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While vans were once viewed as being everything that is wrong with the world, the public perception of these iconic vehicles has changed considerably over the last two decades. In fact, the RAC have reported that the uptake of vans is now two and a half times greater than it was during the same period last year, with a total of one in 10 vehicles now either large or light commercial vans. The small business market continues to drive the demand for vans, while the diversification of available vehicle designs has helped the sector to thrive considerably.

What Vans offer the best Storage Options and Highest Load Volumes? 

While there is a growing demand for vans of all scopes and sizes, it is those with the largest capacity that are the most popular. This is because these vehicles also serve as viable, mobile storage units, which is ideal for small business-owners looking to reduce their overheads. Here are the three vans with the largest load volume: – 

The Renault Master Box Van 

The king of load volume, the Renault Master Box Van offers 22m3 of space and is an updated version of a classic, old-fashioned model. It features a squared-sided box rather than a panel layout, which allows for additional loading space above the cab and extends the cargo allowance considerably. Perfect for removals and storing large items, it can be a Godsend for small firms with minimal resources.

The Vauxhall Movano 

On a similar note, the Vauxhall Movano features a similar design style and the classic Luton shape. It also incorporates considerable load space that extends above the cab, while the floor layout has been optimised to store large, small and medium-sized options. This vehicle has a total load volume of 21.7m3, meaning that while it is slightly smaller than the Renault Master Box van it is still ideal for heavy duty usage.

The Nissan Cabstar 

In terms of contemporary options, the Nissan Cabstar has evolved the Luton design style for modern demands. Featuring a flatbed design on the back, it combines the best elements of a van and a track and can be customised to suit a range of specific tradesmen needs. It is a one-of-a-kind van in the current market, meaning that it is the subject of huge demand and available at competitive prices through outlets such as AA Cars. Its total load capacity is an impressive 19m3, and this is even more appealing given the compact nature of the van and the its capacity to host racking, shelves and pallets. Given the compact nature of the van and its capacity to host racking, shelves and pallets.



Article contributed by Andrew Greenwood

Retaining good employees is essential for any company. But let’s face it without endless resources it is even more critical if you’re an SME. Lose someone and you will probably be feeling the impact for months. Retention rates are affected by getting your recruitment right and that recruitment pool is increasingly being filled by the millennial generation. By 2020 it is estimated millennials will account for over half the global workforce.

And just look at this research carried out recently by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking showing 86% of SMEs believe their future growth will rely on millennials. It seems SMEs value the fresh thinking and new perspectives, as well as the digital skills millennials bring to the table. This means SMEs are prepared to invest heavily in finding the right people – and for some that means a staggering 15% of turnover is spent recruiting millennial talent.

The Lloyds bank research point towards the difficulties with hiring talented millennials, highlighting a generation who are likely to turn down jobs if the culture isn’t right – regardless of how good the salary is.

This a big problem for those SMEs owners and leaders who are fully aware their existing culture is unlikely to appeal. Most SMEs in the Lloyds research agree the balance of power now resides with a skilled millennial generation whose values and attitudes are influencing the employer/employee relationship like never before.

Getting your SME ready for millennials

So is your company culture millennial ready? The clues are in the report. Flexibility’s a priority, both in terms of working hours and location. Millennials want to develop their own skills and personal brand so regular training, development and certification matters along with regular mentoring support too. And all of this needs to be transferable; millennials are looking to build your future alongside their own. This is also a generation accustomed to constant feedback. That includes feedback about their performance, attitude, behaviour, effort and results. And not just once a year in a performance review. If your employee recognition programme is not multi-channel, social and hierarchy free, then you’ve some serious work to do to get your culture millennial-ready.

Social recognition gives SMEs the answer

Until now, SME employee recognition programmes have almost always been manager-led or centralised. Being taken to lunch by your manager, going on a company outing as a thank you for a project completed or a last minute dash for Christmas gift vouchers, there’s been a whole host of well-intentioned ways that SMEs have attempted to recognise people, all of which are usually ‘done’ to the employee, and have done little to bridge the gaps in performance reviews or boost the employee engagement.

This kind of passive recognition is not going to go down well with millennials. However the very technology embraced by millennials, and the social age they have helped create, has provided the answer through social and peer to peer recognition. Better still SME’s are able to access cutting edge cloud based employee recognition applications that were once the preserve of only enterprise business.

