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ALL-SEASON TYRES AND HOW TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORT

Avid vehicle enthusiasts will likely know that summer and winter tyres are developed from different rubber compounds which work at different optimum temperatures. Summer tyres perform best above seven degrees Celsius, while winter tyres are recommended when the average outdoor temperature drops below this.

The other main difference between the two tyres is within the tread. Summer tyres tend to have a wider tread with fewer grooves and an overall softer rubber compound, allowing them to provide maximum aquaplaning resistance and traction on wet roads. Winter tyres, however, are designed to offer more grip on tricky road conditions such as snow and ice. The tread consists of many grooves and a large number of sipes to increase traction.

 

The Tech of All Season Tyres

All-season tyres offer a perfect middle-ground for drivers who aren’t prepared to invest in winter tyres, as they combine the best features of summer and winter tyres. They can withstand both hot weather and the colder winter months, which is why they remain the ideal choice for UK drivers who tackle unpredictable weather and road conditions.

In terms of design, all-season tyres are comparable to summer tyres as they offer extra aquaplaning resistance in ambient temperatures. The tread of all-season tyres is developed from a unique rubber compound and consists of additional deeper grooves to provide stability on hazardous road conditions.

As drivers who opt for all-season tyres are unlikely to change their tyres over the year, they are engineered with symmetrical tread patterns to ensure even tread wear and extend the mileage of the tyres. This means all-season tyres should generally have a longer lifespan than their summer and winter counterparts.

One thing to note is that all-season tyres should not be used as a substitute for genuine snow tyres. For drivers who will be tackling heavy snow, sleet and dangerous icy roads, winter tyres offer the best stability and control. It is also essential to consider that in some European countries, it is required by law that your car is fitted with winter tyres during the colder months. So, if you are planning to drive through these countries in winter, it is always advisable to invest in genuine winter tyres.

 

Pros and Cons of All Season Tyres

If you still aren’t sure whether all-season tyres are for you. With the help from tyre experts etyres we have put together an overviews of the benefits and downfalls of all-season tyres:

Pros

  • They offer extra stability in cold weather than summer tyres and more grip in warmer weather than winter tyres
  • All-season tyres provide comparable performance throughout the year to the tyres specifically designed for each season
  • Most premium and mid-range tyre brands now offer all-season tyres at competitive prices
  • All-season tyres don’t need to be replaced when the average outdoor temperature drops below 7 degrees celsius
  • They are developed from a unique rubber compound that remains flexible in colder conditions
  • All season tyres are designed to cope with light snow and ice
  • They are ideal for UK drivers, where our seasons are unpredictable

Cons

  • While all-season tyres offer good year-round performance, specific winter or summer tyres will always out-perform in extreme conditions
  • Some insurance companies will potentially lower your car insurance premium if your car is fitted with all-season tyres – due to the optimised performance of season tyres
  • All season tyres usually have shallow tread patterns, which don’t work well in deep snow
  • Due to their combined tread, they aren’t usually recommended for off-road driving
  • Due to their longevity, all-season tyres are generally more costly than season-specific tyres

 

An Acceleration of Change

All-season tyres are a great example of emerging new technology which is already changing the face of transport. Following increased customer demand and expectations, innovators and businesses have had to strive to reach new heights of technological advancement.

Driverless technology is perhaps one of the most innovative developments to hit the transport industry. Although years away, the possibility of autonomous vehicles is on the horizon and many start-ups and established transport companies are starting to invest heavily in the technology to make this a reality.

Elon Musk is leading the digital revolution of the transport and logistics industries with Tesla, opening the world up to new possibilities of technological progress. Not only will driverless cars provide an environmentally friendly mode of transport, but it will significantly reduce running costs at the drivers’ benefit, with an outlook of lower emissions and better fuel economy.

While driverless cars are realistically over a decade from becoming a reality, low-emission and electric vehicles are currently in circulation and already providing benefits to both drivers and the environment. Electric cars eliminate the emission of toxic pollutants from vehicle exhausts, allowing for more eco-friendly driving and a massive reduction in our collective carbon footprint.

