Client News

September 16, 2014

Workshop move to create major boost for Motiva

The opening of a high-tech workshop complex is set to transform behind-the-scenes operations at a leading vehicle solutions company.

Fleet specialists Motiva Group are switching long-established satellite facilities to the company’s headquarters nearby as part of a move to consolidate all of its activities.
The state-of-the-art unit, which opened for the first time on Monday (September 1), represents the first phase of a £700,000 project to redevelop the entire site in Stoke-on-Trent.
And it will have significant implications for the company, according to group operations manager John Cartwright.
He said: “The workshop signals the start of a new era for the business and it will deliver massive benefits.
“On a practical level, the move gives us much better facilities, far greater capacity and almost doubles our compound space.
“But it also makes us massively more efficient at a stroke and will create significant savings.”
Motiva’s rented workshops in Bucknall, along with a truck centre first opened under the company’s M-Way banner in 1986, rolled down their shutters for the final time last week.
But there’ll be no redundancies with all staff switching to headquarters in Longton - just three miles down the road.
A dated unit formerly owned by a crane hire company has been transformed into a modern, fully-fitted facility featuring the latest equipment.
It houses the company’s commercial body shop and damage repair operation for cars, vans and trucks, with space to carry out MOTs for fleet customers.
The spacious new workshop features two full-length truck pits and no less than seven ramps along with separate bays for welding and spray painting.
Useable compound storage space increases from two acres to four and a half.
Peter Wright, Sales Director at Motiva Group, said: “Moving our entire technical operation to one site has been our goal for a number of years and I’m sure we’ll reap the rewards.
“Rather than running three workshops over two sites, with two service departments and two service centres, we’ll have everything at our headquarters.
“The move will make us far more efficient as it will streamline the entire operation and, though I can’t yet put a figure on it, it will save us a lot of money in the long run.”
The workshop is expected to open up new avenues for Motiva, with a move into corporate servicing now on the cards.
Mr Wright added: “Better facilities and improved logistics mean we can now target commercial customers who we were previously unable to approach.
“Clients can bring in their cars, vans or trucks and, at the same time, pick up a hire vehicle for however long it’s needed while repair work is carried out.
“It’s another service which adds to our growing portfolio and which complements our customer-focused approach.”
Work to replace the office complex next door to the workshop is now due to begin in October or November and should be complete by the beginning of next year.

Shepherd PR News

September 16, 2014

Shepherd PR extends apprenticeship scheme

Shepherd PR is on the look-out for more apprentices to join our growing team.
Our company, based in Ashbourne, has already taken on two youngsters after starting the training scheme last year.
Now we are looking to extend the successful programme by offering places to two more new recruits.
The firm, which generates media coverage, videos and award entries for clients, as well as managing social media, needs extra support for the video team along with help for the social media and news departments.
Jo Foster, Shepherd PR online manager, said: “We have found that apprentices can offer real benefits to our business and we’re pleased to be able to offer these opportunities in the area.
“We’re looking for people who are energetic and enthusiastic, with an interest in business and the media.
“This opportunity will give two people the chance to gain some great experience which they can combine with additional training.”
The scheme has already proved a success for two former students at nearby Queen Elizabeth Grammar School.

Kathryn Moorcroft, aged 19, has now moved into full-time employment at the business after completing a 12-month Social Media apprenticeship which combined work with studying at Derby College.
Kathryn has since returned to QEGS to give a talk about her experiences as an apprentice and the benefits it can offer.
Georgia Handley, aged 17, is currently studying Business Administration at Derby College as part of her apprenticeship at Shepherd PR, and almost 12 months on, is an integral part of the team.
Ms Foster added: “Both Kathryn and Georgia have contributed to the team and demonstrate what can be achieved by hard work and a drive to succeed.”
Anyone interested in the social media apprenticeships can contact us by telephone on 01335 368020 or by email: 

September 16, 2014

Pest experts warn of bedbug threat

Thousands of homes could be affected by a potential invasion of bedbugs. 

Pest control experts are predicting a dramatic rise in the number of infestations after witnessing similar problems in August and September last year.
They’re putting homeowners on red alert and say those who have been away on holiday could be among those most under threat.
Problems with bedbugs, which feed on human blood and often leave irritating bite marks, have become far more common over the last decade or so.
Experts put the rise in numbers at least partly down to an increase in international travel and say that’s why the parasites are often more prevalent in the UK during late summer.
Now they’re warning people to check their properties, particularly if they’ve been abroad.
Rob Simpson, managing director of independent pest controllers register BASIS PROMPT, said: “A number of our members reported a significant peak in the number of bedbug infestations late last summer and that pattern seems likely to be repeated this time.
“People often associate an increase in the number of bedbugs with the warm weather, but it is far more likely to be caused by trips abroad or even hotel stays in this country.
“Families can bring them home in luggage or clothing and would never suspect a thing. The first time they know about it is when they wake up with a rash which can be itchy for days.”
Infestations of bedbugs are thought to have been on the rise for around 10 or 15 years with immigration, second-hand furniture and second-hand clothes pinpointed as other possible causes. Growing tolerance to pesticides could also be an issue.
The insects, which are about 6mm long, feed at night and often leave little or no trace other than bite marks which can leave small specs of blood on sheets and pillows.
They live in mattresses, bed frames, furniture near the bed and also hide behind headboards or in cracks around skirting boards. They can move through properties through wall and floor cavities.
Each female lays between 200 and 500 eggs which hatch within 17 days.
Treatment of an infestation is complicated and is a job for the professionals, according to Mr Simpson.
He said: “Getting rid of bedbugs is notoriously difficult because they live and lay eggs in the cracks of bed frames and skirting boards or burrow inside mattresses.
“Most normal insecticides won’t kill the eggs and, while people might think the problem has gone away, fresh eggs can soon hatch.
“The best advice is to bring in an expert controller who’ll use their experience and know-how to get rid of the problem once and for all.
“If people try to deal with issues themselves or call in unqualified help, infestations could get out of hand.
“It’s easy to get out of your depth when trying to control pests of all kinds, but particularly bedbugs as their treatment is so specialised.
“I would urge people to use a member of the BASIS PROMPT register, so they’re assured safe, effective and legal treatment.”

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16-9-2014 (12:55): SHEPHERD PR is on the look-out for more apprentices to join our growing team. Read more...