{{ 'Go back' | translate}}
Njus logo

Good News | Njus United Kingdom

Create positive change in the offshore industry

Good News London Business News

The business case for investing in new technology is much more than simply looking for new capabilities on the promise of greater efficiency and lower costs.
'The business case for investing in new technology is much more than simply looking for new capabilities on the promise of greater efficiency and lower costs.Lee Clarke of Dynama advocates considering the bigger picture and explains why it pays to implement automated strategic workforce planning solutions to increase safety, optimize assets and maximize competitiveness.After years of oil price volatility, offshore organisations might be forgiven for using technology to drive efficiencies and achieve their cost-saving ambitions.When Ernst & Young surveyed 100 global oil and gas executives, they discovered that 89% expected to step up their investment in digital over the next two years with 42% citing efficiency as the main driver.The multinational professional services firm then urged executives to ‘think holistically about technology’ in a bid to ‘unlock ambitious growth opportunities and emerge as industry leaders.’ It’s an interesting thought that reflects Dynama’s own experience of serving customers in the offshore industry with solutions that underpin their complex strategic workforce planning challenges.What is more, increased safety regulation and recent trends such as widespread mergers and acquisitions activity, and the advent of autonomous or smart technologies are having a dramatic impact on how organizations, people and resources are managed, motivated and maximized.The proven effectiveness of automated workforce management (WFM) as a highly efficient ‘right staff, right place, right time’ mechanism has encouraged offshore organisations to explore other ways that technology can be utilized to support the wider business.Creativity combined with constant innovation have transformed traditional WFM solutions into a valuable strategic planning tool that supports longer-term growth, change management and business continuity programs.One constant solution in a sea of change As the offshore industry accelerates its investment in digital technologies, let’s take a closer look at why it pays to implement an automated WFM solution: 1) Competitiveness starts with successful project bids and they depend on the organisation’s ability to predict accurately the total costs of a project to customers while fully utilizing their own assets profitably.The latest strategic workforce planning solutions bring together all information in one place, staff and equipment assignment and deployment, staff qualifications and competencies, travel plans and documentation, regulatory compliance and timeline management  to provide real-time visibility of people and resources.What is more, they can also model for future requirements quickly and efficiently.This makes accurately predicting the specific costs associated with each new business tender far easier than ever before. 2) Protect your human capital, skills shortages are notorious across the industry.Once you have the best talent, nurture them and create enduring workforce relationships.Use scheduling software to build trust by creating flexible schedules that play to crew strengths, personal preferences and holidays.Through self-service, empower staff with easy access to up-to-date rotas and the option to request shift swaps or book time off.Finally, motivate them.Use WFM to build a living, virtual library of complete crew asset information and introduce meaningful training and personal development programs.Managers and clients get the skills they need while crew get the careers they want. 3) Mergers & acquisitions, combining two organisations is never easy.Gain back control using the unifying force of strategic workforce planning technology.Automation removes duplicated effort and reduces the administration burden of merging two disparate organisations.It streamlines processes to encourage consistent ways of working and promotes collaboration.What is more, a cloud-based infrastructure gives increased protection against data security threats as organisations move data and merge their respective IT infrastructures. 4) Compliance and risk management alongside people, offshore organisations need to show that the vessels and equipment they are providing are safe to use and that their people are protected at all times to minimize the risk of industrial accidents, significant financial penalties and long-term damage to corporate reputations.The ability of an automated planning solution to provide a joined-up approach to availability, competency and compliance management gives offshore organisations a framework they can trust to protect their overall business.It pays to implement automated WFM systems in more ways than one.Expand your horizons, look beyond cost and create positive change by making the most of strategic workforce planning technology for efficiency and maximum competitiveness.There are no limits. . The post Create positive change in the offshore industry appeared first on London Business News | Londonlovesbusiness.com .'

A trip to the Dordogne that blends fine dining, golf, prehistoric caves — and a chocolate museum

