The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-04-08T03:07:45Z ACS Distance Education releases new Oenology (Winemaking) Course 2021-04-08T03:07:45Z acs-distance-education-releases-new-oenology-winemaking-course ACS Distance Education releases new Oenology (Winemaking) Course We are excited to announce that we have released a brand-new Oenology (Winemaking) course. This 100- hour course is a great way to understand how to make wine and the science behind winemaking. This course covers how to make different types of wines. You will also learn how to assess and analyse wine quality. You will investigate chemistry and microorganisms involved in winemaking and wine processing. Upon completion of the course, you will confidently know understand the winemaking process. The flexibility of this course gives students the opportunity to understand the fundamentals of oenology and winemaking in their own pace, in the comfort of their own home and when they like, with the support of a tutor who can help you and provide support when it is needed. This course is a fantastic addition to pair with our viticulture course for the full wine growing and wine making experience. The 100-hour Oenology course covers the following lessons:  ·         Scope and Nature of Oenology ·         Fermentation Science ·         The Winemaking Process ·         Factors affecting Grape Characteristics ·         Wine Classification ·         Sensory Science & Evaluation ·         Production of White Wine and Sparkling Wines ·         Production of Red Wines and Rosé Wine ·         Production of Spirits ·         Storage and Aging of Wines More details on this course are located here: https://www.acs.edu.au/courses/oenology-winemaking-843.aspx With ACS, you are guided through the course with the assistance of your tutor and get the opportunity to practice what you are learning in a number of different ways. More information on how our courses work is https://www.acs.edu.au/about-us/faqs.aspx     If you are interested in offering this course to your own students, we also offer course content licencing, for more information, https://www.acs.edu.au/about-us/course-content-licence.aspx   ACS Distance Education Releases A New Course – Artificial Intelligence 2021-04-06T04:23:53Z acs-distance-education-releases-a-new-course-artificial-intelligence ACS Distance Education Releases A New Course – Artificial Intelligence We have just released a new Artificial Intelligence course that can be useful for anybody making strategic business decisions. Artificial neural networks are the building blocks of AI. The course investigates and compares human neural network with artificial neural networks. The human brain is trained to solve problems by attempting them. Similarly, AI makes use of deep learning and machine learning, while trying to resolve an issue logically in its own programming language. Learn how AI is used by businesses in marketing and customer relations. For example, AI can observe a customer’s online shopping patterns and make recommendations. The company can target market their products. Customers receive specific information and can choose the best option. AI can also be seen in industries such as horticulture and agriculture (e.g. for precision pest control), transport and logistics industry (e.g. implementing self-driven vehicles), healthcare sector (e.g. customising patient's treatment delivery). Education, leisure, environment are some other industry sectors that make use of AI. The applications for artificial intelligence are immense from agriculture, horticulture, business, automating manufacturing processes and more. During this 100 hour course you will be guided through understanding what Artificial Intelligence is and how it can be used in a business setting. Start now, learn for the future. For more information on this course, please visit our website: https://www.acs.edu.au/courses/artificial-intelligence-842.aspx   Traceability Solution Providers formalise activities to collaborate, educate and standardise 2021-04-01T01:59:05Z traceability-solution-providers-formalise-activities-to-collaborate-educate-and-standardise Representatives from eleven different solution provider organisations recently formalised their partnership into a Committee. The Traceability Solution Provider Special Interest Group (TSP-SIG) is an eco-system of like-minded solution providers with the goal of assisting government and industry in understanding and implementing traceability solutions.Australia is well-positioned to lead and leverage the next wave of transformation and innovation in global and domestic trade. This transformation is providing enormous opportunity for industry and regulatory modernisation with a goal of improved productivity, competitiveness, efficiency and effectiveness. Solution providers working with open and interoperable global data standards play a critical role in this process. ​The TSP-SIG aims to connect and share perspectives on solution requirements based on industry needs and trends. GS1 Australia will support the group by providing secretariat duties, industry insight, engaging with its membership, discussing and developing project opportunities that align solution providers with industry needs.​​The group is open to all traceability solution providers. No specific sector or industry segment is a primary focus. Instead, a holistic and whole-of-economy approach will be taken, recognising that product flows between, as well as through, domestic and international supply chains. The group is governed by a committee and three co-chairs who are​ Michael Dossor – Result Group​, Reeanjou Ram – iTrazo TraceTech​ and Luke Wood – Escavox​.Steering Committee members are: Mark Toohey – Aglive, Ilango Surendran – iFoodDecisionSciences​, Blair Kietzmann – insignia, Laszlo Peter – KPMG​, Paul Ryan – Trust Codes, Greg Calvert – Fresh Chain Systems​, Trent Munro – Matthews Australasia and Roger Meilke – 4Technology.​About the TSP-SIG: The group provides a community of interest and voice to help engage and communicate with industry and government on opportunity, needs and priorities. The objective of the TSP-SIG is to support an active ecosystem of interoperable, standards-based solutions that enhance traceability and trust in Australian and international supply chains.The TSP-SIG provides an open forum and community for discussion and engagement of like-minded and in some cases, competing providers of solutions and services. Collectively, TSP-SIG members are committed to ensuring industry chains are efficient and effective, safe, secure, and resilient, sustainable, and internationally competitive. The TSP-SIG is aligned and supports a National GS1 Traceability Advisory Group, made up of industry and government representatives, ensuring Australia remains and builds global competitiveness, economic growth, and employment opportunities.Key activities of the TSP-SIG include: Represent the interests of traceability solutions in the industry as a whole and make recommendations to the NGTAG and GS1 AustraliaAssess and learn about technological innovations and the ability for Global Data Standards to underpin their