September 2014
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Shredding Important Documents

Why shredding is so important.

Shredder

There is a tendency to always focus on going forward and to deal with the tasks at hand. Administration, filing, tidying up are all more mundane and uninteresting aspects of one’s working life and as a result many people pay too little attention to them. Although we may not want to spend a lot of energy on these issues, they can –over time- accumulate and cause serious problems. Too few businesses for instance deal with important documents appropriately and shredding of important documents isn’t used often enough. Keeping your business running is one major responsibility, but it is equally essential to keep things organised along the way to avoid incidents and fraud later on.

Important documents need to be safely and securely stored if they are still appropriate for reference at some point in the future. Important documents that need to be discarded can leave your business vulnerable if they are simply left lying around or if they are put in the ordinary rubbish. Therefore it is essential to consider shredding documents in a daily working routine. Identity theft is all too prevalent in this day and age, which is a problem that can be eliminated if documents are shredded on a regular basis.

MailMark™ from Royal Mail

Mailmark from Royal MailRoyal Mail invest £70 Million in Mailmark™

Following a massive investment from Royal Mail they have introduced a new barcode system called Mailmark™. This will improve sorting and enable digital management of mail via a web reporting interface. Mailmark™ forms an integral part of Royal Mails business agenda. Royal Mail are also investing in Mailing Houses to ensure that customers will be able to take full advantage of MailMark™.

Your Mailing House, or in-house resources will need to be changed to be fully Mailmark™ compliant and Royal Mail will work with you to ensure that you can access Mailmark. You will have greater flexibility in the design of your mail piece as RM have relaxed the specification thus allowing you more creativity.

You will need to install specific Mailmark barcode generating software and ensure that you follow the guidelines. The Mailmark™ customer on-boarding team will help you with this.

To sign up for Mailmark™, you will need to contact the Royal Mail team using this email – mailmark@royalmail.com or visit www.royalmail.co.uk/mailmark.

If you have a franking machine, you will need to contact your supplier to ensure that it is MailMark™ compliant.

Contact your supplier to see if your franking machine is compliant.

Asian Weddings

Asian Weddings – A new world of Theatre, Ceremony and ritual

Asian WeddingAsian Weddings often open the door to a whole new world of ritual, theatre, ceremony and beauty. If you never had the honour to witness an Asian wedding, then it can be hard to imagine the family spectacle it can be. If you are involved in planning one, then you have quite a task ahead. Asian weddings are huge celebrations that can sometimes last for days with many people attending. The actual organisation for the wedding celebrations is a huge task in its own right and requires precise planning and the collaboration with the right companies and people.

More and more Asian weddings now also see some Western features introduced as part of the wedding celebrations, such as speeches and the cake traditions. To bring together all the necessary ingredients to organise and personalise an Asian wedding venue requires time management and teamwork. If choosing to celebrate an Asian wedding in London, it is essential to find a venue that can tailor for the requirements for an Asian wedding. Features, such as separate reception and dining areas for instance, as well as a separate dressing room can assist in the organisation of the elaborate celebrations for Asian weddings. Also finding a venue with neutral decor means that the venue can be tailored to personal requirements and it is helpful if staff in the venue have experience in organising religious ceremonies and blessings, like a sacred fire for a Hindu ceremony.
With regards to the catering, the right insurance and standard often has to be checked before external caterers are allowed on site of a wedding venue. Often venues have agreements with caterers, so it is worth checking that they could provide someone specialising in Asian cuisine.

In any case, it will be an event of a lifetime, a theatrical display of ritual and colour; a day to remember.

Teach your staff the benefits of coaching

Business Coaching Benefits

Business CoachingBusiness coaching is a viable way to improve team morale and communication. Many companies hire business coaches these days to offer professional development to key members of staff or those newly promoted into new positions. For those occasions business coaching is a very effective and accelerated way of getting results for individual members of staff. However, by teaching staff coaching skills and tools which they can implement as part of their management strategies, everyone can benefit from enhanced communication which will positively impact team building and morale.

Communication is often a tricky issue to address, as many different people have different styles and approaches to communicating effectively. However, there is certainly a degeneration of communication happening within organisations as an unavoidable result of the advantages of modern technology. Certainly in global companies people do not see, let alone speak to each other. But even between people within the same office verbal communication can be almost a thing of the past as people email each other despite working in the same space.
However technologically advanced industry will become, there is no substitute for basic communication between people and colleagues. Problems can arise from misinterpretation, inappropriate styles and lack of skill. Teaching managers coaching techniques for communication will enhance listening skills, increase coping strategies, vary communication styles with a focus on the member of staff and the receiver of the message rather than the messenger. The manager/coach will learn to ask appropriate questions, listen intently, challenge answers effectively and offer creative solutions involving the individual. Small changes will be able to make a large impact when communication skills are improved as a result of adopting a coaching style.

