<![CDATA[pioneerinventory.co.uk - Blog]]>Thu, 13 May 2021 23:57:23 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[Make your rented garden beautiful on a low budget]]>Wed, 12 May 2021 20:14:45 GMThttp://pioneerinventory.co.uk/blog/make-your-rented-garden-beautiful-on-a-low-budget
​When renting, you garden smart. Why? Firstly, because renting restricts how much you may be able to do to the grounds, depending on what is stipulated in the lease agreement drawn up between you and your landlord and what your relationship is like with your landlord. The TDS guide states: „Unless a landlord has employed a gardener, tenants will normally be responsible for maintaining the garden. This includes cutting lawns, weeding flower beds and sweeping up grass cuttings and dead leaves. It can include pruning bushes and shrubs but the tenant should confirm this with the agent/landlord beforehand. A tenant may face deductions from their tenancy deposit if the garden is untidy and is not returned in a similar condition as at the start of the tenancy. The tenant is not responsible for seasonal variations (e.g. less green growth and flowers in winter)”. 
And secondly, gardening isn’t cheap, so you wouldn’t want to waste your money on a garden you may leave behind, therefore you need to seek savvy ways to do so.
With a little planning, a few clever tricks and a bit of creativity, ingenious planting and styling you can bring colour and personality to your rented garden, you can turn it into your very own sanctuary, into a tranquil haven, country retreat or al fresco dining area. You’re the artist and your garden is your canvas where you can express yourself!

Get spring cleaning
Every garden will benefit from a good tidy up. It may be all your need to transform your plot. So, get ready to put on your gloves and gardening wear, get your tools out and get to work! Clear up leaves and rubbish, dig out weeds and any plants that haven’t survived the frost, neaten the edge of your lawn for a more manicured look, power-wash grimy walls and give everything a sweep.

Style the space
Take your approach to the interior of your home outside and style your space as you would a room. Think of your garden, or any outside space, as an extension of your home. An outdoor room. And this outdoor room can be whatever you want it to be: outdoor space for the kids to play in, somewhere to eat and drink with friends and family, or maybe one that's all about growing plants and fruit and vegetables. Deciding what you want to do in the garden is the first step. Then make sure it all works together, that your ‘style’ run through the whole garden. Pick a colour theme, relate garden accessories to your house, echo and repeat - pink cushions echoing the pink roses, tidy up loose ends.
Decorate and accessorise 
Give the space a hint of your own personal style and an injection of personality. Water-resistant rugs, comfy furniture, garden art and mirrors help create a stylish area to relax. Use shower-proof soft furnishings to invigorate a rented garden. Give your old garden sofa a boost with colourful cushions or old blankets. An outdoor rug is an easy and inexpensive way to bring colour to a garden. Disguise a damaged deck or brighten up a shady space with an outdoor rug. Decorate with salvaged pieces. Dot pretty salvaged finds around your rented outdoor space to ratchet up its character and charm. Ironwork, lanterns, old tools, picture frames, ceramics – anything goes! Make your garden feel bigger with a mirror.
Add an electric or gas heater to stay snug. The beauty of a fire pit is the freestanding nature, meaning they are the ideal design for renters because they risk no damage to the garden. Get one that is elevated from the ground and easy to move.
Add some colourful plant pots 
For the main part, garden in pots that you can enjoy in the space but can take with you when you move. Potted plants will brighten up your rented garden space immensely. A few potted plants can transform a concrete yard into a peaceful oasis. Elevate smaller pots on side tables and wooden stumps to add height. Don’t spend a fortune on planters, you could create a pretty display with recycled jam jars and food tins.
Hang baskets of beautiful blooms 
Hanging baskets will make any front or back garden look impressive. They can add a pop of colour to any doorway or patio. Fill them with herbs, sturdy green plants and succulents for a modern look that is easy to care for. A DIY hanging basket, such as an old colander, is perfect for adding a splash of colour to a small garden that is short on floor space. And why don’t you use no drill fence brackets for your hanging baskets? You simply hook the brackets over the fence and hang your flowers as normal.
Decorate the fence 
What if your landlord is not happy to let you paint the fence? You will have to think outside the box. A low cost, low effort, and non-permanent way to revamp tired looking fence panels is an injection of bright colour. Turn kitchen waste in garden wonders; make tealight holders and planters from upcycled tin cans - use vibrant, decorated tins, remove the labels from regular cans and spray-paint them, or leave them bare if you like metallic accents. Remember to punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Secure them to the fence with a detachable wire fastening.
Add atmosphere with lighting 
Even the most modest of outdoor spaces can look magical when lit by candles. Fairy lights or solar-powered lighting are an affordable way to add some ambience to your garden. Try weaving fairy lights through a garden screen or stringing them across a garden table for a striking garden lighting idea.
Fashion a plant display using old ladders 
Add a personal touch and step up your garden features with the help of decorative ladder shelving. Tie two ladders together at the top, lay across the runs wooden planks, and on these shelves display potted plants, lanterns and decorative accessories. Super easy to make and totally cost effective.