ongoing development for the benefit of all stakeholdersEngagement and events to share information about industry needs, opportunities, capabilities, and lessons learned of collective and mutual benefit to membersSuggestions and advice to industry and government regarding the benefit, potential and value of global data standards to support specific industry sectors and business use casesReview and evaluation of sector strategies, national and regional programs and projects focused on enhanced product traceability across the supply chainHelping industry and government improve business processes and solutions based on global data standards, common frameworks, and national public policyProvide technical advice, research insight and expertise concerning developments or proposed changes to GS1 traceability standards of relevance to Australian industry, sectors, or value chain segmentsDevelop strategies and process that enable ease of deployment and interaction with all stakeholders in the traceability ecosystem, from Brand and Product Owner, through all parts of Supply Chain to Consumer and CustomerSuccess criteria is identified as:Active engagement of the technical community of interestEffective representation of solutions and solution providers across multiple sectors and supply chain segmentsIncreased understanding and use of global data standards not limited to GS1 standards to support enhanced supply chains traceability, safety, resilience, and performanceEngagement of state and federal government representatives in Advisory Group activityActive management and communication of opportunities as well as technical risk to Australian industry of using proprietary vs standards-based systemsSharing and promoting leading and best industry practice and case studies published by members or others acknowledged by the TSP-SIGActive communicating with NGTAG and GS1 AustraliaendsAbout GS1 AustraliaGS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for efficient business communication. It is best known for the barcode, named by the BBC as one of "the 50 things that made the world economy". GS1 standards and services improve supply chain efficiency, traceability and food safety across physical and digital channels in the food and beverage sector. With local member organisations in 114 countries, two million user companies and six billion transactions every day, GS1 standards create a common language that supports systems and processes in 25 sectors across the globe. For more information visit the GS1 Australia website www.gs1au.orgMedia enquiriesRichard Jones Chief Marketing Officer, GS1 Australia. E: Richard.jones@gs1au.org New Initiative to Tackle the Growing Problem of Commercial Furniture Waste 2021-03-31T08:22:59Z new-initiative-to-tackle-the-growing-problem-of-commercial-furniture-waste On 15 March 2021, in collaboration with Edge Environment and the Global Product Stewardship Council, GECA was awarded a grant by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to tackle the issue of commercial office furniture going to landfill. The group will use the funding to design a product stewardship scheme that will help reduce the estimated 30,000 tonnes of furniture – much of it in perfectly good condition – that ends up in Australia's waste stream each year.  Announcing the funding, Minister Trevor Evans said, “The Australian Government have recently provided more than $370,000 to Edge Environment and its partners to develop, in consultation with industry, a commercial furniture product stewardship scheme. When it comes to commercial furniture, we’re talking about a large amount of both textile and plastic waste across the lifecycle of these products from storage and delivery through to the actual components in the furniture. We’re excited to get behind this new scheme which focuses on waste streams that are priorities for our government.” According to Paula Clasby, Head of Engagement & Marketing at GECA, "All of GECA's robust ecolabelling standards include product stewardship criteria, emphasising the value of decreasing contribution to landfill and increasing the reuse and recycling rate of the product at the end of its life. However, there have been many challenges when implementing best practice product stewardship here in Australia. Along with our licensees, we are thrilled at the opportunity this grant will bring to support a successful product stewardship scheme for commercial office furniture, working with all entities involved to create real impact. We're proud to be part of this collaboration and solution to induce change." Commenting on the award, Edge CEO, Jonas Bengtsson, said "We've worked on the issue of fitout waste for many years, and despite great leaps forward in diverting materials such as carpet, glass and plasterboard, furniture has remained a stubbornly hard nut to crack. With this funding, we have the opportunity to create a solution that, with the support of property companies, contractors, and furniture companies alike, with the potential to improve environmental outcomes, drive economic benefits and create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs." John Polhill, Vice President of the Global Product Stewardship Council and Principal of Circular-e solutions commented, "Responsible commercial furniture disposal is something that government and industry has been looking to achieve for a number of years now, but in essence has been limited and fragmented. Product stewardship provides a framework to identify and address market failures and a structure whereby organisations can work collaboratively and efficiently to design a common and targeted stewardship scheme that improves the reuse and recycling of furniture from commercial properties in Australia." The project is due to kick off in April and will run until 2023.    --ENDS –  About the partners: GECA At GECA, we are a purpose-driven not-for-profit that stands for integrity, independence, and impact. Our mission is to create solutions for sustainable consumption and production. To achieve this, we offer a suite of services designed for anyone committed to continuous improvement in their sustainability, including Australia's only not-for-profit multi-sector ecolabelling program. Following ISO 14024 principles and ISEAL frameworks for global best practice in lifecycle-based ecolabelling, we've developed our rigorous voluntary standards, which are then independently assessed by our Assurance Providers. Our robust standards are relevant to critical Australian industries, and GECA is the only Australian member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN). GECA is widely respected and recognised in Australia and globally by green building schemes, including Green Star, WELL, ISCA, NABERS, as well as many procurement channels in government, education, hospitality, business, and consumer. For more information, see https://geca.eco/. Edge Environment Established in 2008, Edge is a specialist sustainability advisory company focussed on Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Our teams are based in Australia, New Zealand and Chile. We exist to help our clients create value from tackling one of the world's most fundamental challenges: creating truly sustainable economies and societies. We do this by combining science, strategy and storytelling in a way that gives our clients the confidence to take ambitious action and do well by doing good. For more information, see https://edgeenvironment.com/.  