, improve customer service, lower shipping rates, or a combination of these three.

Maximizing Marketing: Inbound Strategies for Online Success

by Admin - on Nov 9th 2016 - Comments Off on Maximizing Marketing: Inbound Strategies for Online Success

Search Engine OptimizationAs a business owner, thinking of ways to get your brand out there and boost your business should be your priority. Considering that digital advertising is a major factor in today’s marketing tactics, it is important that you arm yourself with effective strategies to boost your online presence. Design Extensions, a trusted marketing company, recommends using inbound marketing stages to come up with online strategies to attract strangers, convert them into website visitors, and turn them into customers that would then promote a business.

The Importance of Inbound Marketing

Web design and development is important in attracting your targeted audience. Branding also plays a huge part in getting your business known. High-quality inbound marketing, however, is what puts it on the radar of your targeted audience.

The Approach to Inbound Marketing

Under the topic of inbound marketing, you will find different approaches that boost your website.

One of these is Search Engine Optimization, which helps your targeted audience find your business when they’re browsing online for a related product or service. Another approach is Pay-Per-Click Ads which run on various online platforms to get the best returns for a business campaign. Yet another method is Analytic Reporting which gives online marketing statistics to help you see how far your business has come.

Of course, Social Media Marketing plays a huge part in the strategy development. In 2015, 70% of the U.S. population was on at least one social media platform. Furthermore, social media networks boasted $8.3 billion earnings from advertising last year. As such, inbound marketing includes tailor social media strategies to make the most of your business online.

Although informative publications and attractive designs play a role in the online success of your business, you cannot neglect inbound marketing strategies that allow your target audience to find you. After all, what good is an optimized website if there are no leads that direct to it?

Solar Panels FAQ: 5 of the Most Common Questions Answered

by Admin - on Nov 2nd 2016 - Comments Off on Solar Panels FAQ: 5 of the Most Common Questions Answered

Solar PanelsIf you are thinking whether to generate your own electricity, but are still unsure if solar is the way to go, you have come to the right place. Here are the most common questions and answers about solar panels for your reference:

What Exactly are Solar Panels?

Solar photovoltaics, also called solar PV or solar panel electricity systems, capture the energy of the sun by using PV cells. These are capable of converting the sun’s energy into electricity you could use for operating lighting and appliances. These do not need direct sunlight to function and could still produce electricity even on cloudy days.

Could My House Accommodate Solar Panels?

A roof that faces south without shade and tilts 30will be more efficient at obtaining the maximum output of power from PV panels. A roof with solar PV panels that face south-east or south-west could likewise work, only not as efficient as those that directly faces south.

How Much Solar Energy Could I Generate?

The electricity you could potentially generate will depend on the tilt angle and the orientation of your roof, as well as the location of your home since the north receives less sunlight. This could affect the amount of electricity you will produce, but not that much.

What Specific Size Should I Get?

The appropriate size for your home will depend on the available roof space and the amount of electricity you normally consume. Make certain that the solar PV installer you selected fully understands your electricity consumption, so you can have the right size accordingly.

Can I Make Money Producing Electricity?

With the ever-increasing utility costs, who would not want to get a cheque instead of the usual utility bill? The Feed In Tariff or FIT scheme of the government will actually pay you money for generating you own electricity and for returning electricity back to the country’s grid.

Take note that you when it comes for you to select your solar PV installer, you must ask for a proper technical survey of your site and request to see actual installations of the installer in the past. Additionally, verify if the installer is certified with Microgeneration Certification Scheme, otherwise, you will be throwing away your chance of benefiting from the FIT scheme.