Good News Country Life

France isn't known for its golf, but there are some lovely spots to visit that golfers will enjoy — and which have plenty to keep non-golfers entertained too, as Roderick Easdale discovered when he spent a few days at Souillac Golf and Country Club.
'France isn't known for its golf, but there are some lovely spots to visit that golfers will enjoy — and which have plenty to keep non-golfers entertained too, as Roderick Easdale discovered when he spent a few days at Souillac Golf and Country Club. The Dordogne Valley is full of spots such as La Roque-Gageac, with the beautiful Chateau de la Marartrie. ‘ Country Life is the reason I am living here!’ the waiter at La Marterie Golf Club exclaimed. The waiter, it turned out, was David Burrows, an FA Cup and League winner with Liverpool in the 1990s. Having read an article on the Dordogne in Country Life , he suggested to his wife, Jackie, that that summer for their holiday they should explore the Dordogne rather than go to their timeshare in Portugal. They came back again and again until, in 2004, following David’s retirement from the game, they moved here for good. Rocamadour It’s not hard to see why. Famously beautiful, the Dordogne area is rich in castles, chateaux, caves and spectacular views, the latter getting better the further you go west. There are charming medieval towns, impossibly quaint villages and natural wonders. Our base for the trip was Souillac Golf and Country Club , a collection of 92 attractive wooden lodges set within this peaceful woodland and arranged into little hamlets, each with its own pool. Each lodge — there are 2, 3, and 4-bedroom ones — is privately owned, with some of the owners spending long stretches here while others are rented out. They’re spacious and comfortable, with open-plan kitchen, dining and living room, plus terrace, balcony and a small garden area. It’s essentially self-catering, with a shop on the site in the season and the golf clubhouse serving lunch and dinner. Souillac also has a large communal swimming pool near the restaurant’s terrace, plus a couple of tennis courts, a boules pitch (of course), table tennis and a children’s playground. The town beyond the club is a pleasant place, with the main point of interest being Sainte-Marie Abbey church, a fine example of Romanesque and Byzantine architecture — while the rest of the Dordgone awaits. Two bedroom apartments at Souillac Golf and Country Club start at around £100 per night – see more details at  www.souillaccountryclub.co.uk View this post on Instagram Ville construite au croisement de deux rivières où l'on peut découvrir son abbatiale Sainte-Marie et son portail richement sculpté. Mais aussi flâner dans ses quartiers anciens que surplombe le Beffroi et se divertir dans ses musées. Souillac, la porte d'entrée du midi en #ValleeDelaDordogne, l'étonnant voyage ! . Abonnez-vous et faites nous profiter de vos photos avec #ValleeDelaDordogne. On partage que les meilleurs . . #souillac#valleedordogne #igerslot #destinationvalleeslotdordogne #tourismeoccitanie A post shared by Vallée de la Dordogne (@valleedordogne) on Jul 16, 2019 at 2:28am PDT Golf Golf in France is invariably reasonably-priced — think roughly €30 to €50 in high season — and our starting point was Souillac Golf and Country Club’s golf course, which is entertaining, attractive, hilly and full of character and quirks. It is also tight, very tight, an almost unrelenting test of your accuracy. The six golf journalists among our party had a competition amongst ourselves which was won by a chap who scored 36 Stableford points — aided by a hole-in one on the 17th — and even he lost four balls in the process. Anything wayward tends to be gobbled up by the thick forest. You do not have to be long — at its maximum this par-67 layout plays to 4,800 yards — but you do have to be straight and to plot your way round. Luckily there’s a driving range and putting green to tune up before you play – and a pro shop if things get so bad you need to resort to a quick lesson. A typically tight fairway at Souillac. Parc et Golf du Coiroux at Aubazine is an attractive tree-lined parkland layout. There is a variety to the holes although a funnel through trees is the most common fairway. It is almost as tight in places as Souillac but you don’t lose your ball, merely have to play out from under trees back to fairway. La Marterie is generally reckoned the best course in the area and it did not disappoint with some clever designs. The first of the standout holes is the 5 th , where the tee shot is blind over a water-filled valley, and the second shot is to a small green tucked away and down on the right hand side. The back nine features a ribbon of water hazards, to be crossed either on the drive or just before the green. La Marterie’s 14th La Forge is an unpretentious, friendly club with a charming, atmospheric par 30 layout of 1,543 yards. After the dull opener comes a series of engaging holes with adroit variety to the designs. The plummeting 77-yard 2nd, to a small upturned saucer green with water fore and aft, is a cracker. 77 yards, but every one of them counts… Food and Drink La Marterie The aforementioned David Burrows runs the restaurant and bar at La Marterie with his wife Jackie — a hugely talented cook — and another expat couple, Steve and Rebecca Lea. Our meal was excellent, the kitchen responsive and the service friendly and impeccably thoughtful. ‘You are British, you’ll want the Tetley tea,’ said Mr Lea, producing it from under the counter — a welcome change from the usual French notion of tea, which verges on the eccentric to put it mildly. At one of our stops I was served green tea with warm milk. marterie.bluegreen.com Chateau de la Teyne If you fancy pushing the boat out, Chateau de la Teyne, between Sarlat and Rocamadour and towering over the Dordogne river, offers sumptuous food and exemplary service. Waiting is a more prestigious role in France than in the UK and for that reason you do not tip waiters in France. Since 1998 Stéphane Andrieux has been its chef and in 2002 the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star. ‘I adore revisiting terroir-based cuisine, working with foie gras, Quercy lamb or pot au feu. I like dishes that stimulate the taste buds and play on acidity and bitterness,’ he told us. www.chateaudelatreyne.com Other things to do Towns and villages Sarlat is a well-preserved and vibrant mediaeval town, albeit slightly scarred when, in the mid-19th century, the main shopping street was carved through the town. La Roque Gageac is a beautiful village on the north bank of the Dordogne, backed by cliffs in which were created modern dwellings. The cliff-side village of Rocamadour is a pilgrimage site with a complex of religious buildings, including the Chapelle Notre-Dame with its Black Madonna statue. The 216 steps of the Grand Escalier used to be climbed by pilgrims on their knees. Caves Gouffre de Proumeyssac is a vast cave in which hang huge stalactite formations, imaginatively presented in a music-and-light show. View this post on Instagram Descente dans le Gouffre via la nacelle A post shared by Gouffre de Proumeyssac (@gouffre_de_proumeyssac) on Nov 26, 2016 at 2:25am PST The caves at nearby Lascaux are even more famous, thanks to their prehistoric paintings, and while they’re closed to the public due to the sensitivity of the site there is a fibreglass replica of both cave and paintings, which were discovered by a group of schoolboys in 1940. www.gouffre-proumeyssac.com www.lascaux.fr Chocolate The Chocolate Museum at the Bovetti factory explains the chocolate-making process, and tours end with a tasting, and, for children, the chance to make their own moulded chocolate figure. This, we happily discovered, was also extended to tours by visiting journalists, so I have a very cheerful looking lamb greeting me every time I open my fridge: a fun reminder of a fun trip to the Dordogne valley. www.bovetti.com View this post on Instagram Ce mercredi 8 mai, venez nous voir ! Nous vous accueillons aux mêmes horaires que mercredi dernier 1er mai, de 14h à 18h côté boutique et de 14h à 17h côté Musée. A très vite ! Chocolats BOVETTI et son Musée #chocolat#chocolate #8mai #ouvert #tasty #lifestyle#gourmandises #passion #madeinfrance #sucre#douceurs #homemadewithlove #bio #bovettichocolatier A post shared by BOVETTI (@bovetti_chocolatier) on May 7, 2019 at 7:19am PDT'

