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How going online helps businesses go green

There are several businesses that contribute to climate change. The business owners are very well aware of the harmful effects being caused. They are opting for several methods to control pollution and the waste that is generated. To operate a green business the companies are being part of online service providers.

How online services support green cause

Online services have become a boon for several companies as it supports green cause. Earlier filing system was prevalent in offices and companies but now the files can be easily uploaded and downloaded online. Services, such as conference lines and screen sharing tools, offered by various companies like CheapWritingHelp.com have made it easier to carry out online training and meetings.

Going digital is the need for us and environment

The printing industries have introduced eco-friendly methods of printing. To go digital means choosing green and this step has proved to be beneficial for the environment. Going digital has a good impact on the environment as it reduces maximum chemical and physical waste. At the same time, digital printing is reliable, effective and of high quality.

Going digital means less use of paper

Digital printing requires paper material but the usage is very less. The energy resources required by print media are more and going digital not only saves the resources but reduces the use of paper giving us a healthy environment. Going digital helps in reduction of costs and wastes as well.

Spreading awareness and advertisement

Encouraging the employees to minimize the use of paper by going digital and choosing online services that support green cause will help the environment. Advertisements through internet and mails can be the best methods of spreading awareness.

Using online services means saying no to the paper records. Everything can be done electronically to support green cause. Online services like go green account, e-commerce have benefitted our environment and it’s beings. In short, going digital is need of the hour.

Source: ecofriend


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E-commerce shaping innovative logistics, service offerings

E-commerce, the electronic trade of goods and services, is reshaping the world of logistics and “forcing logistics providers to step up”, says logistics provider Dachser South Africa (SA) MD Detlev Duve. Print Send to Friend 0 0 “E-commerce is driving changes in customer needs and changes in the industry,” he says, noting that e-commerce entrepreneurs require a logistics partner “that understands this new dimension of logistics and can provide end-to-end services”.

Duve believes that, with the right logistics partner, retailers can reap the business benefits of improved communication, transparency in the supply chain, improved customer satisfaction, cost reduction and efficiency improvements. He points out that, from the moment an online order is placed to when it is selected, packed and shipped, every step in the process must be handled efficiently, consistently and cost effectively. “Evolved logistics partners provide solid warehousing infrastructure and value-added services that enable e-commerce businesses to outsource this entire process,” says Duve.

He advises businesses looking to secure a logistics partner to ensure that the provider can deliver tailor-made solutions that fit their unique needs and requirements. “In the world of e-commerce, same day or next-day delivery is a necessity, says Duve, adding that companies, therefore, need to ensure that their logistics partner is capable of this, and that they have a proven track record. He further highlights value-added services as another essential facet of a logistics partner. “Value-added services include the quality control of goods at the time of pick-up at the supplier’s warehouse, product finishing tasks, sleeving (foliation) or repackaging into new cartons,” Duve says.

Value-added services can also include product- orientated services, such as quality control, product refinement, assembly and disassembly work, as well as packaging and repackaging. Meanwhile, process-orientated value-added services can include order management, labelling and/or price marking, as well as the processing of returns or complaints. “Evolved logistics companies can perform all these necessary tasks,” says Duve. He adds that Dachser SA’s launch of a new head office, sales and logistics centre, including an extended multi-user warehouse facility in Gauteng, will enable the company to enhance its offering.

Extensions to the company’s facilities in Pomona, in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, include an additional 3 000 m2 of warehouse space, offering 4 300 pallet positions to industry in South Africa. The new centre, which was officially launched in February, provides Dachser SA’s clients the opportunity to save on their business costs, as they avoid needless inventory and complex handling outside their core capability. Dachser is now part of a handful of companies that offer this facility in South Africa, notes Duve. “We’ve taken our full logistics centre up a notch. As a logistics partner, we can effectively use our warehousing capacities to the fullest through flexible consolidation of multiple customers’ goods in our multi-user warehouses,” he says.

“The industry is changing and there are considerable price pressures,” says Duve, stressing that Dachser has always innovated according to clients’ needs. “We hope that this new warehousing facility will inspire clients, in turn, to be inspired, grow and to dare to venture into new projects that previously would have been too costly, ” he concludes.

Source: engineeringnews


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SA needs a concrete Brics strategy

HEADS of state of the Brics countries will gather in Ufa, Russia, this week for the grouping’s seventh summit, which comes at a particularly challenging time for Russian diplomacy. Precipitated by the conflict in Ukraine, Russia is barred from Group of Seven/Group of Eight processes and increasingly estranged from the West.

It intends to use the Brics summit to project itself as a major global power.

By holding the summit at the same time as the annual meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), Russia is attempting to impress its Central Asian neighbours and highlight its growing strategic co-operation with China, co-organiser of the SCO. This also sends a message to the West that Russia has other platforms on which to challenge for global power. Russia’s agenda preferences can be conceived along two axes: global security and politics; and economics.

Brics national security advisers are meeting regularly, discussing a range of international issues such as the rapidly evolving situation in the Middle East. To the extent that the Brics can agree on co-ordinated positions on such difficult issues, this will presumably build the group’s coherence over time.

Offsetting this potential is their disagreement on how to reform the United Nations Security Council — a key gap since it is at the apex of the global security architecture. Accordingly, Russia emphasises economic co-operation.

Discussions at the Ufa summit are broadly divided into two parts: the financial co-operation package and the evolving Strategy for Brics Economic Partnership.

