The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2017-07-18T01:49:11Z ACS Releases New 2017 Course Handbook 2017-07-18T01:49:11Z acs-releases-new-2017-course-handbook ACS Distance Education have recently released a new digital course handbook for 2017. Download the 2017 course handbook to learn about all the courses that ACS Distance Education has on offer. The handbook introduces our huge range of courses. With over 600 distance education courses covering such a wide array of topics, this handbook is an essential compendium for anyone interested in further studying on a personal or professional level. Some of the areas that ACS Distance Education courses include are gardening, horticulture, self-sufficiency, environmental studies, agriculture, psychology, health, leisure and fitness, hospitality animal care, science and business studies. Our distance courses are flexible to suit our students’ busy lifestyles, and our courses can be taken online, via correspondence or e-learning. Our courses are the result of continuous input from academic officers, students and industry over a period of more than 35 years. The input has come from formal channels (e.g. advisory committees, industry reports, student and employer surveys, etc), and informally, by alterations/improvements being made to course notes whenever an improvement is required. To download your free electronic copy of the course handbook, please visit our website: The Coming Workforce Crisis in Welding 2017-07-13T05:47:01Z the-coming-workforce-crisis-in-welding Fabricators in the United States, Australia and many developed nations are looking down the barrel of the most acute workforce crisis in living memory. The average age of welders in the UK and Australia has now eclipsed 55. In the US it has just crossed 57. Compounding this aging of the welding workforce has been the dramatic decline in welders from 570,000 in 1998 to 360,000 by 2012. To compound this still further, the manufacturing industry in general - and oil and gas industry in particular - has grown exponentially since mid-2009, accelerating job demand for specialist welders. Considered estimates of the magnitude of the looming crisis are now rolling in. The US fabrication industry is now on course to have a shortage of 400,000 welders by 2024 according to the American Welding Society (AWS).  Two decades of deindustrialisation and offshoring combined with an overwhelming preference for knowledge-based work by school leavers has led to a complete inversion of the normal age distribution pyramid within the fabrication industry. The age profile of workers within our industry has been skewed to such an extent that crippling skills shortages of highly skilled welders is now inevitable. We’ve now moved well past the point of potentially averting this crisis through skills attraction. The question we now collectively face is how to respond constructively within the context of this unavoidable challenge. Demographics are destiny The size and age distribution of our populations provide the macroeconomic backdrop which shape our economies, industries and lives. There are relatively few things we can project with high levels of certainty, but demographics are destiny. For a case in point, look no further than Japan. Over time, Japan’s fertility rate has gone from amongst the highest to one of the lowest. As a result, Japan’s population is now reducing at an alarming rate and becoming increasingly dominated by older people. By 2060 Japan’s population will have reduced by one-third, half the population will be over 65 and Japan simply will not have the workforce required to support the industrial and economic demands of the country. It will enter a demographic death spiral. Indeed, it’s already started but it’s a relatively benign taste of what’s to come. If this sounds eerily analogous to the crisis facing our welding industries, it should. What applies to entire countries applies equally to any population or industry which fails to renew. Aging populations are not short-term crises which can be persevered through – they are structural, and very long term. These long term demographics shifts in our industry, combined with the aggressive reindustrialisation and onshoring push of the Trump administration now underway, will see the demand for experienced welders skyrocket against a background of supply which is set plummet. This is not a speculative, soft trend. This workforce crisis is a hard trend. It is a future fact. The current daily struggles that fabricators face in recruiting, retaining and motivating young workers are just the canary in the coal mine. We will look back on these days fondly – the real skills crisis has not yet started to bite. How did we get here? When Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio declared in 2015 that “we need more welders and less philosophers”, he succinctly nailed the problem. Collectively however, we’ve failed to address the challenge, much less mitigate against it. Even in the exceptionally unlikely event that US manufacturing and fabrication flatlines for the next ten years, we still have a major workforce problem. In the far more likely scenario of a boom in US manufacturing, we have an impending workforce crisis. Look no further than Australia for an illustration of what happens when demand for welders exceeds supply. In areas of short supply and high skill, welders in the US can earn over $100,000. In Australia, it is well over $200,000, and more than $300,000 on Australia’s remote gas projects. A simple consequence of demand exceeding supply, but it has been the death-knell for many fabricators operating with modest margins in highly competitive regional or international markets. High wages, limited labour supply and a rapidly aging workforce have pulled the rug out from under the Australian fabrication sector. Some fabricators remain, of course, but it is now those who are set up to exploit high value niche markets and leveraging every high productivity, technological advantage at their disposal. Like ignoring ever-rising debt or falling fertility rates, kicking the can down the road for a generation is about to have consequences. Dramatically increasing the productivity of the welding workforce is the only option now open to us that will have a material impact. Can’t we train our way out of this? Skilled welders, who have the depth of experience that only years spent with a torch can provide, are about to become an extremely hot commodity. Now would certainly be an outstanding time to turnaround some unfortunate perceptions about vocational and trade-based education. The default position of many parents is to encourage their children to dig themselves into sometimes insurmountable debt by pursing one or more four-year degree program. By contrast, welding is and will increasingly be a pathway to a long and rewarding career in an industry which will experience insatiable demand for decades to come. This has the potential to make welding and other trade-based careers highly attractive career options - if these options are canvassed with young people as they weigh up their career choices, and their financial consequences. The opportunity that this represents to millennials is outstanding. There is absolutely no shortage in work. There’s only a shortage in workers interested in and prepared to step into welding and fabrication careers, and sustain those careers for the decade or more required to become highly skilled. Regardless, the window for training our way out of this has well