Big Ben sounds positive note on 160th anniversary

Good News The Engineer

Today marks the 160th anniversary of Big Ben sounding its first hourly chimes, and the half-way stage in restoring the iconic bell’s home in the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower.
'Today marks the 160 th anniversary of Big Ben sounding its first hourly chimes, and the half-way stage in restoring the iconic bell’s home in the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower.The Great Bell, known to most as Big Ben (Image: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor) The Great Bell – known to most as Big Ben – has remained in the belfry of Elizabeth Tower whilst the most extensive programme of conservation work is carried out on the Tower itself.The project began in 2017 and is due for completion in 2021.Big Ben has remained in situ but the Great Clock – the 11 tonne mechanism that kept time and ensured the bell was struck with punctuality – has been taken apart and removed from the site so that clockmakers can service every cog and wheel that makes up the Victorian timepiece.Since the project began, Big Ben has temporarily stopped its hourly chimes, but an electric motor has been installed to drive the temporary hands of the clock whilst the mechanism is restored, and the bell is struck for Remembrance Sunday and New Year’s Eve whilst work continues.Newly restored North Dial,with temporary hands (Credit: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor) Adam Watrobski, principal architect, explained to reporters that Elizabeth Tower is 96m tall and that the first 61m is made up of masonry.The remaining 35m is cast iron, which Watrobski said was inspired by Liverpool’s Albert Dock, a structure built in 1846 that was the first fireproof dock warehouse. “Cast iron [is] a fantastically important material,” he said. “No other roofing material would have lasted as long as this [but] the problem with it is it’s extremely heavy and nobody up until now has known what to do with it in terms of maintenance and repair.” Watrobski added that the roof is made up of 3,433 pieces of cast iron, of which about 20 per cent were recast and renewed.The rest, he said, have been cleaned up, repaired and put back again.In Watrobski’s words, the iron roofing resembles ‘Meccano parts which simply come off and go back on again with bolts holding the plates on and coveralls that go over those’. Gilding of cast iron roof elements (Credit: UK Parliament/JessicaTaylor) Parts of the roof that were removed were sent to Shepley’s works in Sheffield and grit blasted under very controlled conditions before being repaired and sprayed with liquid zinc and then coated in micaceous iron oxide.According to Watrobski, the micaceous iron oxide coating will give the roof parts between 60-80 years of useful life. “The weak point, if there is a weak point, is the mastic sealant,” said Watrobski. “The Victorians would have used red lead and hemp for caulking.Labour was very cheap in those days and now things have reversed, labour is far more expensive than materials so we’re using fancy mastics that we think will last 25 to 30 years.We may need, in that period of time, to look at renewing some of the mastics but at the end of the day all buildings need maintenance and that’ll be part of it.” A major milestone in the restoration includes completion of the new-look North Dial, which has been re-glazed, repainted and re-gilded in the original Prussian blue and gilt Victorian colour scheme.The material used on the restoration is made up of translucent 23.5-carat gold, standard heavy-duty gilding, which Watrobski said is extremely weatherproof and ‘much, much better than paint’. He added that the re-glazed dials are made up of 324 pieces of mouth-blown glass produced in Germany by Lamberts.When the essential work to conserve the Elizabeth Tower is completed, the clock parts will start making the journey back up the Tower to be reassembled, and the mechanism will be reattached to the hands and the bells.June 1858: Big Ben mark two CLICK FOR NEWS . The post Big Ben sounds positive note on 160th anniversary appeared first on The Engineer .'