ACQSYS blog

Sustainability in Action

Posted 20-09-20, Tags: circular economy, how to report stolen roll cages, lost roll cages, lost rollcages, lost transit equipment, recover rollcages, roll cage abuse, roll cage recovery, roll cage recyling, sustainability, transit equipment

ACQSYS Supply Chain Solutions Ltd started life as a simple commercial response to a problem in the last mile supply chain - how to stop losing delivery assets (roll cages, plastic trays and magnums) and reduce the capital required to replace those losses.  We run a national recovery system that finds and repatriates transit assets for our clients.

It soon became clear that the work we do has a direct impact on the environment and how supply chains affect the planet.  Transit equipment goes missing for many reasons, but the major causes of loss are:

Neglect and inattention by staff;
Theft for sale to scrap yards;
Theft for own use instead of buying or renting;
Management incompetence.

We can’t do much about the incompetence, but we can and do address the other causes.

Every time a roll cage or plastic asset is scrapped, there are serious environmental impacts:

Energy is used to operate the scrapping machinery;
Transport will be required to move the scrap to the next user;
The owner of the equipment has to buy a replacement;
New raw materials will most likely be used in the manufacture of the replacement;
More energy will be used in the manufacture;
Roll cages will need to be imported by sea and road, usually from China;
Plastic will need road transport;
Every action produces potentially damaging emissions;
Labour is involved at every stage.


This intensive use of resources can be avoided if the assets are not scrapped.

ACQSYS works to break the current linear economic model of “Take, Make, Waste” by interrupting the flow and introducing the possibility of “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle”. 

Through our actions, we intercept assets before the Waste phase and take the first step in creating a circular economy.

If you want to hear more about how we do it, do get in touch and you can report abuse/loss of cages here too.

Bill Howie

Photo credit: Pixabay by vkingxl

billhowie@acqsys.co.uk

The Administrator the Liquidator and the Fire Sale

Posted 06-07-20, Tags: how to find lost roll cages, how to report stolen roll cages, lockdown, lost roll cages, lost rollcages, lost transit equipment, recover lost rollcages, recover rollcages, recovery of lost roll cages, roll cage abuse, roll cage recovery, roll cage theft, Roll cages, rollcages, transit equipment

While the insolvency practitioners and liquidators are sharpening their knives, it’s worth thinking about those transit assets that you may not have seen for a while.

As we start to recover from lockdown it’s easy to forget that not all companies will have survived.  This might include some of your customers and suppliers and there's a good chance you may have cages and trays sitting at sites which are about to be put into administration.

We know from experience that many administrators do not respect ownership or claims to title and will simply sell off your equipment to raise cash if the company goes into liquidation.  Because of this, we are currently rescuing equipment belonging to some of our clients before it becomes part of someone else’s fire sale.

If you believe you have assets at risk of disposal under liquidation, or simply sitting there waiting to be stolen, we can start to recover them for you.

Don’t wait to be a victim, “Get your retaliation in first”.

You can get in touch here or simply contact me at billhowie@acqsys.co.uk

Bill Howie

The safety car is on its final lap

Posted 03-06-20, Tags: Covid-19 strategies, how to find lost roll cages, lockdown, lost roll cages, lost rollcages, lost transit equipment, recover lost rollcages, recover rollcages, recovery of lost roll cages, retailers, roll cage abuse, roll cage recovery, roll cage theft, Roll cages, rollcage rental, rollcages, supply chain management, transit equipment

So you’d better be ready to “step on the gas” if you want to be at the front.  What that means in reality is that now is the time to be gearing up to come out of lockdown.  It’s not just customers who went AWOL over April and May. The chances are that a lot of your essential transit equipment did too.  Without those roll cages, trays and magnums, you won’t get off to a flying start.

At ACQSYS we’ve been working throughout lockdown, supporting food and health supply chains by recovering their equipment to keep them moving.  We’ve also been working with mail and courier companies in meeting increased demand for home delivery.

For those of you who couldn’t trade during lockdown, there’s a good chance a lot of your transit assets will be in the wrong place when you come to start up again.  That’s been our experience so far anyway. 

