Global Business Insight Volume 6 Issue 1

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CONTENTS 12 22 32 36 38 44 52

gumtree co-founder launches

Online investment platform appealing to people with smaller sums.

Professionals reveal how

They are benefiting from 3D Printing technology.

falling renewable

Power costs open door to greater climate ambition.

axa partners experiments blockchain

Solutions to improve customers’ experience in case of involuntary unemployment.


coffin mew advises

harpar qualifications

Most Innovative Scheme Tuition Provider 2019 - United Kingdom


On Straightpoint UK Acquisition.

The top business intelligence trends pulled highlights form the report “2019 Business Intelligence Trends”



Best Corporate Event Entertainer 2019

Most Innovative In Monomaterial Packaging

42 perks direct

Best Employee Benefit Scheme 2019 United Kingdom





Most Outstanding Property Refurbishment Firm 2019 United Kingdom

Anyone can travel, but not everyone knows how to explore.

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‘Anyone can travel, but not everyone knows how to explore.’ The ethos adopted by Cookson Adventures leans on a growing thirst for meaningful experiences whilst travelling the world. Particularly amongst highly successful individuals, spending a week floating on a superyacht in the middle of the Mediterranean is no longer enough. Self-proclaimed adventurers want to come away feeling enriched, having broadened their horizons and experienced something new. Cookson Adventures was founded to elevate adventure and deliver the ‘new’.

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A fleet of helicopters for a birthday celebration in Kenya.

For a decade, the company has pioneered the concept

and an ex-documentary fixer who can unlock experiences

of world firsts in ultra-luxury experiential travel. From

for guests around the world.







Antarctica to helping scientists identify a new species of killer whale, Cookson is constantly pushing the boundaries of adventure. Founded by Henry Cookson, a Guinness World Recordholding explorer, adventure has always been in the DNA of the company. He was part of the first expedition on foot to the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility (the most central point of the Antarctic landmass) and it’s this ethos of daring to be different that drives Cookson’s mission to reimagine what it means to travel. Today, his team are still pushing the envelope, exploring the unknown to build unique experiences in the world’s most untouched environments. As demand increases and horizons broaden, part of the challenge is to come up with unique and elegant adventures in an age when increasingly less of the world remains undiscovered. It’s a forward-thinking attitude from its inquisitive staff, who are tasked with searching for innovative new experiences before anyone else, that allows Cookson to retain its position at the pinnacle of the experiential travel market. Cookson searches for people who are indispensable to their field. As a result, the team can offer things that other adventure companies can’t such as a submersible expert, yacht expedition specialist ISSUE 11 | 8

Cookson has also built up a network of dedicated experts across the globe including scientists, marine biologists, conservationists and award-winning photographers...


and it is through these connections that their guests can gain a deeper insight into wildlife conservation, scientific research, and many more innovative global projects. Separating Cookson from the myriad of companies that have cropped up in recent years to cater to wealthy, adventurous travellers, is the company’s approach to personalisation. The world’s most successful individuals demand something truly special and it is the ability of Cookson’s team to create and engineer an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives, whether it’s over an intense few weeks or for the best part of year. Meanwhile, it is no surprise the company’s core values revolve






impeccable efficiency. The company understands that word of mouth is a powerful tool in developing new business leads and with an unmatched level of attention to detail comes a reputation worth shouting about.

A surprise lunch set up after a day searching for polar bears in Svalbard.

Adam Sebba, CEO of Cookson Adventures, comments, “The world’s most affluent and successful individuals are moving away from wishing to simply accumulate expensive







meaningful experiences. Catering to this demand is a precise business as this type of clientele demands the very best.

We have to feed their curiosity, give them the opportunity to see things they’ve never seen and do things they’ve never done, without sacrificing the highest levels of comfort and elegance. For this reason, we’re continually striving to give each and every customer something unique and extraordinary. No two trips are ever the same.” One such experience is the opportunity to relocate, name and release a white rhino into a protected wilderness reserve in the Great Karoo, South Africa. Explorers would join local rangers to safeguard this vulnerable species against poachers and play a vital role in seeing that the white rhino continues to roam free in one of the continent’s Finding likeminded staff as gripped with travel as Henry Cookson himself has proven to be a winning formula in producing ground breaking projects. It also benefits the internal culture too. A diverse group of staff with an array of different life experiences is united under their love of travel. Perks of any job role at Cookson includes frequent Above & Beyond rewards for exceptional client service and unlimited opportunities to travel to recce new destinations. In return, the internal motivation to strive for success is unstoppable. They always aim leave a destination in a better place than when they found it. They believe that their jobs would mean nothing without a healthy planet and the extraordinary creatures that inhabit it. Conservation is an area that is very close to Henry’s heart, largely from time spent in Kenya and scuba diving around the world. Henry is a huge advocate of conservation projects and Cookson Adventures is heavily invested in this area. Most recently, Cookson Adventures was able to facilitate a project that had been 15 years in the making, which saw a team of researchers embark on a cruise in the Southern Ocean to locate and track a species of killer whale previously ‘unknown to science’. After locating a group of the ‘type D’ orcas, the team was able to take

After we reached Gasa Dzongkhag, we were welcomed by dancing monks.

most spectacular landscapes.

small skins samples, which are now being analysed in a laboratory to confirm the existence of a distinct species and unveil new findings in orca genetics and movement patterns. SPEAK TO OUR TRAVEL SPECIALIST AT: INFO@COOKSONADVENTURE.COM

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Gumtree co-founder launches online investment platform Simon Crookall

