Choosing a home inspection company based upon the fee is the worst way to choose who will help you finalize your decision on buying a home. Home inspection is no longer some “Bubba” working solo out of his truck. It is a serious business and you need to choose a home inspection company wisely. A home inspector offering a low fee is a red flag to look into.

People who own and operate a home inspection company as a serious business offer many benefits and protections that less serious inspectors can offer.

Error and Omissions (E&O) insurance is a large expense for companies offering this. E&O is the insurance that comes into play if something expensive was missed during the home inspection and it needs repaired, such as a major foundation issue.

Other benefits and protections that can be offered for 90 days are: warranty on the mechanics such as furnace, etc, sewer line warranty, discovered mold, recall research on major appliances, and a termite protection plan. One of the newer protections for home buyers provided by top level home inspection companies is a 5 year roof leak protection plan.

These benefits and protections for home buyers do have costs that naturally are passed on in the cost of business. If a home inspector offers a fee that is low there is a very good chance that they do not provide E&O insurance or any of the other protections. Other protections that can be offered to a home buyer are: 90 day warranty, sewer line warranty, roof leak warranty, a radon plan, discount on a second inspection if a person does not buy the first place, a 200% money back guaranty, termite plan, check appliances for recalls, mold warranty, same day report delivery, pictures in the report for easy reading and provide ongoing consultation and home ownership materials for you.

Checking the company for the quality and quantity of reviews they have on places such as Listen360, Google and Yelp is also very valuable information. Having a large number of reviews that are consistently providing good to great comments is far more telling than the one positive or perhaps even the one negative.

Deciding who to use is an important decision and it should not be based upon finding the cheapest. Buying a home is not a cheap event. It is not the time to short change yourself and add risk to yourself by using a company that does not offer you the protections you and your family need. Be careful who you use and do not use the cheapest because they are cheap for reasons.

Stakeholder identification, a new PMBOK® Guide project management process, is most important for establishing an early foundation toward subsequent planning, executing and monitoring and control of your project communication information and achieving project success. This process should be done early in in the initiation phase of your project so that key outputs of a stakeholder register and stakeholder strategy will be used associatively in the associated project management process, also within the Project Communications Management, which is Manage Stakeholder Expectations.

First, let’s review some basic facts to understanding stakeholder management:

– Stakeholders are those parties who may be positively or negatively impacted by the completion of the project

– Stakeholders stand to gain or lose through the success or failure of the project

– Stakeholders may possess different authority levels which will affect how they exert their influence over the project and its deliverables

– Stakeholders are affected by the outcome of the project

It is imperative to identify all people and organizations impacted by the project and subsequently documenting relevant information regarding their interests, involvements and impacts on project success. PMBOK® suggests using two inputs early in the project for stakeholder identification:

– The first one available is the output from Develop Project Charter, the only other process within the initiation process group. It is the project charter. The project charter may list customers, sponsors, executives, the project team, or public entities that are external to the performing organization participating in the project. It is recommended to hold a separate meeting with those identified in the charter and ask them if they knew of others who should be listed with stakeholder responsibilities.

– If the project is the result of procurement activity or based on an established contract, use the procurement documents to identify all parties within the contract that may be key project stakeholders. Suppliers, participating in the contract, could also be considered for the identification of project stakeholders. Using a contract make the process a little easier as the various contract interfaces should be listed.

These project charter or procurement documents stakeholders’ indications may only yield a normal set of stakeholders. So, let’s further define other stakeholder possibilities and what you need to know about these stakeholders. PMBOK® suggests using a stakeholder analysis tool and technique for gathering information to determine whose interests should be considered throughout the project. Stakeholder analysis helps to place definitions to stakeholders and their roles. The stakeholder analysis power grid is a classification model tool that helps you identify and plot the impact or support of each stakeholder could generate and then is used to classify them to define information to the stakeholder management strategy which is one of the outputs of this process.

What do you need to know about stakeholders? You need to know various levels of data about your identified stakeholders so you can properly manage your relationship with them and set your communications planning. Here are key things to gather:

– Who is the stakeholder by name? Don’t identify any stakeholder as a class of people, such as functional manager or senior executive. Gather their name, contact information and organizational position.

– What is the nature of their stake in the project? Is it personal or professional? Identify what will they gain with success or lose with failure, by clearly stating how much and in what way. Capture their major requirement, main expectation and potential influence in the project or phase within the life cycle.

– What does the stakeholder expect from you? The best way to determine this is by having face-to-face meetings with the key stakeholders, such as clients or project sponsors. This can work out any differences between what they expect and what you believe they should reasonable expect.

– What to expect from the stakeholder? This is the flip side of the previous question. It is definitely needed to set expectations and realize that this is not telling the stakeholder what to do or how to act. If done correctly, you are providing the stakeholder with a description of the support you need.

– What are the stakeholder’s watchdog priorities? This means which of the major elements of success and control the stakeholder most wants to monitor: schedule, cost, performance and/or quality.

Next, perform stakeholder classification on internal and external groups, and their roles within a project.

Internal stakeholders – Most of the key stakeholders are internal people within your organization:

– Internal customers – Normally these are people for whom you’re doing the work and have a particular need that your project can address. Often, the internal customer pays for the project and therefore receives the business impact from the project deliverables.

– Project sponsor – Normally, this is not ordinarily a specific organizational position, rather it is a role played on project. The role of the project sponsor is typically a representative of upper management who has a high stake in the project outcome. This role can be invaluable for you when you face problems or issues that lie beyond your sphere of influence. The sponsor can facilitate decisions and assist with resource assignments. If a sponsor is formally identified on your project and it is large or complex, go and get one! Seek out a member of management who has a stake in the success or failure of the project. Describe to them their role and your expectations. After all, your organizational management should be quite willing to help you succeed!

