January 2016 archive

How Businesses Can Foster Creativity and Innovation

How You Can Inspire Creativity and Innovation in Your Business A core component for businesses to develop and grow is being able to consistently innovate and push the boundaries of the market. This is not the responsibility of those at the top though, as great ideas can be fostered from anyone in the company which is why it is important to create an environment which provides the nutrients for great ideas to grow. Creativity and innovation are what drives economic growth and it can often take a hundred ideas to find 10 successful ones which is why inspiring it can be a long but rewarding process. The biggest challenge facing anyone trying to foster creativity in the workplace, is that it takes time and patience with staff to really achieve, but once the ideas are flowing there is immense room to expand and improve. First you need to establish the foundations to allow creativity and innovation to flourish. The best way to achieve this it to create a work space which encourages collaboration and ultimately is an enjoyable space for staff to work in. Rather than installing a series of private offices, instead break down the walls and open the office to all of your staff which will encourage them to collaborate more. Increased conversations inevitably lead to increased noise but this can be easily solved. Delta Acoustic Screens make the perfect addition to any creative environment as the absorbent acoustic foam is great for soaking up sound in open offices while the vibrant design is ideal for providing stimulation. An environment which staff will enjoy working in is the first step to fostering creativity and to really get the ideas flowing requires opening your mind to how people work and not expecting them to have their heads down at their desks all day as it is highly unlikely that you will get the best out of them. You can’t expect creativity and innovation to flow over night, instead staff need to be given time and space to think in order to develop their ideas. By introducing Delta Acoustic Screens, staff are given more privacy with their work which allows them to complete it at their own pace while also thinking outside of your business in general. Here they are given room to nurture and grow without stressful expectations and as they begin to develop, so do fresh ideas and perspectives. It is important to embrace failure and encourage risks in this situation as there is no way to create a creative flow of ideas without pushing the boundaries. As mentioned before, while some innovations may not be as successful, there will those few which will truly benefit your business and help it to expand. You can never know who a great idea will come from, but by creating an environment which encourages your staff to be free to fulfil their potential, some of them may just surprise you. Delta Acoustic Screens are a great addition to create this type of environment or to enhance the work space your currently have. With acoustic foam included, they are ideal for use in open offices to allow staff to concentrate and to develop their own thoughts without the risk of distractions. Furthermore, Delta Screens from Rap Industries are available in 20 vibrant fabric colours to add a dash of colour to the office which will go a long way to stimulating staff and creating an environment they will want to work in. #acoustiscreensIMG_5578 If you are interested in finding out more about the Delta Acoustic Screens and what they can add to foster creativity and innovation in your office then please contact our team by calling 01733 394941 or by sending an e-mail to sales@rapind.com.

Partitioned Offices Vs Cubicle Offices

IMG_5578How to Strike the Right Balance Between Collaboration and Privacy with Your Office Design?

A key factor in office culture which developed during the 1970s and 1980s was a perceived notion that by giving staff complete privacy would lead to an increase in their productivity and efficiency. This led to the conception of the cubicle layout, a flimsy multitude of boxes which are set up in massive cube blocks which distinctly resemble the same environment which battery hens are raised in. Developed with the promise of your own little patch to customise and in response to the classroom styled layouts which came before it, the cubicle design on paper seemingly had it all.

The practicality of them quickly became apparent as organisations adapted their offices with the ‘innovative’ new design. The initial negative factor was noise and unsurprisingly, packing people into tight, modular layouts means you can hear everyone talking, phones ringing and chairs creaking all of the time. Rather than giving staff privacy, the cubicle layout only makes productivity worse by introducing a tirade of distractions. Ever since, designers have been trying to create designs that provide much needed private space while opening up employees to collaboration. Delta Acoustic Screens adopt the privacy provided by a cubicle screen but cut it in half allowing natural light to flow through the room and incorporates acoustic foam to soak up unwanted sound.

The failure of the cubicle design has led to the rise of the ‘living office’ which combines the best of private and social space. While maintaining the same open office layout, desks are arranged in friendly clusters to create an environment which encourages collaboration. The living office layout is benefitted significantly by allowing significantly more natural light to flow through which creates a more comfortable and calming atmosphere.

