Choosing Routes for ESOS Compliance

Along the introduction of Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme in UK is the quick emergence of various companies that offer ESOS compliant services. While some energy audit providers can help, qualified businesses should understand what their compliance options are, how these routes work and learn both the pros and cons in order to carefully take their pick.

Independent ISO 50001 Certification

ISO 50001 comprises the integration and application of processes geared to motivate energy saving and overall improvement. Simply stated, it is a framework that drives the organisation’s governance to realise energy saving strategies by allocating resources and participating in energy management. The good thing about ISO 50001 is that it includes an energy review that documents ideas and opportunities to save more energy.

However, ISO 50001 does not obligate organisations to cover 90% of their overall energy consumption. In case of partial coverage, the company needs to undergo additional energy assessments to evaluate all the significant energy consumption areas.

In order for an ISO 50001 certification to be valid, it must be certified by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), by an accreditation body which is a member of the International Accreditation Forum, or by a body accredited by another EU member state?s national accreditation body.

Display Energy Certificates and Green Deal Assessments

These two kinds of energy assessment reports can also contribute to ESOS compliance. Both of them are carried out by qualified lead assessors and valid for 10 years. However, they are only based on the building structures and services. They do not cover the overall significant areas in energy consumption. Since these reports are valid for 10 years, they would be used for two ESOS reporting periods. Thus, they would not be as current as the ISO 50001 certification. Aside from that, the assessments are purely based on energy efficiency and anyone can qualify to use the software that produce the certifications after taking the accreditation course.

Energy Audits

A successful energy audit leads to better understanding of the company?s energy consumption, identify alternatives, determine cost-effective energy saving opportunities and stimulate energy efficiency. Energy audits are beneficial to the organisation. What makes it complex is that the organisation applying it, needs to clearly define the scope and type of energy audit to use in order to comply with ESOS. Furthermore, the organisation also has to identify the teams that would be competent enough to do the audit work for the building, transport and industrial area, respectively.

Each route is not formed equal. Thus, organisations have the option to either choose one or combine the routes and meet their company needs. The options mentioned are different approaches to ESOS and the core value is to grab the opportunity towards acquiring more savings through efficient energy system.

How Ecovaro Can Help

Ecovaro is passionate about making a difference. We are knowledgeable when it comes to ESOS legislation and regulation, ISO 50001 energy management system, DECs and Green Deal Assessments. More than that, we recognise the great impact of efficient management system to your organisation. And with this, we provide an enthusiastic team of software engineers and expert project managers to offer you our professional help at reasonable price. Ecovaro comes to you fully equipped with services tailored to your organisation’s energy management needs.

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Making Click-and-Collect click

In my previous post, I introduced you to integrated e-commerce and explained why it is the right way to extend your business online. If you already have a brick-and-mortar retailing business and you’re looking to improve your online presence, you could start offering a click-and-collect service.

With click-and-collect, customers order online and then collect their merchandise from one of the retailer?s local branches. Why would they want to do that?

Apparently, there are buyers who now prefer a click-and-collect service over the delivery service of a purely online retailer. With the latter, they sometimes have to wait forever for the delivery van to arrive or contend with a missed-delivery card.

Basically, customers who want both the convenience of placing orders online and better control of their time find click-and-collect a better option.

Last December 2011, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) reported a ?significant rise in the percentage of click-and-collect e-retail sales in the 3rd quarter of 2011?. This accounted for 10.4% of all e-retail sales in that quarter. More specifically, the gain was 7.4%, which was also the strongest quarterly gain since IMRG started collecting this data.

Clearly, this particular service is gaining popularity. But how do you meet the rising demand in this area?

A click-and-collect service requires a highly synchronised ecosystem. You don’t want to have a customer order items from your online store, drive a couple of minutes from his house to your nearest outlet, only to find out that one of the items is no longer available.

This can only work if all systems involved are interconnected. Changes in the inventory in your individual outlets should reflect on your database in real time. In turn, these changes have to be reflected instantly on your online store. Conversely, once a buyer has picked items online and is already directed to a local outlet, those items have to be reserved there.

But that’s not all. Your system has to be seamless enough to support fast and reliable service. You don’t want your buyer to have to wait a long time before the items are ready for pick-up. It also has to be capable of tracking the status of ordered products, handling uncollected orders, and monitoring inventory.

By implementing an integrated e-commerce system, these won’t be the only things you?d be able to do. You can even add more value to your service. For example, you can connect to your CRM and learn more about your customers? purchase history, buying habits, and preferences.

That way, it would be easier for you to provide a faster and more convenient buying experience for them in the future.

Click-and-collect is a very promising way to increase your sales and improve customer loyalty.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma has received much attention worldwide as a management strategy that is said to have brought about huge improvements and financial gains for such big-name companies as Allied Signal, General Electric (GE) and Motorola.

