DuoCall offer disaster recovery solution

IAAF service member DuoCall have recently highlighted the fact that 70% of businesses that suffer a major data loss are out of business within 18 months.

This is a scary but serious thought. Making back-ups of files is an essential element of data management and and more often than not it can get overlooked.

Regular backups protect a business against accidental or malicious data loss. Without disaster recovery in place, how would your business react to the loss of important and sensitive data?

To download DuoCall’s free guide to Cloud Backup CLICK HERE.

DuoCall can provide businesses of all sizes with the piece of mind that their data is always available and secure.

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Get MOT reminders

The DVSA has now launched its new service where vehicle owners can sign up to get free reminders by text message or email when the vehicle’s MOT is due.

A reminder will be sent one month before the MOT is due and then another if the vehicle still has not been tested 2 weeks before the MOT is due.

There is a fine of up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

In order to complete the online registration service, vehicles owners need the following information:

the vehicle’s number plate (registration number)
a mobile phone number or email address

Vehicle owners will have to unsubscribe to stop getting reminders for a vehicle if it has been:

  • sold
  • transferred to someone else
  • scrapped or written-off
  • registered as off the road

To unsubscribe from text reminders there will be the cost of a standard text message.

To register for the new service CLICK HERE.

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Truck Parts Distributors in Europe 2017 – New report from wolk

German after sales experts, wolk, have launched their latest update of their multi-client report regarding the independent truck aftermarket.German after sales experts, wolk, have launched their latest update of their multi-client report regarding the independent truck aftermarket.

With 359 company profiles, the profile manual “Truck Parts Distributors in Europe 2017” provides a comprehensive overview of the largest and most important truck parts wholesalers in the independent truck aftermarket in Europe.

The handbook consists of a ranking of the top 20 truck parts wholesalers, an overview of international wholesalers, workshop systems specialized in commercial vehicles and 35 country reports.

The first chapter presents and compares the international truck parts wholesalers (countries supplied, number of branches, purchasing co-operation, and head office).

In another chapter, there is a brief analysis of major international purchasing cooperation.

In the country reports, the most important truck parts wholesalers are presented in detailed company profiles.

SIZE: 303 pages
PRICE: 1.250,- EUR

Order online

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Government should introduce dynamic road-user pricing, says ACE report

The Government should introduce dynamic road-user pricing which takes into account a driver’s journey, the time of day, congestion on the network, and even their financial situation, suggests a new report released on 24 January.

Funding Roads for the Future, released by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), says that the existing model based on raising funds through fuel duty, vehicle excise duty, and the HGV levy is failing in the face of new technology and changing social trends, such as zero-emission vehicles, ride sharing, and increased urbanisation.

It urges short-term reforms to the existing road taxation system, pushing it towards the longer-term aim of dynamic road user pricing.

The ACE report comes after the Government launched a consultation on reforming the current heavy goods vehicle (HGV) levy, which is used to pay for wear and tear on the roads. Lorries could be charged under a new pay-per-mile regime to cover the cost of damage to the road network.

The report can be downloaded from ACE’s website.

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Save the dates – IAAF announces 2018 golf events

The IAAF  has released the dates for its two 2018 golf events, with a new venue for the Midlands event.

The IAAF is returning once more to Worsley Park near Manchester for the Northern event on 10th July 2018 but has found a new venue for the Midlands event on 15th August at The Abbey Hotel & Golf Course near Redditch.

Members of the winning Midwest team receiving their trophy from Johnny Herbert and IAAF President Lawrence Bleasdale

Further information will be released with a booking form in due course.  The two days will follow the same format as in previous years, with a bacon roll for competitors at the start of the day, then 18 holes of golf and ending with an informal dinner.  As usual there will be trophies for the winners and runners-up at each venue and the team with the overall highest course will be invited to attend the IAAF’s Annual Awards Dinner in December.