and truly passed. While training legions of entry level welders would eventually pay dividends, it is the experienced end of the welder spectrum where the real impact will be felt. No amount of classroom training can replace one or more decades of workshop or in-field experience. Opportunity or Crisis? Whether the dramatic reduction in the availability of skilled welders is indeed an opportunity or crisis for individual fabricators will depend on the extent to which they’ve anticipated and adapted to this paradigm shift. The initial and instinctive short-term response by many fabricators to the rapid decline in skilled welders will be a combination of increasing salaries and outsourcing. As this is maintained over the medium term it will add inexorably to a fabricator’s cost and speed of production, and consume resources that could have been deployed on a technological solution. For many fabricators the skills shortages and acute escalation in hourly rates that experienced welders will command will unfortunately lead to a death spiral of higher costs, reduced competitiveness, increased turnaround times, lost revenue and declining margins. But it’s not all doom and gloom. While business-as-usual won’t be an option, it’s not necessarily a reason to despair. Where many will see misfortune, some will see great possibility. As with most structural industry changes – the larger the disruption, the greater the opportunity. Make no mistake, there will be some spectacular winners from this new market dynamic. Increasing the productivity of the welding workforce Labour is the largest portion of welding costs for any fabricator - about 80 percent of the cost in-field welding, for example. It is the primary reason that so much fabrication has been offshored to lower labour cost countries. Developing new ways to increase productivity therefore represents the highest-impact pivot for innovative fabricators wanting to convert this crisis to opportunity. Incremental process improvements have been slowly applied to welding for decades. These improvements have facilitated many minor but certainly welcome increases in productivity through higher deposition rates, more stable arcs and better operator control. Examples of these improvements include features such as preset weld parameters, multi-process power supplies and more accurate control over current, voltage, travel speed, wire feed rates and purging systems. These types of basic improvements are helpful, make the welding process easier for the operator, and in some cases reduce the threshold skill level required of the welder. Incremental productivity gains, however, will not come close to addressing the workforce crisis we face as an industry. Technology to the rescue In an environment where the experienced welding workforce is now rapidly aging and reducing in size, the only solution is higher productivity. Companies must adapt rapidly and leverage the myriad benefits to be gained from advanced welding technologies and processes. The search is now on for new welding processes and technologies which can simultaneously allow developed countries such as the US, UK and Australia to not only dodge the impending workforce bullet, but indeed to capitalise on this challenge and reverse the offshoring trend which has ravaged our industry. Robotics and fully automated welding/material handling is often cited as the productivity cure for fabricators and the employment curse for skilled welders. Both the productivity gains and potential workforce threats of robotic welding are vastly overstated. Welding travel speeds are limited by the underlying welding process, not by the speed of a robot. The future of welding therefore isn’t full automation. It’s welder augmentation. To have the industry-wide impact required, new welding technologies will need to share five common traits. They will need to deliver order-of-magnitude productivity gains. They will need to deliver consistency, repeatability and x-ray quality. They will need to ensure low heat input and low distortion. They will need to be easy to learn and master. They will need to be inexpensive. High productivity welding solutions have typically travelled with very high price tags. The large capital investments required have put these technologies beyond the reach of all but the largest military and aerospace fabricators. Electron beam welding (EBW) and laser welding (LBW) are the two most obvious cases in point. These technologies, both developed in the 1960s, deliver very high welding speeds. Unfortunately, electron beam welding and laser welding are limited by very high capital and operating costs, the need for highly skilled operators, dedicated facilities and extensive occupational health and safety precautions. They also require near-perfect fitup – which is rarely achievable in a typical production welding application. Plasma welding, also developed in the 1960’s has traditionally been used to fill the large gap which has existed between conventional arc welding processes such as TIG and MIG, and high energy density processes such as laser and electron beam welding. Plasma welding is widely regarded as the most complex of the arc welding processes. The constricted, high energy density plasma jet is produced by maintaining a critical balance between plasma gas flow rate, shielding gas flow rate, current, orifice diameter and the alignment between the electrode and the orifice. This requires meticulous set-up and frequent maintenance. Plasma welding’s limited speed, penetration, propensity to entrap gas voids, difficulty in managing tie-ins, high complexity, numerous critical parameters, minimal fitup tolerance, high cost of consumables and rapid process drift (typically 20-30 minutes) due to erosion of the nozzles and orifice have all contributed to limiting its adoption. Much of the installed base of plasma welding equipment installed in the US are legacy systems and are no longer being produced or supported by a manufacturer.  The need for a new, ultra-high productivity welding technology has been obvious for many years but until recently this has remained an elusive objective. However, still not know to many in the industry at present, there’s been a seismic shift in arc welding technology that provides up to 100x productivity gains (yes, you read that correctly) at a modest capital cost. New Welding Technologies With fabricators struggling to secure talent in the face of escalating skills shortages and an acutely aging workforce, they must find new, innovative ways to increase welder productivity, reduce production costs and improve their bottom line. Ideally by an order of magnitude. A new Australian welding technology is now delivering on this very tall order. Developed by the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Science & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), this new welding process has been quietly adopted by some of the world’s most productive fabricators. K-TIG (Keyhole TIG) is a highly refined version of TIG/GTAW.  