Paper Brightness and Whiteness: What’s the Difference?

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Every year, 92 million metric tons of paper are produced in the United States. With this massive amount of paper comes a multitude of different sizes, colors, and thicknesses. The appearance of your paper can be crucial when it comes to supplementing your next big project or use in your day to day business, as your end result depends on the paper that you are using. Before putting in your order of bulk paper, it is important to understand the differences between paper brightness and whiteness.



The brightness of paper is determined by how much the paper reflects blue light (specifically with a wavelength of 457 nanometers). This is measured on a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 being the most reflective. For example, a piece of paper with a brightness of 85 is going to be much brighter than one with a brightness of 65.


This is not the only metric you should go by. Just because two pieces of paper are similar in terms of brightness, it does not mean that they will look similar. Brightness does not take into account the rest of the light spectrum, which can drastically affect the looks of the paper.



Just like paper brightness, whiteness is measured on a scale from 1 to 100, increasing in whiteness as the number increases. It still has to do with the reflection of light, though. Whiteness takes into account the entire light spectrum. Through this metric, you can start to see the difference between a warmer, softer piece of paper, and paper with a blue, cool tint. This is similar to the color temperature scale used for bulbs.

Breaking the Scale


You may stumble upon some paper that exceeds the 100 maximum for brightness or whiteness. Some paper companies may choose to add certain materials that enhance and increase the paper’s whiteness and brightness, to a point where it exceeds the scale for normal pulp paper. These additives, commonly known as Optical Brightening Agents, actually reflect ultraviolet light that we would not normally be able to see as visible light.

No matter what you are using your paper for, make sure to look out for these metrics whenever ordering from your wholesale paper supplier. If you are looking to buy bulk paper of any brightness or whiteness, make sure to contact your local paper supplier.


All About Affordable Green Building With ICF Construction

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Many people assume that green building materials and energy efficient home construction are both incredibly expensive by default, but being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on your goals for a high performance home. ICF construction is just one tried and true method for affordable green construction. Here are a few ways this unique material can help you save money both during construction and in your finished home.

Affordable Materials

Many modern green materials used for energy efficient construction can add up in cost fairly quickly. However, just because a material is newer and more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it always works better. ICF construction is a technique that has been around for decades, and it remains one of the most efficient construction options available today. Over time, the cost has dropped for this material, making it an excellent green option for builders or homeowners on a budget.

During Construction

Construction projects involving ICF aren’t just more energy efficient when they’re fully built – they create less waste during construction as well. Because of how ICF blocks are assembled, the reduce the amount of material wasted. You’ll end up paying for less material that ends up getting wasted anyway, and you’ll be contributing less to landfills so you can feel better about your home’s overall carbon footprint.

Finished Builds

Finished ICF buildings are also able to provide savings in the form of reduced overall energy costs. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, ICF walls can save homeowners 20% to 25% on annual heating and cooling costs. Heating and cooling tends to be the largest energy expense in the average home, meaning a reduction here can result in major savings for most homeowners. By choosing the right materials early on, you’ll be able to save on your finished home.

ICF walls are an excellent option for homeowners looking to go green in their new homes. These green building materials can help you save on construction, as well as once the home is fully completed. For more information on insulated concrete forms and how to use them for affordable green construction, contact Nexcem today.

How to Improve Your Trade Show Space with Event Drapery

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You’re proud of your success at trade shows. You could do better, as much as you don’t want to admit it, and you know that the key to your future success lies not just in your prowess as a vendor, but your ability to stage your booth in a professional and engaging fashion as well. Passersby are fickle, and if your trade show booth looks more like a grade school project than a beautiful display, you need the right event drapery to stand out positively.

Discover the different types of event items you can use to make your next trade show space more successful. With rising trade show costs being a concern for over a third of event planners, you need to know how to plan your next trade show without worry. Here are ways you can improve your trade show booth space with backdrops and more.