Joanna Crookall

The online investment services sector appealing to people with smaller sums is set to be shaken up by this week’s launch of a new British digital financial service, InvestEngine (www., which designs bespoke expertly managed portfolios for people with as little as £2,000 to invest. The brainchild of Gumtree co-founder, Simon Crookall, InvestEngine (web platform with an app launching in the coming weeks) has a flat fee of 0.45% per annum, making it one of the lowest fixed rates available, with no further fees or charges. It is the only UK automated investment manager using a ‘buy and hold’* approach (less room for human error) and to take full custody of customers’ assets – essentially, safeguarding and looking after people’s money in-house instead of relying on third parties/intermediaries to manage investments. For customers this means greater control, lower fees and transparency. According to Simon – who has co-founded InvestEngine with his sister Joanna Crookall, CEO of awardwinning independent investment management firm Ramsey Crookall – core to the business is fairness and accessibility. “After selling my tech businesses, I gravitated back to financial services and I could immediately see there was a real opportunity for a lower cost solution for people with smaller sums. Everyday people simply weren’t able to access the same level of money management as people with larger sums. InvestEngine gives people a regulated, low cost and easy solution for taking control of their own investment into high quality market trackers where all the hard work is done for them. We deal with carefully selected exchange-traded funds (ETFs) combined with proven methodology and innovative technology tracking global markets to deliver diversified investment portfolios across countries and markets – essentially people don’t have all their eggs in one basket,” said Simon. ISSUE 11 | 12

“The vision for InvestEngine is to become the ultimate destination for investors and savers. Over time our offering will diversify and expand to include services like investment advice, pensions, ISAs, SME business accounts, current savings accounts, cash management tools as well as ethical investing options with truly green portfolios,” Simon explains. InvestEngine uniquely combines the latest smart technology with over 70 years’ financial experience via its close partnership with Ramsey Crookall (providers of InvestEngine’s broker function) as well as a direct, unique partnership with custodian bank, CREST (also used by the Bank of England), to ensure customers’ investments are held safely and securely. These partnerships are designed to heighten investors’ confidence and avoid additional fees. Using Nobel Prize winning research techniques, InvestEngine assesses investors against 16 risk profiles – versus other services which have, on average, between three to four profiles – painting a much more accurate picture of each individual investor so portfolios are truly bespoke.

For additional assurance, InvestEngine’s team of experts monitors each portfolio on an ongoing basis, rebalancing when necessary. Consumers can log in at any time to check performance and withdraw money whenever they like with no exit fees. “We believe our core commitment to justice and diversity makes our firm very attractive to lawyers and other members of the LCHB team. We are also known for tackling not just challenging cases, but cases that expand the boundaries of the law itself.” Steven E. Fineman The pursuit of justice motivates everyone at LCHB. It is the engine that drives them to take a personal interest in their cases and become heart-and-soul advocates for each clients’ rights. Those who work there share the same point of view, and their concerted efforts lead to tangible and significant results impacting Americans across the nation and cycles back to further motivate everyone on the LCHB team.

The platform is easy to understand and quick to set up. Prospective investors simply answer a few questions about their aims, how much they would like to invest and the level of risk they’re comfortable with, and InvestEngine gets to work selecting a low fee portfolio representing stocks, bonds and other assets to suit investors’ needs. To boost returns, investors also have the option of topping up their portfolio with monthly instalments.

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SDA Build London are a team of award-winning builders that specialise in the highest quality refurbishments, renovations and restorations. Providing a complete end-to-end property renovation and project management service, SDA Build London pride themselves on delivering a quality service consistently. The team is comprised of a network of experienced, fully qualified and industry recognised professionals in the building industry, including architects, structural engineers and interior designers. SDA began operation primarily in South West London but have since extended coverage to North London as well due to the company’s growth in popularity.

samir ene owner

SDA specialise in basement conversions, in fact they love them – and for good reason. With basement conversions, SDA can build roomy open areas that provide clients with a personalised space tailored to their needs and tastes, whether it be hobbies, sports or an extra spare room for guests. It could be anything from a wine cellar to a home cinema – it’s your dream! Better yet, moving certain rooms into the basement (like the utility room or downstairs bathroom) allows the ground floor of a home to expand out. In conjunction with even the smallest of rear or side extensions, it can completely transform a modest home into a spacious abode. With more than 65 completed projects in just six years, all producing breath-taking results, it is evident to see that SDA are top-tier professionals. Owner Samir Ene’s eye for detail and strict project management skills have allowed SDA Build to leap from strength to strength and innovate with each new project they take on. Just a glance at their portfolio reveals the company’s unique strength – delivering simple and effective solutions to complex problems.

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“We are honoured to have won this award; a validation of our hard work and commitment to quality. All our projects have been both challenging and enjoyable to work with.” – Samir Ene, Owner SDA Build London. SDA’s ethos – to strive for quality, value and sustainability – is driven by the simple principle of delivering on promise. Understanding the client’s needs is key to achieving this. With full understanding that their clients place a lot of faith and trust in the company, SDA are in constant communication with their clients to ensure every step of progress is overseen and agreed on. This ensures the smooth delivery of over 25 years of experienced workmanship and ensures the clients satisfaction in the results. In the construction industry, it is a huge advantage if your company is agile and nimble enough to side step the problems that invariably arise during projects. SDA are masters at avoiding delay having developed an ability to find workable solutions to unforeseen challenges, ensuring that projects are delivered ontime, within budget and to their trademark high standard. This is what SDA’s reputation is built on.

With such innovative projects being taken on, SDA’s staff are kept interested and engaged, while the management ensure the staff feel valued and satisfied. The staff are continuously being trained to keep their skills sharp as tools and techniques of the trade develop. The internal culture is entirely based on respect, so the staff are always listened to and their opinions valued, leading to a better functioning team and a minimal staff turnover. As with most companies at present, the uncertainty of Brexit remains a big worry for business. In the construction industry, Brexit has triggered inflation of 15-20% in the price of materials and labour. With prices rising, companies that give quotes months in advance of work commencement will see a big difference in estimate vs reality overheads at the end of the build. Some may charge it to the client while others may bear the brunt of the loss. Rest assured, SDA do not believe in adding to a client’s cost at the last minute and are likely to retain their critical acclaim as a result. Regardless of what the future holds with Brexit looming, SDA will continue to empower their portfolios with more stunning builds, restorations and conversions, and will reap the rewards of growth accordingly.

Working only with a top-tier professional team, contractors and suppliers gives SDA an edge on the competition. By having each party involved at the forefront of their respective industries means they are the first to hear about the latest technology, styles, trends and innovations in the construction industry. This enables SDA to offer the highest quality service with the most efficient and upto-date design techniques, and truly deliver homes beyond the measure of dreams.