 

Business

THE FUTURE OF SAVVY TECH PURCHASES IS KNOWING WHEN TO BUY

There’s no mistaking the impact technology has had in our lives. Once a novelty, technology has now infiltrated every aspect of modern society, and technological advances continue to bring new dimensions to modern living. Yet for all the good that technology brings us – and despite the costs associated with production falling year-on-year – purchasing electronics is often a significant investment.

According to new research by Carphone Warehouse, the average price of electronics in the last year is just shy of £500 at £497.70. Consumers looking to make savvy savings on big tech purchases must both understand what the industry average is for the product category they’re interested in, and learn when prices will be lowest so they can make the purchase at the right time. The electronics retailer outlined the following tips for consumers looking to take stock of technology prices.

 

  1. Know what the average price is, so you can spot the biggest savings

The first step to being able to haggle a better price is knowing what benchmarks to look out for. While you can choose to go under or over the average price – high-end models are often priced significantly higher than average, after all – it can still be useful to know what to compare prices against. The average smartphone currently retails at £527.60, laptops at £680, TVs at £712.31 and digital cameras at £782.60.

As mentioned, there are significant differences between the price of budget and top-end items. For example, while you could get a budget phone such as the Nokia 1.3 for just £65, an Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max could set you back £1,249. Similarly, while a low-end camera like the Nikon Coolpix B500 costs around £205, the camera behemoth that is the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV clocks in at a whopping £1,700.

 

  1. Before you buy, consider any upcoming sales

Once you’ve figured out what you want and the price you’re willing to pay, it can be tempting to make your purchase immediately – for fear of missing out, if nothing else. However, using the sales to your advantage could result in some nifty savings, while keeping abreast of the consumer retail industry could also help you buy at just the right time. Below is a short rundown of some key dates to keep in mind:

January: The start of the year usually sees retailers clearing their Christmas stock, with smartphones, cameras and TVs offered at sale prices. January is also when the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held; an event in which new cameras are often announced. If you spot a gem in the CES crowd, wait a couple of months and you could see last-gen models fall in price.

February: As well as Valentine’s Day sales, February sees the Mobile World Congress (MWC) and the announcement of new Sony releases. This month is also a great time to buy the Google Pixel and other smartphones – again due to their release cycle – as well as nab yourself a bargain camera, TV or laptop.

March-April: Look out for a ton of new releases in the spring months, with Huawei, Samsung and Sony releasing their new smartphones, and LG, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic announcing their new TV ranges.

July, August, September: The summer months bring back-to-school sales that typically see student essentials at lower prices. You may be able to enjoy a wide range of deals on TVs, laptops, computers and more during this time. Keep in mind that July is also when Intel and AMD announce their new releases. Responsible for many of the processors that make up the backbone of much of our electronic products, Intel and AMD inspire many brands to lower their prices in anticipation of incorporating their new, advanced processors into their product lines.

November-December: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are undoubtedly the biggest sale events in the consumer electronics space, with deals, discounts and flash sales offered across the entire gamut of the tech world. It’s the optimum time to invest in premium brands, including Apple, Samsung and Google.

 

  1. Embrace the pre-order period for additional bonuses

If you’re an early adopter and only the latest innovations will do, you may not be keen on last-gen products. But keeping up to date with the latest gadgets needn’t mean your bank balance has to take a hefty hit. While costs will naturally be higher for new releases, ordering during the pre-order period could mean you’re able to take advantage of bundle deals or other freebie items provided by the retailer to entice uptake. Sign up to notifications on the products you’re interested in, so you’re forewarned and ready for the pre-order period.

 

  1. Learn some insider tips to beat retailers at the price game

As a final point, when it comes to saving on tech-related purchases, it can be handy to understand retailer behaviour. For example, if you’re looking to upgrade your TV at a cutthroat price, aim for the 55” models. As it’s the most popular size, retailers tend to drop prices on these first in their holiday sales.