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SMPE secures agreement to supply iconic Lucas brand

Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE), one of the UK’s largest independently owned automotive parts manufacturers and suppliers, has secured the rights to supply its engine management programme under the iconic Lucas brand.

Under the new licence agreement, SMPE will export the Lucas brand programme to develop and grow sales in Europe, outside of UK and Eire. The Lucas brand will also reach the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Russia.

SMPE’s Head Office and Engineering Facility

The new-look Lucas product line-up will feature key engine management ranges including ignition coils, cam/crank sensors, air mass meters, lead sets, coolant temp sensors and oil pressure switches, engineered by SMPE in the UK.

From its East Midlands home, SMPE has successfully established a thriving export business and so the addition of the Lucas brand, built on an impressive heritage of over 140 years in the automotive industry, will fully complement its strategy of widening its reach on a global scale.

SMPE were also the principal suppliers of Lucas branded engine management during the 1990s, which included caps, rotor arms, contact sets and condensers.

Richard Morley, SMPE Commercial Director, said: “We have some very ambitious plans to grow the Lucas brand and significantly increase its global reach. With 50 years expertise in developing, producing and supplying high quality products and brands to international markets, SMPE is the perfect partner to develop the Lucas brand for many years to come.

“It is also a reflection of our confidence in – and commitment to – the independent automotive aftermarket. It means we can further boost our product engineering and stay ahead of the market with a truly world-class proposition to customers.”

The OE matching quality parts supplier will also be working closely with other Lucas licence holders of complementary product programmes.

In 2018, SMPE is celebrating 50 years in business. The company offers one of the strongest OE matching quality European aftermarket engine management programmes available, through its commitment to quality and performance, underpinned by its ISO 9001:2015 accreditation.

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Scrapped MOT proposals welcomed by IAAF

Proposed changes to the MOT test frequency have been scrapped with IAAF calling it ‘a triumph for the aftermarket and motorists alike’, after months and months of intensive lobbying.

Since the proposals were first announced back in 2015, the IAAF has reacted angrily to extending the frequency of a vehicle’s first MOT test from three years to four years, lobbying the government on reversing any such proposals and stating that the current test frequency is both safer and more cost effective for motorists.

IAAF chief executive, Wendy Williamson, voiced a number of concerns, highlighting the potential dangers to extend the MOT test from three years to four. It was argued that the change could lead to an increase in road accidents and fatalities as there would be no formal inspection of a vehicle’s road worthiness for a further 12 months. It could also mean an increase in repair costs for drivers, insurance premiums and harmful emissions.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF Chief Executive

In recent years, the MOT testing frequency has been subject to much debate. The IAAF’s stance has always been that DVSA’s regulation of the MOT process and current testing frequency of 3:1:1 helps to make UK roads the safest in Europe.

The federation has worked relentlessly alongside other industry bodies to fight the unwelcome legislation and is part of the ProMOTe campaign being run by the AALG (Automotive Aftermarket Liaison Group) to protect the safety of all road users.

Williamson said: “It is an understatement to say that we are delighted that these plans have now been scrapped, which comes as a result of all the hard efforts of IAAF as well as the whole of the industry. From the outset, we’ve vigorously fought these proposals, which threatened not just the aftermarket but more crucially, motorists’ safety.

“To ensure as safe and cost-effective motoring as possible, motorists must have their vehicle inspected and serviced regularly. Given that figures suggest one in five vehicles fail their MOT in the first three years, moving to an extended testing period would have potentially caused more accidents and fatalities due to defective vehicles on UK roads.”

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Preparing for GDPR – undertaking an information audit

Lawgistics, the IAAF’s legal helpline provider, are running a series of articles to help businesses prepare for the introduction of the new GDPR which comes into force in May, by which time every business will need to be compliant.

The UK’s own new Data Protection Act 2018 is still under debate in the House of Lords. This new Act will consolidate and add to each businesses responsibilities, which are already set out in the European GDPR  but regardless of what is to be included in the UK Act, businesses will still need to be GDPR compliant under the European GDPR as of 25 May 2018.