Create a quiet corner
Make the focus of your garden on creating a feeling of serenity and wellness. Position a garden bench or furniture set in a secluded corner to allow a space for quiet contemplation, surrounded by a thriving oasis of plants.
<![CDATA[common goals. shared success.]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2021 16:04:41 GMThttp://pioneerinventory.co.uk/blog/january-12th-2021
Dear partners,
2020 – a very bizarre, challenging, and unprecedented year. A year that was not easy. We are all faced with the challenge of being more adaptive, and even more proactive.
Like many of you, no doubt, we quickly had to find ways of adapting to the new reality, to the new health situation. At Pioneer Inventory, finding and adapting to new ways of working has always been the key to success.

The decade may have got off to a bad start, but better times hopefully lie ahead. In 2021, we look forward to continuing to grow as an organization and delivering value and capabilities that help our customers solve their business challenges.
We hope for a lot many fruitful interactions in 2021. We hope that 2021 holds success in any endeavour you pursue. We also hope that 2021 brings you happier prospects and sees a return to some sort of normality. Whatever the case, we hope it allows you to thrive!

We would like to thank you most sincerely for your continued faith in us and look forward to working with you in 2021. Look after yourselves and your loved ones!
Best wishes,
Pioneer Inventory Team
<![CDATA[Paperless office - A strategic business move]]>Wed, 30 Sep 2020 11:19:19 GMThttp://pioneerinventory.co.uk/blog/paperless-office-a-strategic-business-move
Thinking of going paperless? Maybe not a new idea. But in light of COVID-19, it’s a great time to reconsider it. More and more businesses are moving towards a paperless workplace nowadays. Minimizing physical contact is definitely a mandate in most businesses right now. By developing a modern, contactless system you won’t just optimise business recovery, but might ultimately save lives.
There are so many reasons to go paperless: it minimises expenses, improves business efficiency with digital tools and cloud storage, saves time and the cute rainforest animals, increases accountability, decreases waste and clutter, creates a more sustainable workplace and helps your business deliver great customer service. And last but not least, is avoiding that scary Coronavirus.

Simply put, going paperless is going to save time, money, the environment, and lives.
Virus transmission risk reduction. With evidence that coronavirus can live for a period of time on paper surfaces, it's likely that the habit of using and passing around paper forms or documents will become a thing of the past.
Accessibility. A document cloud allows you to access files from anywhere, at any time, on any device. Fast, efficient, convenient!
Reduced overhead costs. That’s a lot of wasted money spent on paper, ink, filing cabinets and storage rooms. With all the paper you won’t be using and filing away, you might even downsize your office space, saving money and boosting productivity.
Improved security. If you store your documents digitally, you can secure them behind authentication gateways and ensure simple backup and recovery.
Time efficiency. Data that is stored digitally is both indexable and searchable. No more looking through filing cabinets and stacks of paper to find the right information!
Improved customer experience. Now that you can find quickly and simply the right information in your digital files, you can reduce your response times and spend more time building relationships.
Environmental sustainability. Reducing paper waste in your office means reducing your office’s impact on the environment. Future generations will thank you for it!
A professional and tech-savvy look. A paperless business will increase professionalism and catch the eye of clients. Documents are handled properly, and transactions are smooth and quick. This is the kind of look you want to have!