– Core project team – Core team member roles often tie closely to the work to be done. In most cases, the core team is a relatively small group of people composed from the various departments of work needed to complete the project.

– Functional resource providers – Securing your resources can be dependent upon the functional, matrix or projectized type of organizational structure base of your project. In matrix organizations, you ‘borrow’ resources from other departments by your request to the appropriate functional manager.

– Project Manager’s Supervisor – Your boss is a stakeholder has a big stake in you and your project success. Keep your boss informed at all times and protect him or her from being blindsided.

– Various support groups – These groups exist within your organization such as legal, accounting, data processing and human resources. Their role to your project is more supportive than active depending on the specific needs of your project. Remember to consider if any of these groups should have a representative on your regular core team meetings. When Y2K projects were implemented, a legal representative should have been considered to attend core team member meetings.

External stakeholders – This stakeholder group has their project stake more focused inwardly, although they are not a part of your organization.

– External customers – External customers are typically characterized by contracts.

– User groups – Consider user groups if your project is developing or producing a product that will be marketed and sold to consumers. You can ask this external stakeholder about likes, dislikes, preferences and choices, of consumers that perhaps their marketing strategy have isolated for future or a similarly produced product.

– Suppliers – Your project may require materials that must be obtained from outside vendor companies. Utilize a preferred supplier list, if your company maintains one.

– Contractors and consultants – There is only difference from the supplier role and that is that you use contractor and consultant stakeholder resources for labor and services, instead of materials. Utilize performance-based criteria and a verifiable track record when selecting these stakeholders.

Once you have performed your stakeholder analysis and created a power/interest grid, you need to complete a stakeholder register that will contain all details related to the newly identified stakeholders. Remember, at a minimum, to provide name, contact information, organizational position, role in the project, their main expectation, main requirement, and potential influence in the project, or phase in the life cycle. Last, include the stakeholder classification as either internal or external.

The remaining output is the stakeholder management strategy which defines the approach that should help gather support and minimize negative impacts of the identified stakeholders. A common way of representing the data is within a stakeholder strategy analysis matrix so that elements such as listing key stakeholders who can significantly impact the project, the level of participation desired for each identified key stakeholder and potential strategy for gaining support or reducing obstacles. Since your stakeholder management strategy can contain some data that is subjective and could be considered sensitive, be sure that you use discretion when doing your communications or sharing the data on the documents with read access or included in a shared document.

The stakeholder register and the stakeholder management strategy will be key inputs to the Plan Communications and Manage Stakeholder Expectations project management processes.

One last tip! Beware of other less-human project interfaces that can’t be called stakeholders but can affect your project at least as much as any human interface. These include organizational policies, procedures, culture and politics! Good luck!

Not cars, but trucks are given preference by us. If you have love for truck too then you must have come to right place. Here, you can get all the information about the trucks. So, what are waiting for? Just look through our site and you may know what we have been talking about.
Expert professionals are with us to give you information. Therefore, you may not be disappointed ever. Passion for trucks is the reason for the development of this blog site. For the technicians, advice is offered for the improvement of the trucks in some occasion too. Guidance and preparation tips for the auction can be offered through the blogs also. It is possible to know how to secure heavy equipments from the auction at the same time. By reading these articles, you may able to choose equipments for remodeling of the truck quite easily. Every step, you may find us for help.
For novice, training can be offered to handle the heavy equipment perfectly. Career prospects can be increased in the process quite certainly. Towing practices of illegal nature can be avoided for good too. During difficult time, you can protect yourself by taking advice from us certainly.
If you do not know how to deal with a situation related to truck then we may be waiting for you with the solution. Depth of knowledge about the truck can be strengthened in the process naturally. Issues may not be seen on the way at all. You can share your thoughts with us also.

 

Thanks to our friends from Fence Installation El Paso for sponsoring this articles. Thanks guys!

HVAC is an acronym of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. It is essential to maintain comfortable temperature and good air in a building. A good HVAC can improve the productivity of the employees working in that building. In turn poor HVAC can affect the performance of the workers. Hence it is indispensable to have good HVAC in an office building.

HVAC is also referred to as climate control and is essential for industrial and office buildings. Some of them even have computerized control. this of course can add to the cost. Though essential installing HVAC system in a building is a costly process and so HVAC financing is often essential.

The enormous size warehouse building requires Roof top HVAC system. It has unique features to ensure safety and protection of the loads. It is therefore essential for every industrial or warehouse buildings. However they can be expensive and so many companies look for HVAC financing.

Stand alone HVAC helps to maintain the temperature. It offers high class performance. It is fully operational and secure. But installing it in an office building is not a simple process. It requires the help of a specialist to install. Installing stand alone HVAC is a costly process and so many companies find it wise to go for HVAC financing.

Many traditional financial institutions may not be willing to finance HVAC due to their extreme cost. However there are some reliable financing companies that can understand the need of HVAC in a building and so they offer financial assistance to them.

The financing companies do not ask any documents to offer HVAC financing. A simple application process is enough to grant approval. Once the business owner submits the application with the financing company, the officials in that company would contact you immediately. They would grant loan amount on the same day itself. However most of the financing companies practice the habit of granting finance to the vendor or dealer mentioned by the applicant.

HVAC indirectly helps to increase the productivity of the company. Hence it is essential to install it. Due to their high cost, many companies hesitate to install them. HVAC financing is an excellent opportunity for them to have HVAC in their office building also.