Pipe and Drape Offers a Quick Solution


Desire a trade show display that has a super quick set up and tear down system? Consider the pipe and drape display feature. This display features the base and standing components of an event display set, allowing you to quickly set up your designs with whatever space you have. Colors vary, and you can have a custom design created to meet your needs best.

Pole Covers Offer Professional Appeal


Perhaps you consider yourself handy and like to create your own pole display frames? Pole covers are a great event drapery solution that will give your trade show booth that professional appeal you desire.

Drapery Fabric Offers Simple Privacy


The right drapery fabric, including velour drapes, satin drapery, and other types of material, will give your trade show booth a durable, functional appeal you can appreciate. You’ll also get the intimate privacy you desire so you can improve the way your booth looks while giving it a new and updated feel for your patrons as well.

Whether you are new to the trade show business and want to have the most impressive booth in the line, or you don’t know how you can improve your current dismal booth, you can use event drapery to give your space great improvement. An event supplies specialist can show you how pipe and drape components and other drapery tools work.

Avoid These Beekeeping Hive Mistakes

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Beekeeping is essential to both the health of the environment and the agriculture industry, as any beekeeper will know. Bees pollinate more than $15 million a year in crops in the United States alone. But all those bees need a place to safely build their hives, and that’s where your beekeeping hives come in. Avoid these common mistakes with your beekeeping hives to keep your bees safe and healthy, as well as encouraging them to produce as much organic honey as possible.


Leaving Frames Out


Bees are surprisingly crafty and creative creatures, and will build comb in just about any space they can reach. Beekeeping hives are designed to have just the right amount of room and space in them, without letting bees into areas they shouldn’t be building in. Leaving frames out of your hives to give bees more space to build can end up with them getting into spaces they should stay away from.


Location, Location, Location


Setting up homes for your bees relies just as much on location as setting up homes for people. Look for a level, clear space with full sun as much as is possible given your environment. This will give bees plenty of room to find the entrance to the hives, and make it easier for them to maneuver around the hives.


Less Isn’t More


Many beginning beekeepers think they’ll be able to start with a single hive. This is especially true of beekeepers on a budget, who might be relying on minimal used beekeeping supplies. However, keeping at minimum two gives you the best chance of success, and allows you to plan around problems you might run into with a single hive.


Hands Off Approach


As tempting as it can be to get as much raw honey from your hives as possible, try to avoid taking too much or too often from your colonies. Your bees rely on their honey as well, so be conservative with how much you take to sell or use for yourself.


There are a few common mistakes that you can make with your beekeeping hives, but avoiding them will be best for both you and your bees. For more information on beekeeping basics and how to take care of your hives, contact us today.


3 Industries in Which GPS Tracking Has Made a Big Difference

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GPS has come a long way. Today, any industry involving vehicles stands to benefit from GPS, as the tracking capabilities which the system provides have significant implications regarding safety, efficiency, and accountability. Some of these industries you may have guessed already, while others might be less obvious. Here are three industries which GPS is revolutionizing:

  1. Landscaping
  2. Construction (Specialty Trades) ie: HVAC, Electrical, Masonry, etc.
  3. Oil & Gas Service Businesses

If you or someone you know works in one of these industries, make sure to find your GPS tracking solutions.

5 Signs Your Business Is In Desperate Need Of Invoice Factoring

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It’s no secret that running your own business is a lot like running a marathon. There’s a lot you need to prepare for before you even head to the finish line, and there’s always a chance of failure even if you’ve trained for months. In fact, up to 50% of new businesses will fail within their first five years.


The good news is that many of the problems new businesses deal with can be identified, monitored, and fixed. And one of those major issues is cash flow.


Why do new businesses struggle with cash flow?


Many new businesses have cash flow issues, but the problem isn’t a lack of funds. It’s a lack of available funds.


Young small businesses often have thousands of dollars in outstanding accounts receivables at any given time. This may not sound like a catastrophic problem; after all, that money will eventually arrive in your bank account. However, business owners with delayed payment processing often struggle paying their vendors, their employees, and their property rent on time.