Noise is a notorious problem with open office layouts and has led to acoustics becoming an increasingly integral part of the design process. Without putting on a pair of noise cancelling headphones or creating a series of private offices, the best way of reducing ambient office noise is by introducing soft surfaces such as carpets, partition screens and even walls. More innovative solutions involve creating flexible workspaces for staff where they feel most comfortable for the work they are doing, but this simply is not feasible for small businesses where space is scarce.

The need to create a positive mix of collaboration with privacy are what the Delta Acoustic Screens are designed to address. Many small businesses simply don’t have the budget to completely re-design the office, but with minor adjustments to the arrangement of the office combined with acoustic absorbent screens, you can create a balance of encouraging creativity while providing the privacy which staff need to complete their work. The size and design of the screen is up to you, meaning there is the option to allow more collaboration with a curved top design or provide more privacy with a straight top. Each Delta Acoustic Screen is developed with an eye-catching design, so they will even introduce a stylish and modern touch to your office.

If you are interested in finding out more about how Delta Acoustic Screens can help you to strike a balance between collaboration and privacy in the office, then please get in touch with one of our team of advisors. You can reach them by calling 01733 394941 or by dropping them an e-mail at sales@rapind.com.

How office culture has changed and how you can catch up with the times

The design and layout of offices has evolved over the past century due to increased investment in human capital. There is only so much which can be done with the level of pay, job prospects and job responsibilities which can motivate staff, hence the advancement of office layouts in order to find ways to get the most out of staff. What began with classroom inspired layouts at the beginning of the century has continued to evolve to where we are today where ‘deskless’ offices are on the rise as popularised by tech firms such as Google. While a wonderful design is perfect in theory, this layout is reliant on having plenty of space available which simply is not viable for smaller businesses.

Primitive office layouts were styled on classrooms; straight, linear and inspired by the manufacturing industry. It was quickly gathered that humans don’t quite operate like robots and rather than encouraging productivity, these ‘Taylorist’ layouts instead brewed discontent and on the whole stifled conversation. This layout endured through two world wars until the 1950s when Europe, gripped with socio-democratic fervour sought to break out of rigid and ineffective structures and organise offices in line with the needs of workers.

Dubbed ‘Bürolandschaft’, this emergent office layout was the first of what we would now commonly call open plan offices. While free and loosely scattered in structure, the Bürolandschaft were designed around patterns that would encourage conversation and thus would create a happier workforce. This kind of layout is still used today, although the major downside is that it sacrifices privacy which is equally valuable to staff. The Delta Acoustic Screens were created with an office design such as this in mind as it allows you to retain the open office while integrated partition screens provide a degree of privacy for employees.

These partition screens have evolved from the now maligned cubicle design which gained popularity in the 1970s. This was considered as a solution at the time to bridge the gap between a free, open office with a layout of multiple private offices by creating what were essentially boxes. Dull, drab and generally depressing, the cubicles merely instilled a sense of claustrophobia and hindered more than it helped staff. Delta Acoustic Screens adapt and improve on this approach by creating a private workspace while having lower partitions to retain the open feel of the office.

Step forward to the 2016 and the prevalent design is inspired by tech firms which have embraced the open office movement while removing desks altogether. With private and public workspaces and available with a range of backdrops, these flexible environments give employees the room to work where they feel comfortable. These are great in theory, but are wholly impractical for smaller businesses and companies working on a budget due to space restrictions as well as the type of work they are conducting.

We took all of this into consideration when designing the Delta Acoustic Screens by creating a partition which enhances the desk filled open office while creating an environment which staff will enjoy working in. The sleek and modern design is available in a range of 20 different colours to create a work space which is exciting and flexible, while still providing privacy to staff who require concentration for their work. The idealistic free office popularised by companies such as Google and Facebook may be an unrealistic prospect, but there are many ways to take elements from it to enhance your office environment.

Delta Screens

If you are looking to create an office which staff will enjoy working in and would like to know more about how Delta Acoustic Screens can help you to achieve this, then please give our team a call on 01733 394941 or send them an e-mail at sales@rapind.com.

How classroom design in schools can help concentration and encourage learning

Schools can be one of the hardest environments to get right in order to encourage children to concentrate and develop. With distractions aplenty in the classroom, there are some subtle factors that can be influenced to help children to learn. The effect of sound, colour and light can create a better quality of life for young people simply by boosting mood and motivation. The challenge is incorporating all of these aspects together to create an environment which isn’t cluttered and overpowering and therefore it is important to strike the right balance during the design process.