The financing companies provide financial assistance to acquire HVAC at low interest rates. Hence the companies do not find it difficult to repay the amount in low monthly installments. Since there is no red tapism, the company can get loan at any time they want. Sometimes, HVAC financing can be obtained on the same day itself.

Since there are no cumbersome procedures, many companies find it a great relief to get financing HVAC. In fact, it is often difficult to get financial help for stand alone or roof top HVAC. But the genuine financing companies make it possible for almost all companies to have HVAC in their buildings.

A good HVAC system can also help saving power. Investing in HVAC system is not an expense but a great way to get increased productivity.

Springtime in many parts of the country is well known for stormy weather and tornado activity. Recent weeks brought massive rain, wind and hail storms throughout parts of the United States. These storms have proved destructive on many fronts, causing extensive property damage due to strong winds, heavy rains, flooding and overflowing storm drains.

Tornadoes are usually accompanied by brutal winds, hail and unrelenting rain. These storms damage roofs, skylights, trees, fences, buildings, and anything else that is in their way. Agile winds toss cars and trucks as though they are mere cardboard boxes. They hurl roof shingles off homes and let rain and hail cause wet carpets, ceilings, floors and furniture. Rainstorms flood basements and crawl spaces bringing about tremendous water damages and financial woes to property owners. The end results of tornadoes, massive winds and rainstorms are oftentimes pathways of destruction and disaster stricken communities.

Not all water devastation from these storms can be completely avoided. However, there are ways to minimize potential water damage in your home. Most importantly, homeowners need to know that regular home maintenance and storm preparedness are the first steps in property and personal safety. Although it is impossible to prevent wind and rain storms, it is possible to lessen the impact of water damage stemming from these storms.

Before the rainy season begins and after each significant wind, hail or rain storm, inspecting both outside and inside the home and making necessary repairs may determine how well the home fares in a future storm situation. Outside the home, checking the gutters to make sure they are not blocked with dried leaves and debris should be included in a basic home maintenance routine. Homeowners should examine the roof to ensure there are no loose or missing shingles. Roof inspection also includes checking the flashing around the chimney to make sure it is tight and will not let water leak in. In addition, the ground around the house should be sloping away from the home, otherwise rainwater will pool around the house, potentially damaging the foundation, causing flooding and water damage to occur. Cracks both externally and internally should be caulked and sealed well, to prevent water from seeping in.

Inside the home, checking and maintaining appliance water line connections, such as washing machine, dishwasher, and refrigerator hoses on a regular basis goes a long way toward minimizing the potential for water damages. Toilets, sinks, showers and bathtubs need to be regularly checked for leaks as well as mold discoloration and musty odors. Any discoloration on walls or ceilings must be investigated and attended to because it could be indicative of water leaks. Water heaters last an average of eight to twelve years. However, they may become rusty and may leak at any time, so a drain pan leading to an external outdoors drain is a must. In fact, calling a professional water damage restoration contractor to inspect the premises and offer advice and suggestions about necessary repairs is a wise and worthwhile investment.

Not all water damages from storms and flooding will be completely eliminated with a home maintenance routine, but regular care will certainly go a long way in most cases to decrease potential damage. Tornadoes and the massive wind, hail and rain storms that accompany them can cause tremendous damages to homeowners, towns and municipalities. Taking responsibility for one’s home will decrease many unpleasant storm and flooding scenarios. However, when faced with water damage emergencies, professional water damage restoration companies can remove, dry and clean up floods and repair the premises to pre-emergency condition.

Depending on the size of a live concert tour, many people are employed behind the scenes to produce a successful show. Have you ever gone to a concert and wondered, “how do they get this whole stage set up, and torn down in one day?”

Typically, a live concert production arrives at the venue between 7 am and 12 noon and is ready for showtime at 7 pm. After the show, the entire production is loaded back into trucks and is headed off to another city by 2 am for another load-in the next morning. This incredible feat is made possible by the hard work of several small crews that travel with the tour, with the help of larger local crews. Touring crews are broken down into categories and can include production, audio, lighting, rigging, video, pyrotechnics and backline. Here we will discuss what a backline technician does, and how to become successful.

A backline technician is someone who travels with a band and sets up their guitars, drums, keyboards, and any other instruments or band gear being used. They are responsible for keeping everything in tune and working properly. At the end of the show, the backline technicians pack up the band gear and load the trailer or truck.

When you see a large concert in an arena or stadium you must realize that in most cases the band you are seeing started out touring in small clubs and theaters. Large touring acts will have huge crews traveling with them on multiple tour buses, and semi trailer trucks filled with sound and lights. Keep in mind they probably started out in one van pulling a small trailer with only their instruments and band gear. And their first crew members were probably a couple of inexperienced backline technicians!

So in order to figure out how one becomes a backline technician, lets break it right down and start at the beginning. Just like anything else in life, getting into this industry means starting at the bottom and working your way up. Let’s first discuss what skills you need to become backline technician. This is where you are going to begin, and this is what you are going to need to know!

A big misconception is that a backline technician must be a really good drummer or guitar player etc. This is simply not true. Being a good musician is definitely a huge asset, but it is not as crucial as you might think. That being said, you must have a fundamental understanding of these instruments. If you have never picked up a guitar, played a piano, or sat behind a drum kit, you have some work to do before even considering this line of work. If you are serious about becoming a backline technician I would recommend taking some guitar, drum and piano lessons in your spare time. Learn how to tune a guitar and play the basic chords. Learn how to play a drum beat and tune a drum. Learn how to play some scales on a piano. You don’t have to become a pro, just learn the basics. 4-8 weeks of half hour lessons can be done in your spare time. I have worked with many successful technicians on large scale tours who have very little playing ability. This hasn’t stopped them, so why should it stop you?