K-TIG has 8x the penetration of GTAW, allowing it to perform x-ray quality welds in materials up to 5/8 inch (16mm) thick in a single pass, without the need for edge bevelling. The resulting welds are performed at up to 100x the speed of conventional TIG/GTAW. Gas consumption is reduced by more than 90%, and wire consumption is reduced by in excess of 90% or eliminated entirely. You’d be forgiven for assuming that K-TIG must be an exotic welding process which only works in controlled lab conditions. Not so. K-TIG is now being used in production in Australia, UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Argentina, China and a range of other countries. In the US, K-TIG has been adopted by fabricators in New York, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and California. GE has deployed the technology in multiple locations and is using it in the fabrication of the 7HA – the world’s largest and most advanced gas turbine, in addition to mission-critical power station applications. The technology is being used widely in ASME vessels & tanks, cryogenics, oil & gas, power generation, water treatment, renewable energy, nuclear and defence fabrication, tube mills, pipe spooling and a wide variety of general fabrication applications. The speed, productivity, cost savings, quality and code compliance of K-TIG has been proven beyond doubt. These early adopters have achieved enormous productivity gains. The average cost saving hovers at around 90%. In GE’s case it was 93%. K-TIG has an extensive certification library of Lloyds-certified welding procedures in a wide range of materials and thicknesses, in 1G and 2G, both with wire and autogenously welded. The process easily handles almost all corrosion resistant materials including 300-series stainless steel, duplex, super duplex, hastelloy, inconel, nimonic, titanium, zirconium and other materials. K-TIG is currently the best example of an advanced welding technology that is helping to overcome the looming welding workforce crisis by delivering dramatic improvements in productivity, efficiency, quality and cost. Conclusion While a renewed focus on training and skills development to engage the next generation of welders is paramount and must proceed at pace, the looming workforce crisis will only be averted by fabricators willing to embrace high productivity welding technologies. The single, largest mistake that fabricators can make now is to assume that current skilled welder availability will continue. It won’t. It’s time for every forward-looking fabricator to take a long, hard and sober look at this, and to make a conscious decision as to how they are going to respond. The dramatic reduction in the numbers of skilled welders, boilermakers and journeymen is now hard-wired into our future. Whether this drives us to achieve exceptional productivity - or simply drives us over the edge - is now up to us. New OSH Regulations for Victoria Australia 2017-07-07T06:24:29Z new-osh-regulations-for-victoria-australia Victorian law for Health and Safety in the workplace consists of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic), supported by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (Vic). These laws are reasonably consistent with the National Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation that applies in most other Australian states. The Regulations are reviewed every 10 years and hence the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations 2007 expired on June 19, 2017. They have been replaced by new OHS Regulations, which aim to support Victoria's goals to have the safest workplaces in Australia at the lowest average cost to business. Changes will mainly impact workplaces: ·     where asbestos is present; ·     which manufacture or import hazardous substances or agricultural and veterinary chemicals; ·     work in construction; or ·     operate a mine or major hazard facility, In most cases immediate compliance is required. The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 places significant obligations on employers and workers to uphold general duties of care with regard to the health and safety of employees and members of the public.  The OHS Regulations on the other hand, focus on specific risks and advocate in more detail how employers and employees must meet their obligations under the Act. The specific areas covered by the regulations include: ·       manual handling ·       noise ·       prevention of falls from heights ·       plant and equipment ·       licensing for high risk work ·       prevention of slips and trips ·       hazardous substances and ·       construction According to the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) estimates that the total cost to employers of meeting obligations under the OHS act and regulations is approximately $15 billion in 2017-18. Of this, $12 billion is attributable to the Act and $3 billion to the Regulations. The expiry of Regulations every ten years provides the Government with an opportunity to assess whether each specific regulation is still required and how it can be improved to achieve the desired goals, whilst reducing the cost. The Chamber feels that the government has missed this opportunity in this revision of the Regulations. The OHS Act and Regulations are supported by Compliance Codes that provide guidance in achieving the required standard of health and safety.Compliance codes approved in Victoria are listed on WorkSafe Victoria’s website. These Compliance Codes, which align with the regulations, are now under review and eight proposed codes are available for public comment.   References 1.    WorkSafe Victoria - 2.         A Summary of Workers Compensation Insurance Incentives in Australia and New Zealand 2017-07-07T05:59:36Z a-summary-of-workers-compensation-insurance-incentives-in-australia-and-new-zealand The majority of employers in Australia and New Zealand are required to pay Workers’ Compensation premiums to cover their workers in the event of a work related injury or illness. Premiums fund financial and medical support to injured workers, cover the costs of dispute management and administration of the schemes. The purpose of workers’ compensation schemes is to intervene early in the life cycle of a workplace injury, to the extent where some of the schemes are introducing incentives in the form of premium reductions, for companies to actively prevent injuries from occurring in the first place and to maximise the opportunity for an injured worker to return to work. Premiums are usually expressed as a percentage of employers’ total wages bills. The rates depend on an employer’s: ·       Size ·       Industry ·       Individual claims experience, and ·       The way that wages are defined for workers compensation purposes.   New Zealand The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is the provider of accident insurance in New Zealand for all work and non-work injuries. Employers (even a self-employed one), are required by the New Zealand government to provide work-related personal injury insurance for all employees, whether they are full-time, part-time, or casual workers. Although Workplace Cover is mandatory, there are steps that can be taken to reduce ACC levies. New Zealand is taking a new approach to assist businesses to create healthier and safer workplaces. Companies will be rewarded for their health and safety performance. Once a business has been running for over three years, their Work levy will be adjusted based on this history. The levy may stay the same, be discounted or have a loading. The Work levy can be reduced by preventing injuries at work and assisting injured employees return to work sooner. If a company has paid less than $10,000 annual work levy in any one of the three years, they will fall under the No Claims Discount programme. Companies will be given a 10% discount on the Work levy if, over the three-year period the business has had: ·       no weekly compensation days, and ·       no accidental death claims. Companies will be given a 10% loading on the work levy, if over the three-year period the business has had: ·       over 70 weekly compensation days or ·       any accidental death claims. Through the Experience Rating Programme, companies could get up to 50% off the Work levy or, up to 75% added.   