When considering what hinders learning in the classroom, the most obvious factor is noise and idle chatter in particular. Vocal classmates can be a constant distraction and this is no different in the adult realm where vocal colleagues can be equally as frustrating. With an increasing budget available for classroom design, this opens the opportunity to acquire acoustic control in order to absorb and control volume levels in learning environments.

While soft materials such as carpets can help, the addition of partition walls can maintain the open aspect of the classroom while adding a physical element to help children to concentrate. Delta Acoustic Screens incorporate acoustic absorbent foam to soak up classroom chatter while it also includes a funky design to create a more child friendly environment. The acoustic qualities of these partition screens help to reduce reverbing sound and results in allowing students and teachers to hear more clearly.

The effect of colour has been well documented because of the subliminal impact it can have on people. While this has been heavily focused towards the workplace amongst others, a recent study from the University of Salford highlights the positive influence it can have for students. The study revealed the need to strike the right balance with colour as a blanket approach rated poorly with children. While white walls are considered a staple in many educational environments, the impact is in fact detrimental to learning and leads to restlessness as well as difficulties with concentration.

Equally, bright colours lead to over simulation and only serve to distract children further. Creating a healthy balance with colour can be achieved by blending colour with carpets, blinds, partitions as well as the walls where a single, brightly coloured wall was found to be the most effective. In general, blue shades can slow down the heart rate resulting in a calming effect, while greens are subconsciously linked to fertility, thus encouraging creativity. Brighter colours such as red and orange can be very stimulating when used in moderation, making them an ideal colour to be used with partition screens.

The benefit of Delta Acoustic Screens is that they combine these two beneficial factors together to help children to concentrate and to encourage them to learn. Designed with acoustics in mind, each screen absorbs the chatter of more vocal students to help the whole classroom to focus. The child friendly design is great for adding some life to the classroom, making it a more enjoyable and calming environment to study.

If you are interested in finding out more about the options available with the Delta Acoustic Screens, or you would like to know more about how we can manufacture the screens to fit your classroom then please get in contact with our team. You can reach them by calling 01733 394941 or by e-mailing sales@rapind.com.

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How you can effectively utilise partitions to boost your customer service

Delta Cloud Screens

 

Call centres are becoming increasingly integral cogs for various businesses as they adapt from being tarred with the image of being telemarketers. Instead, call centres have become the foremost way for businesses to communicate with their customers. Despite the rise of social media, customers still feel considerably more comfortable in getting solutions to their problems by speaking to a member of staff over the phone. To get the very best out of your staff when interacting with customers, it is crucial to ensure they are happy in the first place and guaranteeing they are in a comfortable environment when trying to find solutions for customers.

You can invest heavily in training staff for customer service, but this all will mean very little if they are unsatisfied with the environment they work in which inevitably filters down to your customers. The best way to ensure this does not happen is by designing a comfortable office layout which does not reduce staff to sitting in cubicles which are laid out like a cattle market. Instead, innovative design combined with careful use of colour can help staff to appreciate the space they work in, thereby subsequently resulting in better interactions with your customers.

A recent study showed that by having a well-designed layout then equated to longer calls and more satisfactory conversations with customers. One way of achieving a design such as this is with a Delta Acoustic Screen which combines the practicality of a partition screen in an open office with acoustic qualities to trap and absorb ambient office noise. The ideal part of partition screens is that they are portable and future proofed, which means they can adapt to your office whether you continue to grow or whether you need to create temporary space during different parts of the year.

As well as design, another subtle influence which can affect the mood of staff in call centres is the colour which surrounds them. Stereotypical partitions in call centres are generally grey, ugly and generally depressing which is one of the reasons call centres have generated such a poor reputation. With Delta Acoustic Screens, they feature a fresh and stylish design and are available in 20 different fabric colours so you can mix the colours to boost the mood in the office. In particular, shades of green are very well suited to a call centre environment as they prevent eye fatigue which is an increasingly common issue for staff looking at a computer screen for hours at a time.

