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New project sees Silvercrest Energy roll out a new Social Energy utility contract


New project sees Silvercrest Energy roll out a new Social Energy utility contract in partnership with UKPN (UK power Networks)

Green energy supplier Silvercrest Energy Ltd along with Social Energy, the utility supplier is launching a new project today to spur the development of a smart energy grid in southern England, working with electricity distributor UK Power Networks to enable around 100 homes to return stored energy back to the grid.

Energy customers participating in the programme will have a battery installed in their homes that will be used by the energy network to send extra power to the National grid at times of peak demand, as part of UK Power Networks’ flexibility services programme.

The project seeks to help deliver a smart grid which is better prepared for an anticipated increase in demand fuelled by zero-carbon technologies like electric vehicles and electric heating, alongside the gird’s increased reliance on variable renewables.

The project will provide a glimpse into a future in which network operators buy ‘flexibility’ from companies like Silvercrest Energy who use a Social Energy artificial intelligence software, which will work with customers to balance supply and demand by using storage capacity to move demand up and down in response to levels of supply on the network. During specific periods, customer Home energy storage systems will also be available to discharge their stored energy, which will first be used to power the homeowners’ electrical appliances, with any extra being exported from the house to the grid.

Homeowners in parts of south London, Hertfordshire, and Kent will receive an annual payment of £125 for the next four years, totalling £500 in return for their participation in the project, this is alongside the extra returns a grid trading enabled home storage system already brings.

Homeowners here have an incredible opportunity to be part of this exciting project to move towards a smart grid – going green, saving money and supporting the future of energy.

Progress towards developing smart energy solutions was also made this week in the context of access to data, with south west-based electricity distributor Western Power Distribution releasing the first wave of electricity distribution network data gathered using an innovative approach known as the Common Information Model (CIM).

The CIM standardises network asset data sharing to make it more accessible, bringing together a huge range of datasets from different types of energy network infrastructure equipment, including transformers, circuit breakers, wires, and cables. The aim is to provide public access to key asset information, which stakeholders and researchers can draw on when developing smart energy technologies.

The company said low carbon technology developers could use the data to easily map WPD’s network for areas with the capacity for additional solar or wind generation or to identify neighbourhoods which could benefit from additional flexibility through battery storage systems.

The CIM data released so far covers the South West, but plans are already in place to have the entire WPD network covered by the end of 2020, the firm said. Users will be able to access the data through WPD’s Data Hub.

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Avenue51 ecommerce platform sees 245% increase in orders from Chinese consumers for British goods


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London, UK – July 1st, 2020: Avenue51, the global ecommerce platform, is experiencing a surge in demand from shoppers in Mainland China looking to buy goods from British companies. Avenue51’s June marketplace sales figures show a 245% year-on-year increase compared to the same month in 2019.

The most popular British product category trends currently being sold across Avenue51 marketplace stores include Maternity, Accessories, Premium Grocery and Beauty – which is on track to increase sales by 650% in 2020.

The steep rise in demand from Chinese consumers for goods from Britain has been buoyed by Mainland China’s annual mid-year shopping festival, 618, which runs from June 1 to June 18th with vast numbers of shoppers logging on to buy branded goods.
In addition, the Chinese Government this year issued more than £1 billion of cash coupons to its citizens – to help reboot the economy – which has contributed to the heightened numbers of online sales.
Many British brands operate online stores through the Avenue51 platform including Royal Mail, Waitrose, Aspinal of London and ThisWorks.

Avenue51 is a quick and effective means for European brands to trade directly with consumers, globally, via its cross-border technology platform that offers an end-to-end service including; stock management, marketing, payments and shipping. Avenue51 also provides online listing across a network of more than 50,000 online retailers used by shoppers in Mainland China.
Avenue51 co-founder, James Hardy, comments: “Retailers and brands have had an incredibly difficult time due to Covid-19, and it won’t get any easier with an uncertain global economic outlook. Our record June sales show the importance of a robust ecommerce offering and the opportunities afforded to brands who can successfully trade into the Chinese consumer market.
We are seeing a sustained growth of brands joining Avenue51 and are continuing to invest in our technology, fulfilment centres and consumer insights to help meet their individual sales needs.”

About Avenue51
Avenue51’s complete cross border retail technology platform enables more than 100 British and European consumer brands including Waitrose, Aspinal of London and ThisWorks to generate and fulfil over £45 million of orders from shoppers and online retailers in Mainland China each year.