Australia There are 11 main Workers’ Compensation systems in Australia. Each of the eight Australian states and territories have developed their own workers compensation scheme and there are three Commonwealth schemes: ·       The first is for Australian Government employees, Australian Defence Force personnel with service before 1 July 2004 and the employees of licensed self-insurers. ·       The second is for certain seafarers. ·       The third is for Australian Defence Force personnel with service on or after 1 July 2004.   SafeWork Australia is the federal government advisory body on workers' compensation in Australia. They coordinate work on national workers' compensation harmonisation initiatives, as well as producing national workers compensation information. Each jurisdiction allows employers to self-insure for workers’ compensation. This allows companies to manage and pay for all their employee claims for work-related fatality, injury and illness, rather than paying premiums to insurers to take on those responsibilities. Self-insured companies must conform to each jurisdiction’s specific legislative requirements, the most critical of which is the financial capacity to fully fund future liabilities. Regulatory authorities in each jurisdiction also need to be satisfied that self-insuring employers have adequate work health and safety, injury management and return to work arrangements, as well as the capacity to effectively manage workers’ compensation. ·       In Queensland and South Australia, you cannot choose your insurer. If you are employing eligible paid workers in these states, you must register for cover. ·       In all other states, you can choose your insurer: ·       In the ACT, NT, TAS and WA premiums vary between insurers. Workers' compensation premiums are calculated differently in each state based on a combination of industry, claims history, worker remuneration and state-specific loadings and conditions. ·       In NSW, QLD, VIC and SA you will get the same premiums from all insurers. Discounts on premiums can be achieved in most states based on your claims history.  Premiums are related to the number of Claims resulting from Incidents.  And these Incidents are related to the effectiveness of your Health and Safety management system. Consideration is also given to your Injury Management Procedures. Prompt reporting and early intervention are vital. Some states have specific incentive structures: New South Wales - NSW WorkCover There are a range of incentives, discounts and other adjustments that could affect premium costs if a company is based in NSW. icare worker insurance is the statutory insurer for workers compensation and care in NSW. Incentives Avoid the claim excess - If a worker suffers a workplace injury, employers may avoid paying a claims excess by notifying their insurance agent or insurer within 48 hours of becoming aware of the workplace injury. Employer safety incentive  Small employers, will get a 10 per cent Employer Safety Incentive (ESI) premium discount at the beginning of each policy period to assist them in making their workplace safe. If all injured workers are returned to suitable work within four weeks of the date of injury, with no ongoing requirement for payment of weekly compensation, the 10 per cent discount can be kept. Experience rated businesses are employers with an average performance premium (total wages x your industry rate) greater than $30,000. Experience-rated employers will receive a 10 per cent Employer Safety Incentive (ESI) premium discount at policy renewal. This provides an opportunity for employers to invest the savings in workplace safety. Employer safety reward (experience-rated employers only) An employer safety reward (ESR) discount of 5 per cent will be applied at the end of the insurance period for experience-rated employers who have not incurred any premium-affecting claims in the previous four consecutive policy periods. Return to work incentive Small employers will receive a 10 per cent Return to Work Incentive (RTWI) premium discount, instead of the ESI, if all injured workers return to suitable work with no ongoing requirement for payment of weekly compensation, between four and thirteen weeks from the date of injury. A return to work incentive discount (5, 10 or 15 per cent) will be applied, for Experience rated employers, to the cost of each claim with a sustainable return to work outcome up to 52 weeks. Higher discounts apply to shorter return to work outcomes. Rebates are provided to help NSW workplaces improve their safety management. The small business rebate program offers up to $500 to help small business owners and sole traders (with 0-50 full-time employees or equivalent) adopt solutions to high risk safety problems in their workplace.  Access to free safety advisors is also provided to help small businesses build safety skills.   Queensland – WorkCover QLD WorkCover QLD has initiated the Injury Prevention and Management program (IPaM) Once a business commits to participating in the IPaM program they will be allocated a dedicated IPaM Advisor to work with, initially for up to 12 months to complete the program. IPaM advisors are not inspectors, their role is to provide advice and support, not to enforce compliance. The idea is therefore to improve Health and safety management, which should lead to a reduction in incidents. An improved claims history ultimately impacts in reducing the premiums which companies pay.   Victoria – WorkSafe Victoria Businesses with a claims history will be given a rating, which also affects their premium if they have wages totalling more than $200,000 per year. The rating is then factored into the premium amount, so if companies have a good rating (or low claims) their premium will be reduced. Companies are therefore encouraged to take proactive steps to reduce injuries and intervene early when incidents occur. Costs can be reduced by helping employees return to work. If a worker returns to the workplace, compensation will end, so the estimation of future costs will be reduced and thus so will the premiums. The longer they stay at work, the more that estimate continues to reduce. WorkSafe Incentive Scheme for Employers (WISE) provides a financial incentive of up to $26,000 to a new employer who offers ongoing employment of at least 15 hours a week to an injured worker who is unable to return to work with their pre-injury employer.   South Australia - ReturnToWorkSA In SA, employers can directly influence the amount of insurance premium they pay.  This can be achieved by preventing injuries from happening and if they do, assisting the injured worker to recover and return to work as quickly as possible. This helps to minimise the income support costs for a work injury claim and therefore the amount of premium companies pay. ReturnToWorkSA is responsible for providing work injury insurance and regulating the South Australian Return to Work scheme. Businesses have been given a powerful incentive to improve employee safety with a significant financial penalty at the heart of the new ReturnToWork scheme for industry sectors with high rates of injuries.   