Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cloud Technology – Slow, expensive, restricted or the perfect solution?

The use of Cloud data storage has been under scrutiny recently with articles discussing the longevity of Cloud as a storage solution.

For small and start-up businesses, Cloud technology has a lot of benefits that are an obvious appeal. Businesses are able to reduce their IT Administration by up to 50% ; there will be no more expensive servers and costly maintenance charges and they will only have to pay one low-cost monthly fee per user. All their IT will be managed by a cloud computing provider who will ensure their business has the latest software and state of the art security. It also means that IT costs can also be managed carefully. All providers offer a ‘pay as you go’ model enabling companies to scale up or down in terms of users in line with their needs.

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Sounds perfect? But what happens when your business expands and those monthly fees go through the roof? Or if the amount of data you need on a daily business is high and the route from computer to cloud to computer proves too slow for your operation?

In an article by Wired magazine ‘Why Some Start-ups Say Cloud Is a Waste of Money’, Cade Metz looks at a San Francisco based technology company that after only two years of being founded ‘came down from the cloud’.

Reasons included rising bills from the cloud provider, Amazon. The article tells readers that ‘MemSQL’s database product runs across tens and even hundreds of servers, and as the company started testing the software on an ever larger number of Amazon virtual machines, the company realised the cloud no longer made sense — at least not for the task at hand.

This past April, MemSQL spent more than $27,000 on Amazon virtual servers. That’s $324,000 a year. But for just $120,000, the company could buy all the physical servers it needed for the job — and those servers would last for a good three years. The company will add more machines over that time, as testing needs continue to grow, but its server costs won’t come anywhere close to the fees it was paying Amazon.’

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Another risk with Cloud Technology is highlighted in a recent BBC News article, ‘Instagram, Vine and Netflix hit by Amazon glitch’, which tells us how software problems at one of Amazon’s data centres knocked out several high profile web services. On the 25th September users of Instagram, Netflix, Vine, Airbnb and several other services reported problems with being able to view pages and log into accounts. All of them rely on servers that are part of Amazon’s cloud-based network.

In a white paper by Derek Kay, Business Development Director at Logistex, Derek discusses the use of Cloud in Warehouse Management Systems. Read about it here: http://www.logistex.com/white-papers/does-cloud-reign/

There are numerous Cloud based WMS’s on the market, but with these apparent risks and challenges, is cloud the way to go?

LWS Reflex offers proven longevity through business growth. To find out more contact us today on 01536 480600 or at reflex@logistex.com.

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The Extra Mile Challenge – 1 week to go!

It is now exactly one week until eight Logistex employees hit the hills of France to take part in the Extra Mile Challenge.

To sponsor the teams please visit our Just Giving Page.

Jerry, Derek, Andrew and David of team Jerryhatrex have all been sharing their stories of training and seem confident that they can give the younger legs of Bernie, Adam, Pete and Kevin of Team Reflex a run for their money.

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Read all about the route, challenge and teams here: http://www.logistex.com/blog/news/logistex-charity-the-extra-mile-2/

But less about them and more on why they are doing it.

Logistex have been raising money throughout 2013 for a handful of chosen charities, and the Extra Mile challenge is the climax of all the events.

Extra Mile has selected charities, which one third of monies raised will go towards, however the other two thirds are going to Logistex chosen charities.

Firstly is Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. With over 220,000 patient visits every year, raising money enables the hospital to provide world class care and to pioneer new treatments and cures for childhood illnesses and support to young patients and their families.

Secondly, and the charity that is closest to all Logistex staff, past and present, is Neil Burton’s Stem Cell Journey. Neil Burton is our IT Technical Supervisor and has been a member of the Logistex team for 5 years.

In 2009 Neil fell ill with two rare conditions called Transverse Myelitis & Guillain Barre Syndrome which attacked his nervous system.

Four years on he is confined to a wheelchair and still reliant on a ventilator for his breathing.

Neil has been left severely disabled and requires 24 hour care. Neil has been an inspiration to his family. Despite the pain and the obvious frustrations he has to deal with on a daily basis he has continued to work for Logistex and provide for his family.

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Neil’s one hope for some improvement in his condition comes from leading edge stem cell research being developed outside of the facilities of the NHS. For that he needs to travel abroad and fund the treatment himself.

To find out more about Neil’s Story please visit his website.

So there are three great reasons why you should dig deep and donate to raise funds for these great charities, and spur on the eight men of Logistex.

To donate please visit our Just Giving Page

Thank you for your support.

Coming soon: Green Logistics Summit – 17th September 2013, B&Q NDC

Logistex are proud to be Automation Partners for the Logistics Leaders Network, enabling us to attend regular networking meetings as well seminars, and summit events.

Recently we attended the Logistics Leaders Network Annual lunch, held at Mercedes Benz World, you can read about it hereThis was a fantastic event with very informative speakers.

The next event hosted by the Logistics Leaders Network is coming up very soon. On the 17th September we will be at B&Q National Distribution Centre in Worksop for the Green Logistics Summit 2013.

The topic for this summit is ‘Profiting from Green Initiatives – through developing Carbon Neutral Supply Chains with speakers from B&Q and other businesses plus open discussion time for delegates to share ideas and initiatives, or challenges they face.

The day’s agenda looks like this:

What’s new on the ‘green’ horizon? A White Paper on restricting long distance freight movements by road throughout the EU is putting a new emphasis on the role of Inland Waterways. Trevor Shaw of GLD Partners will suggest answers to the questions: what and where are the opportunities?

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle should be the mantra of every business to cut out waste, reduce costs and meet the international WEEE compliance regulations. Sean Feeney, Managing Director of environCom will explain how this can be achieved.

Reverse Logistics increasingly being used by retailers and manufacturers to reduce waste, improve stock re-allocation and achieve a carbon neutral supply chain. Brian Gaunt, CEO of iForce, leaders in reverse logistics strategies, will tell us how to do it.

A Sustainable Logistics Strategy should be at the heart of every supply chain. Scott Hardy, Inbound Freight Strategy Manager at Jaguar Land Rover will provide an insight into the most successful environmental initiatives JLR has taken as part of a ‘freight sustainability improvement programme’, in partnership with its lead logistics provider DHL.

A greener fleet when dirty, smelly lorries are a thing of the past. Renault Trucks are now manufactured to ISOEN 14001 standard, with 92% of their parts recycled and producing 90% less CO2 emissions than in 1990. Coupled to leading edge telematics technology each truck can now create ‘eco drivers’. Peter Murray from Renault Trucks reports on the latest developments.

Tyres are the third biggest cost in running a vehicle fleet after fuel and the driver. Martin Towers from Kwik Fit will highlight a number of simple practical techniques that will increase tyre life, increase fuel efficiency and help reduce carbon emissions.

A Green Leader – B&Q is the largest DIY retailer in the UK and is committed to being a ‘One Planet’ business. George Padelopoulos from B&Q will explain the reasons behind the strategy and why being a ‘green leader’ is good for business.

Cutting down wasted energy in the Warehouse. We have assembled three experts from leading suppliers of innovative solutions; Clive Fromant from Lutterworth Ecolighting, David Hilton from Vickers Energy and James Clifford from Evoenergy will explain how lighting energy costs can be reduced by 70%, space heating costs by up to 40% and how the use of solar power can make a warehouse a net contributor to the national grid.

At the end of the day there will be a chance to tour the B&Q National Distribution Centre. B&Q have been a valued customer of Logistex for over seven years, with the initial installation on site in 2006. B&Q now have 24 Logistex Engineering Support Staff on site to ensure the site achieves maximum availability each day.