With any major change, there are going to be pitfalls. Creating a paper-free office is an ongoing process, one which should be adapted and perfected over time. A few things to consider:
Security Risks And Viruses. So, we reduce the risk of a physical virus and increase the risk of a digital virus. Ironic, right? Firstly, make sure to choose a secure platform as your base for going paperless. Secondly, make sure your employees are aware and on the lookout for cyberattacks via email and other mediums. Overall, however, going paperless is way more secure at the end of the day, especially in terms of data-loss prevention and backups.
Privacy & Legal Issues. When collecting information on your users, clients or even your own employees, make sure you are covered and compliant with all digital privacy laws (GDPR, FTC, COPPA, GLBA, FACTA) at all times.
Software Maintenance. Most platforms do require maintenance, so keep this in mind as you may have to have a current employee pivot into this kind of role, or even to hire a new employee. 
Initial Costs. Make sure to go with a cost-effective option to ensure the sustainability of your paperless solution. Gradually going paperless can also help spread these costs over time, making them less impactful. 
Going paperless can be a daunting challenge, but don’t lose hope. By taking advantage of available online tools and software, a paperless office is possible!

Do it systematically, not all at once! It’s best to choose a small part of your business and start the process there. Every little bit counts! Here are a few simple ways to reduce paper waste:
Store all files in the cloud using OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox. It allows you to access all your files remotely and reduces clutter.
Switch to internal communication tools such as Microsoft Teams instead of using post-it notes. These tools can track conversations between team members and helps ensure transparency.
Sign documents digitally using DocuSignAdobe Sign or DocHub. This helps you save on printing and paper costs.
Upgrade to a cloud property management software with unlimited document storage. By storing your documents online against a specific property, owner, tenant, task, job and more, you can streamline your processes and access your documents at any time, even if you’re away from the office.
Encourage suppliers to email invoices and communications. This reduces the amount of paper clutter and ensures that you have a digital paper trail.
Utilise digital checklists and note taking apps such as Trello, Google, Keep and Evernote instead of writing or printing out checklists.
Implement a recycling program. Place a large recycling bin in the office for paper or a recycling bin in the kitchen to separate out recyclables and non-recyclables.
Reduce the number of personal bins. Have one or two central bins in the office. This can create awareness around how much waste is being produced and discarded.
Track paper usage on a Whiteboard or digital signboard. Set paperless targets and provide a small reward to those who use the least amount of paper.
Scan all documents. Whenever you receive a physical invoice, PDF or agreement, make sure you scan it and keep a digital copy of it.

The paperless future
There is no denying the fact that we now find ourselves in a time of change and uncertainty. We are forced to make changes we otherwise might not have considered. And while it’s human nature to resist change, a paperless system won’t only reduce costs and our environmental footprint, but also increase efficiency and hygiene. 
So let’s embrace this new future and head into the new paperless world together.
<![CDATA[COVID-19 and house inspections]]>Fri, 03 Jul 2020 00:41:32 GMThttp://pioneerinventory.co.uk/blog/covid-19-and-the-risks-of-home-inspections
Everyone’s actions have helped to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in our communities. The most important thing we can do in the fight against coronavirus is to stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives. As part of the national effort to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is essential that tenants, landlords, and local authorities continue to work together to keep rented properties a safe and decent place to live. It is in the best interests of both landlords and tenants to ensure that properties are kept free from hazards and in good condition. Tenants should inform their landlords early if there is an issue and landlords should take immediately the appropriate action.
At Pioneer Inventory, we deeply care for our customers’ safety and wellbeing. We are committed to helping to ensure that everyone renting their home has a safe place to live. We continue to support the positive partnership between tenants and landlords which underpins all well-functioning tenancies. We strive to deliver services to clients safely, consistently and in line with the government’s latest guidance on coronavirus.

The situation with COVID-19 is changing daily and we are aware that you may be feeling concerned. We want to assure you that we continue to provide the highest levels of service while complying with public health guidance (PHG) and maintaining current social distancing guidelines. Where a physical inspection is required, this will take place in accordance with government and Public Health England (PHE) social distancing guidelines, considering health and safety at all times for all parties involved:

Before the inspection:
  • ​operate in a way which minimises the need for face to face contact
  • act in a professional and transparent manner with all parties involved
  • be clear with the occupier/client about their service and any limitations or restrictions to the service because of coronavirus and social distancing guidelines
  • contact clients by telephone, email, or video conferencing platforms
  • check with occupier/client whether anyone is showing COVID-19 symptoms, is in an at-risk category, vulnerable group, self-isolating or shielding
  • if a household is self-isolating or shielding, no inspection will be carried out
  • take all reasonable steps to make sure the property occupier and client is provided with as much information as possible about the service and visits in advance and ensure the inspection, arrangements and service are agreed by all parties
  • ask occupiers to prepare for the inspection (pets to be contained in one room or to be kept at a distance of two metres; to maintain social distancing in line with government guidelines; all internal doors to be open and all areas easily accessible to reduce contact with surfaces as much as possible)
  • adhere to PHE guidelines on cleaning hands thoroughly prior to entering the property
  • use an appointment system for visits