Global Product Stewardship Council (GlobalPSC) GlobalPSC is an independent, not-for-profit forum for product stewardship. Its membership spans ten countries and includes producers, product recovery organisations, NGOs and governments. For the last ten years, GlobalPSC has been researching, assessing and disseminating all stages in the development of schemes. For more information, see https://www.globalpsc.net/.  50th Anniversary: Invention of GTIN-the Number Behind the Barcode 2021-03-29T23:47:51Z 50th-anniversary-invention-of-gtin-the-number-behind-the-barcode Fifty years ago, on 31 March 1971, leaders from the biggest names in commerce came together and transformed the global economy forever by developing the Global Trade Item Number (known as the 'GTIN'). This numerical code uniquely identifies every single product and is the core of the barcode, the most important supply chain standard in history. Today, the barcode is scanned over six billion times every day and remains one of the most trusted symbols in the world.Maria Palazzolo, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of GS1 Australia said, "I firmly believe that the digitalisation of the GTIN is one of the most significant milestones in the life of our organisation."From the linear EAN/UPC barcode to 2DBarcodes, the need to capture more than just product and pricing information is becoming more urgent and increasingly important. In order to do this successfully we must bring industry together to collaborate and to harmonise. The journey into the future has well and truly begun."GS1 standards such as the barcode continue to help make the vast complexity of modern, global business flow quickly, efficiently and securely, simplifying all kinds of supply chain processes in almost every sector all around the world. However, as consumers demand more and better product information, it is time to bring barcodes to the next level. Developments towards next-generation barcodes (for example square barcodes like QR codes), which can hold vastly more information, should be used to empower consumers with trusted information and reshape global commerce, just as the GTIN did half a century ago.50 years agoThe 1971 historic meeting took place in New York City and included leaders from the biggest names in groceries, retail and consumer goods at the time, including Heinz, General Mills, Kroger and Bristol Meyer. The executives agreed to create a system to uniquely identify every single product, calling it the Global Trade Item Number, or GTIN. With great foresight, they believed that the GTIN could have a positive impact even beyond the grocery store - from warehouses to board rooms - and would boost speed and efficiency of transactions and processes that could transform everything from supply chains to consumer experiences. And they agreed at the meeting to continue to innovate together to create a system that would benefit businesses and consumers alike. Decades later, the BBC named the resulting outcome one of "the 50 things that made the world economy." More information and quotes are in the attached media release.TO INTERVIEW Maria Palazzolo, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, GS1 Australia or Marcel Sieira, Chief Customer Officer, GS1 Australia please contact: Marian Makram-Perkins, T: 03 8581 5940 E: marian.makram-perkins@gs1au.orgAbout GS1 Australia GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for efficient business communication. We are best known for the barcode, named by the BBC as one of "the 50 things that made the world economy". GS1 standards and services improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors. With local Member Organisations in 114 countries, 2 million user companies and 6 billion transactions every day, GS1 standards create a common language that supports systems and processes across the globe. For more information visit the GS1 Australia website: https://www.gs1au.org/ RUD Chains achieves ISO welding certification 3834 2021-03-09T06:44:29Z rud-chains-achieves-iso-welding-certification-3834 Tuesday, March 9, 2021- Queensland based specialist materials handling manufacturer RUD Chains has successfully achieved AS/NZS ISO 3834 Part 2 certification.  ISO 3834 (Quality Requirements for Fusion Welding of Metallic Materials) specifies the quality assurance principles expected specifically for welded products globally. It is an internationally recognised quality standard for welding metallic materials by fabricators, manufacturers, constructors and maintainers. RUD Chains has achieved the highest level, Part 2 (Comprehensive). Prime contractors involved in Australian defence shipbuilding and land systems projects are increasingly requesting ISO 3834 certification as a minimum for companies wishing to work within their global supply chain. Additionally, this qualification will become the benchmark certification for many future large-scale Australian infrastructure and rail projects.   RUD has seen extensive demand for its in-house engineering and fabrication expertise in the leadup to gaining certification. This has resulted in significant investments in industry leading welding equipment, automated robotic welding and up to 500-tonne load testing capabilities. Additionally, RUD staff have obtained International Welding Engineer and International Welding Inspector qualifications to further develop internal proficiency and maximise value offered to its customers . A Commitment to Quality Assurance ISO3834 Quality Requirements for Fusion Welding of Metallic Materials continues RUD’s record of industry excellence, reflected in more than 500 international patents and a rigorous internal testing system that ensures we meet – and exceed – the Defence industry’s stringent standards. These standards and international quality systems include: ·         AS/NZS ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems ·         AS/NZS ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems ·         AS/NZS 45001:2018 Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems ·         ISO-IEC 17025 Standard Applications Document for Accreditation for Testing and Calibration Facilities ·         LEEA Lifting Standards Worldwide ·         NATA – National Association of Testing Authorities Australia RUD’s Engineering Manager Matt Pauli commented, "Achieving ISO 3834 Certification demonstrates how seriously RUD takes safety and quality across all of our fabricated projects.  This certification assures weld quality to mitigate client risk and increase business productivity." RUD Backgrounder RUD Australia is part of the global RUD Group, founded in 1875. The company is an ISO9001 certified global company, manufacturing and supplying high quality round steel link chain solutions and lifting technologies to various industries.  