Employers in all States and territories in Australia are encouraged to engage with the managers of the State workers compensation schemes, to ascertain what discounts are available to them, as all the States have structured the schemes to encourage the implementation of workplace Safety Management Systems, to reduce workplace injuries. SafeWork Australia has published “Comparison of Workers’ Compensation Arrangements in Australia and New Zealand”, Oct 2106   A safe workplace is good for everyone. Not only can a company avoid accidents and injuries, but it can avoid the costs and the negative impacts of an injury, such as employee absence, reduced productivity or an official investigation. Employers should: myosh365 is a complete safety management system for small business. Developed in collaboration with safety consultants, it’s a simple yet powerful safety compliance solution in line with ISO 45001, that boosts productivity, saves time and enhances business reputation. myosh Classic suits small to medium enterprise and is a low cost, easy to implement version of myosh safety software with all the functionality.  Features over 70 optional modules. myosh Custom is a fully customisable solution, tailored to meet unique requirements. Features over 70 optional modules. myosh Enterprise scales to meet the unique requirements of global and multinational organisations utilizing multi-lingual, hierarchical and advanced security functionality   References: IFS empowers service engineers with mixed reality using Microsoft HoloLens 2017-07-07T01:16:27Z ifs-empowers-service-engineers-with-mixed-reality-using-microsoft-hololens Melbourne, 7 July, 2017: IFS, the global enterprise applications company, announces the launch of a new proof of concept, developed by the company’s innovation think tank IFS Labs, to reinvent field service management. IFS Labs has developed an integration between the enterprise applications suite IFS Applications and Microsoft HoloLens that enables service engineers to visualise holographic IFS software data on the HoloLens screen, which is plotted directly on the asset they are to service. The data is displayed directly in front of the engineer’s eyes, enabling technicians to use both hands when servicing the asset. By displaying information as a real-time overlay, engineers get immediate access to relevant asset-specific data such as service history, performance analysis, and temperature levels. HoloLens will also make it possible to action the data in real time by clicking a “work guidelines” button to access service instructions stored in IFS Applications. By leveraging the integrated HoloLens camera, the solution also makes it easy to document the asset and the service performed, and store the information in IFS Applications for future reference. “We are very excited to present this proof of concept that we believe has the potential to revolutionise the way we think of field service management,” IFS Labs director Bas de Vos said. “By leveraging the Microsoft HoloLens, we can help service personnel navigate complex environments and access critical asset information to realise major benefits such as increased productivity and first-time fix rates. Field service management is a highly prioritised area for IFS where we have been categorised as leaders by analysts. We will keep pioneering this field with innovative solutions that provide tangible business benefits.” Brandon Bray, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft HoloLens said, “We see great potential for using the mixed reality capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens with enterprise software like IFS Applications to empower field service technicians with innovative tools that boost productivity. Microsoft values the collaboration with IFS that helps expand both of our markets and creates new offerings and added value for our customers.” IFS Labs is exploring making the concept available for other IFS software products in the future. Learn more about the projects currently researched by IFS Labs here: About IFS IFS™ develops and delivers enterprise software for customers around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. The industry expertise of our people and solutions, together with commitment to our customers, has made us a recognised leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector. Our team of 3,300 employees supports more than one million users worldwide from a network of local offices and through our growing ecosystem of partners. For more information, visit: Follow us on Twitter: @ifsworld Visit the IFS Blog on technology, innovation and creativity: EmbPunch – A Leading Name in Embroidery Digitizing Services 2017-07-04T10:42:50Z embpunch-a-leading-name-in-embroidery-digitizing-services July 03, 2017, Burwood: Every business owner wants to promote his brand or products in the best way to attract more and more consumers. If they have a piece of artwork, a company logo, or a design that they need embroidered on certain items to spread a word about their brand among the target audience, then embroidery digitizing services can give a stunning look to their artwork. “Embroidery Digitizing” is the process of converting existing artwork or company logo into a stitch file that can be sewn on any garment by an embroidery machine. It’s necessary for any design to get digitized before it can be embroidered. Well, digitizing is an intricate process that’s more like an art. While there are several professional companies out there specializing in embroidery digitizing services, EmbPunch is one such topnotch company that has, with its years of experience and impeccable services, created a name of its own in the industry. They’re a respectable and trusted company that has been serving premium quality embroidery digitizing to the people in Australia. No doubt about the fact that great digitizing is the foundation of stunning embroidery. While there are several promotional items that business owners consider creating awareness about their products or services, embroidery digitizing has become the most popular way to draw the attention of the target audience. Why rely on EmbPunch for highest quality and reasonably priced embroidery digitizing services? Here are some reasons why the businesses and other people depend on their first-class online embroidery digitizing services: Competitive Costs Reliable Turnaround Time – 24 hours Outstanding Design Quality Excellent Customer Service Hiring someone who’s adept at creating flawless embroidery implementing the latest techniques and right tools is the right thing to do. EmbPunch has a team of experienced and skilled technicians who work every way out in serving their clients with the best. They are well-versed with how to tackle complex and tricky design which in the end provides guaranteed results. Also, their prices are very competitive as well as low when compared to other companies in the market. They are one of the premier companies for custom embroidery digitizing services that have come far where it all began. They emphasise on creating the exceptional digital design that’s sewn the way it should be on the final product. D-Link Managed Switches Outperform Competitors in New Tolly Group Reports 2017-07-03T22:37:00Z d-link-managed-switches-outperform-competitors-in-new-tolly-group-reports Positive results of independent third-party Tolly Group comparison reports on two managed D-Link® switches against Cisco, HP and Netgear have shown the D-Link DGS-1510-28X Layer 3 Stackable Managed Gigabit Switch and DGS-3630-28TC Layer 3 Stackable Managed Gigabit Switch outperforming comparable competitor products. D-Link switches outperformed