Next week is the week ending in Black Friday. Strange term with a history that goes back to the 1860's, but it means I am going to send you emails on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, not to mention my usual Saturday morning one.
This means that today’s is going to be mercifully short and probably without any product, as I need you to be saving your pocket money to respond to Monday’s email, Wednesday’s email and Friday’s email not to mention my Saturday morning one. My other excuse for writing so little, is that Stuart our ever faithful, reliable and hardworking van driver is off ill and so I've had to make the ultimate sacrifice!
I’ve cancelled a breakfast meeting I had with an old friend and am instead driving our van hither and thither around Surrey, doing the end of week transfer run. What a wonderful person I must be (and in case you’re in some doubt about this, I just checked with Andi, as we were checking this missive for spelling mistakes and punctuation, and he assured me that this is in fact the case, seconded by Paul!).
A New Toy
But, before I finish, I must just quickly tell you about a new toy we bought for Andi, Denise, Ellie, Sarah and Yuliia in the warehouse. It's, a "Cushion Pack CP 422s2i Cardboard Shredding Machine". None the wiser? Well, it’s a very clever bit of kit that doesn’t shred, as the name suggests, but instead cuts lots of “offset” slits in cardboard boxes (used in deliveries to us) and rather like a pastry lattice maker, turns otherwise useless cardboard boxes into a lacy packing material. So, the benefits to us and the planet are considerable. Firstly, it’s enabling the reuse of boxes that would otherwise go for recycling, so pretty ecological. I don’t know exactly how much power it uses to do this, but it just plugs into the mains with a standard 13amp plug...so can’t be huge. And of course, the plastic pillow wrap that we normally use for fill voids in the boxes that we send out, is dramatically reduced. So, there we have a saving in plastic packaging, which is good for our planet, and importantly it’s good for our profit.
And on that point, we are currently budgeting to make a small loss this year, (based on our current conservative, recessional turnover figures) and as we spend several tens of thousands of pounds every year on packaging alone, this machine will make a sizable dent in that overhead. Maybe saving enough to get us back into profit again?
My thanks to Reigate and Banstead
And the great news is that this didn’t cost us a penny because it was paid for by a grant from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. To get the grant, Jan, who with Maxine looks after our money (accounts, bookkeeping and cashflow) had to jump through a hoop or two and propose a business case for the grant. We were then interviewed by two commercial people from the council and to my surprise and delight were awarded the grant for the machine (and some other stuff as well.).
So, my thanks go to Jan for keeping her ears to the ground in finding this funding, then persuading me to spend time allowing her to put our case (never thought we’d get it, so wasn’t really that keen! Daft as it turns out!) and she also sourced the machine as well.
And of course, my thanks also go to the people at the council who conducted a very professional process to assess our suitability (I would say that wouldn’t I, having succeeded) but I do think it was well thought through.
So that’s it for now. Stand by for some uncharacteristically sales driven emails from me next week.
I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.