Delta Partition Screens are designed to add a modern twist to the environment which is wrongly considered to be a grind. By rejuvenating the office space, you can invigorate the mood of your staff which has then been shown to boost relations with your customers. While it is an investment initially, the payoff can be significant by strengthening relations with clients which further down the line can lead to even more.

If your call centre could benefit from a revitalised team atmosphere and you would like to know more about how Delta Acoustic Screens can help you to achieve this, then you can get in touch with our team of advisors by calling 01733 394941 or by dropping them an e-mail at sales@rapind.com.

How You Can Effectively Utilise Partitions to Boost Your Customer Service

Call centres are becoming increasingly integral cogs for various businesses as they adapt from being tarred with the image of being telemarketers. Instead, call centres have become the foremost way for businesses to communicate with their customers. Despite the rise of social media, customers still feel considerably more comfortable in getting solutions to their problems by speaking to a member of staff over the phone. To get the very best out of your staff when interacting with customers, it is crucial to ensure they are happy in the first place and guaranteeing they are in a comfortable environment when trying to find solutions for customers.

You can invest heavily in training staff for customer service, but this all will mean very little if they are unsatisfied with the environment they work in which inevitably filters down to your customers. The best way to ensure this does not happen is by designing a comfortable office layout which does not reduce staff to sitting in cubicles which are laid out like a cattle market. Instead, innovative design combined with careful use of colour can help staff to appreciate the space they work in, thereby subsequently resulting in better interactions with your customers.

A recent study showed that by having a well-designed layout then equated to longer calls and more satisfactory conversations with customers. One way of achieving a design such as this is with a Delta Acoustic Screen which combines the practicality of a partition screen in an open office with acoustic qualities to trap and absorb ambient office noise. The ideal part of partition screens is that they are portable and future proofed, which means they can adapt to your office whether you continue to grow or whether you need to create temporary space during different parts of the year.

As well as design, another subtle influence which can affect the mood of staff in call centres is the colour which surrounds them. Stereotypical partitions in call centres are generally grey, ugly and generally depressing which is one of the reasons call centres have generated such a poor reputation. With Delta Acoustic Screens, they feature a fresh and stylish design and are available in 20 different fabric colours so you can mix the colours to boost the mood in the office. In particular, shades of green are very well suited to a call centre environment as they prevent eye fatigue which is an increasingly common issue for staff looking at a computer screen for hours at a time.

Delta Partition Screens are designed to add a modern twist to the environment which is wrongly considered to be a grind. By rejuvenating the office space, you can invigorate the mood of your staff which has then been shown to boost relations with your customers. While it is an investment initially, the payoff can be significant by strengthening relations with clients which further down the line can lead to even more.

If your call centre could benefit from a revitalised team atmosphere and you would like to know more about how Delta Acoustic Screens can help you to achieve this, then you can get in touch with our team of advisors by calling 01733 394941 or by dropping them an e-mail at sales@rapind.com.

Delta Screen

How Introducing Partition Screens Can Improve Productivity in any Work Space

Partition Screens are commonly found in office environments where the benefits of them are fully utilised, but that is not to say they cannot be equally as effective in other environments. Especially with acoustic partition screens, their ability to absorb sounds makes them ideal for a variety of work environments where loud noises can disrupt the work flow. Furthermore, the stylish design is ideal for modernising and bringing colours into a range of different work spaces. While the effects of partition screens can be subtle, simply by providing a bit more peace, quiet and privacy for people, you can significantly improve their efficiency.

Open office layouts are the obvious beneficiaries of partition screens as the volume of the office can very easily distract workers. In addition to this, the partition screen is great for adding a degree of privacy, allowing staff to get on with work without the thought of colleagues peering over their shoulder.

Delta Cloud

 

Because of both of these factors, this makes acoustic screens perfect additions to classrooms and schools where encouraging children to study can often be an issue. The incorporated acoustic foam is great for soaking up idle chat, meaning other students are less likely to be distracted and can get on with their work. With a Delta Acoustic Screen from Rap Industries, we manufacture themin your choice of 20 different fabric colours to integrate with the design of the classroom. It is even worth considering the mood effects that colours can have as cool colours encourage calmness whereas purple and yellow can inspire creativity meaning they can adapt to each subject classroom.