The Franking Machine

How does a Franking Machine work?

old franking machineCreated in Norway in 1884 by Engle Frankmussler, the first franking machine was developed to more reliably and securely pay for postage. Nearly pipped to the post  (pardon the pun) by Arthur Pitney  with a similar invention that he called the Pitney Post Machine.

Early machines were manual and used a handle to drive the machine. Printing inks would stamp on one post mark per revolution. Back then it was very easy to fool the machine and change the required postage.

When they were replaced by digital machines they started to become more widespread with several Postal Meter Companies and adopted in large and small companies all over the globe. Franking machines became a reliable and cost effective way to pay for your postage without the need to go out and purchase stamps.

Setting the correct weight and feeding your envelope has also become automated making a franking machine a very efficient addition to any office. Ranging in different sizes and varying speeds there is a machine for every purpose.

The postage rates that are set on the machine are either programmed or downloaded from the Post Office and Royal Mail set the postage costs. The postal service offer big discounts on Postal Meter users as they do not have to sort and handle the mail in the same way as stamped mail with the frank mark being printed perfectly every time.

With the advent of eBay and the boom in mail order companies, franking mail has become the norm and the savings offered often entice users large and small.

Payment Methods

Franking Machines are preloaded with postage credit and can download and top up credit at the touch of a button. Machines in the UK have to be approved by Royal Mail to ensure that they are operating within regulation. All machines are serviced and inspected by Royal Mail approved personnel.

Machine Usage

The whole process starts with the mail being weighed so that accurate postage can be calculated. The machine will either have a built in scale or an attached peripheral scale in order to accurately calculate and feed in the required postage cost.

Most machines are capable of taking many items at once and can feed either an envelope or a franking label through the printer and stack them in a sheet feeder at the other end. The whole process is easy and simple. Some frankers even have letter moisteners to like your envelope for you. Now that is lazy :)

We hope you find our post informative and ask that you let us know if anything we have quoted is incorrect.

Written By. FP Mailing-HCS | Franking Machines and Print Services

Swimming Yourself Fit

Swimming FitWhen you mention swimming as regular exercise to people, then most think about the nuisance of having wet hair (that’s us girls), the hazards of chlorine and the time consuming occupation of getting changed, getting wet and getting changed again. I certainly don’t believe that one type of exercise is superior over another (frankly, physical exercise is so low on most people’s agendas, that when you are doing any kind of exercise you’re onto a winner!) but swimming has a got a number of great advantages. Swim yourself fit.

Benefits of swimming

  • If you are injured or not on top form in some way, then swimming is a great, low impact and very safe alternative for exercisers of all ages.
  • If you are making a come-back to exercise then you can ease into it safely by starting yourself off in the pool for the first 4-6 weeks. Swimming offers a whole body workout.
  • Aim to get up to 30min swimming, which means that you can get a workout done in relatively short time. Increase your intensity by increasing the speed you swim at and count the amount of lengths you swim.
  • You can target certain parts of the body by alternating your strokes or putting the emphasis on upper body (holding a float between the legs and “pulling” your body through the water) or lower body (holding a float with your arms out outstretched, “pushing” yourself through water with leg movements)
  • Swimming at the start of the day will completely refresh you and make you ready to launch into the day. Swimming at the end of the day is an excellent way of mobilising joints and stretching muscles that have been strained during work time.

There are quite a few studies that indicate that land based exercises are more effective for fat burning, but when exercising on a regular basis it is important to do something that you enjoy and something that beats the boredom many suffer from. Make swimming one of your weekly workouts (and jump in the sauna/steam after!) or break your routine from time to time to substitute it with a few weeks of swimming training. You will get a good training effect because you don’t swim on a very regular basis and no doubt you will get back to classes, gym, yoga etc with renewed energy.

Swimming during pregnancy

pregnantOf course there is a reason why I am writing a piece on swimming. With my ever growing bump and declining energy levels, I have recently re-discovered it myself. I’m still visiting the gym, but I just feel so much lighter and able bodied in the water. The veins in my leg that are under strain now -at 31 weeks pregnant- ease immediately when I enter the water. You need to be aware to alter the strokes you do, as swimming continually on your front can put pressure on the spine or on the abdomen. Take regular breaks and swim on your front and back. Taking your kids swimming is another great way of playing energetically with them but safely.

NHS Exercising when pregnant

So for the next 8 weeks I shall be using the pool on a weekly basis, before launching myself back into the gym (whenever that may be after giving birth!).
If you are little stuck in a rut then do some pool training for a while (a change is as good as a rest!), or if you haven’t exercised in recent weeks/months, then dive into the deep end and get a few swims in to get you started!