During the inspection:
  • request that occupiers not be in the property if possible, in order to avoid physical contact
  • where the occupier has to be present, ensure compliance to existing social distancing measures, seeking to maintain a minimum of 2 metres distance from others wherever possible
  • where social distancing is not possible and the visit is within an enclosed space, should be considered wearing a face covering in line with government guidance
  • minimise physical contact during key handovers and ensure keys are sanitised
  • aim for as minimal an amount of contact with surfaces when inspecting the property as possible
  • record accurately and thoroughly the inspection, including any limitations as a result of restrictions
  • take an adequate number of high-quality photographs/videos

After the inspection:
  • wash/sanitise hands thoroughly and sanitise equipment
  • appropriately dispose of any PPE used during inspection in line with government and PHE guidelines
  • communicate the findings of the inspection appropriately with the client as per the instruction and agreed terms of engagement
  • deliver detailed and comprehensive reports in line with the industry guidance
  • ensure that any restrictions are made clear and stated in report
  • note any limitations to inspection/service delivered as a result of current social distancing measures and health and safety risks
  • highlight any hazards and risks found during the inspection

We recognise that the restrictions imposed by current measures to minimise the infection risks from COVID-19 may make our lives more difficult and challenging. But we work together to ensure we stay safe and alert to minimise the spread of infection! We always behave ethically and professionally and encourage a pragmatic, common-sense approach in these unprecedented times.

Your safety and wellbeing are our first priority!
<![CDATA[Adding value to your home - 3 factors to consider]]>Fri, 03 Jul 2020 00:34:29 GMThttp://pioneerinventory.co.uk/blog/tds-guide
More often than not, the most obvious ways to turn a profit are also the most lucrative. In this instance, what we are talking about is increasing the value of your property by making home improvements. Something as simple as upgrading your heating system or adding an extra bathroom could see you tens of thousands of pounds richer. The simple way to add value to your home is to extend or improve your home without spending too much money. In general, if you're trying to add value to your home, always ask yourself this question: will the value of my house go up by more than the cost of the improvement?
There are many different ways of adding value to your home. Some are cheap and easy, like repainting your kitchen units. Others are more complex and expensive, like building an extension. If you're not planning on moving out any time soon, you should also think about what home improvements would boost your quality of life the most. An extension might increase your house price the most, but a new kitchen might be the thing that really makes you happy.

Before taking on this type of project, take into consideration the following factors:

1. Check the current value of your home
First things first: use a website like Zoopla or Rightmove to get an estimate of your house's current value. Or get a local estate agent to give you a valuation.

2. Check the value of other properties on your street
Before you start increasing the value of your home, you should first check the maximum price of houses in your area.
Depending on where you live, there will usually be a "ceiling" on how much properties cost. For example, if a 2 bed flat usually costs £250,000 on your street, it probably is not worth boosting the value of your 2 bed flat much beyond £250,000.
You also need to think about who might buy your house in the future. Before you put an extra bedroom on your 2 bed flat, ask yourself: would someone buy a 3 bed flat in this area? Or are they looking at buying in another area?

3. Check if you can get planning permission in your area
Finally, before you embark on adding value to your home, you should check to see whether home extensions or remodelling is allowed in your area.

If you live in an old house, check if it's Grade II or Grade I listed. If you live in a historically interesting or very attractive part of the country, check if you're in a Conservation Area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Park, or World Heritage Site. You may still be able to do work on your home, but the application process will be more difficult.
If you live in a flat, you will almost certainly have to apply for planning permission with your local council before you can do any work.

If you have a detached or semi detached house, you may be able to build a small rear or side extension or attic extension without planning permission. Larger extensions still require planning permission from your local planning authority (LPA).
Planning permission is a fickle thing, and the likelihood of being approved depends on a number of factors. If the council finds out you went ahead and built after a refusal, you will be served an “enforcement notice” ordering you to reverse any changes you made immediately. You can always appeal the LPA’s decision, but it can be a long and arduous process.