Unfortunately, many new businesses will turn to high-interest loans to make up for these cash flow gaps. But these loans can take a toll on your business credit, especially when you have difficulty getting your clients to pay you on time. The good news is business factoring services can help.


How do I know if I need invoice factoring?


Business invoice factoring services understand that both new and established companies struggle to get their invoices in on time because of slow-paying customers. That’s why business invoice factoring enables companies like yours to submit their invoices for cash up front with minimal fees.


But how do you know if your business needs business invoice factoring? Here are five signs invoice factoring is desperately calling your name:

  1. Your clients are slow to pay you. Your clients have a period of time in which they can pay their invoice. But if your clients wait until the last few days of the deadline to make their invoice payments or they periodically change which date they pay their invoice, this can cause big cash flow gaps.
  2. You have to make collection calls to your clients. It might be time to consider business factoring services when your clients take longer than the designated time given to them to pay their invoice. You don’t want to spend valuable business time making collection calls to clients when you could be spending time growing your business.
  3. You’ve taken out a loan. Business factoring services may be needed if you’ve already taken out a loan to make up for cash flow gaps. Loans can be expensive because they come with high-interest rates that can affect your credit score. Business invoice factoring doesn’t have any interest. You’re only using the money you would have received from your invoice, just at an earlier date.
  4. You need a consistent payment schedule. Cash flow can be frustrating when you’re not sure when your payments from your clients will be coming in. Business factoring services can bridge those gaps and give you peace of mind by being able to write out an exact schedule of when your payments are coming in.
  5. You’ve needed to postpone major branding events. Trade shows and other branding events are vital for the success of your new business. They’re marketing opportunities to tell the world about who you are and what you can provide. But if you don’t have the finances for these events because your invoices haven’t come in yet, you could reduce the chances of your business’ success. Business factoring services ensure you have the money you need to budget for these events when you need it and not when your client decides to pay their invoice after the deadline has passed.

Where can I find business factoring services?


Factoring companies can help small businesses bridge cash flow gaps by providing upfront payments up to 90% of the original invoice. This can be a big gamechanger because cash flow gaps are one of the top reasons why businesses end up closing down.


If you’re considering small business factoring services for your company, we are the factoring service for you. To learn more about how our small business invoice factoring and freight factoring services, contact us today.


Should My Business Use Paper Or Electronic Invoices?

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Sending invoices to clients is perhaps one of the most satisfying parts of running your own business. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most time-consuming. When you’re running a business, you might wonder if switching to electronic invoice filing would be more efficient, but there are perks and pitfalls associated with each.


Here are some tips on whether you’re business should choose paper or electronic invoices.




Paper invoices are the traditional way to send bills to your clients. Small business invoice factoring relies on classic pen and paper processing. This gives the invoice creator complete control over the data entry system and you don’t have to run through the gamut of learning a new electronic invoicing software.


This method is a little more private than electronic invoicing but it reduces the transparency between you and your clients. When you’re looking to streamline your company, relying on electronic invoicing methods may be your best bet.




One of the primary benefits of relying on electronic invoice factoring services is that it saves you on postage. Sending electronic invoices is 57% less expensive than sending a paper invoice since you don’t need to rely on paper, stamps, postage, and other fees. Freight brokers love the ease of an electronic service for international factoring and local factoring alike. It can also help you solve the oft-asked question: why get an invoice advance loan?


The speed at which electronic factoring is performed is one of the primary benefits of using this type of service. You also don’t need to worry about undelivered bills getting lost in the mail and it also enables you to offer a prompt payment method associated with the invoice. This is a great option for international freight shipping companies and local small businesses alike. After all, you can use an online small business factoring company from any location and at any time.


Making the transition to online invoicing is easier than ever with our help. Whether you’re looking for a freight bill factoring company or pondering “why get an invoice advance loan” you can rely on our experience for the best invoice factoring around.