competitors in latency, with the DGS-3630-28TC showing lower L2 and L3 latency across all packet sizes tested. Along with equivalent throughput from major competitors, the D-Link switches excelled in long-term benefits for total cost of ownership with cost-per-gigabit up to 62 percent lower than competitors, and up to 51 percent lower power consumption. National Sales Manager, Business Solutions at D-Link Australia Phil Tarbox said, “D-Link works hard to deliver robust and competitive products to the market, and D-Link Partners tell us that decreasing power consumption is a major concern for their customers. These results from The Tolly Group demonstrate that D-Link Green Energy Saving Technology not only saves our customers money, but does not sacrifice performance.” More About the DGS-3630-28TC Report:The DGS-3630-28TC Layer 3 Stackable Managed Gigabit Switch is designed for small to medium businesses, small to medium enterprises, larger enterprises, and ISPs to deliver high performance, flexibility, fault tolerance, and advanced software features for maximum return on investment. The Tolly Report highlights include: • Line-rate throughput was equivalent across all GbE and 10GbE Ports • Latency tests showed lower or equivalent L2 and L3 latency than competitor across all tested packet sizes • Both switches stored all MAC addresses in the incremental test. For the random test, the DGS-3630-28TC Switch missed fewer addresses than its competitor. • Cost-per-Gigabit was 56 percent lower than competitor switches • DGS-3630-28TC delivered equivalent or better performance while keeping power consumption 38 percent lower than competitor  More About the DGS-1510-28X Report:The DGS-1510-28X Layer 3 Stackable Managed Gigabit Switch provides a reliable, scalable, and modular interconnection between core switches and edge switches with rich capabilities and simplified flexibility. The DGS-1510-28X was tested against three competitors, and the Tolly Report highlights include: • Line-rate throughput was equivalent across all GbE and 10GbE Ports • Latency tests showed comparable L2 and L3 latency with competitors • Cost-per-Gigabit was 62 percent lower than one competitor switch and constantly better than two other competitors • Power consumption tests showed 62 percent lower energy usage • DGS-1510-28X delivered Telecommunications Energy Efficiency Radio (TEER) that was 104 percent better than one competitor Availability and Pricing The DGS-3630-28TC and DGS-1510-28X are both available throughout D-Link’s network of channel partners and distributors at   For additional product information, visit For the complete test reports, please refer to the below links:  Where has local area marketing gone so wrong? 2017-06-29T07:59:16Z where-has-local-area-marketing-gone-so-wrong In the Ye Olde Days the local butchers knew their customers by name, ……. so what has changed. Let’s face it, we have become a faceless community of businesses and traders who are all out beating our chests instead of spending quality time building long lasting contacts and a strong network of like minded affiliates and referrers. We have all gotten so caught up in the social media world that we have lost the art of building our “friends” referral base, in effect failing to create the anchor point for our local marketing efforts. read more Write a Business Plan Month 2017-06-29T07:57:38Z write-a-business-plan-month Are you expecting a bigger and better 2017?  What are you doing to make that happen? Every business, new or old, needs a business plan to see them through the next 12 months to ensure their chances of success. Did you know most businesses fail because they never took the time and effort to compose a proper business plan? The age old saying “fail to plan is planning to fail” is right, you need to use this downtime wisely to know where you are going or what the next step is to growing your business successfully. The reasons for having a business plan are many, they help you organize your time, give you focus and direction, give you clarity for the coming year on what you want to achieve and progress towards the ultimate end goal. If you don’t plan you will most likely finish up having another year just like the last! Does that sound appealing? read more BUSY backs Hutchies in building Indigenous careers in the construction industry 2017-06-29T02:03:21Z busy-backs-hutchies-in-building-indigenous-careers-in-the-construction-industry BUSY At Work is proudly supporting a new employment program which is producing some excellent results in building Indigenous careers in the construction and building industry. BUSY At Work Project Coordinator/Mentor Robyn Donnelly said BUSY was delighted to partner with Australia’s largest privately owned builder Hutchinson Builders to deliver the Statim-Yaga program. Statim-Yaga is derived from Torres Strait Islander Creole and the Jagera language and means to “start work.” “We have been working with Hutchies since January this year to deliver mentoring support and career planning to eligible Indigenous apprentices, trainees and their employers within the construction industry.” “This support has included face to face and online support for the apprentice and employer, tailored mentoring support, creating work plans and providing information and advice on workplace issues,” Ms Donnelly said. Robyn said the mentoring support would focus on at least their first six months of employment. “Statistics indicate that apprentices who received specific mentoring support particularly in the early stages, were up to 15% more likely to complete their apprenticeship than those who were not part of a mentoring program,” Ms Donnelly added. Hutchinson’s Indigenous Program Manager, Mark Kucks said the Statim-Yaga program, which kicked off in November 2015, was funded by the Australian Government’s Employment Parity Initiative (EPI). “Hutchies responded to an invitation from the Federal Government to some of Australia’s largest corporations to be part of the EPI. The government has set a bold target of 20,000 more Indigenous Australians to be employed in the private sector by 2020.” “As part of this Hutchies has committed to placing 350 Indigenous job seekers into employment within the construction industry through Hutchies and our subcontractors and suppliers by 2019.” “We are also committed to increasing our own workforce to at least four percent within this time.” “We are well on target to achieving this goal with 175 Indigenous Australians in employment through the program,” Mr Kucks said. With a turnover of approximately $2.2b this year in construction projects from Cairns to Hobart and across to Darwin, Mark said a major focus of the program was on employing apprentices particularly in skill shortage trades such as bricklayers, plasterers, tilers and painters. Mark said the success of the Statim-Yaga program was based on retaining people in the program and creating lifelong opportunities for Indigenous people. “We don’t see this as getting 350 people into jobs. We are here to change people’s lives and in turn their family’s lives, giving people the opportunity to develop lifelong careers in the construction industry,” Mr Kucks said. “Through our construction schools at Yatala, Gold Coast, West End and Toowoomba, and with partnerships like BUSY At Work, we hope to further source more employment opportunities for Indigenous people with ours and other subcontractors and suppliers to provide Indigenous Australians with genuine career paths.” “Our motto is to provide the right person, with the right training, for the right career,” Mr Kucks said. BUSY At Work General Manager – Programs, Paul Andrews said BUSY was pleased to partner with Hutchies in supporting Indigenous job seekers in the construction industry. “The Statim-Yaga program demonstrates why Hutchinson Builders is so well respected within the construction industry and BUSY is very proud to be working alongside them to make the program’s vision a reality,” Mr Andrews said. The Statim-Yaga program is open to • Indigenous Australians looking for a career in the construction industry • Construction industry employees wanting to hire an Indigenous apprentice For more information visit or contact Robyn Donnelly on 0417 875 005 End Import Support! 