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THEIR BUSINESS IN 2019 Over the last few years, vlogging has become a huge phenomenon. So much so, it has caught the attention of businesses keen to diversify their content strategy to better connect with their target audience. 54% of consumers now want to see video content from brands/businesses they support, per statistics from marketing software company ‘HubSpot’. Interested in the rise of video content, online marketplace independently consulted social media specialists, branding experts and marketing professionals/consultants to find out the best ways in which businesses can get started on their vlogging journey in 2019. Document employees working – 74% Give people a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the daily responsibilities of an employee (senior or junior). This will allow others to see the processes and hurdles they must go through to get an idea/ product/service to market. In turn, such insights will reveal the work ethic and passion embodied by the employees.

cas paton managing director of

Simplifying complex industry topics/issues – 68% This is fantastic way for a business to showcase their expertise. It could involve an employee simplifying or explaining common industry jargon. Similarly, providing a concise five-minute vlog which breaks down an industry topic to make it more digestible and less confusing will make it more appealing.

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Industry and non-industry influencer/personality ‘sessions’ – 65% Identify prominent as well as less established influencers and invite them in to have an informal chat. Give them the opportunity to talk about their career and share their expertise on a range of topics/issues. The aim should be to create a relaxed environment, where both the host and guest can have a free-flowing conversation. Product/service demonstration – 57% Don’t turn this into a promotional video. The whole point of the vlog will be for someone from the company to demonstrate the product/service and highlight its features. By the end of the video, the consumer should feel confident enough to take full advantage of the product/service in question. If they are still unsure or forget, then the video adds further value by becoming content that they can refer to at any point. Employee roundtable discussions (about industry opportunities, threats, trends etc.) – 52% Facilitate a relaxed environment where a group of employees can get together and express their opinions on a variety of industry-related topics. This could include discussions about the imminent threats facing the industry or how emerging technology could transform the industry for the better or worst. The vlog could also set-up an opportunity for employees to reflect on their existing projects and gain constructive advice from their fellow colleagues.

Weekly recap/take on impactful industry news – 40% On a weekly basis, go through as many stories as possible and then make a vlog which shares the most significant industry insights. Furthermore, businesses are open to give their view on any news which they strongly feel/predict will develop in a certain way. Most of the experts do agree that businesses should aim for a combination of these vlogging methods rather than striving for a specific one to broaden appeal and establish a strong following. Alex, a Marketing Consultant from a leading digital media agency commented: “Vlogs are fantastic gateway into the inner workings of an organisation. They give clear context as to what a business does and all the faces working tirelessly behind the scenes. Likewise, vlogs add a layer of character by capturing how their personalities and perspectives are actively contributing towards the results and growth of a business. Simply put, regularly vlogging should be in the arsenal of any business serious about producing captivating content”. Cas Paton, the Managing Director of commented: “The rise of social media has blurred the lines between brand and customer interactions. As businesses invest more time and resources into their marketing activities, vlogging needs to become a priority. It allows a business to display its talent and expertise in an authentic as well as cost-effective manner. Also, the exposure through such a direct and authentic format will make the business more human and allow for quicker distribution of informative content. Overall, carefully thought-out vlogs can only be a win-win for any organisation”.

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Working tirelessly and passionately to ensure learning is embedded through convenient ways, Harpar has partnered with multiple recognised academic institutions to provide qualifications in accountancy, management, HR, health and safety, marketing, coaching and many more. The company also provide personalised comprehensive mentoring to aid their clients as much as possible on their road to success.


Harpar Qualifications LTD is leading the way for eLearning. In today’s society of flexibility and digitisation, more and more people are choosing to study in their own spare time and at their own pace, enabling them to maintain employment and family life. Harpar provide a wide range of bitesize courses across many subjects, revolutionising how we ingest knowledge and transport to action. ISSUE 11 | 22

Harpar’s courses are all delivered with artificial intelligence which adapts to the user’s style and pace of learning – an aspect pioneered by the company. This personalisation of the courses to suit the way the clients prefer to learn makes learning easier, more productive and more efficient. By incorporating artificial intelligence into their courses, Harpar can offer qualifications accredited up to master’s level. Quality assurance is a key factor in this industry. Harpar have done their utmost to protect the integrity of their qualifications with their quality assurance processes. As a result, the qualifications available through the company appeal directly to those who have a passion to progress their professional development.


To separate themselves from their competitors, Harpar support their clients at a more advanced level than others may, reinforcing the positive decision for change their client’s have made at every turn.

clients across the world that will make a difference. Being held in high regard by both clients and awarding bodies, it is no wonder the average cost of a Harpar qualification is often recouped in profit far exceeding the cost of investment.

“We offer our clients a convenient way to gain a qualification, no attendance, highly interactive learning material and personalised mentoring which ensures our clients progress through the qualifications with a willingness to continue to higher levels. Our courses are packed with practical skills which can be used immediately in the workplace to demonstrate their new learning, which ultimately leads to better productivity and confidence” Carol Bains, Harpar Qualifications.

A key focus of Harpar is their coaching qualifications, one of the most popular sections of the company’s offerings. Coaching is becoming the lead skill required by teachers and is an increasingly attractive trait for employers of all kind. The courses allow clients to gain ‘qualified coach status’ and implement successful models to bring out the best in students, employees, colleagues and clients.

As an approved centre by City and Guilds, CMI and ILM, Harpar are regularly audited and continue to score highly on them, maintaining the confidence of their awarding bodies and proving that they successfully provide qualifications to

With offices in the middle east, Harpar provide qualifications to clients without the need to come to UK, offering the opportunity to gain British qualifications at the fraction of the expense, and often with more engagement, more learning and ultimately more skills. ISSUE 11 | 23

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philip donker managing director of

One of the fastest-growing developments in the world of technology has been that of 3D printing. It is the process of depositing successive layers of material (e.g. plastic, metal, wax etc.) in a 3D printer, to create a physical object envisioned from a digital model.

