Monthly Archives: November 2014

tech-uniforms

Putting the personal touch into technology

Technology: great isn’t it? It makes our personal and business lives easier, more efficient and more organised. But, there are times when the human touch is required, to complement technology – especially when it comes to customer service and quality.

We came across this interesting article in the METRO a couple of weeks ago, basically relating to a new purchase-to-pay (P2P) system called ibuy that the MET Police have invested in.

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It was introduced to improve the procurement of goods and services for the MET, such as police uniforms, in order to reduce processing costs and the amount of time officers need to wait for a new kit. But its been alleged that the online tailoring system has gone a little awry; with police officers complaining that their trousers are too short and only reaching their ankles!

The whole thing has been blamed on an IT glitch which the organisation is working on – but it got us thinking:

Whilst we’re huge advocates of the benefits of technology, is it important not to rely too heavily on technology?

Don’t get us wrong; technological innovation is a great thing, we love it, but it needs to be well thought-through to provide the best customer experience.

“At CE, we’re all about working together with our clients, providing a collaborative and consultative approach to their Uniform requirements” – Geoff Moore, Business Manager, Uniform

Whilst technology plays a huge part in this, with our CO3 bespoke built online ordering system, we also have a fantastically talented team of Uniform specialists on hand to deal with customer enquiries, understand your brief, and come up with the best possible solution.

Oh and speaking of our talented team, have you met….?

Geoff

 

 

 

 

 

Geoff, he’s our Business Manager, who has spent all his working life in the clothing industry; starting out in the retail sector before entering the world of uniforms some 25 years ago. Geoff manages our uniform/apparel business ensuring our high profile uniform customers are well catered for. Geoff oversees our delightfully motivated team of Account Managers to support him on his quest for greatness!

Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

Kelly, our Account Manager, who looks after our Uniform/apparel division for some of our key clients. Her objective is to ensure we deliver a first class service to our clients and ensure all their service requirements are met.

Jess

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica, our Account Executive. Jessica works alongside Kelly, helping to manage uniform orders for some of our biggest clients including Intu and the Houses of Parliament.

Lauren F

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren, our newest member of the uniform team! Lauren handles all the uniform orders for East Riding of Yorkshire, Serco and Park Resorts.

So now you’ve been introduced to the team, why not get in touch to see if we might be able to give you that personal touch needed, for your uniform and clothing requirements?

Complete Branding Solution

We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your uniform requirements and how we can help you ensure that a positive and professional brand image is reflected throughout your corporate and promotional clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

 

 

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Creative Emporium needs you!

We are currently recruiting for two roles within our Finance Department, a Financial Controller and a Credit Controller, please read on for all the details:

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Creative Emporium creates marketing and promotional materials for some of the UK’s biggest brands. We help promote and protect our client’s brands by producing original, accurate and relevant communication tools. We design campaign materials that use promotional giveaways, print and digital tools to engage our client’s targets.

We operate in a fast moving, bustling and energetic workplace. The passion we use to create our solutions is valued by the people who receive them. We want people to join us who can bring even more passion and energy.

We’re expanding fast, and to succeed we need high-calibre, committed and motivated people to work alongside us to create exciting solutions for our clients. Our offices are expanding too, and the successful candidate will join the company as we embark on a new chapter; working with new clients and revamping our workplace into an exciting, modern and creative environment!

ABOUT THE ROLE:

Financial Controller:

Responsible for overseeing the day to day activities of the Accounts Department, ensuring the companies finance function is organized and efficient by identifying and recommending potential operational efficiencies and improvements to working practices and procedures. Ensure that financial and management accounts are produced timely and accurately and are available to key stakeholders within the company including the Managing Director and the Sales and Business Development Manager.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Management of the finance function and overseeing the finance team
  • Preparation of budgets, forecasts and cash flows
  • Maintenance of financial ledgers and accounting processes
  • Preparation of financial ledgers and accounting processes
  • Preparation of monthly consolidated P&L and Balance Sheet including an analytical review of the P&L
  • Timely production of statutory and internal financial reports including monthly management accounts with commentary
  • Financial modelling and analysis
  • Cash management and treasury duties
  • Ensuring that appropriate systems and internal controls are implemented and maintained
  • Overseeing the payroll process
  • Preparation of VAT returns
  • People management – resources, staff appraisals, structure, motivation and standards
  • Interact with clients as appropriate

WHAT TO DO NEXT…

If this sounds like you, or someone you know – email your CV to our HR team at hr@creativeemporium.co.uk

WHAT WE OFFER:

The chance to develop as a person, as a designer and as a communications expert. In return for your services we will pay a fair salary, give you 23 days off a year (plus weekends and public holidays), an annual volunteering day, free parking and a modern workspace.