The next thing you are going to need to do is become educated on the maintenance of these instruments and gear. For this I would suggest contacting local musical instrument repair shops and asking if you could volunteer. Find out who the guitar and amp repair technicians are and try to meet them. Explain to them that you are interested in becoming a backline technician and would like to learn some basic skills of guitar setups, guitar repairs, amp repairs, and drum repairs etc. Ask if you could come in for a couple of hours and watch them work. Maybe offer to sweep the floors, or clean up the shop in exchange for lessons on instrument repairs. As long as you are courteous and show interest in their profession you might be surprised how eager these people will be to help you. You might even get a part time job and get paid to learn! You do not need to be a professional musical instrument repair person, but you need to have a good understanding how the instruments are set up and repaired. If you live in a larger city there might be backline companies that rent gear out to local venues for events. This would be a great place to volunteer and gain a better understanding of backline gear.

Once you have acquired some of the basic skills mentioned above you will be ready to start looking for some hands on experience. Living in a large city is going to make this part easier, but this can be done in smaller urban areas as well. Don’t think you have to live in New York or Los Angeles in order to get into the music industry. Successful bands come from all over the map and the goal here is only to get experience. Once you become an experienced backline technician it doesn’t matter where you live because you will be working all over the world, and never in your home town.

You will need to make some flyers to post on bulletin boards advertising that you are looking to volunteer as a guitar technician, drum technician or a general backline technician for local club and theater shows. Post your flyers with your contact information at local band rehearsal studios, music stores, recording studios, coffee shops, anywhere you think musicians might hang out. You can even put out ads on various free classified sites such as craigslist.com, or backpage.com. Most bands who are just starting out have very little money coming in, if any. They normally set up and tear down their own gear because they don’t even consider the idea of having technicians yet. You can capitalize on this fact by learning how to set up and tune all the instruments and help them during the show. Most musicians dream of someday being able to have someone set up their gear and you will certainly get some bites from your ad.

Since you are working for free, for someone who has probably never had a tech before, you will not be expected to be perfect. You will be making mistakes, but you will also be learning a very unique trade. Just being in this environment will put you in a position to learn valuable lessons from the people around you. Most likely some of these local bands will be on bills opening for national or regional touring acts coming through town. During the day you will be be setting up your band, and meeting the other headlining bands and their technicians. At this stage it is important to work very hard, offer to help everyone, and show that you are a great person to work with. Make sure you meet everyone, especially tour managers for the headlining acts. Make business cards to hand out to everyone and make sure they know that you are an “all around backline tech” that can do drums, guitars, bass and keyboards. Being able to wear several hats makes you very valuable to a tour with a limited budget. Getting on a tour with a small budget is your next step! You want to get gigs with several bands who perform local shows and get as much experience and exposure as possible. This is the type of hands on networking that is necessary in order to start getting paid to be a backline technician.

Once you have an offer to work your first gig, you are going to need to understand the procedure of setting up a band for a live performance.

When multiple bands are performing, the last band to perform is usually called the “headliner”. The headlining act normally sets up their gear first, and does a sound check. Then, the band that plays before the headliner sets up in front. This band is referred to as the “opener”. It is not uncommon to have multiple openers and depending on the size of the stage, the first band to perform sets up last, in front of each band playing after them. If the stage is too small to fit every bands’ gear, some of the middle openers will have to move their gear off stage. They will move it onstage right before their performance. This is called “striking”. For instance, if the second band’s gear is not able to fit on the stage, it must be striked. If any gear is set up during a sound check, and then striked, it is important to mark the exact spot that piece of gear goes when it is brought back onto the stage. this is usually done with small pieces of colored tape and is called “spiking”. It is rare that a headlining band will be expected strike any of their gear.

A well run show will have what is called a “day sheet” posted in multiple locations around the venue. This day sheet will outline the load-in times of each band, the sound check times, and show times for each act. It is important to pay close attention to the day sheet and make sure you are in the right place at the right time. Always be courteous to the stage manager and try to stay out of the way as much as possible.

Most likely you will start out working for an opening act and won’t get a sound check. You will have to test and tune your guitars, drums, and amps off stage and do a very fast check right before your band goes on stage. It is still a good idea to watch the headlining act do their line check and sound check to learn how this works.

Before the artists come in for a sound check, the backline technicians must perform what is called a “line check” with the audio crew. Each instrument is individually sent out to the speakers and monitors through lines. These are either microphone lines, or direct input lines also know as D.I. lines. Each line is sent to a channel on a mixing board where the audio crew will adjust levels and frequencies according to the acoustics of the room. If the band does not have any technicians they will have to do this themselves.

To fully understand what a line check is, one must realize there are two audio systems involved with a live music performance. The large speakers hanging from each side of the the stage pointing towards the audience are operated by a “front of house” engineer, often called FOH. There are also smaller speakers on the stage pointed towards each band member called “monitors” or “wedges” that are operated by a monitor engineer. Larger acts often use in-ear monitors connected to belt packs that transmit their mix wirelessly through headphones. This eliminates the need for wedges on stage and gives the artist a much more controlled and isolated mix. These systems are becoming more common and affordable, but you will most likely only encounter traditional monitors in small clubs and theaters.