So, while you concentrate on opening stores and welcoming customers, why not rely on us to help get your supply chain moving again by making sure you have the right equipment in place. 

What’s worse, if you’ve had to rent roll cages to overcome problems during lockdown, you now have to find them or face punitive charges for losses.  We can help you find those missing cages!

The message is simple - don’t get caught napping when the safety car pulls over.

 

Bill Howie

Photo Credit Pixabay mibro

Locked down ensuring you are not locked out

Posted 22-04-20, Tags: coronavirus, Covid-19 strategies, how to find lost roll cages, lockdown, locked down, lost rollcages, lost transit equipment, recover lost rollcages, recover rollcages, roll cage abuse, roll cage cost savings, roll cage recovery, roll cage theft, Roll cages, rollcages, transit equipment

While those of us who can are working from home, there are still many out there performing essential tasks.  This includes the ACQSYS asset recovery teams, keeping hospitals, supermarkets, parcel carriers and others supplied with the roll cages, trays and magnums necessary to keep their supply chains running.  All of our teams are working, across the country.

When you run out of this equipment, the whole delivery system slows and eventually jams, so we are working harder than ever to keep supply lines open by ensuring critical assets are re-inserted into the system.  At the moment, however, many delivery services have shut down and, when lockdown is over, it’s going to be a messy restart because a lot of outlets will never open again and most will be short of staff.

So, while I’m stuck here at home, I’m thinking of ways we at ACQSYS can help bring some sanity to the inevitable chaos.  One way is to carry out “sweeps” of all the sites that are currently closed where your cages and totes may be tied up.  The risk of leaving them there and hoping they’ll turn up is that the next time you see them will be on eBay and Facebook marketplace.  There are a lot of crooks out there and they will be quick off the mark, so our advice is to do the same.

If you think your equipment is at risk, why not contact us?  Some of us may be locked down but that doesn’t stop us preparing for the release date.

Bill Howie

Photo Credit:  Pixabay by Alexei Chishov

Do not panic but here is real meaning of falling pollution levels

Posted 12-03-20, Tags: buy roll cages, coronavirus, how to find lost roll cages, lost roll cages, lost rollcages, lost transit equipment, peak retail trading times, pollution levels, recover lost rollcages, recover rollcages, recovery of lost roll cages, retail peak periods, retail peak season, roll cage abuse, roll cage cost savings, roll cage recovery, roll cage recyling, roll cage theft, Roll cages, rollcages, sourcing roll cages from China, supply chain management, sustainability, transit equipment, transport linen, UK economy

Look at the reduction in smog over China since the coronavirus appeared. 

While you might say that’s a good thing, it does mean that a lot of the new roll cages you expected to receive are probably not going to arrive and you will be short of equipment for your peak period this year.

It also means there will be a shortfall in supply of roll cages in general across the country and, if you don’t take precautions, you are likely to see an increase in theft and misuse of your existing equipment, making matters even worse.

A policy of losing cages and simply buying more isn’t going to work this year because there won’t be enough new cages.  Hanging onto what you’ve got is the only answer.

If you already use us for recovery, you know what we can do to protect your fleet of cages and, if you need us to do more, just let us know.  If you don’t currently use us to recover your equipment, we would be happy to hear from you and explain how we can help.

Buckle up!

Bill Howie

Photo Credit  NASA  image published 28 February, 2020.  NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using modified Copernicus Sentinel 5P data processed by the European Space Agency. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/topic/atmosphere 

 

Goodbye cheap labour and how to automate your supply chain

Posted 20-02-20, Tags: lost transit equipment, recover lost rollcages, roll cage abuse, roll cage recovery, roll cage recyling, supply chain management, supply chain strategies, sustainability, transit equipment, UK immigration policy

No, I’m not talking about the clueless Marxists and Trotskyites running Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition (why do they insist on calling it Corbynism?). I’m referring to the low skilled migrants who have saved the UK economy the inconvenient cost of investing in labour-saving technology, over the decades we have been members of the EU club. 

Free movement of the cheapest available labour has left us under-invested and less productive than France, who spend more time blocking the streets than turning up for work.

Should I automate our supply chain?

