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Why Dock Equipment is a Tool, Not a Replacement, For the Warehouse Employee

If you live outside of a big city, then you’ve probably seen a series of headlines at least once. These news stories will discuss a big factory coming to town and offering lots of jobs, or a factory closing down and how the local economy will be affected. Warehouses, factories, and other industrial buildings are a big shot in the arm for the local economy in small towns and mid-sized cities. These can create hundreds or even thousands of jobs. However, this means that some people can be equipment of the tools that help dock workers. People think of a futuristic world where jobs are outsourced to robots. Science fiction works such as the novels by Isaac Asimov and William Gibson have only furthered this perception. We think that equipment meant to help the worker is actually a step towards automating those tasks and eventually removing the human element. This means that people can have a hostile attitude towards technology, especially in the small towns that rely on factories and warehouses to create jobs. However, you can rest assured that dock equipment is a friend and ally to the dock worker – not a replacement. Here’s the reasons why this equipment makes an industrial employee’s life easier.

Dock equpiment is the warehouse employee’s best friend

The Equipment ‘Evens Out’ the Differences in Each Loading Bay

Warehouses, factories, and any building with a loading dock are not built to anyone standard. This is problematic in and of itself, but the issue goes farther than that. Different trucks have different sizes and dimensions as well, meaning that two trucks can have totally different distances from the loading bay. Add in the fact that a truck’s distance from the loading bay changes when there is a great deal of cargo within it. All of these factors can lead to a wildly inconsistent gap between the loading bay and the trucks. This is a huge factor in employee safety and efficiency, and it’s not something that can be fixed without dock equipment. Luckily, dock levellers and other pieces of gear do the job perfectly. Whereas transferring cargo across the gap without equipment requires a keen eye, nearly perfect movement, and a lot of luck, using the right equipment allows the transfer to go smoothly and quickly. A frustrating job that can have big consequences becomes much more straightforward.

Get the Job Done Without Damaging Cargo and Causing Other Issues

When industrial employees have to work in an environment without dock levellers and other pieces of equipment to bridge the gap, they’re at risk. For a moment, consider the fast paced environment of a warehouse and the requirements that the workers have to meet. Without the proper set up, you’re going to end up with people making mistakes. When the gap isn’t bridged, the cargo is likely to get banged up and damaged. This is a big deal for a company and can seriously affect the bottom line.

The Right Equipment Preserves the Health of Your Employees

There’s a more serious consequence to consider, however, and that is employee health. When you’re working without dock equipment, you have a dangerous work environment. Employees are forced to take measures that can hurt their physical health. There are two types of injuries that come from this scenario. The first is low level but chronic wear and tear that comes from the repetitive motions of warehouse work without using the proper form or having back up. Shoulders, wrists, neck, the back, your waist, and knees can suffer pain and tightness. This low level pain leads to small injuries that build up over time. You may have a torn rotator cuff here, or a pulled muscle in your back there. However, the second kind of injury is worse – a sudden catastrophe that leads to a serious, long term disability. If you’re a warehouse employee, either of these situations can lead to lost wages, lost job, a disability, or even the end of your career. This is why the right equipment is mandatory for any warehouse, factory, or industrial environment.

Dock Equipment Gives a Business a Bright, Smooth Path to Success

More than just dock levelers are available for the warehouse employee. While these are the largest and most prominent pieces of equipment, there are several other things that are much smaller. Dock lights, for instance, are set up to give dock workers better visibility and make things nice and safe. Without these lights, it’s difficult to spot things and the work is sloppier as a result. Dock bumpers are another useful tool. When the truck backs up, hitting the wall is a good way to cause damage to the truck, the wall, and even the cargo. A bumper absorbs the blow and makes sure everything is nice and safe. Without these protective measures, workers are at greater risk for injury as well as mental stress. Finally, wheel chocks are small and inexpensive devices that serve and incredibly useful purpose. These chocks go under the tires of a truck waiting to receive cargo. The truck then remains stationary with no sliding forwards or rolling back as the workers go about their job. Again, this lowers the chance of injury and gives the work consistency and ease for the employees. These are all examples of how the right equipment helps the warehouse employee do their job.

Small towns and mid sized cities have their economies flourish due to warehouses, factories, and other industrial businesses. These people often treat the idea of mechanical equipment with some suspicion, as it seems like it is the first step towards a future where warehouse tasks are automated. Don’t worry about this idea. This equipment is not meant to replace the job of the warehouse employee. Instead, it’s supposed to make them safe and keep them prepared to handle their workload. No matter how tough or smart they are, no warehouse employee can do the job on their own. The equipment is a great way to solve many problems and make things easier for them.