While the large FOH speakers are a master mix of the entire band that the audience hears, the monitors on stage pointed at each artist are individually mixed according to what that artist needs to hear during the performance. The singer might want to hear his voice louder and have less bass, the bass player might want to hear more kick drum in his mix. The technician will know how each artist likes his monitors mixed. During a line check, the technicians will run through each instrument line, and work with the monitor engineer to make sure levels are correct. The technicians will also work with the FOH engineer making sure each line is getting to FOH properly. Once the line check is complete, the band can then come on stage for the final sound check to make sure they are comfortable and make any adjustments. The band will usually perform a few songs so the FOH engineer can make sure everything will sound good to the audience.

The most important part of being a backline technician is preparation. Make sure you have all the tools you need and always be thinking ahead! You need to be aware of how much time you have and then prioritize accordingly. Be aware that your main goal is to do everything in your power to make the artist comfortable onstage. They shouldn’t have to worry about anything but performing. Always make sure the gear is working properly first. It doesn’t matter if you changed strings on every guitar in the rack if the guitar amp doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter if you polished all the cymbals if the kick pedal is broken. Make a routine of always checking every battery, and that every jack is properly plugged in. Learn to anticipate problems. Tape cables to the floor so they don’t become unplugged when they are kicked. Then move on to less important tasks depending on how much time you have. Try to understand what is most important to each artist and make sure you perform those tasks first.

Before and after the sound check is your time to prepare. Always make time to get a bite to eat. You need to be thinking clearly. Working on an empty stomach is never a good idea. You will probably have to make set lists for the band. Set lists are a list of the songs the band plans to perform during the show. These can be written out with a sharpie pen, or typed and printed out. Guitarists and bassists often use different guitars for different songs, that are also in different tunings. It is a good idea to plan in advance to make sure all the guitars are tuned properly. You might also have to get water, other beverages, towels, and anything else the band members might need during the performance. You will also have to make sure the band has extra sticks, picks, strings and any other supplies you might need during the show.

Once you have done everything in your power to prepare for the show it is time for the band to hit the stage. Your most important task is to pay close attention to the band members at all times. If something goes wrong, try not to panic. Nine times out of ten the problem will be very simple to fix. If you loose your cool you will probably make it worse. Take a deep breath and analyze the situation. If a problem occurs, do your best to fix it. After the show explain what happened to the artist, apologize, and most importantly, learn from your mistakes. Suppose a guitar stops working during a show and it turned out it was because a power cable was knocked loose from a pedal. You should explain later why the problem happened, and accept responsibility. Then explain that from now on, you will secure that cable before every show, along with every other similar cable in the guitar rig. The artist should appreciate your honesty and be confident that problem will never happen again. Remember that you will be making many mistakes when you first start out. Only once you learn from these mistakes, will you become a valuable backline technician.

After the show it is absolutely imperative that you carefully pack up every piece of equipment that came into the venue, and make sure it all makes it back into the trailer or truck. Do not leave things laying around during the day as this will make it very difficult to find everything at the end of the night. Keep your work station tidy and organized and make sure you know where all of your gear is at all times. Make sure everything is labeled clearly. It is very common for gear to be stolen from venues so you must be aware at all times. When you load into a venue, count each piece that goes in. When you are loading the trailer make sure you have the same amount of pieces!

Heavy-duty vehicles are valuable assets for any company; however, they are also a very costly investment. Businesses wanting to avoid the enormous expense of purchasing these vehicles new can buy used trucks from heavy equipment auctions. The biggest advantage of purchasing something from in this fashion is that the price of the item is dictated by the bidding process, so there is a good chance of finding a great vehicle. It is important to keep in mind that there is about a fifty-fifty chance of getting a bargain price for a vehicle in this fashion; therefore, to increase the odds, it is critical to be well-prepared before attending such an event. Following are a few tips to help learn this process.

  • Trial Run – For those who have no experience in making purchases using this method, the first thing to do is learn how this process works by attending several heavy equipment auctions as a spectator. By doing this, the way this system functions can be experienced and the different methods that each bidding house implements can be experienced without feeling the pressure felt when actually making a purchase.
  • Secure Financing – Unless the plan is to pay cash, securing financing necessary to complete a sale must be ensured before entering the bidding process. Some auction companies may have connections with certain financial institutions to make such a process more convenient for customers; however, it would still be wise to do personal research on finding a lender that offers a much lower interest rate.
  • Set a Budget – When participating in an auction, it is easy to get caught up in a bidding war and forget that the original purpose for going to such a function was to purchase an item for a bargain price. To prevent such a thing from happening, a limit should always be set as to the maximum bidding amount before the event begins. No matter how great an item may be, it is important to learn to step back once that set limit has been reached.
  • Determine Specifications – When shopping for a heavy-duty vehicle at an auction, knowing what specifications to look for is important. After all, it would be very unwise to pay thousands of dollars for a bucket truck that does not have the right boom length to get the job done. Therefore, it is imperative to have all the necessary data available for the jobs that will be performed, such as the capacity, boom length, etc., before bidding.
  • Hire a Mechanic – When investing in an expensive piece of equipment, it should be ensured that the vehicle is in good working condition. Most auction companies give bidders an opportunity to inspect each unit to be sold before the event begins. A mechanic can provide recommendations based on these inspections as to which pieces of equipment are worth bidding on and which ones to avoid. This is extremely important as vehicles purchased through an auction are generally sold “as is, where is.”
  • Value the Vehicle – To make sure of getting the best vehicle for the money spent, it is important to know the value of a vehicle based on its current condition. A Kelly Blue Book can provide a reference to thousands of items, including heavy commercial equipment. In order to get a good deal, the final bid on the equipment must be less than what is in indicated in the book.
  • Find Good Auction Company – The last but maybe the most important thing to be done is to find a reputable auction company. This is particularly important because not all of every one of these businesses is as conscientious to clients as another. Some have dummy bidders in the crowd to raise the bids, while others may falsely advertise items for sale; find one with an excellent reputation. Before actually bidding on any items at one of these sales venues, it would be wise to attend a sale as mentioned above just as a spectator to observe the operation of a particular vendor.