If you want to give your business the chance to attain the same resounding success, Six Sigma could be the method that will steer you towards that direction.

What is Six Sigma?

So what really is it? Six Sigma is a business management tool that was developed using the most effective quality improvement techniques from the last six decades. Basing its approach on discipline, verifiable data, and statistical calculations, Six Sigma aims to identify the causes of defects and eliminate them, thereby resulting in near-perfect products that meet or exceed customer’s satisfaction.

The core concept behind the Six Sigma method is that if an organisation can quantify the number of “defects” there are in a particular process, improvement activities can be implemented to eliminate them, and get as close to a “zero defects” scenario as possible. Defect here is defined as any process output that fails to meet customer specifications.

Six Sigma is also unique from other programs in that it calls for the creation of a special infrastructure of people within the organisation (“Champions“, “Black Belts“, “Green Belts“) who are to be expert in the methods.

Six Sigma Methodologies

When implementing Six Sigma projects, two methodologies are often employed. Although each method uses five phases each, these two are distinguished from each other using 5-letter acronyms and their specific uses.

DMAIC ? is the project methodology used to improve processes and maximise productivity of current business practices. The 5 letters stand for:

  • D ? Define (the problem)
  • M ? Measure (the main factors of the existing process)
  • A ??Analyse?(the information gathered to deter mine the causes of defects)
  • I ? Improve (the current process based on the analysis)
  • C ? Control (all succeeding processes so as to minimise additional defects)

DMADV – is the method most suitable if your business is looking to create new products or designs. The acronym stands for:

  • D ? Define (product goals as the consumer market demands)
  • M ? Measure (and identify product capabilities and risks)
  • A ??Analyse?(to create the best possible design)
  • D ? Design (the product or process details)
  • V ? Verify (the design)

How does Six Sigma differ from other quality programs?

If you think that Six Sigma is just another one of those business strategies that produce more hype than actual results, think again. Six Sigma uses three key concepts that sets it apart from other business management methods.

  • It is strictly a data-driven approach, where assumptions and guesswork do not figure in the decision making.
  • It focuses on achieving quantifiable financial results ? the bottom line ($) ? as much as giving emphasis on customer satisfaction.
  • It requires strong management leadership, while at the same time creating a role for every individual in the organisation.

Is Six Sigma right for your business?

While many other organisations such as Sony, Nokia, American Express, Xerox, Boeing, Kodak, Sun Micro-systems and many other blue chip companies have followed suit in adopting Six Sigma, the truth is, any company — whether you have a large manufacturing corporation, or a small business specialising in customer service.

Certainly, there is a lot more to Six Sigma than what you can probably absorb in one sitting or reading.

With our wide range of business management consultancy services, we can help you understand the Six Sigma method in the context of your business. We can also help you establish your improvement goals, set up your program, and train your own team of “champions” who can lead in implementing your Six Sigma goals.

Find out more about our Quality Assurance services in the following pages:

Could Kanban Be?Best for Knowledge Workers?

Knowledge Workers include academics, accountants, architects, doctors, engineers, lawyers, software engineers, scientists and anybody else whose job it is to think for a living. They are usually independent-minded people who do not appreciate project managers dishing out detailed orders. Kanban project management resolves this by letting them choose the next task themselves.

The word ?Kanban? comes from a Japanese word meaning ?billboard? or ?signboard?. Before going into more detail how this works let’s first examine how Japanese beliefs of collaboration, communication, courage, focus on value, respect for people and a holistic approach to change fit into the picture.

The Four Spokes Leading to the Kanban Hub

  1. Visualise the Workflow ?You cannot improve what you cannot see. The first step involves team members reducing a project to individual stages and posting these on a noticeboard.
  2. Create Batches ? These stages are further reduced to individual tasks or batches that are achievable within a working day or shift. More is achievable when we do not have to pick up where we left off the previous day.
  3. Choose a Leader the Team Respects – Without leadership, a group of people produces chaotic results. To replace this with significant value they need a leader, and especially a leader they can willingly follow.
  4. Learn and Improve Constantly ? Kaizen or continuous improvement underpins the Japanese business model, and respects that achievement is a step along the road, and not fulfilment.

The Kanban Method in Practice

Every Kanban project begins with an existing process the participants accept will benefit from continuous change. These adjustments should be incremental, not radical step-changes to avoid disrupting the stakeholders and the process. The focus is on where the greatest benefits are possible.

Anybody in the team is free to pull any batch from the queue and work on it in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation. That they do so, should not make any waves in a culture of respect for people and a holistic approach to working together. All it needs is the courage to step out of line and dream what is possible.

The Kanban Project Method ? Conclusions and Thoughts

Every engine needs some sort of fuel to make it go. The Kanban project management method needs collaboration, communication, courage, focus on value, respect for people and a holistic approach to work. This runs counter to traditional western hierarchies and probably limits its usefulness in the West.

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