These qualities are similarly effective in libraries and reception areas where noise is required to be kept to a minimum. The acoustic foam included with the Delta Partition Screen absorbs noise by trapping the sound waves and stopping them from reverberating around the room. This means that when there is chatter in the library, it is retained in the partition screen rather than being scattered around the room. This is equally the case with reception areas where you are looking for the volume of telephone conversations to be kept down, especially when visitors and clients are arriving.

Delta Acoustic Screens are produced in a range of different colours to suit multiple environments. For example, installing blues or greens to partition walls in libraries is a great way to add a calm, soothing effect to settle readers. Furthermore, while the funky design of the partition screens is effective in a modern office, it is equally compatible in schools due to the fun and easy on the eye style. The Delta Acoustic Screens are very effective when increasing concentration, which makes them ideal additions if you are looking to encourage your work force or students to be more productive.

If you would like to know more about which environment the Delta Acoustic Screens are adaptable with, then you can give our team of advisors a call on 01733 394941 or by e-mailing sales@rapind.com.

Delta Screen

Why Your Open Plan Office is Holding You Back in 2016

When the design of open plan offices became established in the 1950s, it was heralded as a revolutionary way to transform offices into a melting pot of ideas which would ultimately generate innovative solutions in an environment that fosters comradery. 60 years on and the reality is these open offices have become like a bull pen which encourage a negative sense of competition by pitting colleagues against each other. Rather than collaboration, it can create a state of rivalry which suits some, but punishes others. This has led to a rise in popularity of partition and acoustic screens which are designed to maintain the open office layout while introducing an element of privacy.

A recent study by Steelcase revealed that 85% of people working in open office environments can’t concentrate due to distractions, while 95% of those said they valued privacy highly when at work. The result is that the workforce is unmotivated, unproductive and overly stressed. While in theory an open office encourages staff to interact more with their peers, instead it restricts them from fully concentrating on the work at hand. The Delta Acoustic Screens developed by Rap Industries tackle this directly by introducing partition walls to the open office layout which gives staff a sense of privacy while the panels are also designed to absorb idle chat from across the office.

Affecting concentration is not the only downside of the open office either as subsequent studies have revealed a plethora of issues stemming from integrating all of your staff together. Canada Life discovered that by collectively having staff work together has led to a spread of illness and infection which has increased by 70%, inevitably leading to a loss in productivity. Furthermore, there is no way to guarantee that conversations are productive, and the sheer amount of chatter in a busy office is an integral factor which leads to distracting members of staff. For this reason, the Delta Partition Screens are equipped with acoustic foam to soak up ambient office noise to help staff to concentrate.

A final factor holding some members of staff back in an open office has been the distinction between extroverted and introverted workers. Extroverts thrive on group work which the open office layout is designed to promote. The frenzy of this group work allows extroverts to freely speak their thoughts and connect with others. Alternatively, introverts operate in the complete opposite way by excelling during solo work with very little interaction. The result of an open office is detrimental for these members of staff as the layout restricts them to working next to others and it is these who are heavily impacted by high volume levels in the work place.

Delta Acoustic Screens are ideal for situations such as these as they create a divide in the open office layout which gives staff their own space while also leaving the option for your team to bounce ideas off of each other. During the design process, we focused on introducing acoustic foam to absorb idle chatter and to help staff to concentrate in these environments. By tackling the little things in the work place such as privacy, noise and personal space, you can expect it to go a long way by giving members of staff the space needed to complete work at their own pace.

If you are interesting in knowing more about how Delta Acoustic Screens can help to make your open office layout more productive, then you can get in touch with our team of advisors on 01733 394941 or by e-mailing sales@rapind.com.

 

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http://www.steelcase.com/insights/articles/privacy-crisis/http://www.canadalife.co.uk/media/47471/perfectofficepressrelease.pdf

New Year, New Office and how you can spark creativity in 2016

Acoustic Screens

Delta Cloud Screens

It’s a new year which means it is a great time to make a fresh start. Rather than letting business stagnate, the start of the new year is a great opportunity to rejuvenate and then expand your organisation in 2016. A great, cost effective way to achieve this is by revitalising your office environment to inspire your staff in the new year. Long gone are the days of simple white washed offices, instead you can inject new life into your organisation by incorporating an ingenious new design to your office. Delta Acoustic Screens from Rap Industries are designed to do exactly this with their fresh and unique design which is assembled with practical solutions in mind.