Before participating in any heavy equipment auctions, it is important to recognize the fact that not every purchase will end up in favor of the buyer. Proper preparation is always the key to increasing the odds of ending up with the best deal possible. Hopefully this article has provided some helpful pre-auction tips as to how to prepare for such events prior to the start of such a unique sales event!

Columbia, SC roll-off containers are the best way to dispose of waste when you are gutting out a home or doing some major improvements. Many people are choosing today to make home improvements to their property instead of selling. This is the smart choice as selling the property today is bound to get you less than the market value. Those who are in the know when it comes to real estate are suggesting that homeowners fix up their property instead of taking a loss and selling it. Popular home renovations include adding on to a home as well as gutting out the kitchen and bathroom to update a home.

When you are working with your home and performing a house renovation, you are going to have a lot of waste materials that will need disposal. You cannot rely on disposing of the materials yourself as there are some places where you are prohibited from dumping. If you think that you can just haul off the waste materials in a pick up truck and get rid of them, you may be mistaken. If you dump the materials in a place where there is no dumping allowed, you can be subjected to getting a fine for dumping that will cost you much more than if you had used SC roll-off containers.

Using a hauling company is also expensive when it comes to dumping off materials. A hauling company will take the materials away from your site, usually in trucks, and get rid of them for you for a price. However, you can expect to pay a lot more for this service than you would for Columbia, SC roll-off containers.

If you are looking for a way to get rid of materials that are part of your building or renovation project, the best bet is to get a roll-off container. They arrive at the site by truck and are then picked up once they are filled. You can choose roll-off containers that range from 14 yards to 40 yards for your project. They save you money in paying someone to haul away the products for you and save you time that you would use to try to haul off the materials yourself – as well as find a suitable place for disposal. You can call the company to get Columbia, SC roll-off containers sent by truck right to your property the day before you are scheduled to start renovating.

There are basically three things you need to consider before deciding what to print on a vehicle wrap. First, how big is the vehicle and how does its contour slide? Second, given the surface you will be working on, what kind of graphics or designs would best fit the space? And, third, what is the purpose of the wrap?

Assessing the surface

You cannot design a wrap if you do not know what type of vehicle it is going to be installed in. The shape and size of the unit is very important. For instance, if you are dressing a truck, you will need a larger sheet of self-adhesive vinyl. But if you are dressing a motorcycle, then you get to save money by printing on small sheets.

Deciding on the design

Let’s say you would like to showcase your flower shop on the wrap. Will you have enough working space to fully print a colorful bouquet, or will too many flowers turn your the wrap into an eyesore on the road? If you have a small space, perhaps just your company’s logo will do, or a digital print of one or two of your most sophisticated products.

What is it for?

If you are planning to market your business using a vehicle wrap, then you might consider keeping it as simple as possible. You want an ad that will command the attention of the people around it. However, if you put in too many things on a mobile advertisement, you might distract drivers and cause accidents on the road. Limit your copy and graphics to visually digestible levels. To effectively market your product, what you need is catch-all, not a list of your services in full regalia.

In sum, while what you put on a vehicle wrap is your call, you have to be responsible enough to realize that it will be rolling around town and catching attention. It’s good to be the talk of the town, but when it starts getting destructive to others, then that’s a different story.

Here are 20 step by step tips and ideas to help you create the warehouse you need at a price you can justify. From industrial tents which retract, through to portal frame structures with loading docks and conveyors to fully equipped and racked out facilities.  This is the place to start your successful design and build warehouse project. Building a warehouse that works for you requires thought and experience for the best results. There are huge choices in warehouse design and construction with a range of models and equipment, one of which will be right for you. This step by step outline guide will alert you to some of the fundamentals to ensure you manage your warehouse project effectively right from the first step you take.