Whether you like it or not, automation will need to replace cheap labour, but what will that mean in practice?  Well, it’s not just about missing our fruit pickers and shelf stackers. It’s about the equipment that’s going to be needed as we become more efficient.  It’s also not about replacing British jobs with automation, because we already did that with underpaid workers from the EU.

In the future, for every underpaid labourer who’s replaced by automation, there’s a piece of equipment needed to replace them.  Roll cages, trays, totes, magnums - the more you automate, the more you need kit that can travel on wheels, conveyors or drones, and that means the use of transit equipment must inevitably increase. 

As a consequence, we need to become better at managing that equipment and spending less on replacing it, when so many of us have historically treated it as “natural wastage”. 

Even The Economist concluded this week, from the research on the impact in a fall in the number of immigrants that “bosses will invest in labour-saving machinery, which can reduce the pay of remaining workers”.[i]

“Natural wastage” is not sustainable

Let’s not forget the waste of natural resources either as the focus shifts to measuring sustainable activities across our industries. The great shot across the bows came from Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock last month when he announced that they were implementing the usage of sustainability metrics for the companies they invest in. They are going to start forcing companies to disclose their climate risk according to the standards set by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).[ii] Shareholders and potential investors are taking a growing interest in how sustainable your business really is.

Helping to better control your transit assets

At ACQSYS we help over forty major national businesses maintain their stocks of transit assets because they are already aware of the cost of not managing those fleets. They will be the ones best prepared for the new efficiencies that will rely on increased use of re-usable equipment. Those who don’t recognize the importance of controlling these assets will become the losers, when their equipment becomes free game to those who don’t want to buy their own.

A different focus needed

So, while the Labour party spout Marxist rhetoric about supporting our out of date economy with free movement of a proletariat, (who want to be capitalists anyway), I would recommend a different focus. That is to invest in technology and its supporting accessories to create real and sustainable wealth. Prosperity that can be distributed according to effort, not dogma. 

Bill Howie

 

[i] The Economist The Economics of migration – Delayed reaction https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/02/13/immigration-to-america-is-down-wages-are-up February 13, 2020

[ii] https://www.blackrock.com/uk/individual/blackrock-client-letter “Sustainability as BlackRock’s  new standard for investing” January 14, 2020

How to deal with Election Blues

Posted 26-11-19, Tags: ., Brexit, lost transit equipment, recover lost rollcages, recovery of lost roll cages, retail peak periods, retail peak season, retailers, roll cage cost savings, roll cage recovery, Roll cages, rollcages, transit equipment, UK economy, UK elections

Here we are folks, at the start line of the UK Political Demolition Derby.  The aim of the race is to make as many unachievable promises as possible between now and 12 December, while giving or not giving an opinion on Brexit.  The winner is the one left standing with no majority to make good on any of their promises.

On the left we have Comrade Corbyn and on the right, Flashman Johnson.  In between we have various grass munchers and delusional characters, hoping to do anything but achieve a clear result. 

Last week the Corbynistas welcomed his manifesto speech but must be wondering why he left out curing cancer, establishing world peace and free Corbyn hats to all party apparatchiks. 

All at no cost to anyone earning less than someone more successful than them. 

Meanwhile, “The Boz” has aimed money at the NHS and the police but it’s just pocket money compared to the plans of the socialists, who want to take us back to the 1970s of high taxes, rampant unemployment and trades unions on steroids.  So, he’s staking everything on achieving Brexit, in the face of every other party who either think the original result was the result of stupidity or are running scared of their own constituents.

About now, I would probably start preaching that you should use ACQSYS to protect your roll cages and plastic trays in the face of chaos but I’m too depressed, so I’ll just say good luck and we’ll see who is left standing on Friday the 13th.

 

Bill Howie

Photo Credit - Pixabay Pete Linford.  Left to Right in photo only - Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn 

You can make a song and dance of it

Posted 24-09-19, Tags: bicycle ambulances, charity work, child mortality, fighting malaria, Transaid, Zambia

Usually, making a song and dance of something is associated with a long and elaborate explanation to justify it.  Well, here’s one instance where singing and dancing is not viewed by the audience with dismay.