Creative Emporium is an equal opportunities employer.

ABOUT THE ROLE:

Credit Controller:

Responsible for all Customer Accounts, ensuring that they are set up appropriately and that all invoices are paid within a timely manner and nothing hits 90 days. The candidate will also be responsible for identifying areas for improvement, recommending changes, and helping to drive changes required to develop the role and department as a whole.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Setting up of customer accounts: checking credit ratings and applying appropriate terms and conditions
  • Contact customers regularly to ensure all invoices are paid within terms
  • Send monthly statements to customers
  • Ensure all customer contact details are correct and up to date to ensure missing invoices are kept to a minimum
  • Meet cash and debtor day targets set by the business
  • Post payments to accounts and allocate as required
  • Undertake account reconciliations as required
  • Chase overdue invoices by telephone, email and letter within agreed timescales
  • Where necessary, prepare and send 1st and 2nd stage letters and if the situation requires it proceed to claim the debt
  • Maintain accurate records of all chasing activity
  • Respond promptly and completely to both client and internal enquiries
  • Deal with all credit note requests timely providing a reason for all credits
  • Ensure that all transactions are compliant with SAR’s and HMRC regulations
  • Other duties as delegated from time to time by the Financial Controller or any other person

WHAT TO DO NEXT…

If this sounds like you, or someone you know – email your CV to our HR team at hr@creativeemporium.co.uk

WHAT WE OFFER:

The chance to develop as a person, as a designer and as a communications expert. In return for your services we will pay a fair salary, give you 23 days off a year (plus weekends and public holidays), an annual volunteering day, free parking and a modern workspace.

Creative Emporium is an equal opportunities employer.

 

 

 

 

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Team CE bag donation raises £735 for Cancer Research UK!

Over the Summer, the CE team had a big clear out at home (and in our sample cupboard!) to find unwanted items that could be donated to Cancer Research UK as part of a local business campaign called Magical May. One of the main events for Magical May was creating a donation station for people to drop off any unwanted items for Cancer Research UK to sell in their charity shops.

The CE warehouse created an area for the team to drop off anything they wanted to donate and they also spent an evening collating old and un-used stock to donate as well.

We collected over 50 bags in total and this week received the news that our donation raised a fantastic £735! Well done team CE!

To put that into context:

23 bags:

Could cover the cost of one person taking part in a clinical trial to improve survival for bowel cancer patients.

100 bags:

Could cover the basic costs for one patient to take part in a clinical trial to improve treatment of a type of head and neck cancer.

540 bags:

Could cover one year’s running expenses for a lab project into a type of children’s cancer to improve treatments so more children survive.

In total the Magical May event raised £32,000, an incredible sum from local Leeds businesses!

There are many fantastic events organised throughout the year for Cancer Research UK – visit www.cancerresearchuk.org for further information on how you can get involved.

 

ethics

Being Ethical – Why it’s important for your business

These days, your customers expect more from you. From the service you provide, to the products you sell, and now even when your products are sourced – consumers are demanding higher and higher ethical standards from the companies they buy from. But should companies expect more from themselves? Our MD Darren Cohen gives his thoughts on driving a sustainable and ethical business and how he has created a culture at Creative Emporium where the whole team are encouraged to maintain published standards but to also seek out new areas for improvement.

feminist tshirt picThe recent scandal of the feminism campaign t-shirts “made in a sweatshop” has been all over recent news. In a nutshell, it has been alleged that a pro-feminist campaign group has been selling campaign t-shirts with the message “This is what a feminist t-shirt looks like” – that were made in a Mauritius sweatshop – by underpaid women at just 62p per hour. Talk about bad publicity! As it happens, the claims were refuted. However, stories like this have brought light to the fact that all of us should do our research on the companies we buy from, especially if our own personal or corporate ethics are in support of specific ethical standards.

feminist tshirt 2In general, customer expectations are rising. They expect your company to have:

Corporate Social Responsibility

For example:

