Sunday, November 12, 2017

Consumerism & Stationery Trends

With the rise in the middle income economy lifestyle changes have come into the play. More spendthrift trends descend upon societies that start generating affluence.  Though considered as a business necessity stationery ideally is also a personal choice a  means of communication preferred by men and women.

Gifts, invites, seasonal greetings and personnel messages are societies means of consumption of paper products. Though Internet has made a substantial leeway the personal touch of written words on printed letterheads, amazing gifts and greetings convey a feeling that cannot be generated online.  

Better designs, advanced printing techniques and trendy, vibrant colours have made use of the paper stationery for personal and business communication more attracting. Letterpress printing has come into vogue with full force. Thanks to digital methods the oldest form of printing has arisen from its grave. Variants, advancing technology and expert craftsmanship has made letterheads, wedding invites, greetings more attractive and trendy. Many studios, designer names have emerged that have increased sales and drawn attraction of the buyers - the future looks bright. Shops small and big crank out craftily designed attractive wedding invites, greeting and festive cards,business stationery and what not revitalising an industry.   
   
The rise in consumption of stationery products is just not limited to lifestyle the augmenting economies, increase in literacy on all fronts. Emergence of a large number of schools and colleges in developing countries have led to a revolutionary demand in notebook, pen and pencil not forgetting the associated products. Rising economy means rise in office setups which need tons of stationery.  A strong resurgence in consumer passion especially for speciality paper products is auguring a birther future to the industry.  Trade show and events are the best means of highlighting future trends and established norms.  The written words expressing personal sentiments now rule the roost.      

Friday, November 10, 2017

Inkjet Cartridge Economy

A vital component of inkjet printer the demand for this accessory has gone along with it. The cartridge contains ink in the inbuilt reservoirs which is deposited during the printing process. Coloured inkjets have many variants and hence the cartridges has well modified as per the models. 

The refills are priced highly but non brand vendors sell the cartridges at lesser price.  The undergoing trend is to bring the price down. Besides using non branded cartridges another way is to involve continuous ink systems using an external tank. In some models the continuous ink systems is inbuilt. Also known as CISS the system uses external reservoir or bottles filled with coloured ink. These systems are mass produced in China with auto reset chip and are economically priced.

Some manufacturers create interlock systems which prevents optimum use of the ink in the cartridges over coming these enables better use bringing down the cost. 

The cheaper third party options are most popular all over the globe. Since the original cartridges are expensive it is possible to refill ink using a kit or some manufacturers and re-fillers facilitate the consumers.  Nevertheless this is not a plausible solution whence there is a colour leakage, streaking or curling hence the failure rate has to be taken into consideration. 

Another option is to go for a bulk purchase from the manufacturers directly as a discount or offer is usually associated. Even containers containing large volumes of ink can be bought and then refilled by the consumers themselves.  Easy refillable cartridges are also available some of which are environmental friendly. Each year about three million cartridges are thrown into landfills creating an environmental problem.  This number is on the increase which a red signal considering that each one takes hundreds of years to decompose completely.     

Re manufactured cartridges are also available. They use available ink cartridges manufactured by major companies. These have been used at least once.   

Thursday, November 9, 2017

New Fabrication Technologies

As an industry advances technology appears and it is always evolutionary. Those who do not keep in tandem with technological upgrades perish. Specific industries have always been subject of research and development which leads to better technology holistically.

Some of the recent developments find space in my blog here. 

Electronic Beam Melting (& Selective Laser Melting) the former is used in purification of metals with high melting points often used in making alloys used for fabrication. Both are used in fabrication of complex alloys.   

Usually free electrons in vacuum are used to form a fine beam which is used for melting purpose. This is possible whence the beam collide with solid state matter wherein the electrons are converted to heat for melting. The process finds multiple use besides welding. This form of welding in industries began as early as nineteen fifties.  

The heat generated at the target helps in the process of heating applications. Due to the vacuum the transformation is pure or absolutely sterile. Using large vacuum furnaces and strong beams steel can be produced without any impurities. 

The technology can also be used to cut an accurate bore. The resulting finish is better than using thermal cutting processes. Computer controlled systems aiming accurately at selected work site it is useful for annealing, hardening and tempering. 

Using additive manufacturing process material can be efficiently joined using 3 D model data. Duet to high cost the technology is used for valued production only. One fine example is electronic beam free-form fabrication used for a net like finish wherein less raw material and less finish is the net gain. 

The equipment used usually comprises of the following:

The Electronic Gun.

Vacuum Chamber.

Positioning Mechanism.

Controlling Equipment.

Power Supply. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Stationery Stores Both Ways

With the introduction of Internet a new phenomenon of online merchandising has come into pictures. Sophisticated stores or eCommerce portals sell stationery just like land based facilities what more they are now more popular as well.  