Social recognition is a new software approach to employee recognition, providing  a personalised online workplace community for everything positive, be it performance, value or behaviour driven. Recognition from peers creates greater cohesion and builds the support structure and workplace friendships millennials value. Whilst also providing managers with the tools and real time insight to ensure they can finally excel at recognising their people. This hierarchy neutral approach to recognition is combined with multiple reward gateways, providing full access to the latest digital reward technologies that fit seamlessly inside high frequency feedback communities such as social recognition.

As SME business culture evolves, many issues and obstacles are appearing, whilst many long standing problems such as employee recognition are being solved. Say good bye to gimmicks, competitions and “110%” programmes. Get you culture millennial ready with Social recognition, and start to encourage your employees to build a culture they can believe in.

About the Author

Article written by Andrew Greenwood, Director of Sales and Service at social employee recognition experts Workstars.


It’s no secret that running a business involves an overwhelming amount of paperwork. From job applications to balance sheets, finding a way to organize so many documents can feel like a losing battle.

Thanks to Internet technology, though, businesses are learning how to take the “paper” out of “paperwork” and go digital. More companies than ever before are using online services to prepare, modify and store their documents, but what about sensitive paperwork that requires authentic signatures?

The Importance of a Streamlined Hiring System

For some companies, having a reliable system for hiring job candidates can mean the difference between success and failure. Staffing agencies and large corporations are two examples, but every business could benefit from an evolved hiring process.

Finding new employees involves a lot more than evaluating each worker’s credentials; employers also have to obtain tax information and other data. New employees may also have to complete contractor forms, non-disclosure agreements and other verifiable documents. In these cases, you could benefit from using software that features digital signature for staffing agencies.

These applications make signing, sharing and organizing documents easy. They can save you money by reducing the labor costs involved in running a recruiting or human resources department. They can also speed up the process of acquiring signed documents, which can make your hiring process more efficient.

According to Nolo, however, not every electronic signature service is reputable. Many of them do not have the security features in place to protect sensitive data. Others may not have recordkeeping systems that complement your business.

These six steps can help you find the right eSignature service for your needs:

1. Evaluate the Security Features

Your digital signatures should have a security code that is only accessible to the signer. They should never be available to the public or third parties.

2. Research the Service Provider’s Reputation

The company that stores your paperwork – assuming you are not using your own servers – should have a reputation for secure document handling. Use the Internet to compare reviews of different eSignature services.

3. Check the Provider’s Hours of Operation

What hours does your company operate? If you are relying on a third-party service to handle your documents, then you need customer support during those hours. Make sure the eSignature service you use provides reliable support during the hours when you need it most.

4. Evaluate the Document Templates

eSignature services offer templates for different contracts and agreements. Make sure the provider you choose has templates that complement your particular needs.

5. Make Sure the Provider’s Site Is Mobile Friendly

Many companies employ business travelers who aren’t always in front of their computers. In these cases, it is important that the eSignature company has a mobile-friendly website for easy access to documents and features.

6. Investigate the Service’s Recordkeeping Systems

Be sure to review the comprehensiveness of the company’s recordkeeping systems. You may need to search for documents based on specific dates, times, days or other variables.

While eSignature technology can save your company money and help you stay organized, it is important to find a service that is secure and fulfills your particular needs. If you want to avoid identity theft and other potential disasters, use these six steps to find a reputable eSignature service.


We all have tough days in the workplace. Whether you are making high-end business deals, hiring your first employees, or trying to break even as a small business, there is a good chance that you have experienced a day that was so stressful that it felt like a year. However, there is a difference between a little bit of stress every once in a while, and a job that is constantly keeping you at the end of your tether. Stress can be incredibly detrimental to a person’s health—both mental and physical—and subsequently, their overall performance in the workplace.

Stress Affects Every Aspect of a Business

Nothing helps breed a negative work environment like stress does. When left to build, stress can eat away at employees, and corrode a business like rust. Here are some of the specific ways in which stress can negatively affect your business:


When employees feel stressed, overworked, and underappreciated, it is not uncommon for them to feel bitter and harbor feelings of resentment towards their employers. You might think that one or two unhappy employees are not the end of the world, but on the contrary, a few unhappy employees can hinder overall employee training and development and create a poor feeling in the company as a whole. As a result you will not have the kind of unity that anyone looking to have a successful business should seek after.


When your employees are happy, they are also likely to be more productive. A little bit of pressure can be a good way to motivate people, but if you apply too much, all you have are unhappy employees and no results. Research has proven that people work better when they are happy and relaxed, and in an environment that they enjoy. Furthermore, if they have better feelings towards a company, they are more likely to want to produce better work for that company.