  • No invasion of privacy
  • A focus on minimising your company’s carbon footprint

Ethical financial processes and activities

For example:

  • No insider trading
  • No creative accounting
  • No kickbacks, or anything else that looks like bribery

Ethical human resources management

For example:

  • No sexism, racism, ageism or other discrimination
  • Adhering to health and safety legislation

Ethical sales and marketing

For example:

  • Open and transparent pricing
  • No high pressure sales techniques that are not in the customer’s best interests
  • No subliminal messaging or misleading advertising
  • Always providing reliable and informed information to help the customer make the best choice

Ethical production processes

For example:

  • Minimising pollution during production
  • Never use child labour, and never buying goods from anyone who does
  • Never covering up if defective goods have been supplied
  • Never testing products on animals

We expect more from ourselves.

Yes, customers expect more from the companies they buy from. But as a company, ethical trading is an ethos we choose to follow – not one we feel obliged to. “It’s a choice we made right from the start, as a company and as an employer, to always be transparent and ethical in our operations with our employees, customers and suppliers alike. This approach not only makes sense ethically, but commercially too; and we expect the best from ourselves and the partners we work with. We believe that expecting more from your business should be the norm, not the exception – not as a reactive ‘kneejerk’ reaction to increasing standards”, explains our MD Darren Cohen.

As a business, we’re proactive in our approach to ethical trading, and that goes throughout our supply chain. We’ve implemented several actions to protect both ourselves and our clients from ethical sourcing risks, says Darren: “We know how important it is to source products and services from ethical sources and we ensure we have an open and honest approach with everyone”.

To bring our ethos to life and formalise our standards, we’ve implemented several policies for the company to adhere to. These act as a guide for all our employees as well as our external suppliers. These range from Ethical Purchasing to Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility policies.

Sure, we know what you’re thinking: “Policies are great and all, but how do you do it on a daily basis?” We operate a practical approach to proactively reducing our ethical sourcing risk, including:

  • Factory Visits – with first time suppliers to discuss service levels and ensure they adhere to our strict policies
  • SEDEX – we’re members of SEDEX, the ethical supply chain database. We see it as one of our responsibilities as a supplier to constantly strive to improve our ethical credentials and see being a member of SEDEX an important step in meeting that objective
  • SMETA Report – for any suppliers operating outside of the UK, we request a SMETA report before we will work with the supplier. The report is a comprehensive document that covers all areas regarding human rights and ethical purchasing
  • Accreditation – we have ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accreditation giving clients the added assurance they are working with a trusted and established supplier

Complete Branding Solution

We’re experts in providing the complete ethical branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your branding requirements and how we can help you ensure that a positive brand experience is reflected at every touch point – from your promotional products through to your corporate clothing and website – through an ethical distributor. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

 

 

 

ceLogo

Creative Emporium needs you!

We are currently recruiting for a design role at Creative Emporium, please read on for all the details:

ABOUT THE COMPANY

The role is an exciting opportunity for a passionate creative to join a growing Design and Artwork team in our head office in Leeds.

Creative Emporium creates marketing and promotional materials for some of the UK’s biggest brands. We help promote and protect our client’s brands by producing original, accurate and relevant communication tools. We design campaign materials that use promotional giveaways, print and digital tools to engage our client’s targets.

We operate in a fast moving, bustling and energetic workplace. The passion we use to create our solutions is valued by the people who receive them. We want people to join us who can bring even more passion and energy.

We’re expanding fast, and to succeed we need high-calibre, committed and motivated people to work alongside us to create exciting solutions for our clients. Our offices are expanding too, and the successful candidate will join the company as we embark on a new chapter; working with new clients and revamping our workplace into an exciting, modern and creative environment!

 ABOUT THE ROLE:

The successful candidate will be a Junior Graphic Designer looking to establish a career in design / communications and be inspired by what they do.

You will receive mentoring and encouragement from your colleagues and team-mates and in return you will show us that you can fuse passion, attention to detail and creativity, with a work ethic that reflects your desire to produce fantastic results.

If you’re looking for a stepping-stone, this role isn’t for you.

If you’re looking to learn more about your craft, work in a growing business, and expand your creative repertoire by working with outstanding people and brands, establishing your own creative career path – you might be just what we’re looking for!