3D printing technology has already been heavily adopted in industries like aerospace, automotive and industrial goods. With organisations in these respective industries utilising 3D printing for aspects such as making those parts/components that cannot be manufactured through conventional machining or laser processing techniques. Interested in cutting-edge technology, mobile phone specialists analysed findings from online 3D printing services provider Sculpteo, who surveyed 1,000 professionals (from a range

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of industries) to better understand how they are using 3D printing. Case24 found that professionals are most commonly using 3D printing for prototyping (55%) – ideal for tangibly showcasing a prospective model/concept and then, getting instantaneous feedback on its design as well as functionality. Thereafter, 43% are applying the applications of 3D printing within their production process. In third position, 41% of experts believe 3D printing allows them to prove that the concept of a potential product/component works to its desired and expected effect/output. Interestingly, 18% of professionals are using 3D printing to produce valuable marketing samples. Slightly below, 16% are equally deploying 3D printing for artistic as well as educational purposes. Opposingly, 10% consider 3D printing as a hobby – an area of their job that they can experiment with and test out, when not focusing on the principle aspects of their role/responsibilities. Furthermore, also sought to identify from the report what the professionals’ thought were the biggest benefits they have gained from implementing 3D printing technology. discovered that complex geometries (48%) is the greatest benefit professionals have experienced from 3D printing. Complex geometries referring to those models which are typically difficult to imagine but can easily be generated with a 3D printer.

continuous improvement ideology. Contrastingly, a mere 8% feel 3D printing has had a positive impact on their remote production capabilities. Just above, 9% cite the utilisation of 3D printers as an important factor in them successfully achieving supply chain optimisation.

Subsequently, 39% reported 3D printing beneficially led to a fall in the lead times of their production process. 30% stated installing 3D printers has made their operations financially more prudent. Perhaps unsurprising, as 3D printers can make models multiple times with just the materials required – thus, not only decreasing turnaround times but unnecessary spend on materials.

Philip Donker, the Managing Director of commented: “3D printing has significantly evolved over the years, establishing itself as a ground-breaking piece of technology. Considering the technology is being harnessed in a large variety of sectors, it has become integral for firms consistently seeking to innovate and make efficiency gains in their production cycle. This research provides a comprehensive insight into the different way’s professionals are using 3D printing and the biggest benefits they are gaining from doing so. These indicators showcase the current influence of the technology and how 3D printing is allowing companies/ professionals to develop a powerful competitive advantage”.

Fascinatingly, 28% of experts believe 3D printing has been advantageous to their engineering redesign function. Whilst 22% place 3D printing as the primary attribute which has enabled them to reduce the number of steps in their assembly line. Given many organisations drive to constantly achieve efficiency where and when possible - 18% think 3D printing has aided their

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COMPANIES LOSE MILLIONS BY SIDE-LINING PROCUREMENT TEAMS, RESEARCH SHOWS Businesses failing to use procurement specialists to ensure they get best value from Third-Party Logistics suppliers (3PLs) are potentially losing millions, according to the latest research from leading supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA. SCALA surveyed a selection of the UK’s best-known businesses and 3PLs (whose revenue runs into the billions and whose number of clients run into the thousands) with regards to how 3PLs are selected, contracts negotiated, and the success of logistics partnerships maintained. At each stage, the findings revealed that procurement specialists were being sidelined by logistics teams to the detriment of the effective running of their business. At selection stage, 32% of companies admitted that procurement teams weren’t the main driver or didn’t play a significant role in the process. A shocking 94% of companies also admitted that procurement teams never, or only occasionally, played a role in contract maintenance. John Perry, managing director at SCALA, commented: “The findings of our research are made even more concerning by the fact that so few companies are satisfied with the performance of 3PL relationships. For example, only 9% of companies are very confident that they got the best deal when negotiating their contract with a 3PL. Also, less than a third (29%) believed that contracts remained appropriate or effective throughout a typical 5-year term. Despite these factors, too many companies are still failing to give specialist procurement teams a proper role within the process.” SCALA’s research went on to show the positive impact good procurement has when used effectively. Companies reported that using procurement throughout the selection and negotiation process delivered cost reductions, improved KPIs, better contractual terms and a clear method for monitoring

and maintaining ongoing performance of the 3PL. Similarly, during the running of the agreement, effective procurement was found to have led to improved performance, better relationships and the avoidance of conflict between companies and their 3PL partners. John continues: “Leadership teams could potentially save millions in lost efficiencies and unnecessary costs by ensuring the effective integration of procurement teams with logistics. “The inconvenient truth is that both departments often view each other with (at best) confusion or (at worst) outright hostility. It is rare for one to have a detailed knowledge and appreciation of the other’s work, and yet, this is what delivers the best outcomes. It’s key to get both teams talking the other’s language. Alternatively, use a combined procurement and logistics consultant that can ensure maximum efficiency is created and maintained.” Perhaps the best argument for better procurement is the response of the 3PLs themselves. Those expressing concerns about the enhanced use of procurement teams talked about more exacting KPIs (40%) or the penalisation of performance failures (30%). However, they also admitted that effective procurement did deliver improved performance and dispute resolution for both parties’ mutual benefit. Participating companies that offered up their views in SCALA’s research cover a wide-range of sectors but predominantly operate in the grocery, FMCG, electrical appliance and homewares sectors. The 3PLs range from regional providers to the very largest in the UK, with the majority having in excess of 100 clients.

john perry managing director of scala

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MC Music specialise in providing bespoke professional musical concepts adaptable to any form, function or event. Managing acts ranging from soft acoustic guitar work to exotic dancers and gypsy bands, MC Music have something suitable for every occasion. The headline act, Goldsingers, an international party band based in Monte-Carlo that for nearly 20 years has been entertaining prestigious corporate events and celebrations around the world, are managed and produced by MC Music. Based in Monaco, MC Music emulate the same values of glamour, prestige and excellence as the Principality itself. “We are very proud and happy to receive this award in recognition of many years of dedication and an esteemed happy clientele” - Marc Treves.