Since 1984, RUD Australia has led the way in developing innovative chain and lifting technology design solutions for industrial applications, including the Australian Defence Force.  Our solutions include: ·         Engineering Lifting System Design ·         Load Restraint Systems ·         Lifting Point devices ·         Conveyor and Drive Technology Systems ·         Transport Maintenance and Through Life Support For more information, please visit www.rud.com.au. Data integrity critical for future of retail 2021-03-04T04:12:10Z data-integrity-critical-for-future-of-retail-1 GS1 Australia and KPMG Australia have published a Thought Leadership report, Unlocking the Value of Tomorrow’s Retail, highlighting the importance of master data in the future of retail supply chains.The new 16-page report outlines how quality, aligned master data enables the capabilities for businesses to thrive in retail’s age of information. Master data is defined as the attributes of an organisation’s products, customers and suppliers, and is a core part of business operations, providing essential information, and serving as an enabler of efficiency across many aspects of business, often in the shadows of business operation.“In tomorrow’s retail, where personalisation, speed to market and omni channel supply chains are increasingly necessary to compete, manufacturers and retailers will find increasing value in having the data integrity to enable these capabilities.”“Today there are more advanced systems in place, but there is still an underlying issue around data integrity. If your data is not good quality or incorrect, it doesn’t matter how efficient the mechanism is that you have to receive it, incorrect data is going to cause issues for everyone in downstream processes,” said Andrew Steele, Director of Retail, GS1 Australia.“The role of GS1 as we see it, is to provide open global data standards that can be used by all industry stakeholders. One person might call it a barcode number and somebody else a product number. You need to bring standardisation to the mainly conventional data fields to make it easier for people to look at. It needs to be consistent.”Quality control of products is becoming more important as the number of data fields a supplier provides to retailers has grown significantly, according to Andrew Steele GS1 Retail Director. There is no better driver of this data being important than the current COVID-19 situation. People spent a lot of time online, which offers up a good example of why quality master data is important because consumers are not physically in the store and they cannot hold the product in their hand and cannot read the product description, nutritional data, allergen declarations, and other relevant product information. Ashley Alfs, co-author of the report and seasoned supply chain practitioner, says she finds, “most businesses look for quick fixes to their problems through technology upgrades or re-orgs, but neglect the importance and value of ongoing and robust master data management (MDM). So many of the problems organisations face could be fixed or minimised by focusing on better MDM practices.”The shifting landscape of the retail industry has amplified the role master data plays and the value it can unlock. Businesses that neglect their master data will realise only after it’s too late, that quality data is no longer a competitive advantage, but an expectation.Download the report endsAbout GS1 AustraliaGS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for efficient business communication. We are best known for the barcode, named by the BBC as one of “the 50 things that made the world economy”. GS1 standards and services improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors. With local Member Organisations in 114 countries, 1.5 million user companies and 6 billion transactions every day, GS1 standards create a common language that supports systems and processes across the globe. GS1 Australia has over 20,000 company members. For more information visit the GS1 websiteFor more information: Contact: Emma Morrison, Marketing Program Manager, GS1 Australia. Tel: 0422 482 616 Email: emma.morrison@gs1au.org About KPMG AustraliaKPMG’s Management Consulting business helps clients across a broad range of industries to enhance their business and empower change for meaningful impact. Our focus is on partnering our expertise with your teams to deliver real results. KPMG’s business and capabilities continue to grow and evolve to stay ahead of the curve, bringing global best practice and local meaningful capability. For more information: Contact person: Robert Poole, KPMG. Tel: 0408057073 Email: robertpoole@kpmg.com.au Data integrity critical for future of retail 2021-03-04T02:16:10Z data-integrity-critical-for-future-of-retail GS1 Australia and KPMG Australia have published a Thought Leadership report, Unlocking the Value of Tomorrow’s Retail, highlighting the importance of master data in the future of retail supply chains.The new 16-page report outlines how quality, aligned master data enables the capabilities for businesses to thrive in retail’s age of information. Master data is defined as the attributes of an organisation’s products, customers and suppliers, and is a core part of business operations, providing essential information, and serving as an enabler of efficiency across many aspects of business, often in the shadows of business operation.“In tomorrow’s retail, where personalisation, speed to market and omni channel supply chains are increasingly necessary to compete, manufacturers and retailers will find increasing value in having the data integrity to enable these capabilities.”“Today there are more advanced systems in place, but there is still an underlying issue around data integrity. If your data is not good quality or incorrect, it doesn’t matter how efficient the mechanism is that you have to receive it, incorrect data is going to cause issues for everyone in downstream processes,” said Andrew Steele, Director of Retail, GS1 Australia.“The role of GS1 as we see it, is to provide open global data standards that can be used by all industry stakeholders. One person might call it a barcode number and somebody else a product number. You need to bring standardisation to the mainly conventional data fields to make it easier for people to look at. It needs to be consistent.”Quality control of products is becoming more important as the number of data fields a supplier provides to retailers has grown significantly, according to Andrew Steele GS1 Retail Director. There is no better driver of this data being important than the current COVID-19 situation. People spent a lot of time online, which offers up a good example of why quality master data is important because consumers are not physically in the store and they cannot hold the product in their hand and cannot read the product description, nutritional data, allergen declarations, and other relevant product information. Ashley Alfs, co-author of the report and seasoned supply chain practitioner, says she finds, “most businesses look for quick fixes to their problems through technology upgrades or re-orgs, but neglect the importance and value of ongoing and robust master data