For brands that are seeking fast access to shoppers in Mainland China, Avenue51 offers the opportunity to list products within a network of more than 50,000 online retailers. This network includes a number of highly successful online stores operated by Avenue51 under license (La Poste and Royal Mail Tmall.com flagship stores) or directly (51bestuk, 51Taouk).

The Avenue51 team is based in offices around the world including London, Birmingham, Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou.
Press Contact
Press@avenue51.com

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Trimline sees the real time benefit of planning with PODFather


Trimline, the leading supplier of tiling products and solutions is seeing the real time benefits of introducing PODFather’s route optimisation and electronic proof of delivery software to its UK distribution operation. Known for its company commitment to exceptional customer care, the Trimline team wanted a software solution that would help them deliver greater access to quality tile products and quicker response time for customers, whatever the project scale. With PODFather now in place the Trimline team is seeing the benefit of having real time fleet visibility and performance reporting. As a result of the data that PODFather collects, Trimline has been able to dramatically increase its On Time in Full (OTIF) delivery performance by over 12%.

“One of the biggest benefits of introducing PODFather is that we now have real time visibility of what’s going on out on the road,” comments Dave Fletcher, Operations Manager. “With the PODFather system in place we can optimise the routes we are running, track progress in real time, and capture electronic proof of delivery information without having to rely on the use of paper tickets. As a result of changing our working practices we’ve saved a huge amount of admin time and seen our On Time in Full performance improve by over 12%.”

Trimline use the PODFather system to plan delivery routes, collect vehicle check data and send job information to drivers. All drivers have access to the PODFather Driver App, which runs on even the most basic of smartphones. The app allows drivers to collect and log all vehicle check information before their jobs for the day are uploaded and they head out onto the road. “The driver app is really simple yet very effective,” adds Fletcher. “In fact, the whole PODFather system, from the job management screens through to the end of day reports are user friendly and informative; it was one of the big plus points for me when I first saw the solution.”

End of day reporting has allowed Trimline to improve efficiency across its operation. With vehicle tracking and driver performance data being fed back to the transport team, via the PODFather app, Trimline is able to make decisions and refine planning parameters based on real life data, something that wasn’t possible with the previous, paper based process.

“Trimline is an excellent example of how the benefits of using PODFather influences may different aspect of our clients’ businesses,” adds Colin McCreadie, Managing Director at PODFather. “Distribution operators are familiar with the concepts of route optimisation, vehicle checks and driver tracking but in this case it’s been the collection and collation of real life business data that has led to Trimline improving efficiency across its operation, with some impressive results.”

PODFather Ltd – so much more than ePOD

Our software is helping businesses within the logistics, construction, field service and healthcare industries to streamline processes, improve operational and financial efficiency, and eradicate paper. Our cloud-based delivery management software encompasses a range of features and functionality including; job management, route planning and optimization, vehicle checks, proof of delivery, driver and vehicle tracking, as well as invoicing and reporting modules. PODFather allows businesses to be better informed about the jobs they are managing, highlighting problems before they occur, making users proactive rather than reactive. Our customer base includes well-known names such as Tarmac, NHS, Bidfresh, Oxfam and Igloo, as well as a many independent logistics and construction service operators. To find out more visit www.podfather.com.

Please direct all media request to: Jane Geary, Marketing Manager
Tel: 07590 376099, jgeary@podfather.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/janegeary/

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Lockdown esports boom sees Luckbox prepare to go public on TSXV


Booming business during the COVID-19 lockdown has accelerated one company’s plans to go public.

Luckbox – an esports betting platform – has reported a “huge uptick in KPIs” during the first half of 2020.

The company is now preparing to go public on the TSX Venture Exchange after signing a letter of intent with capital pool company Elephant Hill (TSX-V: EH.P).

With much of the world’s population in lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the esports industry is among the few sectors to thrive.

While almost all traditional sport has been interrupted by the pandemic, esports – pro video game matches – are able to continue online.

This has been welcome news for Luckbox, with total bets up 500% since lockdown started.

Luckbox CEO Quentin Martin said: “All of our key performance indicators have been through the roof in the past three months. We’ve seen a huge uptick in KPIs across the board.