The online stores and shop as we call them are efficiently designed and developed programming masterpieces.  The functionality so ingrained offers virtual shopping with ease. The graphics and displays are classic with with high resolution images capable of 3 D effects.  The online facility can be held in conjunction with land based stores especially easy for the large scale establishments,   

The sites  also offer fine details and comparison of the office products that can be instantly understood by the purchasers whether home buyer or large scale suppliers. This has also been instrumental in preventing the sales of fake products that conventional trades could palm off to customers earlier. Hence reputation building is the key to success online. Not only manufacturers use the online portals to sell even distributors use the tools to further sell their wares to consumers.       

The benefit accrued is not only from the technology which has expanded sales capabilities beyond reach of conventional stores and distributors. Cost benefit accrue from the economy of scale since an expensive land based setup is eliminated besides the staff is also reduced.  Stock holding is also reduced by resorting to streaming supplies by manufacturers.

Cost of managing huge stocks can be reduced by directing sales and delivery to the manufacturers concerned with the brand or generic product. Juts imagine large number of  fragmented vendors or suppliers and the tension of maintaining incredible list of stocks that stationery business requires.  

The overall simplification of the process is the key to proliferation of online shops. More over online reach offers easy accessibility much fluid than cumbersome drive to a busy stationery shop or malls. One click of the desk top will take you to the eCommerce stores to make a purchase. Purchase in bulk or wholesale for office will lessen the delivery charge to offer a strategic business advantage.         
   

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Crude Prices & Metal Fabrication

Industry is related and often works as a complex web. This is an ecosystem that requires deep dwelling in order to perceive the ups and owns possible while fixing the business strategies.   

From over hundred dollars to around fifty dollars that has been the story of oil per barrel. For the global industry this is like manna from heaven.  Cheaper the raw material the better it is for manufacturers - fabricators included. Not only the industry the falling prices has given the consumers a big relief.    

The dropping oil prices initial did not affect projects from oil and gas industry but are bound to impact negatively. Large projects from this sector will keep the metal fabrication industry afloat. The resultant benefit of reducing oil prices will definitely impact favourably. The increase in oil production at country level will act as a balancing factor. 

The lowering oil prices will negate the rising cost of labour and other manufacturing inputs as far as fabrication sector is concerned. Oil is a major variable as far as metal fabrication is concerned. Steel is dumped at lower rates in US aided by lower shipping costs.   

Though demand  from energy sector may make a substantial impact on projects the uptick in construction industry will act as a great leveller. Bright future awaits fabricators in USA.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Crowdfunding What It Is?

As you rightly guessed it is funding from individual for a cause or for something in return. This method is usually adopted by people seeking funds for a venture or donations for a cause.  The usual method of accessing the target audience is social media marketing. 

The first step to start a fundraiser is to make a page in sites like crowdfunding.org or kitto.org and start promoting it. This method is also adopted by budding artists, small time filmmakers, designers and so on. The projects have been used to gather funds for expeditions, medical reliefs and social benefit projects. The scope of accumulating large number of funds from public is vast and many mediums have yet to be explored. The funds accumulated are from a large number of people hence the name.      

The concept can be promoted through fundraiser events and mail order subscriptions. But this alternative financing activity is a purely Internet based and depends largely on the social media for attention in order to achieve high gains. 

There are many types of crowdfunding:

Donation based funding are basically for charities.

Equity based funding pertains to alloting of equity for unsecured loans so obtain. The investors benefit whence the project is successful and equity values rises. 

Debt based or P2P (peer to peer) funding. In this case investor gain from interest accrued.  Here borrower application is reviewed by an automated system and the credit worthiness is gauged. The interest rate applicable is also ascertained by the system.   

Several platforms are in picture now. Some are global while few are limited niche segment. 

To learn in greater details click on the crowdfunding link.   

Examples

Digital Donations 

Digital Donations Video

The marketing and propaganda is mostly done using email and, sms marketing and various content and video platforms that social media offers. The target audience should be accurately targeted for success in the campaign.  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Technology & Business : Online

No matter which industry it is new technology is creating new openings and opportunities. Internet especially social media has brought about a paradigm change as to how we search for information and hence how we do business.

Those who fail to catch up are sure to fail or will left far behind with stagnancy in business. Not only communication methodology is changing fast, image recognition techniques are making estimates more accurate.  For example in moving industry image recognition technology is assist in measuring the items client needs to move ...and accurately.  Scheduling video surveys can be arranged using the button on movers website.   This is followed by sending a quote and the move is finalised. 

Yes it is that easy whether you use a smart phone lap top or desk top with broadband Internet. 

Promoting business online is now a necessity the old brick and mortar is still there but this addition has become imperative for good. Promoting your business on social media is trending but it is effective as well and aids in cost cutting.   

Graphics, three dimension options and text pages that are not verbose are breaking ground of success online. Though your business may be localised you still need online visibility since people prefer searching and evaluating  online then wade through a sea of impenetrable traffic.      

Tons of information at finger tip and loads of comparison opportunities is definitely making business more competitive but then you cannot wish new technology away. Can you?  

Moving Business: Correlations

Industries and businesses depend upon correlated factors. These are closely tied to the economic upheavals and trends that govern our industry these days. It is no more a simple game of supply and demand. Trends can uplift a segment even if economy is failing.     