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

    • Someone with 1-2 years’ experience in Graphic Design.
    • Evidence of formal Graphic Design training – Degree or similar.

Someone with a vibrant personality who wants to join and contribute to our team – you might be sat in the corner, but that’s not an excuse not to get involved!

Experience using Creative Suite; Photoshop, Illustrator, In-design, Keynote and MS Office.

No role is ever one dimensional and neither is this..

…if you have skills and passion beyond conventional Graphic Design, make sure your application mentions it. We always need people who can contribute to our photography, cinematography, animation, free-hand art and digital capabilities.

WHAT TO DO NEXT…

If this sounds like you, or someone you know – email your CV to our HR team at hr@creativeemporium.co.uk

ROLE SPECIFICS:

Artwork: Working with client’s graphics and guidelines to create photo-realistic representations and production art files.

Skills: Attention to detail, accuracy, speed.

Design: Working with our Client Services team you will help develop creative ideas in response to client briefs and create customer facing proposal documents using your art skills and creative eye.

Skills: Communication, creative thinking and research, trend awareness, graphic design, artwork and knowledge of the production process.

PRINCIPAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Edit and prepare print ready artwork across a range of media including, merchandise, clothing and print collateral
  • Learn to love brand guidelines and use them to inspire work  not as an excuse for poor work
  • Use your skills to make our images look amazing by applying high-quality artwork and print challenges
  • Use your experience and knowledge to identify and resolve design, artwork and print challenges
  • Work with the Client Services teams to create memorable, applicable and achievable creative solutions that exceed expectations and make people smile or chuckle with joy!
  • Collaborate with the Management team to produce presentation materials for client meetings
  • Develop design exploration assets, and mood boards for pitches or client presentations to help determine a projects’ direction
  • Communicate progress at every stage of the design and artwork process to enable the smooth running of work, efficient schedule planning, and to manage your internal customer’s expectations
  • Understand and embrace the company’s quality management and file management systems and employ a methodical approach to archive management and file organisation
  • Take responsibility for continuous personal development and learning, helping to identify objectives and opportunities for skills development through KPI’s and PDP
  • Research and keep abreast of emerging design trends and practices

And finally…

Respect your colleagues, their ideas and opinions with equal sensitivity that you would wish them to do the same to you. Be proud of your work but not precious so that as a team we can create the optimum results for our clients and each other.

WHAT WE OFFER:

The chance to develop as a person, as a designer and as a communications expert. In return for your services we will pay a fair salary, give you 23 days off a year (plus weekends and public holidays), an annual volunteering day, free parking and a modern workspace.

Creative Emporium is an equal opportunities employer.

 

 

 

 

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Promoting power! Sun power comes to a leading Leeds enterprise!

A leading promotions business based in Leeds has recently refurbished its premises with solar panels to produce green energy and reduce their carbon footprint.

Creative Emporium works with some of the country’s leading brands, producing promotional marketing materials and has taken the bold step to install solar power units in its building. Solar energy is growing in popularity as domestic and industrial residences seek more efficient and reliable energy supply.

At the moment 35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide is saved annually by all solar energy users, with this number increasing year on year. However the UK is still behind in terms of adoption with Germany, Spain and Japan leading the way with the most installed solar energy. Creative Emporium hopes that by becoming an early adopter of this technology, they can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

MD Darren Cohen explains – “We work with world-class brands and want to be able to demonstrate to them that we’re a responsible and community conscious partner”.

“As an industrial printer we use a significant amount of energy to service our offices and production facilities. The ability to use the scale of our building to house solar panels that will harvest energy was instantly appealing. It helps to reduce our carbon footprint as a business and support one of our key strategic objectives to be a great place to work that cares about the impact that our business has on the environment we all live in.”

Creative Emporium have installed nearly 200 solar panels at their facility in Whitehall Cross and hope over the coming years to generate enough energy for not only our own needs but also to provide back to the national grid for other people to use too. “We’re not reliant on glorious sunshine for the panels to harvest energy”, joked Darren, “they work even on cloudy, overcast days in Leeds so there’s no danger of us running out of power!”

“We’re always looking at ways to improve our business – in addition to the obvious ethical benefits, the solar energy will help us to reduce our production costs which will have a direct impact on us to continue to service our customers with world-class creative and printing solutions, but now from a reduced cost-base – meaning our customers get the same great service, but now at a reduced cost!”