Any business already working on compliance will of course be ahead of the game. However, anyone reading this and who has been avoiding GDPR or thinks it doesn’t apply to their business, then they will need to have a rethink.

Firstly, the business will need to undertake an information audit. Every business will almost certainly use people’s personal data (writing a customer’s name on an invoice is use of personal data) and for GDPR purposes, the person entering that data is seen as a Data Controller.

Under GDPR, a Data Controller is the organisation which collects and uses the personal data. The first two steps to be taken are to:

  1. List what type of data held
  2. Ascertain the legal basis for the use of that data.

The audit doesn’t have to be sophisticated, it could be as simple as:

Type of data – customers details on invoices
Legal basis for using this data – necessary for performance of a contract, compliance of a legal obligation (keeping accurate records for HMRC)

Type of data – employee details
Legal basis for using this data – necessary for performance of a contract, compliance of a legal obligation (need to pay their tax, NI etc)

Type of data – customer emails and postal addresses for sending out MOT reminders
Legal basis for using this data – consent (more guidance on this area will be given in the next update) and, arguably, legitimate business interest (more on this in a future update).

In very simple terms, every business will use personal data, the starting point should be to list all types of data held and then to work out the legal basis for using it. Once this is done, a business will need to think about how that data is stored – physically and digitally.

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NIC launches driverless car infrastructure competition

The National Infrastructure Commission has launched a competition looking for “Britain’s leading lights from across industry” to help ensure the country has roads fit for the future and ready for driverless cars.

Launched with Highways England and Innovate UK, the competition will seek ideas for making the UK road network ready for connected and autonomous vehicles – including using the latest technology.

It will look for ideas as to how existing infrastructure can be adapted, how roads shared by driverless and driven vehicles can work, and how these changes can be introduced alongside charging networks for new electric cars.

It will also be looking for ideas that can work on different types of roads, whether a residential avenue, a high street or a motorway.

Entries will be judged by an expert panel, brought together from across industry, academia, regional government and the public sector.

Plans for a Roads for the Future competition were announced as part of the Chancellor’s Budget statement in November.

Those wishing to enter have two months in which to submit their ideas, which should follow three broad themes:

  1. The design of roads and related infrastructure – how will existing roads need to be adapted to meet the needs of new driverless cars?
  2. Traffic management – how will key features such as traffic lights and other methods of traffic control need to adapt to meet the needs of different vehicle types?; and
  3. Road rules and regulations – how should current restrictions, for example speed limits, and parking and loading rules, be updated for this new environment?

The competition jury will select the five best entries to go through to a second round, with each of these given up to £30,000 to develop their ideas further over a three-month period. The winning entry will then be announced later this year.

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Ford to boost investment in electric cars by 2022

Ford says it will boost its investment in electric vehicles to $11bn (£8bn) in the next five years, more than doubling a previous commitment.

Chairman Bill Ford said the car maker would have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its range by 2022.

Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show on Sunday, Mr Ford said the focus would be on electrifying existing Ford models without naming any specific cars.

He said the firm would offer 16 fully electric vehicles by 2022 and 24 plug-in hybrids.

Mr Ford told reporters: “We’re all in on this and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them.

“If we want to be successful with electrification, we have to do it with vehicles that are already popular.”

Last year, General Motors in the US said it would add 20 new battery electric and fuel cell vehicles to its range by 2023, whilst Volkswagen said in November it would spend $40bn on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022 – doubling a previous commitment.

Ford’s $11bn investment pledge is much higher than a previously announced target of $4.5bn by 2020 and was spearheaded by new chief executive Jim Hackett.

During the Detroit show, Ford teased the release of its first performance electric vehicle – the Mach 1 – without giving any details about how it would look or its spec.

The SUV will be inspired by a Mustang sports car of the same name, made in the 1960s and 70s, and will be released in 2020.

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