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The company has a simple and straight forward mission – to be the best. The oldest trick in the book is to focus entirely on outshining your competition, and MC Music seems to have the passion and drive to nail this directive. MC Music attribute their success to their constant pursuit of excellence, their daring creativity and their dedication to the job at hand and their overall goals. Client satisfaction has been at the forefront of the company’s concerns and they have proven MC Music to be on the right path to expansion as their reputation grows. One of the key reasons MC Music are so widely applicable to a variety of functions and have appealed to a much wider than average audience, is the diversity of the staffing. With a truly international team (underlined with a French touch of course), the creative inspiration of the performances has come from all corners of the globe, adding a valuable wow factor to the client’s experience.

Another benefit of having such a diverse team of creatives would be that they all learn from one another behind the scenes, blending cultures and arts to innovate in their respective creative fields. This in-house development makes MC Music creatively bulletproof in the industry. The day to day workings of the company tend to be no small feat. From the booking, lot of planning and preparation goes into every performance to ensure the event runs as smooth as possible. With a lot of MC Music’s gigs involving travel overseas, and even locally the difference in commercial, logistic, creative even legal aspects, juggling the management of the company’s demands can be tricky at best. “As artist managers we often have a lot to deal with at once. Our professional framework team are in constant motion supporting the artists and supervising the transport of equipment amongst other responsibilities. Logistics is a big part of our operation as we have to prepare all aspects of the journey to ensure safe arrival at venues with artists, costumes and sound engineering equipment and provide the best possible conditions for the performance!” Strong networking throughout the globe is a must have in this line of work. Goldsingers have been performing for two decades all over the world and have seen it all, so the MC Music team have learnt the ropes behind the scenes and perfected their efficiency in management. With their niche brand of quality international entertainment for prestigious clients, the future for MC Music and Goldsingers looks long and fruitful. “We have seen certain markets growing and fading (i.e. Russia, Egypt, Turkey, etc...), the experience is very enriching and developing a new market is always a challenge. At the moment we travel mostly to Europe, Dubai and India, but new potential markets are always being explored also.” - Marc Treves.


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FALLING RENEWABLE POWER COSTS OPEN DOOR TO GREATER CLIMATE AMBITION NEW IRENA REPORT ON COSTS FOR RENEWABLE POWER REAFFIRMS RENEWABLES AS LOW-COST SOLUTION TO BOOST GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION Renewable power is the cheapest source of electricity in many parts of the world already today, the latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows. The report contributes to the international discussion on raising climate action worldwide, ahead of Abu Dhabi’s global preparatory meeting for the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September. With prices set to fall, the cost advantage of renewables will extend further, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018 says. This will strengthen the business case and solidify the role of renewables as the engine of the global energy transformation. “Renewable power is the backbone of any development that aims to be sustainable”, said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera. “We must do everything we can to accelerate renewables if we are to meet the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement.Today’s report sends a clear signal to the international community: Renewable energy provides countries with a low-cost climate solution that allows for scaling up action. To fully harness the economic opportunity of renewables, IRENA will work closely with our members and partners to facilitate on-the-ground solutions and concerted action that will result in renewable energy projects.” ISSUE 11 | 38

The costs for renewable energy technologies decreased to a record low last year. The global weighted-average cost of electricity from concentrating solar power (CSP) declined by 26%, bioenergy by 14%, solar photovoltaics (PV) and onshore wind by 13%, hydropower by 12% and geothermal and offshore wind by 1%, respectively. Cost reductions, particularly for solar and wind power technologies, are set to continue into the next decade, the new report finds. According to IRENA’s global database, over three-quarters of the onshore wind and four-fifths of the solar PV capacity that is due to be commissioned next year will produce power at lower prices than the cheapest new coal, oil or natural gas options. Crucially, they are set to do so without financial assistance. Onshore wind and solar PV costs between three and four US cents per kilowatt hour are already possible in areas with good resources and enabling regulatory and institutional frameworks. For example, record-low auction prices for solar PV in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have seen a levelised cost of electricity as low as three US cents per kilowatt hour (USD 0.03/ kWh). Electrification on the basis of cost-competitive renewables is the backbone of the energy transformation and a key low-cost decarbonisation solution in support of the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement.

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AXA Partners is collaborating with Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) and the startup Stratumn to experiment a blockchain-based solution to accelerate and simplify payment protection in case of involuntary unemployment. AXA Partners will fast-track and secure the compensation process for customers who subscribed to a job loss policy. By experimenting with this blockchain solution, AXA Partners intends to significantly shorten the claim process duration, remove administrative pain for customers and reduce the risk of errors. And maximize the chance to recover a job. AXA Partners is strongly engaged into operational innovation in assistance and insurance services, enriching end customers’ experience with innovative solutions to prevent, assist and support.

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Gilbert Chahine, CEO AXA Partners: “We are delighted to cooperate with Stratumn & Swedish Public Employment Service to experiment this new innovative solution. Using advanced technology like Blockchain to offer our customers a seamless and unique experience is part of our mission and fully aligned with AXA’s payer-to-partner strategy”. Richard Caetano, CEO Stratumn: “At Stratumn, we believe in the importance of trust in the enterprise. We are proud to be working hand in hand with AXA Partners and the Swedish Public Employment Service on this showcase project. Built on our Proof of Process technology, we aim to help AXA Partners deliver a next level customer journey through provable traceability and privacy.” This experimentation is conducted with the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen), engaged into a strong digital transformation, and is planned to be deployed by AXA Partners and Stratumn over the next semester in other geographies.