2017-06-28T01:20:02Z import-support     P: +612 8850 3111 | M: 0418 616 704 | F: +612 80786661 E: |   June 28th, 2017   In today’s market, it’s getting increasingly difficult to source and import quality goods from Asia without being misled, overcharged or not getting what you paid for. In some cases you can be short shipped, your stock can be held to ransom and the supplier can renege on agreed payment terms.   I would like to introduce you to an innovative new service from Dot Innovation. is your one-stop-shop for all the advice and services you need to successfully run your importing business or manage your business’ imports.   Import Support’s online platform provides members with all the necessary support from our panel of experts to ensure our members imports are produced, shipped and landed without a hitch.   The platform also interactive, so not only do members receive qualified advice from our expert panel, but also get to share in a wealth of experience of other importers too who provide advice of common and not so common areas to watch out for whilst dealing with your manufacturing partner.   In some cases it only takes one shipment to go wrong for a business or reputation to be seriously impacted or destroyed, so prevention is always better than cure!   Through our multi-levelled resource structure, members have access to a vast array of expert experience and gain exclusive insight into importer experiences to quickly navigate this ever increasing mine field that is importing.   Visit us at to explore the benefits of using our services.   For more information contact:   Kieron Dowd | Dot Innovation Pty Ltd P: +612 8850 3111 | M: 0418 616 704 | F: +612 80786661 E: |         Teletrac Navman partners to offer consolidated Fuel Tax Credit solution 2017-06-26T01:16:19Z teletrac-navman-partners-to-offer-consolidated-fuel-tax-credit-solution-2 SYDNEY, Australia –  21 June, 2017 – Today, Teletrac Navman announced FTC Manager, an innovative solution for automatically calculating and claiming monthly Fuel Tax Credits (FTC). Created in collaboration with PPM Tax & Legal, FTC Manager enables businesses to streamline claims, saving valuable money and time. “This comprehensive solution is the first of its kind, revolutionising the way fuel tax credits are claimed. We’re excited by this capability and look forward to helping businesses claim all the money they’re entitled to,” said Ian Daniel, Vice President Asia Pacific at Teletrac Navman. FTC claims typically require businesses to provide detailed spreadsheets of fleet data, with final rebates broken-down by accountants. This practice is time-consuming, costly and often inaccurate, based on sample data or estimates and leaving substantial claimable money on the table every month. Using real-time monthly GPS location data, FTC Manager accurately and automatically calculates off-road fuel consumption, off-road idle time and auxiliary fuel usage to help businesses claim high-value fuel tax rebates, delivering measurable return on investment. The system provides unparalleled accuracy by automatically classifying the entire Australian road network as either on- or off-road. “We’ve always manually calculated the sums for each account, with our accountants relying on the safest percentages. Working with PPM has helped a tremendous amount, and all we had to do was supply our information and the process was improved significantly,” said Danny Forbes, General Manager at Roma Transport. “We feel FTC Manager will make this process even more efficient, using real data to streamline the way we claim rebates and helping to put more money back in our pocket,” said Forbes. Customers using Teletrac Navman’s unique solution will have access to three service tiers, with Silver and Gold users supported by PPM’s extensive knowledge and expertise in obtaining maximum fuel tax refunds for its clients. Gold users will also have the added benefit of PPM preparing a retrospective 4-year claim on their behalf using data generated by FTC Manager. Even if you have done a retrospective claim before, this could yield a substantial additional windfall and ongoing benefits. This flexibility and support will enable businesses to maximise their claim potential with full transparency and audibility. FTC Manager is the most comprehensive automated FTC solution available on the Australian market, and is supported by an ATO Class Ruling, reducing audit risk and allowing businesses across a range of industries including transport, construction, mining and gas, government and agriculture to fully maximise heavy vehicles Fuel Tax Credits on an ongoing basis. *** About Teletrac Navman Teletrac Navman is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider leveraging location-based technology and services for managing mobile assets. With specialised solutions that deliver greater visibility into real-time insights and analytics, Teletrac Navman helps companies make better business decisions that enhance productivity and profitability. Its fleet and asset management technology uncovers information that would otherwise go unseen, helping customers reduce risk and confidently move their business forward with certainty. It tracks and manages more than 500,000 vehicles and assets for more than 40,000 companies around the world. The company is headquartered in Glenview, IL, with additional offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. For more information visit Should You Tell Your Employer If You Have a Mental Health Disorder? 2017-06-22T14:42:08Z should-you-tell-your-employer-if-you-have-a-mental-health-disorder What do Buzz Aldrin, Bon Jovi, Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, and Oprah Winfrey all have in common? The answer is that they have all suffered from mental illness. Winston Churchill even named this disorder “black dog”, indicating that it was his lifelong companion.  According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 6 New Zealand adults have been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives and it is the third-leading cause of health problems for New Zealanders. That means, one in 6 employees are likely to be suffering from a mental illness. The big question is?  Should you have to tell your employer if you have a mental health disorder? And, does your employer have the right to ask?    