I have just returned from a trip to Zambia to meet the teams on the ground delivering essential support to people living in remote areas.  The programme is funded by Transaid.org, the charity of the UK transport industry and is based on bicycle ambulances and a network of volunteers who ensure pregnant women in remote communities are taken to a local medical centre to give birth under the care of professionals.

Building on that support network, Transaid now supports the circulation of Rectal Artesunate (RAS) which, when administered to children up to six years old, provides a window of time to get the child to the medical centre and a course of treatment, using the bicycle ambulances of course.  In the Serenje district, child mortality from severe malaria has dropped by 96 per cent.

In the past, the convulsions that grip the child in the latter stages were attributed to nearby witches and children didn’t receive treatment in time. 

Now, a local drama group tours the communities and, through enacting the saving of one life using RAS and the loss of another through old beliefs, they are spreading the word and dramatically improving a child’s chances of survival.

I watched the group in action and it is very effective in getting the message across.  Nothing written, nothing transmitted, just passing on information in the simplest way, through song and dance.  Quite humbling really.

Bill Howie

Photo Credit: Bill Howie

Get ready now for deal or no-deal Brexit

Posted 15-08-19, Tags: Brexit, hire roll cages for Christmas, how to find lost roll cages, lost roll cages, No-deal brexit, peak retail trading times, recover lost rollcages, recovery of lost roll cages, retail peak periods, retailers, transit equipment, UK economy

And here you were, thinking “Deal or no deal” was some sort of TV game show rather than our approach to Brexit.  Well perhaps you are right.

Cameron threw his Brexit referendum haymaker and ran for the hills when he actually gained a majority and had to deliver on his promise.  Since then we’ve been living on the set of a TV game show with our politicians as the contestants.  Not an edifying sight. 

Westminster looks like a scene from “Lord of the Flies” and it’s all the result of allowing the stupid public to decide for themselves.  The problem with holding a referendum in a parliamentary system is that the politicians are supposed to then do as they’re told which, of course, they don’t.

Is that how you would run your business?  Ask the staff if HQ should relocate then let the directors argue over the result until the lease is up and you are on the street.

Anyway, regarding deal or no deal, at ACQSYS we are hoping for the best for Brexit, but assuming the worst. 

As supply chains clog up, everyone will start to run out of transit equipment. When that happens, it will make sense to have an effective search and recovery team keeping your stocks of roll cages, totes and magnums as high as possible.

Why not talk to us at ACQSYS and see how we can help you? 

With our help “Deal or no deal” might evoke fond memories of a fatuous TV show rather than the price of new equipment.

You can also head over to our sister company Roll Cage Rental and discover what they’ve found out about how retailers are preparing for a no-deal Brexit.

 

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

The thrill is gone

Posted 30-07-19, Tags: lost roll cages, lost rollcages, recover lost rollcages, recover rollcages, recovery of lost roll cages, roll cage recovery, Roll cages, rollcages

Picture this. After the first flush of passion, the emotions subside and in some cases desire turns to disdain.  But when he described this cycle the late B.B. King wasn’t describing his love life, it was a customer who had wronged him, and there aren’t many among us who haven’t experienced the same feelings as B.B. at some time.

Over the years we have had a couple of customers who started out believing ACQSYS was The Saviour of the Western World but came to resent paying for a service that was mopping up the results of their own incompetence.  It’s a simple example of focus on cost rather than value and it can drive a stake into the heart of a once beautiful thing.  What’s more, it’s usually the service provider who takes the pain, just like B.B.

Does this ring a bell?

At ACQSYS we take a slightly different approach to things that leave a sour taste in the mouth, we spit them out.  You might try it someday; it’s quite refreshing.  It happens rarely but it will happen again and when it does and the thrill is gone, we will move them along.  Our limited time should be devoted to people we care about.

“And now that it’s all over
All I can do is wish you well”*

Bill Howie

* B.B. King “The Thrill is Gone”

Photo Credit: Tom Beetz Flickr

Some of our clients

“I have worked with Bill and Graham of ACQSYS on many occasions and they have a simple philosophy; no mistakes, deliver what you promise. Improving asset retention and saving you money, that's what they do.”

David Johnson, Chief Executive, Provision Media Limited

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