management (MDM). So many of the problems organisations face could be fixed or minimised by focusing on better MDM practices.”The shifting landscape of the retail industry has amplified the role master data plays and the value it can unlock. Businesses that neglect their master data will realise only after it’s too late, that quality data is no longer a competitive advantage, but an expectation.Download the report endsAbout GS1 AustraliaGS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for efficient business communication. We are best known for the barcode, named by the BBC as one of “the 50 things that made the world economy”. GS1 standards and services improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors. With local Member Organisations in 114 countries, 1.5 million user companies and 6 billion transactions every day, GS1 standards create a common language that supports systems and processes across the globe. GS1 Australia has over 20,000 company members. For more information visit the GS1 websiteFor more information: Contact: Emma Morrison, Marketing Program Manager, GS1 Australia. Tel: 0422 482 616 Email: emma.morrison@gs1au.org About KPMG AustraliaKPMG’s Management Consulting business helps clients across a broad range of industries to enhance their business and empower change for meaningful impact. Our focus is on partnering our expertise with your teams to deliver real results. KPMG’s business and capabilities continue to grow and evolve to stay ahead of the curve, bringing global best practice and local meaningful capability. For more information: Contact person: Robert Poole, KPMG. Tel: 0408057073 Email: robertpoole@kpmg.com.au Long-term dry hire of machinery here to stay 2021-03-01T03:19:43Z long-term-dry-hire-of-machinery-here-to-stay The growth of Australia’s mining industry has positioned long-term dry hire as a highly attractive option versus purchasing equipment over the past five years. This change in the mining industry has been driven by strategies to increase production, export volumes and bottom-line profitability. As mining fleets expand, companies that are constrained by capital availability are regularly choosing to opt for long-term dry hire over purchasing. National Group managing director, chief executive and founder, Mark Ackroyd, has witnessed this shift as his company has grown over the past 24 years. Dry hire now represents 90 per cent of National Group’s business. “Dry hire gives mining companies an option to free up capital expenditure without recording big-ticket purchases on their balance sheet,” Ackroyd tells Australian Mining. “They can continue using the equipment and give it back after 12 months, one year, two years or even more, without any ownership responsibility. “All they’re responsible for is fuel, the supply of operators and minor repairs. They can use the machine for as long as it’s required to get the job done and increase production.” It is no surprise that long-term dry hire has emerged as an appealing alternative for mining companies, given its benefits in current market conditions. National Group provides greater flexibility by offering two types of dry hire, with maintenance being an option that mining companies can choose to take onboard themselves. In this scenario, a mining company will carry out all the minor repairs and equipment services, with only the obligation of major repairs assumed by National Group. Alternatively, National Group also offers fully-maintained maintenance in which they are responsible for managing the machines onsite and conducting all equipment repairs, major or minor. This removes maintenance and safety hazards that mine site personnel may be exposed to, thereby minimising the risk for the mining company. This is also an attractive option for mine sites who do not have the resources. In both scenarios of dry hire, mining companies stand to gain from more accurate budgeting forecasts, greater flexibility and customisation of the equipment needed for their mining activities. National Group offers an extensive fleet, which includes a variety of large bulldozers, excavators and ultra-class dump trucks for dry hire. It has a fleet-wide availability of over 90 per cent, with each unit of equipment delivering up to 700 operating hours per month. “Our fleet comprises of around 300 plus units of heavy earthmoving equipment, with this number being added to weekly on average,” Ackroyd says. “We have regular interest from several Tier 1 Australian mining companies looking to hire equipment, with dozens of large and extra-large pieces of heavy mining equipment arriving soon.” Equipment such as Caterpillar 6040 excavators, Caterpillar 24 motor graders, and Caterpillar 793F trucks, are all machines being added to National Group’s line up. Ackroyd says the demand for equipment hire has increased as mining companies transition to an owner-miner approach, with commodity cycles continuing to advance. His confidence in this approach stands on the strength of the mining sector, which is the top contributor to Australia’s gross domestic product. When global uncertainty shook economies last year, Australia delivered record revenues for iron ore, gold and copper. Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals that the resources sector provided $270 billion into the economy in 2020. This represents 62 per cent of the country’s total export revenue, with iron ore exports soaring from $96 billion in 2019 to $116 billion in 2020. BHP and Rio Tinto, the world’s two largest miners, believe the strength of the iron ore market will be sustained. The companies foresee a persistent shortage in global iron ore supply, while a soaring demand for the commodity is expected to continue due to Chinese steelmaker activity. According to BHP, a National Group customer, this puts Australia in an advantageous position for its high-quality seaborne iron ore – an essential ingredient to blast-furnace steelmaking. BHP chief executive Mike Henry says that while the world is a more volatile and uncertain place today, the global economy is rebounding strongly despite the ongoing effects of COVID-19. “In steel, for example, we expect continuing strong end-use demand to underpin production of more than one billion tonnes in China for a third consecutive year,” Henry, speaking during BHP’s half-year results presentation, says. “Add population growth and further rises in living standards to this equation, and the conditions are very promising.” Ackroyd agrees that the mining sector is in a strong place and will continue to be in the next five years. “I don’t see any impending challenges in the mining industry over the next five years. It’s the number one driver of the Australian economy and a leader in the country’s COVID-19 economic recovery,” Ackroyd says. “But regardless of the positive landscape ahead, mining always comes with a certain degree of uncertainty. Dry hire allows mining companies to operate more effectively, and with greater flexibility in both good and more uncertain times.” Click here for more news from the National Group. Osmoflo achieves Third Party Certification to the international Asset Management Standard ISO 