Comparing Composites: Kevlar And Carbon Fiber

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Anyone who’s ever seen Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight has heard the terms “Kevlar” and “carbon fiber” thrown around. While the two sound perfect together, what makes them such a good pair on a chemical level? Is it really possible to construct your own Batsuit using a carbon fiber design? To see why Lucius Fox (a.k.a. Morgan Freeman’s character) suggested armor platelets over a mesh of carbon fiber, we need to take a closer look at each composite.


Carbon fiber is technically a cloth woven from many thin strands of graphite — and we mean thin: the fibers are between five and 10 microns in diameter, just slightly wider than spider silk. These strands are then laid over a mild and pasted into place using an epoxy resin. The strength of these minuscule fibers comes from their crossed positioning which creates the checkered pattern seen on many carbon fiber prototypes and carbon fiber products.

Kevlar, on the other hand, is constructed on a microscopic level by chaining man-made molecules together into a rigid polymer crystal. As a result, the solution can be spun into strands or poured like a liquid.


Just as both composites are incredibly light, they’re also incredibly strong. However, their strengths when it comes to strength differs: Kevlar is very rigid until it begins to buckle under compression; carbon fiber is generally less resistant to piercing forces (which is why Kevlar is preferred for body armor) but can withstand the high temperatures that weaken Kevlar.


And here we come to the main difference between the two. Kevlar can become severely compromised by the alteration of its shape, hence why Kevlar items are designed to be stiff and rigid. Since body armor plates are produced to stop weapons and projectiles, increased flexibility would result in more impact on the wearer’s body.

On the opposite side of things, the structure of carbon fiber is inherently quite flexible, though the thickness of the sheet does make a difference. In fact, that flexibility is one of the ways it dissipates impact energy, making it more suitable for breakaway items (like car body panels).

The combination of both materials for the ever-iconic Batsuit makes a lot of sense once you consider the nuances of each composite. If you’re planning a project that utilizes carbon fiber design, keep this information tucked away — you never know when it may come in handy!

Here are 3 Marketing Strategies to Focus On

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Did you know that almost 98% of those who click on your website won’t get turned into a new lead or customer? This is the problem that so many businesses face — there’s so much potential to grow one’s leads and customer base, but how does one get that percentage up? This is where a marketing agency can help. Their expertise might not be able to get 100% of site visitors to convert, but they can certainly make that number increase. They can strategize with you about methods to reach new customers and encourage existing customers to stay loyal to your brand or services. Whether it’s through better search engine optimization (SEO), creating more high quality content for your site, link building, or new marketing strategies to better reach customers, a good marketing agency can improve your sales figures.

What Can a Marketing Agency Help With? 
A marketing agency can help you come up with a viable marketing strategy, map out and oversee the marketing campaigns necessary for the strategy, and/or offer particular services that you might not otherwise have access to like telemarketing. You might want them to stay on just for a certain project or retain their services for a longer period of time, when you need them.

Some firms might specialize in say, digital marketing, direct marketing, or marketing communications, but there are also full-service marketing agencies that have a bunch of divisions within their company.

The end result of working with such a firm is to optimize conversion rates and acquire new customers. There are tons of marketing agencies out there, so you want to be sure that you’re retaining a good one. We’ll discuss what to look for in a later section, below.

What are Some Effective Marketing Strategies? 
Create Good Quality Content 
This might seem like a no-brainer, but quality content matters. If you have high quality content, you could increase traffic to a blog by as much as 2000%. It also factors into the algorithms that Google uses to rank your website in their search engine, along with link building. Without that content, you might fall lower in a search than you want to. And good quality, long form content over 1,000 words tend to be shared more widely via likes and shares, than shorter content.