ALLEGRO.AI TO SHOWCASE ITS DEEP LEARNING PERCEPTION PLATFORM AT THE INTEL PARTNER BOOTH DURING THE EMBEDDED VISION SUMMIT Deep learning computer vision startup is set to showcase its latest product offering, hosted at the Intel partner booth (booth #307), during the Embedded Vision Summit which will take place in Santa Clara, California on May 20-May 23, 2019. Founded in 2016, offers the world’s first end-to-end deep learning lifecycle management solution suite focused on perception. The company’s platform and product suite simplify the process of developing and managing deep learning-powered perception solutions - such as for autonomous vehicles, medical imaging, drones, security, logistics and other use cases. will showcase its solution suite which offers capabilities for experiment management, data management, quality control, continuous learning and more. The platform enables engineering and product managers to get the visibility and control they need, while research scientists focus their time on research and creative output. The result is meaningfully higher quality products, faster time-to-market, increased returns to scale, and materially lower costs. was founded by seasoned technology veterans leading a team with extensive expertise in computer vision, deep learning, and embedded and high-performance computing. The company’s investors include Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Hyundai Motor Company, and other venture funds. In addition to the showcase at the Intel partner booth, Moses Guttmann, Chief Technology Officer and cofounder of, will be a speaker at the summit. Guttmann, a 20-year technology veteran, is a computer vision and deep learning expert and visionary, with a track record in spearheading innovation in computer vision, perception and deep learning. Guttmann will discuss Optimizing SSD Object Detection for low-power devices and will describe in detail a datacentric optimization approach to SSD.’s approach drastically lowers the number of priors (“anchors”) needed for the detection, and thus linearly decreases time spent on this costly part of the computation. As a result, specialized processors and custom hardware may be better utilized, yielding higher performance and lower latency regardless of the specific hardware used.

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COFFIN MEW ADVISES ON STRAIGHTPOINT UK ACQUISITION Leading law firm Coffin Mew acted on behalf of Hampshire-based equipment manufacturer, Straightpoint (UK) Limited, in its sale to The Crosby Group, the largest lifting, rigging and materials handling hardware company in the world. The acquisition includes Straightpoint’s manufacturing facility and headquarters in Havant, which will become Crosby’s UK centre of excellence for load monitoring and measurement, complementing key personnel located at its headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Straightpoint UK shareholder, David Ayling, said: “Straightpoint has built a very strong team focused on innovation and high service levels and we wanted to ensure we could maintain and capitalise on these important features of the company. Crosby’s brand, its channel strength, global reach, and management team will enable us to build on our strengths and take the business to a new level. Becoming part of Crosby represents an opportunity to deliver our solutions to more customers and increase the pace of our innovation. It is an exciting new chapter for Straightpoint, its team members, and customers.”

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Co-shareholder, Peter McGreal added: “It was a very important transaction for us and Coffin Mew’s multi-disciplinary team, led by corporate partner Dominic Travers, steered us adeptly through the transaction’s complexities, including issues around commercial property assets, employment concerns and also dealing with contractual matters. We were very pleased with the outcome and the transaction went through smoothly, thanks to the support we received.” Hampshire is a prosperous place to do business and attracting the attention of many international investors, including The Crosby Group. The Straightpoint acquisition is a significant vote of confidence in the region’s engineering industry, shrugging off fears of Brexit uncertainty. Dominic Travers added: “The deal involved staff from across Coffin Mew’s offices in Portsmouth, Southampton and Brighton, a real team effort that combined skills, expertise and resources to provide a winning client service. Working with Straightpoint and The Crosby Group was an absolute pleasure, they were well-organised and easy to communicate with. We wish them all the very best as they take the business forwards together.”


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A key principle of any business should be to look after their staff. A happy employee is a productive employee, whom by extension ensure your clients or customers are happy also. Perks Direct offer an amazing benefits and rewards platform for staff and employees with incentives ranging from savings on travel to money off at theme parks and restaurants. The platform produces savings equivalent to a 5% pay rise based on the national average. With exclusive discounts over an expanse of brands, locations and products, Perks Direct are working hard at their company mission to become the largest platform of its type in the UK and Europe. Expansion overseas in progress, the company has already obtained the support and custom of many businesses and employers in Europe and seems to be set for a flying start through the continent in the coming years. Perks Direct have a unique CSR coming at no cost to their users which actively seeks out new and fresh ways to support local communities and economies in the hopes of making a big difference. A strong culture of listening to feedback runs in the company, making swift changes to their services based on feedback of customers using their platform. More so, Perks Direct listen to customers of other similar platforms and adapt accordingly to the areas of disappointment located within. The result is a platform operating for half the cost and encompassing a wider range of products/brands in comparison to Perks Directs competitors. This flexibility and cost efficiency gifted to the company’s clients has been hard earned through tough negotiation with perk providers and a vigilant effort to minimise the company’s overheads. Operating debt-free, Perks Direct can also function without the restraints and massive overheads of other similar platforms or services.

Very effective and economical marketing strategies have been implemented by Perks Direct head office, ensuring the best reach vs value for money. Marketing Director, Derek Vaughan was CEO of Europe’s largest lead generator before his move to Perks Direct and adopts similar strategies to keep cost of acquisition to a minimum using industry leading methods and networks.

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No surprise, the staff at Perks Direct are well rewarded! Aside from the obvious perks and benefits, a mutually respectful workplace relationship is a factor delivered to each individual employee there. Targeted recruitment ensures the expertise of the staff is second to none and the overall is one of contribution to the bigger picture on a journey to make a difference. Regular training in regional offices helps with local knowledge and gauging client needs whilst also aiding the search for local good causes that need funding via their CSR program. 2019/20 will see many new services to assist Perks Direct’s HR departments with the new wellbeing and Mental health directives. The company will also be launching a new business service in conjunction with well-known providers to offer incredible value in the business supply’s arena.

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derek vaughan


According to Gartner’s IT Glossary, Business Intelligence (B.I) is often defined as “an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance”. B.I models are essentially data-driven ‘Decision Support Systems’(DSS) that are used with the intention of better supporting a business. With B.I, visual data discovery and business analytics solutions are continuing to evolve, which in turn is enabling non-technical users to interact with more types of data. As a result, pulled highlights from the report ‘2019 Business Intelligence Trends’ by Tableau, to reveal the major trends that will be shaping Business Intelligence in 2019.

1. Transparent A. I The need for transparency has led to the growth of explainable Artificial Intelligence (A.I) - the practice of understanding and presenting transparent views into machine learning models. Explainable A.I enables users to ask follow up questions as to why a model recommends something and what it would say if the inputs were different. According to Gartner Research, 85% of CIOs will be piloting A.I programmes to buy and build outsource efforts by 2020. Companies have embraced the value of A.I but for it to make a disruptive impact it must be trusted, presenting valid conclusions that will help humans better understand their data.