For a business analyst it has become a complex paradigm since so many factors decide the outcome in contemporary era. For those in a moving industry it could be increase in population, strong economic revival due to governments policies, change in policies of corporate and a strong upsurge in construction business. Even reduced cost of fuel could play a part as cost of transportation decreases. 

New opportunities can also increase relocation apart from standard policy of transfer employed by military, corporate and  Government.  Housing also impacts relocation the upsurge in low cost housing projects are indicative of brighter future of moving industry.  In simple words increase in new homes create business for those in relocation.   

Rising populations and economic revival invite growth in metropolitan cities hence more housing leads to increase in relocation business. I n USA the forecast is bright because these very factors are in a favourable position.      

Industrial developments lead to increase in population share to that particular locations. Hence more people are likely to shift to that region creating business for the movers.   Major migration corridors impacted by local and International populations are hot bed for this industry and promise better survival environment. All types of moving be it residential, commercial or warehousing are dependant upon these factors.     

Home loans too make a major difference there is definite upswing whence the accessibility becomes easier with low rates of interest.  House flipping in USA is considered as revenue generating asset in real estate parlance. Purchasing and quickly selling home generate revenue as pricing increase. 

Technology plays its own part and changes the way we do business. New startups are making transportation cheaper and easier using innovation thus encourage shifting more and more.     

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Comprehensive Innovation : Metal Fabrication Industry

Like all segment  of  manufacturing, fabrication business cannot survive stagnancy. There has to be a constant effort to improve and innovate. This is vital for survival since all technology driven businesses lose foothold and their vital customer base if they are not keeping abreast with the latest. 

The metal fabrication industry has faced innumerable challenges since last two decades to keep pace with the constant changes taking place. The innovation drive is comprehensive ranging from latest tools and equipment to management practices, IT system up-gradation and shrewd marketing strategies. 

As businesses move overseas to cut costs the customer base in North America and other developed World faces extreme reduction. Lets face the truth, access to overseas marketing is not an act of compassion or piety it is the need of the hour.    

Hence constant innovations and new developments are the key to survival. Things do not end here cost cutting by managing expenses considered affordable in good old days since these are no more sustainable. In short maximising efficiency without sacrificing quality is essential.  

To constantly evolve core business strategies, analysis and research though imperative need assistance of out of the box thinking. Both online or digital marketing and extensive land based strategies have to be employed.

Far from days of complacency, outsourcing has made industrial reach global mush to our chagrin. A disappointing development  but this is going to stay, there is no short cuts except face strict competition.  Possibility of trade barriers to provide relief is a distant dream because businesses moving overseas - to repeat is a strategy that benefits the parent companies. To face cutthroat competition the enterprise needs to be the fittest. 

Nevertheless competition is overcome by some resident factors like distance, availability of high grade manpower with requisite expertise and work ethics. Local fabricators will always retain these benefits.  Nevertheless extreme disparity in manufacturing cost could be a great lever. Back to square one.       

Creating a sustainable paradigm to for long term success is the imperative using constantly evolving technology and requisite skill base effectively. New skills in work force and access to and utilisation of  contemporary methodology will keep the pot boiling. 

Regular up-gradation of fabrication shops along with procurement of new equipment and tools is the key to stay afloat. In metal fabrication operational technology means efficient core machinery. Albeit expensive this is a long term value addition for a winning strategy.     

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Steel Fabrication Equipment & Tools

The World has witnessed a complete revolution with the development of steel its emancipation from the mined ore and eventual refinement. The alloying technique has given birth to complex metals with varied properties. This has lead to development of complex components required to withstand extreme temperatures, stress and acquire properties that are required for a particular function in a specific environment.    

Steel is a derivative of iron which is found as ore in nature. The metal is used in fabrication but its parent iron is also used as such. Hence most of the fabricators are using all forms of metal including iron. 

In a fabrication floor a number of equipment and tools are set up depending upon the designs to be executed to form an end product belonging to a particular segment.  For example fabrication building components, complex machines, infrastructure projects all are specific to manufacturing industry. Hence fabrication is limited by scope to the area of the owners expertise and capabilities. 

The equipment or tools range from small and simple to big and complex. The list is large as mentioned below. 

  • Lathes
  • Band Saws
  • Manual Rod Benders
  • Welders Kit 
  • Welding Machines
  • Cutting Machines    
  • Body Hammers   
  • Jet Milling & Drilling Machine
  • Shop Presses
  • Bench Presses
  • Pipe Notching Dyes
  • Pipe Notcher
  • Strut Cutters 
  • Combination Benders
  • English Wheels 
  • Hammers
  • Metal Shears
  • Sheet Metal Brakes
  • Iron Workers
  • Bending Brakes
  • Punch Press  
  • Frame Press
  • Metal Forming Hand Tools
  • Tool Stands  


Above are listed some of the tools and equipment which are part of the trade. The fabrication industry has given rise large scale simple and complex ancillary, tools and equipment manufacturing industry in USA. With the rise in economy which leads to increase if steel fabrication and iron works the related manufacturing also offers great potential to industry leaders.