There are multiple factors to consider when designing a new office layout in order to encourage creativity, productivity and a positive wellbeing. This means consideration for allowing as much natural light in as possible as it has been attributed to creating a better quality of life due to it being beneficial to combating fatigue. The effects of the design of the office are often subliminal, but it is the little things which matter most as a happy member of staff is always more likely to make substantial contributions rather than an irritated one. This all goes hand in hand as a happier member of staff is therefore free to be more creative and produce more valuable contributions.

In recent years, the importance of colour in the workplace has risen to prominence through a series of studies which have highlighted the positive role certain colours can play. The effects are often subconscious but different colours can help to inspire different emotions amongst people, meaning they can be tailored into your office design to bring the best out of your staff. Certain colours such as blues and greens are ideal for evoking a sense of calmness and serenity to assist in de-stressing due to how we associate them with nature and the outdoors. Meanwhile yellows are associated with stimulating creativity while moderate amounts of reds encourage emotion and passion.

With the Delta Acoustic Screen, we manufacture and produce them in 20 different colours to perfectly suit the personality and strategy of different departments. This opens up the ability to mix and match colours in the office to emphasise the qualities of different members of staff. The psychological impact is not the only benefit though, as we assemble each with acoustic foam to provide a practical solution to reduce increasing noise levels found in open plan offices. This combination allows you to strike a balance in the open office environment between encouraging collaboration but also tackling the issue of competing noise levels from different departments.

Re-designing the office is a great way to inject life into your staff but also into any new clients or visitors attending the office as it demonstrates the modern, forward thinking nature of your organisation. The best part is that adding colourful partitions is considerably more cost effective than moving office or creating private offices. With these factors in mind, your company can move into 2016 with a fresh perspective and new drive to deliver quality services.

If you would like help with suggestions of how to rejuvenate your office environment in 2016 then you can get in touch with our team of advisors who can explain the options available. You can reach them by calling 01733 394941 or by e-mailing sales@rapind.com.

How Reducing Ambient Office Noise Can Make Your Office More Efficient

The open plan office has become increasingly popular with entrepreneurs and start-ups with the prospect of increased collaboration and teamwork. The offset has been as they have grown in size, so has overall noise level which has led to counterproductive results. Workers are closer than ever before, however when it comes to crunch time, staff value privacy more than anything according to an increasing number of studies. The idyllic vision of open offices as a crucible of ideas is exactly that, but there are ways to strike a balance and get the best of both worlds.

A recent study from the University of Sydney (2013) revealed that over 50% of workers in cubicles or partitionless offices were dissatisfied with the noise levels in their work spaces as they have no control over what they hear or who hears them. Increased noise levels contributed to causing distractions which cost individuals up to 86 minutes on a daily basis. According to the study, noise pollution contributed to distress, irritation, fatigue, headaches as well as concentration difficulties.

These factors are what the Delta Acoustic Screens from Rap Industries aim to resolve. By incorporating acoustic foam in a partition screen, the Delta screens are designed to soak up some of that frustrating background noise. Partition screens are all about utilising the space available to you. Creating a Silicon Valley styled office with multiple quiet and loud workspaces is a dream for the majority of small businesses, which is why acoustic screens are designed to be adaptable to any office environment in order to aid staff productivity.

Reverting back to a work place with multiple private offices is wholly impractical and extremely expensive, which is why installing acoustic absorbent materials can drastically help productivity in the work place while keeping the open office design. By applying fabric surfaces such as carpets, partition screens and wall screens, you can absorb a significant amount of office chatter to help staff to concentrate. Cost effective solutions such as these can help to balance the benefits of an open office while giving staff the space and privacy to complete individual work.

When developing the Delta Acoustic Screens, we aimed to create a product which had all of the materials to help dampen ambient office noise levels whilst incorporating an attractive modern design which injects life into the office. We produce a curved top design of the Delta Acoustic Screen which is ideal for keeping the open feel of the office while still maintaining all of the practical solutions of the acoustic screen. As well as this, introducing a stylish design is a great way to make a statement about your organisation when hosting new clients or interviews.

If you are interesting in knowing more about the Delta Acoustic Screens and how they can help to reduce noise pollution in the office then you can get in touch with our team by phone on 01733 394941 or by e-mail at sales@rapind.com.

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