Manufacturers benefit hugely from face-to-face meetings, research shows
Premier Inn, the UK’s leading hotel chain, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research have come together to discover the benefits of face-to-face meetings in the manufacturing sector. The report – known as the Measuring Face Value report – shows that the industry can potentially enjoy a £513,700 yearly revenue boost simply from meeting clients in person, and for every £1 spend on business travel by organisations, they see a 316 percent return on investment.
Karen Plumb, Director of Business to Business at Premier Inn, commented on the results: “We all know that when we are meeting virtually, whether on a video or phone call, not everyone is engaged 100% of the time. Welcoming millions of business guests each year, Premier Inn understands how valuable face-to-face interaction is for our customers. Guests stay with us when they’re travelling to all kinds of face-to-face business meetings – from site visits and conferences to new business pitches and brainstorms.
“Premier Inn commissioned this latest report as part of our ongoing research into the needs of our business guests. Human interaction has long been recognised as important in business but I am pleased that we can now pinpoint precisely how much it’s worth to UK companies.
“These figures may encourage some businesses to reflect on their own balance of virtual and face-to-face interaction, and to consider how getting that balance just right can have a positive impact on their bottom line.”
Nina Skero is Senior Economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, and added: “Whilst our research does not prescribe a single, optimal balance of face-to-face and virtual communications, it clearly demonstrates that businesses should be striving for a blend of both. The proven financial contribution of face-to-face meetings to our economy is considerable and shows no signs of diminishing.”
Denise Taylor, chartered psychologist and career coach, added a compilation of some of the drivers behind the effectiveness of face-to-face business meetings:
- It’s often the case that on phone or video calls, attendees can zone out. They may respond to emails mid-call, or flick through their notes. 100% engagement in the moment isn’t guaranteed when your meeting is virtual.
- Body language plays a massive part in business communications. A subtle shrug or firm handshake can make a huge difference to the final outcome.
- Doing business through a screen can make getting your point across challenging. People can miss the nuance or misunderstand far more easily than when you’re face-to-face. Communicating virtually may also put people off asking for clarification because there can be a sense of hurriedness.
- There’s a great chance to build a sense of teamwork and co-operation when you’re in the same space.
- Taking the time to step away from your desk and show customers, clients, suppliers or other associates that you care enough about your relationship to visit them in their own environment is a great message, and says a lot about your overall approach to doing business.
- When people are together in the same place, they are more likely to feed off one another and spark creativity, innovation and solution-led thinking.
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.