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Today Vs. Timeless: Which Look Will Your Brand Embrace?

Style is fleeting. Every fashion fan knows that what is hot today is tepid tomorrow. Some styles are a real flash in the pan – they’re all the rage for a short period of time, then they fade away. Other styles keep recurring over and over, or are integrated into major trends. In short, some kind of visual aesthetics are fads, and others are cultural staples. Graphic design firms are trained to tell the difference between the two styles. However, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Careful application of either style can have some dynamic results. Should your company live in the moment, or look for the future? There is no one true answer to that question, but the experts can look at all the contributing factors. In a city like Toronto, your brand needs to stand out, since you’re competing with dozens of companies selling a similar product or service. Will you choose to go with something that screams ‘2013’, or will you go with something more stately and refined? Graphic design experts can help guide you along that decision depending on factors like your budget, target demographic, future plans, and so on. The path you end up on may determine your business’s success. A more thorough explanation of the difference between ‘classic’ and ‘current’ is below, as well as the pros and cons of either approach.

Graphic design firms start with a blank screen, but end up with your company’s brand and path

What is the Difference Between the Two Aesthetics?

You can’t always tell the difference between a style of the ‘now’ and something that is classic and timeless at a glance. This is because each style can draw from the same creative source and inspiration. It’s also important to note that many people create a style that seems like a fad but proves to have staying power. Often we need a few years of time to see how the dust settles on a logo or a look. However, there are some tell tale signs that something is not meant to last. If there is time sensitive language or looks in an advertisement, that is a clear sign that something is a flash in the pan. As an example, hashtags on Twitter are something that are currently en vogue, but are unlikely to last more than a few years. When you see something that in an advertisement that is doomed to become dated, it is meant to be a visual shorthand. There is economy of information in this kind of advertisement – use of something very ‘current’ and cool shows that the company is savvy, clever, and cool. This technique sacrifices a long shelf life in exchange for being simple and effective. When something is timeless it rarely relies on these visual crutches and goes for more subtle or elaborate effects.

Real Life Examples of Each Path Created by Graphic Design Firms

Either approach has proven to be successful. We can look at some competitors in the same industry to see how the two styles play out and the long term effects for the company. If you consider the field of computers, who are the two biggest names? The answer is Apple Computers and Windows. These two competitors go with different advertising styles.

Timeless and Classic: Apple has chosen a timeless, minimalist look whereas Windows is constantly innovating their brand and upgrading it to match the style of today. In 1976, Steve Jobs commissioned a modern logo. Graphic design firms still study and attempt to emulate the result today. Rob Janoff created a simple silhouette of an apple with a single bite out of it. The logo was originally coloured in with beautiful rainbow shades. In 1998, the logo was changed to monochrome for a more mature look. Since then, no changes have been made, and the same simple logo graces all Apple products today. That’s quite a lifespan for a brand!

Innovative and Modern: Microsoft, on the other hand, is constantly changing their logo to suit the style of today. The logo is always built around the same image – a four paneled window. However, each iteration has a new style on that theme. Early on the panels were framed by thick, heavy lines. Later those black lines were dropped in favour of something cleaner and more sophisticated. The next iterations framed the colourful four panel logo with different colours and text. The most recent style is sleek, angular, and monochrome. Each redesign marked a change in the company’s approach, product line, and overall mindset.

Another Real Life Example of Timeless vs. Today

We can see another approach with the soft drink giants Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola. These drinks each have their own take on the same product, but their branding efforts have been wildly different.

Timeless and Classic: Coke has an iconic logo that has only undergone minor changes. There may be a different frame or a minor tweak to their brand, but it remains largely consistent. Their bold red and white colours combined with their elegant, loopy font manages to give the effect of class and even elegance without coming across as stuffy or uptight.

Innovative and Modern: Pepsi, on the other hand, have taken more risks and gone with more changes. We can see these changes in the history of their logo. While they have always stuck with red, white, and blue, they do not have a set formula for use of each colour, and they are unafraid to tweak the centre sphere of their brand. The results are modern and interesting, although they lack the same staying power and visual strength of the more consistent Coke.

Graphic design firms have a grasp of each visual style and how they relate to brands. They’re the experts in the field who know which path is best for your company. In a city like Toronto, you can see people attempting to take either path without realizing why they work. This means that they disappear amidst the noise of the city. Take advantage of their comprehensive knowledge and keen eye for trends by having them rehaul your brand. You’ll be surprised at the effective results. Whether you want to be ‘in the now’, or more of a consistent staying power, you want to have your look overhauled and refined by graphic design experts.




