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

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 green is your valley?

Posted 23-11-16, Tags: carbon footprint, lost rollcages, roll cage cost savings, roll cage recovery, roll cage recyling, rollcage rental, supply chain management, sustainability

Picture of waste metal mountain

Living in a city it’s hard to consider oneself as a particularly fine example of a waste recycler. However when I think about it, the work we are doing at ACQSYS is at least having its own impact on the amount of fresh metal and plastic being manufactured every year.

This reduction in waste happens because we track down and recover lost and misappropriated roll cages and plastic trays, belonging to our clients, thus saving them the cost of buying replacements.  Those replacements would be using valuable raw materials and their manufacture contributes to the carbon footprint.  Our clients are not only saving themselves valuable capital, they are contributing to the protection of our planet.

Our new rental business rollcagerental.co.uk is continuing in the same vein.  When you rent from us we recover cages that you lose and not only reduce your charge for losses, but also keep existing equipment in play, reducing the need to replace it.  In the last six months alone we have helped one of our clients avoid purchasing £750,000 worth of new equipment.

So, the questions are:
How do you measure your performance against environmental targets?
Have you ever considered why you are spending capital every year replacing missing equipment that could be recovered, or even rented?

When you set out to buy new transit equipment this year why not contact us first to see how we can not only save you money but also help you meet some of your softer business objectives?

You may be surprised to find we can even help you to reduce your carbon footprint too. 

Photo credit: Russ Allison Loar Junk Mountain via photopin (license)

Uncovered, The Criminal Exploitation of Innocent Roll Cages

Posted 05-07-15, Tags: lost roll cages, lost transit equipment, recover lost rollcages, recovery of lost roll cages, roll cage theft, Roll cages, sustainability, transit equipment

Roll cages are used by manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers across Britain to ship products to and from each other’s premises with a view to ultimately selling said products to us. They are mobile, strong and versatile and are used in preference to pallets in many cases because you don’t need forklifts or pallet trucks to move them around.
 
However, what you may not realise is that, every year, thousands of roll cages escape from their humdrum existence to seek exciting new opportunities in the illegal trafficking market. It looks so exciting to break free and experience life on the streets but what they don’t realise is that the streets are controlled by a criminal class that draws them inexorably into a life of drudgery and pain.
 
How often have we seen a retail transit asset (roll cage to you and me) chained up at the back door, containing spare engine parts, old cardboard or even soiled linen? It’s a heartrending sight watching this once-proud king of the supply chain lose its dignity and its sheen at the hands of these monsters. Unscrupulous dealers entice these na├»ve, shiny new roll cages with the promise of freedom from exploitation at the hands of their cruel owners and, before they know it, they are trapped in a life of slavery and physical abuse.
 
Local shop owners force these unfortunates to stand on street corners displaying their wares to passers-by.

I have even seen a roll cage nailed down with a sign attached to it.  Brutal!

Is there no end to the depravity of the criminals who traffic in the lives of these poor transit assets?  It’s not just abduction; it’s abuse of the worst kind.  At ACQSYS we have made it our life’s work to track down the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and bring them to justice.  Along the way we rescue thousands of cruelly exploited roll cages and restore them to the bosom of their loving owners.  For some, though, it is too late.

Sob!

Bill Howie

Click here to get in touch.

Bill Howie is Chief Executive of ACQSYS Supply Chain Solutions Limited, a company that specialises in the management and recovery of mobile and transit assets for manufacturers distributors and retailers

Some of our clients

“In my opinion the ACQSYS model is absolutely unique in its approach and Bill and Graham have proved many times that they can create and lead successful teams to reach the goals they aim for.”

John Harvey CBE, Chairman Keswick Enterprises Limited

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