Direct Marketing 
Despite complaints that technology is pushing us further away from each other, we still crave connection and personalized content. Direct marketing can be especially effective here, giving you lists of e-mails that link to people who match what you’re trying to market. They’ll usually handle creating and mailing the items as well, whether it’s via snail mail or e-mail. Given that over a third of Americans keep an eye on their e-mail regularly and about 16% check their e-mail four to six times a day, your ad is likely to catch their attention, even if it’s just a subject line!

SEO also matters — and has mattered for quite some time. Good SEO will drive more traffic to your site and improve your search engine rankings, meaning that your business gets more exposure. Marketing firms can help you improve your SEO overall, not just when it comes to one specific campaign.

What Should I Look For in a Marketing Agency? 
Of course, a good reputation, longevity in the field, and a high success rate are important. Communication and collaboration are important and you should feel confident that they’ll keep you looped in and be willing to collaborate on strategies. Ask them what the first three to four months of working with your business would look like — based on what they know so far, could they offer you a preliminary sketch of what their strategy would include?

Hiring a marketing agency is a smart move, even if you only use them for a specific project. You’ll likely pick up certain things along the way as well that you can implement in the future!

Top 3 Ways to Soundproof Your Office

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We face countless distractions at work — our phones going off, chats popping up, coworkers dropping by. If we’re especially distractable (or our neighbors are particularly loud), loud gum chewing, the tapping of fingers, or heavy sighs might also break our concentration. Despite this, more and more offices are moving to open floor plans, to maximize space. But there are multiple benefits to soundproofing an office and as the benefits of soundproofing increase, more business owners might start to wonder how to soundproof an office room to get the best of both worlds. Even if you work in an open office floor plan, there are still ways you can create a sort of soundproof office booth for employees. You still have collaboration, but the noise level will go down — often to many people’s relief.

What are the Benefits of Soundproofing? 

Even building a small soundproof space like a soundproof phone booth where employees can go to do calls or a soundproof booth for quiet work can make a big difference. Concentration in a soundproofed office can increase by almost 50% and can get rid of over 50% of conversational distractions. Workers won’t notice other conversations happening around them as much with the help of soundproofing, so they can focus on their own work.

Because people are better able to focus, it can reduce work errors by as much as 10% and cut down on the stress levels of those working by almost 30%! These are significant numbers and can overall achieve a more productive and happier workplace.

Whether it’s getting a private phone booth for office or a designated space where people can go if they need to focus to totally soundproofing the right office, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is a smart move for businesses to make.

How to Soundproof an Office Room 

If you’re wondering how to soundproof an office room, particularly if you’re tackling an office floor plan, there are actually a number of creative ways available.

For those who work in an open floor plan, soundproof desk dividers can be a huge help. These are often made from noise-absorbing fiberglass, which cancels out noise by absorbing it, reducing echo and unwanted noise, and is usually available in an assortment of colors and styles that can easily match the design of your office. These usually come already fully assembled, so they’re easy to use and set up!

Sound reduction panels and hanging acoustic panels are two other ways to soundproof an office room effectively. These you will likely need some assistance in installing, but they’re low cost, effective options (as compared to having a remodeling contractor come in).

Soundproof paint is another unique new option that can help reduce noise transmission through walls. If your office is relatively quiet, but the room next door to you tends to be fairly raucous, soundproof paint can help with that!

And of course, there’s more full-scale soundproofing that would involve remodeling contractors and your office to be upended while the soundproofing occurred.

Who Can Help Soundproof? 

In the case of the desk dividers — and even with some of the sound reduction or acoustic panels — you might be able to soundproof your office yourself or with the help of some colleagues. However, if there’s a painting job or a total overhaul of your office space, it’s best to get contractors in to handle it. They can do a quicker, more efficient job, and ensure that everything is taken care of safely.

Once you’ve ordered the materials you want, you’ll need to see who can come to install in your area. Usually, a quick online search can help, or if you bought the materials locally, the store might also be able to offer recommendations of companies or contractors they’ve worked with before.

Don’t let the noise of the office drive you crazy. Learn how to soundproof an office room and take care of the extra noise floating around — it’s simpler than you might think!