Employee Turnover

Employee turnover can also be affected by stress levels in the office. Although high employee turnover is not a problem for some larger companies, and sometimes can be expected, it is a dangerous thing to let fly under the radar. You will limit your pool of prospective employees if there are constantly people leaving, and you could also run the risk of damaging your company’s brand. The best and most successful companies are usually the ones which have the best reputations, the good brands, and the employees who want to stay with them for life. If your employees do not like working for you, you might struggle to find any quality workers to promote when the time comes.

Streamline Process

Making your processes hassle free is a worthy investment. We often think about all the small details to create the most resistance free customer experience but how often do we give our employee experience the same treatment? Researching emerging technology in each aspect of your intern process may yield some impressive results. Sales Processes have benefited from technology as well as training programs to name a couple. But in every niche you can usually find someone who is leveraging technology to streamline the process. Take the time to nitpick your employee experience as much as your customer experience. You’ll end up preventing stress and moving the needle on the almighty bottom line.

So in order to have a well-functioning business, it is important to do what you can to create a happy, relaxed, yet productive, atmosphere. There are many tips to preventing stress within your atmosphere. Too many for this article. Combating stress on all fronts is an ongoing process and will never be complete. Knowing how stress is hurting you and your company along with ways to mitigate that damage is an essential skill for any business.


As markets become more competitive and crowded, companies must not only increase profits, but also reduce operating costs. The good news is that there are simply and easy ways for companies to reduce their operating costs.

Waste Management

Waste management doesn’t just refer to garbage and recycling. Many businesses can save significant amounts of money through reducing waste. This will not only lower costs, but also protect the environment and show the community that the company cares. For example, products or packaging could be redesigned to use less materials. Going paperless and switching to digital invoicing will save a lot of paper in the office. According to one report, the U.S. leads the nation in wasting energy. Simply turning off lights, computers and equipment will help. A programmable thermostat will save on HVAC costs. Standby mode and electronic devices that are still plugged in will consume steady amounts of ‘ghost power’ which all adds up at the end of the month.


Employee, marketing and insurance costs have the biggest impact on most company’s budgets. Employee costs don’t just include salary and benefits. Employee turnover typically costs a company few thousand dollar per employee. This comes in the form of screening, hiring and training new employees. Employees need to be fairly compensated, but they also need to be fairly treated and provided opportunities for career advancement. Marketing and advertising can be quite expensive for smaller companies without the properly trained employees. It is actually cheaper to outsource advertising to a third-party company. Finally, health care costs are on the rise and companies are expected to pay the difference. Consider carefully negotiating with insurance companies to find the most competitive rate.


Every company relies on suppliers for a steady flow of services, office supplies and even raw materials. Purchasing agents should regularly review purchasing decisions with management to look for better opportunities, monitor the budget and plan for future expenses. In addition to this, purchasing procedures and spending limits should be occasionally reviewed. Management should review purchasing data to rate supplier performance and look for opportunities to consolidate purchases. Doing so will increase buying power and reduce administrative costs and paperwork. In fact, suppliers should be annually rated so that management can either discontinue business or negotiate better pricing from poor performers.

Install a Business Process Management Suite

A business process management suite, or BPMS, is a set of integrated tools and technologies that allow companies to improve their operational processes. The ultimate goal of BPM suites is to improve process efficiency and functionality through integrating employees, information and systems together. According to Forbes magazine, BPM technology excels at automating processes and acting as an information hub for record systems. Furthermore, BPM suits allow companies to simplify processes with a goal-driven approach that will unite cross-departmental programs and people. BPM technology enables companies to reduce costs and miscommunication while increasing speed, efficiency and organization. In the end, revenue will also increase through improving customer service and product output and cycle time. Customized performance reports will isolate reoccurring delays and problems.

Use DIM Shipping

Many businesses spend enormous amounts of money on shipping, especially if their business has their own shipping department. Dimensional weight pricing (DIM) is a unique trick pioneered by commercial transportation companies. Many major transportation carriers have adopted this method as a standard way of setting the minimum price for the estimated package space. DIM weight refers to estimating the weight based on the width, height and length of the box. According to Logistics Management, e-commerce is the main driver behind the conversion to DIM pricing because of the global increase in small package shipping. Therefore, shippers must optimize packaging sizes in order to save money. In fact, using DIM calculations could save up to three percent of shipping costs.

Overall, operating expenses can be reduced through effective waste, supplier and outsourcing management. In addition to this, a BPM suite will consolidate costs and DIM shipping will save money in the long run.

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