55001:2014 2021-02-26T05:51:27Z osmoflo-achieves-third-party-certification-to-the-international-asset-management-standard-iso-55001-2014 Osmoflo is very pleased to advise that it has achieved third party certification of its asset management system to the international asset management standard, ISO 55001:2014. This latest certification adds to Osmoflo’s existing certifications from SAI Global for its integrated management systems covering Occupational Health and Safety (ISO 45001:2018) and AS/NZS (4801:2001), Quality (ISO 9001:2015) and Environmental (ISO 14001:2015). The certification to ISO 55001 has been many years in the planning and demonstrates the strength and maturity of Osmoflo’s asset management systems and culture. The ISO 55001 standard identifies the extensive compliance requirements for the life-cycle management of assets and requires demonstration of asset management as a core competency of the entire business - one that is fully integrated at all three levels of corporate activity including at the operational level, the tactical/ planning level, and at that the strategic /executive leadership level. Michael White, Acting External Plant Team Leader from Energy Australia, one of Osmoflo’s key customers, commented, “We have had a really positive experience working with Osmoflo for the last 14 years. I believe Osmoflo’s recent certification to ISO 55001:2014 recognises their asset management knowledge, and ability to apply asset management systems to improve long term asset performance, which is extremely important to me as an operator of critical infrastructure. Continuous improvement in the management of our reverse osmosis plants performance and life cycle costs by Osmoflo, allows us to focus on our main priority – providing a consistent and reliable power supply.” Nick Sterenberg, Operations Manager, Coopers Brewery at Regency Park, stated “Osmoflo has owned and operated its desalination plant that has provided a consistent, high quality and reliable water supply to Coopers Brewery for over 20 years. Osmoflo’s maintenance and asset management practices have played an important role in ensuring a very high level of plant availability and product water quality and this in turn has allowed Coopers to supply its beer, malt, and homebrew products nationally and globally with no interruption over that entire period. Coopers congratulates Osmoflo on its certification to ISO 55001 - this provides us with yet further reassurance that Osmoflo will continue to provide best-practice asset management services in the years to come.” Osmoflo’s Chief Operating Officer, Carmine Ciccocioppo, commented that, "We are extremely proud to have achieved this very significant milestone for our business - one that very few service providers in the global water treatment and desalination industry have managed to accomplish. It is a testament to the strong focus that Osmoflo has had for almost three decades on striving for industry-leading asset management performance. We believe this new certification to the ISO 55001 standard is one that gives Osmoflo’s clients and key stakeholders yet further demonstration and peace-of-mind that their assets are being managed with systems that have been independently verified as best-practice. And coupled with our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, it also means that they will continue to receive industry-leading value for money under Osmoflo’s oversight."   Osmoflo is an Australian-headquartered designer, builder and operator of advanced water filtration and desalination systems, with regional offices in the Middle East (Dubai) and India (Pune). It provides reliable, high quality and innovative water solutions specialising in membrane separation technologies including micro and ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, ion exchange, elctro-deionistaion (EDI), and membrane bioreactors, as well as its patented brine-minimisation technology, Osmoflo Brine Squeezer. For more information on Osmoflo and any additional information on its ISO 55001 certified Asset Management capabilities please visit www.osmoflo.com Costa Group water project awarded to Osmoflo 2021-02-23T05:25:37Z costa-group-water-project-awarded-to-osmoflo Osmoflo has been awarded the contract for the delivery of a permanent Ultra-Filtration water treatment plant for Costa Group, in Guyra NSW.  Costa Group supply premium glasshouse tomatoes from this site on the New England tablelands, near Armidale in NSW, in the snacking, specialty, cocktail and large truss segments, via all major and independent supermarkets and green grocers. Guyra glasshouses have 302,400 square metres (30.22ha) of growing area (approximately 12 AFL football fields) and at peak production hold more than one million plants.  Several years ago, Osmoflo supplied a brackish water reverse osmosis (RO) plant to provide better quality, lower salinity water to assist with production and to enable the facility to become more water efficient overall.  In order to protect the RO membranes from fouling, suspended solids must be removed, and a rental Ultrafiltration system was supplied, initially to demonstrate the advantages of enhanced pre-treatment. The rental water treatment plant has performed well demonstrating a significant reduction in fouling and load on the downstream RO system. Based on this, Costa Group requested a permanent solution fully capable of meeting the downstream RO feed requirements.  The new supply contract involves the delivery of a skid mounted 1,600 kLD Ultra Filtration water treatment plant complete with chemical dosing, and backwash system. This unit will replace the existing Osmoflo rental equipment on site. Osmoflo’s Chief Operating Officer, Carmine Ciccocioppo states “Osmoflo are very pleased to be assisting one of our local Aussie food growers with their climate change initiatives and environmental innovations with regards to their on-site water needs.”  Osmoflo’s remote monitoring capabilities and on-site services will also be provided to assist in ongoing optimisation and to increase reliability and availability of the water treatment plant.  “Reverse osmosis is a key way in which Costa is able to improve the sustainability of our water use and ensure we can efficiently produce tomatoes year-round.  Osmoflo has provided us with an RO solution that allows us to meet our water use objectives in both and economically and environmentally responsible way.  