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2. Two-way data dialogue


Natural Language Processing (NLP) amalgamates computer sciences and linguistics to allow computers to better comprehend the meaning behind human language. With the natural language generation market estimated to grow to $825.3 million by 2023, B.I vendors are offering a natural language interface to visualisations. This enables users to interact with their data. Understanding user context creates a more natural dialogue, which can lead to analytical conversations between the user and the system about their data.

3. Actionable analytics B.I platforms are evolving to place data where people want to take subsequent action. For example, data workers need their data and actions in the same place, rather than performing an analysis and actioning it elsewhere. B.I platforms are closing this gap by merging with core business operations, workflows and processes such as analytics and dashboard extensions. Actionable analytics are utilising the decision-making processes for both technical and non-technical roles, allowing data workers to analyse their data and take an action after finding an insight in the same place.

4. Data ethics In light of GDPR regulations in the EU, leaders have begun assessing the future of ethical data practices. The topic of data privacy has risen in prominence and consumers are more conscious than ever about sharing their personal data. This in turn is affecting how businesses approach data monetisation, as well as collection of data and the sharing of sensitive information. As data continues to proliferate in every area of business, companies are starting to evaluate how to best ensure compliance, as well as their own internal moral code of ethics .

5. Cloud migration

Data gravity is resulting in more businesses moving to the cloud at an increased rate, driving businesses to re-think their data strategy. Essentially this means services and applications are pulled in the direction of where the data can be found. The cloud makes it easier for companies to capture and integrate different types of data. As more companies are highlighting the benefits of moving to the cloud, data gravity is also pushing analytical processes to the cloud.

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Broadreach Nature is a British company dedicated to the Health and Wellbeing of Pets by offering top quality natural health supplements, pet food and treat ranges. By using ethical and sustainable processes and ingredients, naturally incurring a large research undertaking along the way, Broadreach Nature ensure advanced, high-quality pet health products are accessible globally. Each range has been formulated and developed by vets and professional specialists, using only human grade and approved EU regulated ingredients, manufactured to GMP standards. With natural products and the environment at the forefront of what Broadreach Nature do, the company is Ethically Approved and part of the top 100 company’s list for Ethical Accreditation by the Ethical Organisation. “We couldn’t be prouder to have received this award. We continue to grow and it is acknowledgements from the industry like this that makes us strive to be even better, providing only the best products to the market.” – Anne Wood, Broadreach Nature.

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The company has enjoyed its success, mainly attributing it to their understanding that each pet is different and treating each customer in an individually focussed way, going the extra mile where needed to offer advice and information about Broadreach Nature and the products. Maintaining that their customers and their pets are the most important focus of the business, Broadreach Nature proudly personalise their customer service provision with a friendly, ‘nothing is too much to ask’ approach. The company listens intently to their clients and their pet’s requirements, supporting them each step of the way in their choice of supplement, food or treat. This bespoke customer treatment combined with their nature friendly policies and practices set Broadreach Nature aside from the competition. Being so revered for being environmentally and ethically focussed also adds a refreshing quality to Broadreach Nature’s business model, differentiating them from others in the industry. With huge emphasis placed on recyclable packaging, EU regulation ingredients and sustainable practices within their own offices and outsourced logistics, the company is quickly setting the new benchmark of expectations for businesses in the UK. Employing animal lovers and environmentally conscious professionals is a longstanding policy at Broadreach Nature. With likeminded staff, the company can attack their socially conscious objectives from all angles and work together with passion towards vital common goals. Everyone at the company are people’s people, dedicated to the clientele as well as the cause, happy and willing to assist wherever possible. The staff are kept up to scratch on all the products available, their benefits, dosages and their nutritional values, whilst vets and industry specialists ensure formulations are of the very best quality, in the highest safe concentration and relevant to each and every aspect of a pet’s life. Broadreach Nature recently launched the Daily Digestion and Health Care range of food and treats at Crufts and Zoomark to great success. The company is looking to expand further upon all ranges in the near future, spreading the good word further. With a brand-new website set to be launched later this year offering further information on products, events and newsworthy articles, Broadreach Nature are aiming for a wider audience to convert to a more eco-friendly pet product. There will also be additional membership benefits for those who wish to join the mailing list.

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AI in Business: 2019 Trends and Predictions

Voice Assistants – Some of the most common AI technologies used in our daily lives are Alexa, Siri. Similarly, digital assistants using voice commands will soon make their way into the office. Businesses will benefit from this as it will improve employees’ understanding of applications and data and how to best use it. AI is already being implemented in businesses around the world, and while worries persist over whether robots will be taking over the workplace, some are predicting that it will actually improve and even create jobs in the future. From devices in our homes to mobile apps, AI has already made its way into our daily lives. The workplace is no exception and AI has already helped businesses make better use of data and streamline processes. According to John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices here are a few AI trends you should be aware of for your business: Artificial Intelligence on Big Data – Businesses are starting to use data to make decisions with the help of algorithms and real-time methods. AI assists with this by breaking down excessive data to help businesses make use of it. AI also uses machine learning and deep learning to improve predictive analytics, allowing businesses to offer customers exactly what they are looking for.

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Mobile Apps – As data becomes a driving force in businesses, so will the mobile app development space transform to complement this growth. Mobile users are looking for a more customised experience, which companies want to give them in order to stay competitive. The role of the mobile app developer will, therefore, need to change as it will tie in closely with AI so that it can process data and learn from users. Automation via Robotics – Robotics Process Automation makes use of AI to complete repetitive tasks at huge volumes, which can range from a simple business transaction to complicated processing and presenting of data. This system will save companies time and money as Robotic Process Automation is able to complete a task quicker and more accurately than an employee. In this way, businesses will save money.

While AI will definitely take over a few human jobs, it will also create new jobs. The role of computer scientist will be in high demand, while new roles will be created to run the AI, including engineers, accountants, and retail analysts. People will also be needed to prepare the data for the AI to process and to train employees on how to use this new technology. The presence of AI will grow in the workplace, and while creating new jobs, organisations need to realise that the real challenge will be finding candidates to take over these new roles.