“Clearly, these are challenging times for many people across the world but, for many, esports and gaming is a welcome distraction.

“As well as an increase in customers and betting activity, we’ve seen a huge level of interest from potential investors, who are realising that esports is resilient to many of the forces that affect traditional sports, not least COVD-19 and a potential recession.”

Esports is regarded as the sport with highest growth potential and the industry as a whole has been one of the few sectors to succeed during lockdown. Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch reported an 80% increase of concurrent viewership since January, while gaming platform Steam reported record concurrent users.

Ahead of the potential public listing, Luckbox is engaging investors during a short funding round led by Gravitas Securities and Beacon Securities.

Luckbox, which is based in the Isle of Man, has been accepting bets from customers in more than 100 territories for just over a year.

The company holds a full gambling licence and offers real-money wagering on popular games such as League of Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2, Overwatch, FIFA and NBA2K.

Martin said: “The potential of esports betting is well documented and these past few months have brought that into sharper focus, accelerating the numbers.

“Many fans of traditional sports have been exposed to the excitement of esports for the first time and, hopefully, they like what they see and will be sticking around.”

About Luckbox

Luckbox offers legal, real-money betting, live streams and stats on 13 esports. Luckbox was built by a team combining vast experience in the igaming industry and a passion for esports to offer players a unique and legal CS:GO betting, Dota 2 and League of Legends betting. Real Time Games Holding Limited – the company behind the Luckbox brand – holds a full licence under the Online Gambling Regulation Act (OGRA), issued by the Gaming Supervision Commission. Luckbox is committed to supporting responsible gambling.

Pictures: CEO Quentin Martin, the Luckbox website

Contact: For more information or interview requests, email: james.mcmath@luckbox.com

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Plant & Equipment launches new website, as B2B sees spike in online activity due to Covid-19


DUBAI: Plant & Equipment, a leading online marketplace and industry news platform for the construction equipment markets in the Middle East and Africa, has launched a revamped website, www.PlantAndEquipment.com with enhanced tools to buy or sell used and new machinery and commercial vehicles online.

It comes as businesses and buyers are increasingly seeking online platforms to continue their trade, with the coronavirus pandemic having caused the postponement of many trade fairs and sales events, where traditionally deals are completed over a handshake.

The pandemic may accelerate the trend towards digital sales platforms for business-to-business (B2B) sellers, which lags behind trends in the consumer space in the Middle East and Africa, says Zayd Kuba, Managing Director of Middle East Strategic Advertising (MESA), the publisher of Plant & Equipment.

“Businesses are looking for online platforms where they can generate not only exposure for their brand but also receive direct enquiries and actually conclude sales,” said Kuba.

Plant & Equipment first launched its website two years ago, and since then traffic has grown rapidly, from just a handful of enquiries each month to now averaging around 300 enquiries per day, with around 120,000 visitors per month. The new website features enhanced paid dealer listings and improved search functionality, so that visitors can search for whatever brand or piece of equipment they want, while sorting by metrics such as price, age, hours or mileage. “Many of our site visitors are buyers looking for specific products, not just generic construction traffic,” he said.

The platform has listings from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as machinery or commercial vehicle dealers and distributors, including Al Tayer Motors, Al-Bahar and Al Naboodah in the UAE.

The website is unique in that it covers such as broad geography, including the GCC, wider Middle East, and Africa, says Kuba. Its top five countries for visitor traffic are – in order of traffic – the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria. Categories with high levels of enquiries include excavators, cranes, wheel loaders, concrete equipment and trucks.

Despite a possible slow down across the construction sector globally due to the pandemic, Kuba believes this will produce new opportunities for sellers and buyers, and may also see renewed focus from international sellers towards buyers in the Middle East and Africa.

“Many of the dealers that sell on our platform are based in the US or Europe. Typically, when the construction industry in the US booms, their rental fleets grow. If the construction business there takes a hit, we expect machinery exports to grow as rental fleets downsize, meaning it will be a good time for contractors in the Middle East or Africa to look for used equipment from the US or Europe.”

Plant & Equipment is also available as a print magazine, published every two months, which is distributed across Middle East and Africa including industry news and in-depth analysis. To date it has published more than 200 editions of the print magazine.

Top countries by visitors to www.PlantAndEquipment.com
1. UAE
2. KSA
3. Egypt
4. South Africa
5. Nigeria

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