We look forward to continuing to work closely with them over the years ahead,” said Peter Davis, State Manager, Costa Tomato Category. https://www.osmoflo.com/en/news-desalination/Costa-Group-water-project-awarded-to-Osmoflo/?year=2020&type=0 The Crosby Group invests in Verton Technologies 2021-02-15T06:26:57Z the-crosby-group-invests-in-verton-technologies The Crosby Group, a global leader in lifting, rigging, and load securement hardware, today announced that it has completed a significant investment in Verton Technologies (“Verton”). Australian-based Verton has developed and commercialised disruptive advancements in load orientation technology that remove the need for human held tag lines in lifting applications. These innovations play a critical role in improving the safety and productivity of global lifting operations. The Crosby Group and Verton will collaborate in the market to accelerate the adoption of this game-changing load orientation technology. By leveraging The Crosby Group’s global footprint, Verton will bring an elevated level of safety to an increasing number of workers. Robert Desel, CEO of The Crosby Group, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Verton in this rapidly growing space. This investment is a perfect strategic fit due to our common end-user base and our shared values of safety, reliability and innovation.” Verton’s solutions include Everest 6, a 20-ton load orienting spreader beam, Everest 30, a modular load orienting system for a broad range of working load limits, and Windmaster, a load orientation device for wind turbine erection. Trevor Bourne, CEO for Verton added: “With this new partnership Verton can dramatically increase the pace of innovation and the penetration of our products in the market. As a global leader with strong brand recognition, The Crosby Group creates an exciting platform for Verton’s future.” This marks The Crosby Group’s fourth transaction in the past 24 months including the acquisitions of Straightpoint, Gunnebo Industries and Feubo. About The Crosby Group The Crosby Group is a global leader in the innovation, manufacturing and distribution of products and services used to make lifting and load securement safer and more efficient, with premier brands such as Crosby, Gunnebo Industries, Crosby Straightpoint, Acco, McKissick, Crosby Feubo, Trawlex, Lebus, and CrosbyIP. With global engineering, manufacturing, distribution and operations, the company provides a broad range of products and solutions for the most demanding applications with uncompromising quality that exceed industry standards. www.thecrosbygroup.com About Verton Verton is an innovative technology firm and inventor of the world’s first remote-controlled load orientation system. This revolutionary system makes taglines obsolete, removing the need for workers to be near moving or suspended loads, keeping them out of harm’s way. Verton’s range of lifting products also integrate smart technology to facilitate more precise load placement, faster task turnover, and superior analysis and oversight of operations. The technology will greatly benefit lifting operations by moving towards `hands free` lifting and keep workers clear of potentially high-risk zones. www.verton.com.au Coupa Business Spend Index Reveals that Business Spend Sentiment is Gradually Improving for Third Consecutive Quarter 2021-02-10T00:40:07Z coupa-business-spend-index-reveals-that-business-spend-sentiment-is-gradually-improving-for-third-consecutive-quarter SYDNEY 10 FEB, 2021 – Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP) has published the findings from its Business Spend Index (BSI), Q1 2021 Outlook. The Coupa BSI analyses billions of dollars of aggregated and anonymised business spend decisions across Coupa’s platform, often serving as an early indicator of macroeconomic health over the next three to six months. The Q1 Outlook shows that business spend sentiment is gradually improving (an increase of 2.9 percent), but is still below trend. Data from the past quarter shows the following year-over-year changes in business spending:96 percent decrease in business spending on air travel25 percent decrease in business spending on office supplies11.5 percent increase in business spending on technology, including hardware, software, and services22.8 percent increase in contingent workforce spend12.3 percent increase in business spending for shipping and freight “While the Coupa BSI Q1 2021 Outlook shows modest improvement overall, a return to trend is unlikely until the number of new COVID cases reported daily has been significantly reduced,” said Jeff Collins, chief economist at Coupa. “Although government action to combat the economic consequences of the pandemic has likely mitigated the depth of the downturn, we do not expect the U.S. economy to return to ‘normal’ levels of output or employment in the next three to six months.” Spend Sentiment by Vertical Industry:Financial Services: Although below trend for the last four quarters, the sector is improving bolstered by refinancing activity, stimulative fiscal policy, and continued accommodative monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. Improved spend sentiment for Financial Services implies the sector is expected to contribute more positively to U.S. GDP growth for the next three to six months. Health and Life Sciences: Spend sentiment for Health and Life Sciences declined sharply from the previous quarter. The sector has been hard hit by the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and is expected to remain below trend for the next three to six months. High Tech: Confidence in the tech sector, which has remained high throughout the pandemic, is now returning to trend. Companies in this sector are expected to benefit long-term from changes brought about by the pandemic and continue to contribute positively to U.S. GDP growth for the next three to six months. Manufacturing: Spend sentiment for Manufacturing rebounded, but is still well below the trend line. Demand is expected to increase as vaccinations and warmer weather reduce the negative impact of the pandemic on the sector. Retail: The Retail sector continues to improve but is still below trend, as uncertainty caused by layoffs and business shutdowns persist. However, stimulus checks and low interest rates are expected to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the months to come. To view the Coupa BSI Q1 2021 Outlook in its entirety, visit www.spendindex.com.Disclaimer: The findings of the BSI are not necessarily indicative of trends happening with Coupa's business. The Coupa BSI MethodologyThe Coupa BSI is an early indicator of potential economic growth based on current business spending decisions of hundreds of U.S. companies. It analyses billions of dollars of anonymised transactions from the Coupa BSM Platform, which has cumulatively processed over $2 trillion in business spend, to measure confidence around U.S. economic growth at an aggregate level, as well as an industry level within financial services, health and life sciences, high tech, manufacturing, and retail. The index is based on three key measurements related to business spend: (1) spend volume, (2) average time to approve spend decisions, and (3) average rate of spend approval/rejection. The Coupa BSI is normalised to a baseline value of 100, which represents the weighted composite value of the three components in the baseline reference period (July 2016). The weighting methodology is periodically updated based on recalibration of the model. This was most recently done for Q4 2020. ICS vulnerabilities increased in second half of 2020 as gaps in remote work expand attack surfaces 2021-02-05T00:32:05Z ics-vulnerabilities-increased-in-second-half-of-2020-as-gaps-in-remote-work-expand-attack-surfaces Throughout the second half (2H) of 2020, 71% of industrial control system (ICS) vulnerabilities disclosed