A recent initiative from NPR shows what the approximate chances are that your job will one day be automated. As part of the initiative, researchers looked at a wide range of jobs and scored them based on nine possible traits, including the social intelligence required to perform the job, being personally required to help others, and whether a job requires negotiation. Could Chat Bots Replace Jobs? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg fuelled a lot of hype around chat bots replacing human jobs after it was announced Messenger would be hosting more of them in the coming years. The aim is to help businesses build bots on the chat app so they can hold automated chats with people, which will eventually lead to more sales, bookings and brand awareness. Bots are essentially cheaper and quicker to make than apps, with many industry experts saying that bots will take over from apps in the near future. Many of these bots are able to carry out tasks traditionally done by humans, including the following jobs: • • • •

Customer service agents Fast-food servers Personal assistants Social media managers

Best Small Business Apps Businesses have been using apps for a while to improve productivity and organisation and streamline processes. Here are some of the most popular apps being used in businesses. Finance and Accounting Apps • Gusto • Quickbooks • FreshBooks • Wave Communication Apps • Addappt • Fuze • Pushover • Slack • Skype Time Management Apps • Rescuetime • My Minutes • OmniFocus • Tripit Mobile Payment Apps • Paypal Here • Square Organisation Apps • Asana • Proven • BoxMeUp • Evernote • Trello • Kanbanflow Other Favourites • Expensify • Dropbox • MailChimp • Polaris Office

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Dividella develops and produces Pharma Packaging Solutions and Systems for the secondary packaging of equipment such as Vials, Ampoules, Syringes, Pens, Combination packs and many more. With a clientele mostly hailing from the top 30 list of Pharma & Biotech companies, Dividella also offer extensive engineering support. Dividella work closely together with clients to find optimized solutions for the safe packaging of sensitive products. The goal is to reduce overall cost through production using mono material, optimizing pack sizes for the cold chain and encourage ease of use for the end user. The company has over 40 years of experience in packaging and machine development, most notably in producing top-loading carton packing systems. The sustainability and modularity of Dividella’s solutions are unique. As a market leader for innovative pharma packaging solutions, Dividella allow no compromises in the quality of their products and customer service. With their engineering and packaging development expertise, Dividella contribute to their customers’ success. ISSUE 11 | 60

Pharmaceutical processors are under ever mounting pressures to streamline processes, increase flexibility and responsiveness and reduce unit costs in the face of new market realities. These include more stringent regulation, increasingly targeted treatments and fragmentation of markets, personalization of medicines and end-user customization, safety and consumer protection and a general trend towards leaner just in time production.

A modular approach to data integration allows Dividella to offer leading edge Pharma 4.0 solutions that embrace smart packaging, smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT) functionalities. Working in tandem with Medipak Systems stablemates Werum IT Solutions, Seidenader, Mediseal, Rondo and Fargo Automation, Dividella has discovered new ways for the pharma packagers to harness Industry 4.0 concepts for sustainable competitive advantage.

All of these factors dictate increasingly modular manufacturing that allows manufacturers to produce greater variety from shared facilities with faster changeovers, increased flexibility, and minimized total cost of ownership (TCO) for plant. Exactly the same logic implies that the future is modular for pharmaceutical packaging, with additional considerations of smaller and more diverse batches and the need to embed data into every step of the process to support a more integrated logistics chain extending all the way through to end user.

These solutions include: • Smart packaging raising product security and personalization to new levels with packs that incorporate digital data to interact with production process and end-user to revolutionize delivery for providers and patients. • Smart control devices deliver targeted information that enables production operators or managers to monitor system functions more closely, boosting quality and speeding, setup and changeover. • Condition Monitoring & Predictive Analytics reducing downtime and optimizing resource deployment by interpreting real time data to anticipate critical incidents. • Plug & Produce uses standardized interfaces to unlock IoT functionalities by vertically integrating manufacturing execution system (MES) with control systems to make the individual machine part of a coordinated global network. • EMI improves process stability and productivity by turning raw production data into useful information to support business decision making.

Modular packaging formats allow producers to operate regionally and closer to markets, to personalize with more targeted batches, managed more flexibly and more responsive to new technical and regulatory requirements. For Dividella, the future is unambiguously modular to ensure the easiest expansion paths and the most innovative solutions for packaging and materials. Dividella’s packaging and cartoning products embrace modularity in every respect, from NeoTOP and Tray machinery engineering to its modular packaging solutions. As part of the Medipak Systems group, Dividella is integrated into a modular ecosystem of complementary companies, whose respective skills complement one another to provide synergistic centres of innovation. Optimizing continuous processing in tandem with modular concepts offers a series of powerful advantages that include minimization of footprint and fixed overheads, together with opportunities for more flexible packaging with higher degrees of automation and data exploitation. The main reasons why the future of pharma packaging is modular are the overriding needs to reduce total cost of package (TCP) and maximize capacity utilization. Using each production element to the fullest minimizes TCO, while ability to optimize package format to product and logistics chain minimizes TCP. At the same time, modularity reduces time-to-market and support more sophisticated and accurately targeted production campaigns.

Dividella’s Top-Loading/Top-Opening concept recognizes that the best way to pack parenterals is to load medicine packs into the carton from above, which subjects the packs to less stress and also means that they can then be accessed more easily by the consumer from the top of the carton. The Top-Loading concept also recognizes that pack design, construction and appearance form significant added values for manufacturers, meaning that each pack deserves to be treated as a unique entity supported by optimized handling and a complete packaging design. Therefore, Dividella’s packaging designers are accustomed to working in close co-operation with the customer’s marketing departments to determine detailed specifications for individual packs and carton loading.

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Anyone can travel. Not everyone knows how to explore. At Cookson Adventures we dare to be different, exploring the unknown to provide our clients with irreplaceable memories. Whether it’s tagging sharks with a scientist, discovering a lost city with an archaeologist or sailing through the Antarctic aboard an explorer yacht, Cookson Adventures build experiences only we can imagine.


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