The Health and Safety in Employment Act promotes the health and safety of everyone at work. Employers are required to have systems in place to monitor workplace health and safety and, in terms of mental illness, employers are compelled to: ·       identify workplace practices, actions or incidents which may cause or contribute to the mental illness. ·       Identify issues that may affect the health and safety of workers. ·       take actions to eliminate or minimise these risks. While employers have several legal obligations in relation to privacy, they do have the right to ask certain questions about an employee or potential employee’s mental health status, if obtaining more information about a condition is legitimate, necessary and desirable. This additional information may be: ·       to determine whether the person can perform the inherent requirements of the job. ·       to identify if any reasonable adjustments may be needed, either in the selection and recruitment process or in the work environment. ·       to establish facts for entitlements such as sick leave, superannuation, workers’ compensation and other insurance. If you do ask your employee for information, you must maintain confidentiality and protect his or her right to privacy. This means protecting the information against improper access and disclosure. In turn, all employees (including those with mental illness) are legally obliged to: ·       take reasonable care for their own health and safety. ·       take reasonable care that their acts and/or omissions do not adversely affect the health or safety of others. ·       cooperate with any reasonable instructions to ensure workplace health and safety. The Act defines hazards and harm comprehensively, including harm caused by work-related stress and hazardous behaviour caused by certain temporary conditions, such as mental fatigue or traumatic shock. Employers who ignore the potential for non-physical harms will find themselves facing penalties for not providing a safe workplace, including imprisonment (of up to 5 years) and fines (of potentially up to $3 million). Organisations should also heed the Human Rights Act and Employment Relations Act 2000 that states that it is unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of disability, which includes mental illness.  Ie; It is unlawful for an employer to ask for information about a job applicant’s disability, including their mental health. The Privacy Act 1993 also outlines the collection, storage, use and disclosure of information. If an employer has reason to believe that there is a risk to worker health and safety, then they should have a policy that includes consultation with employees and that consultation should be conducted  formally and confidentially and sensitively.  The law also places an onus on the Employee that they may not endanger themselves or fellow employees. Statistics from Australia have determined that Mental Health Issues cost Australian Business 10.9 Billion Dollars a year and is one of the leading causes of sickness, absence and long term work incapacity in Australia.  However, research from a Price Waterhouse Coopers study reported that for every dollar spent on successfully implementing an appropriate action in terms of workpace mental health, there is on average, $2.3 in benefits to be gained.  Benefits include: ·       Improved Productivity. ·       Less absenteeism and presenteeism. ·       Reduction in claims and litigation risk. myosh is a global provider of cloud based Health and Safety software.  In consultation with experts and clients, myosh have developed a simple yet powerful platform that helps organisations to quickly identify issues that may impact the mental or physical health and safety of employees. The mywellbeing Platform enables organisations to manage and improve workplace mental health with simple yet powerful tools to obtain confidential feedback and acknowledgement from employees regarding: ·       Employee Mental Health ·       Bullying ·       Harassment ·       Job Satisfaction ·       Management and Culture Importantly, the platform provides a documented secure record of issues and acknowledgment.  It also provides: ·       A checklist for management. ·       Reporting tools for urgent alerts. ·       A huge library of Mental Health Resources for guidance. ·       Action based notifications and reminders The platform is an identification and documentation tool. Management are not required to ‘fix’ mental health issues but they must demonstrate due diligence. Organisations are not obliged to treat disorders but the can encourage employees to seek professional help.  The platform facilitates communication, helps to reduce stigma and alerts management to issues. Request a personal online demonstration here: myosh will also be presenting a free seminar on this topic at the New Zealand Safety Show, Tuesday 27TH June, 2017.  Register to attend here :   References Working Women’s Resource Centre - The Privacy Act: NZ Law Society -   WorkSafe New Zealand -   Mental Health Foundation - IN THE SPIRIT OF SUITS’ HARVEY SPECTRE & MIKE ROSS, ATTICUS FINCH, PERRY MASON & SAUL GOODMAN MEET AUSTRALIA’S FAVOURITE LEGAL EAGLE MICHAEL KUZILNY! 2017-06-22T02:19:01Z in-the-spirit-of-suits-harvey-spectre-amp-mike-ross-atticus-finch-perry-mason-amp-saul-goodman-meet-australia-s-favourite-legal-eagle-michael-kuzilny IN THE SPIRIT OF SUITS’ HARVEY SPECTRE & MIKE ROSS, ATTICUS FINCH, PERRY MASON & SAUL GOODMAN MEET AUSTRALIA’S FAVOURITE LEGAL EAGLE MICHAEL KUZILNY!   Barrister, solicitor and legal commentator Michael Kuzilny is one of Australia’s top legal minds. He has had an outstanding career, spanning over three decades. Kuzilny started his career in 1986  and is the owner of successful law firm MK LAW, which specialises in the criminal justice system. Michael Kuzilny doesn’t just know the law; he knows the system. With more than 300 five star client reviews Michael Kuzilny is dedicated to providing each client with the highest calibre of legal representation and service available. As a “go to “ lawyer Michael has appeared on A Current Affair, Sunrise, Today Show, ABC, 2UE,3AW and many more. Kuzilny is also recognised for his work with his television show Tough Times, which is currently airing on Channel 31 each Sunday night at 8.30pm in Melbourne.   TO INTERVIEW MICHAEL KUZILNY or use him for legal commentary email or call Max Markson 0412501601 “I don’t just know the law, I know the system’ - Michael Kuzilny     Nominate a deserving AusMumpreneur and show your support for Australian mums in business 2017-06-22T02:00:12Z nominate-a-deserving-ausmumpreneur-and-show-your-support-for-australian-mums-in-business The AusMumpreneur Conference and AusMumpreneur Awards are all about supporting Australian mums in business. This event provides a unique opportunity for women from all over Australia to come together to gain new skills, promote their business, connect with fellow mums in business, learn from leading business experts and celebrate the success of the best and brightest in the industry. Proudly presented by AusMumpreneur and The Women’s Business School, the AusMumpreneur Awards recognise the best and brightest in the Australian mumpreneur industry. The categories that will be judged are: AusMumpreneur of the Year Rising Star AusMumpreneur of the Year Emerging AusMumpreneur of the Year Regional Business Award Product Innovation Award Digital Innovation Award Sustainability Award Business Excellence Award AusMumpreneur Network Excellence Award Women’s Business School Excellence Award Global Brand Award Big Idea Award Making A Difference Award Retail Business Award Service Business Award Handmade Business Award The People's Choice Awards: Influencer Award Customer Service Award Making a Difference Award (Business) Making a Difference Award (Non-profit) Business owners or those who wish to nominate a mumpreneur, can go to: Nominations close on Friday the 30th of June 2017. Media Contact: Candice Meisels 0481 369 484