were remotely exploitable through network attack vectors, according to the second Biannual ICS Risk & Vulnerability Report released today by Claroty, the industrial cybersecurity company. The report also revealed a 25% increase in ICS vulnerabilities disclosed compared to 2019, as well as a 33% increase from 1H 2020.The report comprises the Claroty Research Team’s discoveries alongside trusted open sources, including the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), CERT@VDE, MITRE, and industrial automation vendors Schneider Electric and Siemens. During 2H 2020, 449 vulnerabilities affecting ICS products from 59 vendors were disclosed. Of those, 70% were assigned high or critical Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) scores, and 76% do not require authentication for exploitation. “The accelerated convergence of IT and OT networks due to digital transformation enhances the efficiency of ICS processes, but also increases the attack surface available to adversaries,” said Amir Preminger, vice president of research at Claroty. “Nation-state actors are clearly looking at many aspects of the network perimeter to exploit, and cybercriminals are also focusing specifically on ICS processes, which emphasises the need for security technologies such as network-based detection and secure remote access in industrial environments. It is heartening to see a growing interest in ICS within the security research community, as we must shine a brighter light on these vulnerabilities in order to keep threats at arm’s length.” Vulnerabilities on the rise in critical manufacturing, energy, and water and wastewater sectorsThe critical manufacturing, energy, water and wastewater, and commercial facilities sectors—all designated as critical infrastructure sectors—were by far the most impacted by vulnerabilities disclosed during 2H 2020 and shows increases from the previous two years across the board: Critical manufacturing increased 15% from 2H 2019 and 66% from 2H 2018Energy increased 8% from 2H 2019 and 74% from 2H 2018Water and wastewater increased 54% from 2H 2019 and 63% from 2H 2018Commercial facilities increased 14% from 2H 2019 and 140% from 2H 2018 Assessment of ICS vulnerabilities sees growth in third-party researchers The number of ICS vulnerabilities disclosed in 2020 increased by more than 30% compared to 2018 and nearly 25% compared to 2019. Two factors contribute to this spike in recent years: a heightened awareness of the risks posed by ICS vulnerabilities, and researchers and vendors increasingly focused on identifying and remediating security flaws as effectively and efficiently as possible. This growth indicates security research focused on ICS products is maturing. Third-party researchers were responsible for 61% of discoveries, many of which were cybersecurity companies. This signals a change in focus to include ICS alongside IT security research, which is further evidence of the accelerated convergence between IT and OT. Among all third-party discoveries, 22 reported their first disclosures, a positive sign of growth in the ICS vulnerability research market. The Claroty Research Team discovered and disclosed 41 vulnerabilities during 2H 2020, affecting 14 vendors. These represent the direction and core objectives of the team’s research focus. Overall, Claroty researchers have found and disclosed more than 70 ICS vulnerabilities to date. To access the complete set of findings, in-depth analysis, and additional steps to defend against improper access and risks, download the Claroty Biannual ICS Risk & Vulnerability Report: 2H 2020. AcknowledgementsThe primary author of this report is Chen Fradkin, security researcher at Claroty. Contributors include: Rotem Mesika, security research team lead at Claroty, Nadav Erez, director of innovation, Sharon Brizinov, vulnerability research team leader, and Amir Preminger, vice president of research at Claroty. Special thanks to the entire Claroty Research Team for providing exceptional support to various aspects of this report and research efforts that fueled it.About ClarotyClaroty is the industrial cybersecurity company. Trusted by the world’s largest enterprises, Claroty helps customers reveal, protect, and manage their OT, IoT, and IIoT assets. The company’s comprehensive platform connects seamlessly with customers’ existing infrastructure and programs while providing a full range of industrial cybersecurity controls for visibility, threat detection, risk and vulnerability management, and secure remote access—all with a significantly reduced total cost of ownership. Claroty is backed and adopted by leading industrial automation vendors, with an expansive partner ecosystem and award-winning research team. The company is headquartered in New York City and has a presence in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, and deployments on all seven continents.To learn more, visit www.claroty.com. DNA connects with CyberArk 2021-01-28T21:40:18Z dna-connects-with-cyberark DNA Connect is one of Australia's leading specialist distributors with over 25 years of experience distributing security, analytics and infrastructure technologies to the IT and OT markets. DNA Connect today announced a distribution agreement to provide CyberArk’s SaaS-based privileged access management (PAM) portfolio to Australian value-added resellers and security practices. CyberArk will be DNA Connect’s sole PAM-focused vendor. CyberArk is the global leader in PAM, a critical layer of IT security to protect data, infrastructure and assets across cloud and hybrid environments, at the endpoint, and throughout the DevOps pipeline. CyberArk delivers the only modern identity platform with a security-first approach, and is known as the market share leader and #1 vendor in the PAM space. “CyberArk has the industry’s most complete solution to reduce risk created by privileged credentials and secrets – we’re excited about the opportunities this will provide to our partners”, said Munsoor Khan, Executive Director at DNA Connect. “The range of value-add services DNA Connect offer CyberArk is expansive and unique in Australia,” said Bruce Nixon, Partner Manager Lead A/NZ at CyberArk, “DNA’s experience in enabling the channel for new technologies - and especially their capability in helping software vendors move to a subscription/cloud-first model - is impressive” “We also value DNA’s investment in technical expertise and the pre-sales assistance they are able to provide partners. This will be essential as organisations continue to prioritise PAM investment as critical to their security strategies.” continued Nixon. DNA will focus primarily on CyberArk’s SaaS portfolio, concentrating especially on Australian security practices and partners that are working with customers on their digital transformation journey. About DNA Connect DNA Connect is one of Australia's leading specialist distributors with over 25 years of experience distributing security, analytics and infrastructure technologies for IT and OT markets. Our expansive, agile customer-first culture and outstanding technical expertise not only makes us a great company to work in, but also to work with.