The strategy is too general and vague and unlikely to grow in substance at Ufa. Perhaps, for this reason, the Russians are pushing for a move beyond a strategy “on paper”, to identify concrete trade and investment projects up to 2020.

Nonetheless, three top priorities appear to have been identified in the Brics economic strategy discussions.

FIRST is co-ordination on e-commerce, and Russia proposed the establishment of a working group. This was apparently downgraded to a limited agreement to convene a dialogue leading, possibly, to the establishment of a working group.

More cynical observers of the Brics believe Russia wants to use this discussion to market a cellphone operating system they have developed.

Second are ongoing discussions about trade facilitation. These centre on the creation of a virtual working group on trade and export promotion agencies. There have also been discussions about establishing a single window for electronic processes connected to trade.

Third, China has proposed closer collaboration on intellectual property rights regimes. Observers are understandably sceptical of the prospects and co-ordination possibilities, since the focal points in each country are not obvious. But agreement has ostensibly been reached to exchange information on member states’ systems.

At Ufa, there will be much discussion of the two signature Brics achievements to date: the Contingency Reserve Arrangement and the New Development Bank.

Given the closed nature of Brics processes, it is difficult to discern SA’s positions on the grouping’s economic agenda but some contours are apparent.

SA seems to regard the economic partnership strategy as being weak and less of a roadmap of how to get things done than a “ticking the check box” exercise for Russia to notch up some “success”.

For SA it is not clear how the strategy will promote more value-added exports and attract investment in minerals beneficiation or processing at source. The draft trade ministers joint communiqué is seemingly noncommittal and soft.

SA has some challenges with agreeing to create a single window for trade facilitation. It has to navigate through legal arrangements within the Southern African Customs Union, especially on external agreements SA has with third parties that may see the free movement of goods in the common customs area.

Although the government supports India’s proposed business travel card, modelled on the Schengen visa arrangement, SA views it as unfair that its liberalised visa arrangement for the Brics countries has not yet been reciprocated.

SEVERAL working groups have been set up under the auspices of the Brics Business Council: for manufacturing, ICT, small business and finance. The president of the South African delegation to the council, Brian Molefe, proposed new working groups for deregulation and agribusiness.

South African business is interested in common issues affecting Brics trade and investment and specific issues pertaining to particular companies and industries — such as pharmaceuticals — for which they want to identify important platforms for joint technology development.

They support the trade facilitation agenda in principle, but want progress in promoting transparency in the financial incentives each country makes available to its companies, and progress in approvals for businesses from other Brics countries.

They want to promote “fair” trade. The concern is that SA has the lowest average import tariffs of all Brics countries, but implements the fewest nontariff barriers.

South African business representatives to the Brics Business Council are concerned about how the government is managing the Brics process.

It is regarded as too bureaucratic and there is a strong feeling that the government is not prepared to tackle the real issues, such as “fair” trade.

There are problems within the council. Brazil has not been driving the process, and Russia and China are represented primarily by state-owned enterprises — unlike India, Brazil and SA — with the interests of the private and state sectors not being sufficiently aligned.

The Brics process seems to be of limited use to South African business.

Promoters of the Contingency Reserve Arrangement argue that it will provide “insurance” to SA in the event of investment status downgrades by the ratings agencies, and an ensuing capital flight — an increasingly likely proposition. SA could tap these resources during balance of payments crises, enabling the government to cover calls on forex reserves.

However, the Contingency Reserve Arrangement is not capable of providing more than an initial first line of support. The amount SA could call from it is capped at $6.5bn — 130% of its contribution of $5bn — a small fraction of the daily turnover in South African currency markets.

Clearly, a lot more money would be required to prevent a run on the rand, assuming the South African Reserve Bank wishes to intervene to prevent a slide in the currency, which it does not. In the extremely unlikely event that such funding was to be sought, it would come from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Contingency Reserve Arrangement rules explicitly provide for this. The idea put forward by some Brics promoters, that the Contingency Reserve Arrangement will enable the Brics countries to avoid IMF conditionalities, therefore holds no water.

SOUTH African officials have indicated they will seek to revive African infrastructure development as an important issue for the Ufa communiqué. They are of the view that this lost momentum during the 2014 Brics summit. There is much speculation about the New Development Bank’s Africa Regional Centre, whose agreed establishment is regarded as a diplomatic victory for SA.

The government is still working on the Africa Regional Centre’s articles of association. There seems to be agreement it will be located in Johannesburg. It could, in effect, be a “mini New Development Bank”, targeted at African markets, but it is not clear how it will relate to the New Development Bank’s head office in Shanghai, and what autonomy it will enjoy.

The Brics Business Council has expressed an interest in playing an advisory role in the New Development Bank, as it wants more say in project selection and the disbursement of funds. But there is no clarity on the interest rates that will be charged; how small and medium enterprises will be treated; the methodology to be applied in selecting projects; and how considerations such as sustainability will be integrated into project design and selection.

Further complicating matters, the government recently decided to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, which will be heavily focused on infrastructure projects in Asia. It is not clear what the strategic value of this move is — apart from earning kudos from China. But it could erode the effectiveness of the New Development Bank and the Africa Regional Centre.

The Brics agenda for Ufa is ambitious. It is important SA identifies its clear interests and thinks carefully about its allocation of resources vis-à-vis potential returns.

Source: bdlive


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