10 warehouse disasters to avoid

  1. Plan: The Professionals will keep you right? – Wrong, wrong, wrong! The professionals are not here to keep you right, they are here to carry out instructions and to take instructions – your instructions and then follow procedures that they have learned. Rule 1 know what you want or take what you are given.
  2. Read the small Print: Just because it is concrete it does not mean it is load  bearing. Beware of clauses that state that it is up to you to ensure your structures are suitable for the installation. That means if it fails it is your fault. They mean it!
  3. Know the Regulations: You are very unlikely to be able to see your foundations.  If you think you can you are probably looking at a floor. A concrete floor is about 250mm thick, it is the ground bearing pressure that makes the difference. You won’t get this information by guessing but you will be required to account for it.
  4. Ignorance is Expensive: A foundation is up to 300mm below the floor, usually at the base of a major load bearing member like the frame of a building. They are up to 1500mm cubed and weigh over 1000kgs each, for an average warehouse.
  5. Don’t make Assumptions: Don’t presume that because it is a big steel column or quarter of a meter of concrete that it will take anything you want to hang or stand on it, it won’t. So don’t have afterthoughts about suspended gas fired heaters, cranes or mezzanine floors – after thoughts are expensive. Remember people who quote will normally put the lowest price in to get the work, with a specification that matches.  The only thing you can safely assume is if it is not specifically mentioned it is specifically excluded. You should assume architects will have very limited knowledge of technical equipment, they are good with materials and creating attractive space, they don’t spend 10 years qualifying to design a standard portal frame building, but they will make it look a little more pleasing on the eye and design fish ponds in the reception or decide to route assembly conveyors through the administration offices, they are full of creative ideas (BMW)!
  6. Understand the People Limitations: Be sure you know what you are going to put in this building. You may not need an architect at all, a structural engineer will provide the right materials and advice to achieve the creation, a builder will erect it and none of these people are specialists in industrial applications. They are specialists in only their respective work.  You need a materials handling engineer or a specialist in your industry, or both. In other words pick an appropriate project leader.
  7. What you get for your Money: The cheapest steel building will last 10 to 15 years before it needs attention    Even modern cladding won’t last forever, refurbishment is never cheap.  Single skinned buildings are for sheep or goods which don’t mind damp. PVC clad buildings will last 50 years with up to 4 cheap skin changes and still be in good condition – much cheaper than several coats of paint and a completely new outer steel insulated skin. Marquees are for parties or weddings. Industrial quality steel framed independent structures are the lowest cost, highest value asset you can own, you can take them with you and put them up anywhere. Think through what you want to do. Steel buildings can actually devalue your site.  Be careful.
  8. Check things out properly: Don’t use low budget builders or cheap buildings for high profile work that must comply to statutes, you won’t have enough information to get it through building regulations and you might finish up paying for a great deal of unbudgeted and hidden cost. The time to get this information is day 1 before you pay. Never pay a penny for anything you can’t see or own. Exercise caution with progress payments, there are many ways of safely concluding these transactions.
  9. Beware of hidden Costs: Classic unbudgeted and hidden costs that will torpedo your project include: poor ground conditions, not enough water, gas or electricity to service your building, long queues for service provisions, professional fees, local authority fees, landscaping and other local authority orders at the planning stage- e.g. lifts for disabled access, rateable car parking and a whole host of other hidden planning conditions. A basic list of about 30 in the UK, most of which you will never have heard of until they broadside your bank account. If you are in a heritage area you will need specialist advice.  Unless you are a multinational, money no object company, be very wary of heritage tags, you might find your project hijacked by the local archaeologists for the next 5 years or turned into a nature reserve for great crested newts.
  10. Never max out your Budget with no spare Cash: Put a contingency of at least 50% onto your project if you are a novice, 20% if you know what you are doing and 10 to 15% if you hire an agent or professional to help you.  Only a professional as cool as ice puts on 5% and then only if he has been doing the job all his or her life or you can sub out the whole thing to a principal contractor or construction company who will rake in a handsome margin for doing so, but at least you will have someone to sue to get what, after all, is your own money back.

Warehouse planning – To Fee or not to Fee, that is the question

Penalty clauses are doubtful: I can give you a case by case disaster list involving ill fitting equipment, wrong sized buildings, complete project failures and a host of other horrors to scare you and don’t think that penalty clauses will save the day, they won’t and nobody will touch them if they are unreasonable plus there will almost certainly be a  charge to you for them.   Unless you have a datum point, a minimal position, planning out your warehouse is just going to be a slippery slope rather than that  great improvement you want.   How then do you make a positive start to get great value for money and at the same time achieve a memorable project that delivers beyond expectations?  

The principal concept and operating format: My first recommendation is to choose the correct equipment, this means your handling equipment. At this point I would suggest you find a materials handling engineer with a measured amount of grey hair. A mistake at this point will see you buy or build your warehouse the wrong size. Decide what your smallest stock size is going to be and find a suitable recording system to model a business system around. You can now plan out your warehousing equipment and systems including all the access equipment and the picking systems you will need.   If you already have a warehouse or industrial unit this is your chance to improve, upgrade or replace – don’t miss it!  Firstly think about management logistics – quite apart from servicing and turning HGV’s round in your yard, you could just subcontract the whole warehousing operation out or bring in professionals to help you set up.  If you are a growing SME then try some of the big operators, they may lend you people to help you, especially if you are giving them traffic. For smaller operatives the most important thing is a good location, shorter distances mean less costs and more opportunities.  Warehouses are governed by cubic volume. There are several ways to maximise this, too many to explore in this article but here are some basic warehouse planning concepts.  Which of these statements do you agree or disagree with? (Answers at the end of this article)

  1. It is always cheaper to go up rather than out.
  2. Very narrow aisle (VNA) is the most efficient use of space.
  3. Mezzanine floors are best put up by the builder when the warehouse is built..
  4. Second hand mezzanines are good value for money..
  5. Pallet racking can be fitted in any warehouse application.
  6. If I have a heavy duty concrete apron in my yard I can bolt any steel warehouse straight on to it.
  7. I don’t need planning permission for PVC clad tent buildings especially if this warehouse retracts.
  8. I don’t need planning consent if it is only a temporary warehouse structure.
  9. You will always get a better job if you employ an architect to design and build your warehouse.
  10. 6 months is more than enough time to design and build a new warehouse.

Understanding your professional  appointments and what they do: Your unit of space and your unit of productivity, I guarantee, will govern the entire structure of your business – do you know what yours is? Modelling your business is the best way to iron out many of the problems you will encounter. By adopting such a method you will quickly see, step by step, just exactly how your project will fit together from equipping, operating and resourcing your  entire warehousing operation, but how do you turn it into reality? A principal contractor will put everything you need together.  Unless your project is over £5m you would probably be better off with an agent who works for you directly. Architects will project manage as will structural engineers, frequently working together to deliver a project. 