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How Science is Cleaning Up the Mean Streets of Online Gaming

Have you ever logged onto an online game, only to immediately regret your decision? Online gaming is a marvel of modern technology, where you can play with someone halfway around the world without latency or difficulty. No matter what your preferences are, you can find a game that fits your taste. Do you like small scale strategy and working with a team? Check out the MOBA games League of Legends and DOTA 2. What about a larger scale operation where you manage units, resources, and other parts of industry? Download Starcraft 2 and it’s sequel, Heart of the Swarm, to get your fix. If you’re more of a peaceful sort and you like to conquer a new territory, then you may prefer a game like Terraria or Minecraft. Being able to meet people from around the world and join up with them to tackle challenges is fantastic, and it almost sounds too good to be true. So, what’s the catch? Unfortunately, not everyone you play with is a good natured person looking to help you out. Online games are rife with griefers, trolls, and other never do wells who are looking to spoil your fun. This has been a problem since the inception of the Internet, and it shows no signs of going away on its own. Game developers have decided to face the problem head on by using science. Next time you log on your Mumble server to play some games with your chums, you may notice their results. Science is doing a great job at taming the ‘Wild West’ of online gaming. Read on to learn how they’re succeeding.

Woah! Turn away angry gamers and keep your Mumble server clear of shouting with social conditioning

What Does Toxic Behavior in a Video Game Look Like?

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, or so goes the children’s rhyme. Some people are skeptical that behaviour in a videogame can have a big impact. After all, it’s just a digital playground, right? What’s the worst that can happen? In reality, the Internet gives people many tools to bother other players, and online games suffer greatly from their antics. There are different ‘subgroups’ of toxic players. One type is the ‘troll’, who relishes getting a negative reaction out of their teammates. The troll makes their own game out of infuriating other players. Whether it’s selling all of their items to buy six boots, pretending like they don’t know the basics of the game, or riling up other players with taunts and jokes, the troll casts a negative pall over the rest of the game. The troll’s cousin is the griefer, who exploits game mechanics to harass other players. The griefer makes alts on a server to yell at a player they dislike, takes advantage of a player displacement spell to throw allies off a cliff to their death, or summons allies to the bottom of a lake where they’ll inevitably drown. Finally, there’s the verbal abuser, who doesn’t use gameplay to harass other players, but just insults them over text or voice chat with the rudest insults they can muster. All of these players make the other people in the game miserable.

How Have Scientists and Social Experts Been Addressing These Problems?

Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends, is notable for dedicating an entire department to improving player behaviour. One of the first things that the game established was ‘The Tribunal‘. The Tribunal is a system that punishes players that have garnered many reports for negative behaviours. Players volunteer to judge Tribunal cases, where they are presented with the chat logs and information about the game, and then vote ‘guilty’ or ‘innocent’. The Tribunal took the load off of Riot’s support staff and gave players a tool to curate the community. Secondly, Riot instituted an Honor initiative. Players can reward each other with Honor after a game, which offer aesthetic rewards on your profile. When this positive reinforcement fails, Riot steps in and gives players warnings, temporary bans, and finally permanent bans. These initiatives have proven incredibly successful: 47 million votes have been cast in the Tribunal, with 51% of offenders being found guilty. A shocking 94% of players who are found guilty and are punished never re-offend.

Create Your Own Tribunal System With Clever Use of a Mumble Server

A Mumble server allows you to make your own system of checks, balances, and accountability. Do you have a friend who rages & yells at every provocation? Does your teammate love to taunt the enemy team every time they make a minor mistake? Chide them for these errors and let them know that you won’t stand for such behaviour. Social conditioning from peers is an effective way to curb bad behaviour and get your team back on track. Friendly jabs and silly jokes are all well and good, but you shouldn’t have to tolerate trolling, griefing, and all around bad behaviour. Having immediate, latency free feedback allows you to step in when things get out of line and your teammates are creating a negative environment. You can take a note from the Tribunal and improve the behaviour of your friends and allies with one Mumble conversation at a time!

Online games should be about friendly fun and fierce competition, not raging and blaming other people. If you’re tired of a negative environment, take heart in the fact that science is on the job. Initiatives like the Social Behaviour Team and the Tribunal at Riot Games are a great way to reform rude players and reform them into useful teammates and kind players. A system of checks, balances, and positively reinforced behaviour has been proven to work when things get out of hand. Harness this power for yourself by using a Mumble server with your friends. You’ll have more fun and cut down on the things you hate about online gaming. Best of luck on the digital battlefields!



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