Friday, March 25, 2016
The revised F-Gas Regulation with its direct and indirect restrictions is a major challenge for the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector. European customers are seeking possibilities to comply with new legalisation, enacted by European Parliament in 2014 and intended to ban refrigerants with higher global-warming potential from the market by 2020.The planned action features a phase-out process until 2030. Limiting the sale of the most important F-gases from 2015 in the EU and phasing them down in steps to one-fifth of 2014 sales by 2030.
The industry is already forced to make long term plans toward a sustainable development. It is foreseeable that new challenges will emerge in the future. The EU has meanwhile announced a further reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, which extends the industry’s strategic planning. Suitable climate-friendly alternatives must show high energy efficiency so that the reduction in direct emissions from the alternatives to HFCs and HCFCs is not offset by higher indirect emissions from energy use. The F-Gas Regulation analysis showed that the replacement of HFCs by climate-friendly alternatives will not only reduce direct emissions of HFCs by two-thirds of today's levels, but also improve energy efficiency overall, leading to additional greenhouse gas emission savings.
Customers ask deservedly: Does it make sense to convert existing equipment or is it better to invest in a new system that will meet future requirements?
Even if existing systems could continue operations through 2030, it often makes commercial sense for well-maintained and efficiently operating systems with recycled refrigerants to be converted to refrigerants with a low GWP. However, it has to be ensured that there are no disadvantages in terms of energy efficiency due to the change-over. As far as older equipments are concerned, new investment is recommended here since equipments with new technologies are often far more profitable to operate.
In light of future requirements and an increasing environment conscious thinking in Europe, store owners will have to decide what makes the most sense for them. Moving to naturals now could eliminate that stress in the future and lock in environmental benefits in the form of fewer greenhouse gas emissions and decreased energy demand. Naturals are the future and the time has come to start embracing them.
The main problem in some regions is that the industry and the manufacturers are not eager to transfer completely to the new direction.
However, successful implementation will need sound foundations including and training of the professionals involved – which in turn needs experienced trainers, installers and maintenance staff.
Customers are eager to receive more information on time to leverage their financial and time resources in a more optimal way. Scattered information is needed to be compiled in a more systematic way, as well.
Expert knowledge must be transferred to potential partners and closer ties need to be established between existing markets for natural refrigerants-based equipment and prospective ones.
In sum: Constant B2B communication is needed!
Communication between producers and partners should be improved to disseminate adequate information on natural refrigeration systems including installation, maintenance and best practices. Demonstrations and pilot projects, providing best practices of the new technology, are needed.
The 2015 list of 500 top brands has been recently published including the changes in brand value compared to the previous year. Looking at the ranking, we can realize that the role of ethical communication is more crucial than most people would think. The importance of ethical B2B communication is best demonstrated by the recent Volswagen scandal. Due to the lack of trust and information exchange within the market, problems with the brand came only out when the cars were being tested: driven under normal conditions, they would emit up to 40 times the more nitrogen oxide.
The scandal over VW cheating pollution emissions tests casted a cloud over the whole car industry. What started in the US has spread to a growing number of countries. VW recalled 8.5 million cars in Europe, including 2.4 million in Germany and 1.2 million in the UK, and 500,000 in the US as a result of the emissions scandal. Just one day after the U.S. Justice Department sued the company for cheating on federal standards, the German automaker reported a 9.1 percent decline in deliveries of its namesake brand to 30,956 vehicles from 34,058 a year earlier. This discovery resulted in a fall in brand value by 18.9 billion USD and a fall in rank from 17th to 56th.
But we can look at other examples with well-known brands: independent lab tests showed some Samsung Tvs were rigged to use less energy during official testing conditions than they do during real-world use. Later on, a famous British inventor accused German companies Bosch and Siemens of doing the same thing, gaming energy ratings for their vacuum cleaners.
Based on the above facts, we can rightfully assume that internal auditors do not even question the top management’s incorrect KPIs. In fact, not the data that are being changed, since it would be too obvious, but the method of measurement is being altered. This results nicer figures and the fraud is more easily concealed. This occurs in all industries from cooling industry to bank services. The price these companies have to pay for such short term success is the devaluation of the brand, loss of competitiveness and the layoff of employees.
How can we avoid the deevaluation of our brand? We need to be honest, work hard and do not try to deceive our customers, employees and managers. We stand behind the brand of our company, we should take care of it.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Smart technology and hyper connection means that we can manage all facets of our lives which reshape the functioning of our society. The number of channels and platforms of communication is continuously rising, all the information that is important for us is transmitted to us through numerous media outlets. Therefore, companies have to revise their marketing and sales strategies. Customized information and fast service is expected. It is important to publish the right content in the right place at the right time, since we live in an information-driven world.
Due to technological development, consumption is being shifted towards online sites. The development of the industry is happening simultaneously with the development of technology. In e-commerce the only permanent factor is change. Sales people have to be aware of the latest trends in order to react to changes in time and to gain a competitive advantage.
A current trend of the market is that e-sales managers organize campaigns in specific periods instead of sporadic times. This helps planning ahead. Fixed campaigns are usually related to holidays. The Singly Day introduced by Alibaba 6 years ago generated a 9,3 billion turnover last year, and this year, people spent 14,34 billion USD over a 24-hour period.
Consumers continuously share information on social networks, and webshops are present on these sites. The result of this presence is that 50 % of online sales is generated with the help of social media. An increasing number of people connect to the Internet via smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices, and they are using the net not only for surfing for information, but also for shopping. The estimated annual increase rate of mobile trade is 42 % between 2013-2016.
There are webshops today using customized avatars to dazzle the customers and help them buy clothing by looking at the chosen pieces on an avatar, which - by copying the customer’s body - creates a virtual model to try the clothes on. Another alternative solution for e-shopping is when the customers try on the clothes in front of a computer system with a touch screen which reads the barcode of the dress the customer is trying on, checks the available stock, and orders it, if necessary. Customers also receive information about the availability of fitting rooms.
The in-store move of clothing, equipped with RFID chips, provides valuable information to companies. For example, which pieces are popular and which are not. This foreshadows the future direction of e-shopping. Members of younger generations use social media daily, share and like content, use their mobile phones to check Youtube videos, play on their tablets, read eBooks, so basically all new technological innovations are routinely used in daily activities.
From the companies' perspective, we are entering the era of Big Data. There is plenty of information circulating about customers. Based on the digital footprints of visitors, webshops obtain information about them such as: what type of devices they use to log on the webshop, what pages they have visited, etc. Therefore, companies have to store a huge amount of data. Data has become the main element of business, data sources help companies in decision-making and strategy planning to find the most effective and economical solutions.