They do undertake such works as their bread and butter tasks but it is not usually so case specific. Warehousing involves systems and equipment that frequently requires specialist knowledge on such a scale that without it from the very beginning your project will have serious information gaps. Even the principal contractors employ these specialists as do the other professionals but for small projects you will pay more for these extra facilities if you assemble your advising team in the wrong way. A bit like going to the wrong doctor, who then decides to operate just because he is a doctor. Just like doctors it is really important to get the correctly skilled professional to handle your case.

Picking  the right Warehouse Equipment – What you need to know

Forklift Trucks: A fork truck on average will handle about 125 pallets a shift – that is one every 3.84 minutes, there are all sorts of ways of modelling this information but if you are achieving anything like this ratio you have a very busy forklift driver.

Racking: Racking can go up to 12m or so, many mills will cut it to any length you want.  However 6m is often the standard height because they have to be painted and the paint ovens are vertical so that height is the governing factor.  Pre-galvanised steel is always a good choice if you are having trouble with high one piece frames and want to avoid splicing costs. 6m is a quick turn round height and with frames this height you can store about 10 pallets in a 2.7m width or 15 euro pallets since they are 800mm wide.

VNA (very narrow aisle): will have aisle widths down to 1,200mm.  At this width your £40,000 to £60,000 truck will be guided, you can have ‘man up’ or ‘man down’ and you need a set down area for picked work and feeder trucks which are all extra operations. if this is the answer you can get very small bin picker systems which work very quickly, in very high density storage systems but these are usually big money items.

Specialist Forklift Trucks: Articulated trucks now play a very big role and work in aisles of 1750mm upwards and need very little manoeuvring space.  They will multi-task and have both electric and IC power units.  There are two market leaders and a third contender who has a very considerable and experienced engineering resource across the materials handling industry.

Money: Some dealers are very good at tailoring finances if there is pressure on cash – never let cash be a problem, remember this is just as much part of business management as your warehouse based business.

Stock control: Once you have picked a good warehouse truck the racking is easy.   However remember the unit of space I talked about earlier, this is when you need it. It defines picking, packing and shipping, not to mention profit. It dictates the nature of the warehousing operation. If your in unit is 6m x 500mm x 500mm and your out unit is 6m x 50mm x 50mm or sub divisions of the 6m cut down into smaller bits, then your storage and picking operation is governed by that.  If you then have 4,000 stock lines, titles, colours, weights etc then you must do this for each variant.

Warehousing and stock processing: Any processing of stock requires thought. Mezzanines are good people space and multi level/tier shelving systems also provide very high density, good organisational facilities. Work stations are not an afterthought and correctly specified and built are capable of putting their own cost back in to your bank every hour of the day.

Remember to plan your lighting properly and think about good identification systems right from the outset. The more you can de-skill, the more efficient you will become, otherwise when Harry the warehouseman is off and is the only person who knows where everything is, you could have trouble.

From new it is not hard to spend £1,000 per square meter by the time you are operational,  half of which will be the shell, the land is extra. You can extend from under £280/sq.m. The shell only (above ground) will be around £180.00 of this.

What sort of warehouse and where to build it:  Avoid cheap buildings on different levels and slopes, they are cheap for a reason. Think about loading docks and pre-shipment preparations, you get much better rates from your contractor if he is in and out quickly. Trailers glued to dispatch bays only cost money. You can turn round HGV’s in  less time than the driver can make himself a cup of tea with the right equipment.

How to create a Warehouse with a strong asset value: I doubt that any of the Yorkshire mill owners ever visualised their mills being divided up and selling for huge sums as luxury properties.  It is usually cheaper to build up rather than out, however over 6m starts to get slow for forklift trucks and building sections get pricey too. It is possible to clad the pallet racking and turn it all into ‘the warehouse’  but unless you have an exact buyer it will be worth scrap value when you have finished with it, and you will lose value on the land due to the cost of reconstruction. Think though the cost of ownership.  It goes without saying that payback times, function and design are critical but not as critical as thinking through  “life after warehouse”. In other words try to keep the build appeal as broad as possible. There are many good ideas and schemes about to help you. The more you can do with the warehouse, the more money it will hand back to you and that makes it less risky. This is also why I always consider limited fee appointments, pardon the pun, but this is my way of thinking outside the box!

  1. It is always cheaper to go up rather than out. Very often it is
  2. Very narrow aisle (VNA) is the most efficient use of space. It is dense but can be slower than other methods
  3. Mezzanine floors are best put up by the builder when the warehouse is build. Never for industrial applications – use specialists
  4. Second hand mezzanines are good value for money. Avoid. In 38 years I have yet to see one fitted properly, I have seen several condemned and one collapsed.
  5. Pallet racking can be fitted in any warehouse application. Providing you have level floors in good condition, which are of correct structure. Pallet rack can impose enormous point loadings. Avoid expansion joints.
  6. If I have a heavy duty concrete apron in my yard I can bolt any steel warehouse straight on to it. Extremely risky
  7. I don’t need planning permission for PVC clad tent buildings especially if this warehouse retracts. You probably do
  8. I don’t need planning consent if it is only a temporary warehouse structure. Yes you do, always check
  9. You will always get a better job if you employ an architect to design and build your warehouse. Not in my experience, but you will get a great job using limited fee appointments. A good agent will arrange this for you,
  10. 6 months is more than enough time to design and build a new warehouse. If you have planning consent and you know exactly what you want. From green field/brown field site 3 years is not leisurely! Two can be tight and one year is very good going indeed with absolutely no problems – Never rush it, it will just empty your bank account