If you’re buying tablets, waiting until a new model has been released is usually the best time to get the best prices; last-gen iPads are often discounted a couple of months after a new release. Similarly, if Android tablets are your preference, all you have to do is wait a few months for the newest release to start seeing price drops. And if Kindles are your go-to tablet, it’s probably no surprise that Amazon is the best place for bargains, and particularly so on Amazon Prime Day.

There’s vast potential in technology – and consumer electronics are seeing more and more innovations every year. But, as long as retailer behaviour stays fairly consistent, the information above can help you comfortably get the most for your money.

 

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Business

LEADERSHIP FROM THE DIGITAL BOARDROOM

Gavin Fallon, General Manager, UK, Nordics & South Africa at Board International

 

Modern enterprises are highly complex organisations, operating within volatile market conditions and at the mercy of a constantly shifting economic environment. Yet traditional boardrooms remain an enclave of static spreadsheets, presentations and decision-making based on what has already happened, not what the future may hold – which is obviously vital for making decisions in today’s ever-changing business environment. If they haven’t already, then now is the time where enterprises need to make their boardrooms digital, not just to keep pace with the rest of the business, and to also remain competitive.

 

The last few months have shown the importance of agile decision-making led from the Boardroom, with a complete and real-time view based on latest metrics and data, of what’s really going on across the enterprise. Despite this, research from FSN, discussed in a recent event with PwC, has shown that most organisations are woefully underprepared, with 40% of organisations admitting to being constrained by technology and 48% admitting to being data constrained or data overloaded.

 

Gavin Fallon

This is a point backed up by our own State of Decision-Making research which also shows that whilst just over half (54%) important business decisions are based on data and insights, ‘gut feeling’ decisions are still made by nearly a further half (45%) of companies. What’s more, over half of all of companies (57%) still rely on spreadsheets to aid their decision-making, despite more modern and reliable tools now being available.

 

Underinvestment at some organisations seems have taken its toll, but smart CFOs, get the importance of real-time decision-making and more responsive, planning and forecasting capabilities, and understand there has never been a more important time than now to move to a Digital Boardroom.

 

Leading firms are embracing the Digital Boardroom approach, both for managing client projects, as well as their own diverse and complex internal reporting, and decision-making needs. There’s lots to learn from these firms and what has been achieved through the accelerated digital transformation of decision-making.

 

Internal reporting is a formidable challenge of all businesses, of all sizes, but one of our customers, PwC, identified the need to transform budgeting, planning and reporting, for a number of reasons. This included strategic high-level planning through to longer 3-year planning and annual budgets, and to better connect these plans with regular management information reporting. Whilst systems at PwC had stood the test of time, they wanted more agile, integrated and transparent driver-based planning, improve time and efficiency, along with better visualisation and interactivity, plus they knew that financial analytics are constantly evolving and wanted to ensure they always remain at forefront of finance planning and decision-making innovation.

 

Big audit and advisory firms like PwC need the ability to plan different levels of granularity, integrating multiple data sources into a single BI tool, and enable real time reporting on plans all in one platform, and of course doing all this at scale and speed, with lots of opportunity for future development.

 

Business leaders can now access interactive dashboards and self-serve at the touch of screen, drilling down into figures and trends, combining finance and non-finance data sources, where real power exists in not just being able to glean insights solely from finance data, but getting a collective view of various key data sources from across the business.

 

It’s become all too apparent in the last few months that CFOs and Office of Finance leaders, need innovative new tools which can help them look at things differently, to what they’ve been used to before, and model for new and altogether previously unknown scenarios in fast-moving Boardrooms. Certainly, those organisations who are reliant on spreadsheets and populating these from scratch when faced with today’s seismic decisions, are just simply not going to be prepared.

 

Faster and more accurate decision-making, where the right information is delivered in real-time rather than sending various departments off to search for and report back on the answers, combined with full visibility of the metrics which matter, means leaders can see what is really going on across the whole business not based on the rear-view mirror, and make big decisions accordingly

 

Effective decision-making has been transformed for the better across today’s complex business landscape, where innovative leaders can now make a genuine business impact, by adapting and pivoting to constant change by leading from the Digital Boardroom.

 

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