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A refreshing new look for your Chamber

A refreshing new look for your Chamber

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Golf Challenge Winners

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Chamber Training Academy

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Word of mouse! By Jeremy Webb

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Summertime and the living is easy…?       


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brown brothers 

ink on paper experts

partners for business Ayrshire Chamber wishes to acknowledge the support of the following companies as sponsors of our Partners for Business programme.

01294 487007 Energetic materials, rocket motors, demolition stores, pyrotechnic & propellant devices

01292 611028 The power of insurance

00845 606 0286 Your business banking starts here 01292 885923 National Health Service 01563 575000 The world’s leading premium drinks business

01292 619000 Creative agency for marketing, design and web

01292 280499 Legal Services

01563 558844 A total solutions company

0800 0432760 IT service & support

01434 611300 Pioneering solutions for everyday life

01292 265071 Chartered accountants and Business Advisers

Published by SP Publications on behalf of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry 2011. No part of this magazine may be copied, scanned or reproduced without the express permission of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce. The views expressed in editorial and/or advertising in “Your Ayrshire Business” are not necessarily those of the Editorial Committee of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Articles submitted for publication will be considered at the Committee’s discretion and may be subject to editing. Publication is not guaranteed.

Not here at Ayrshire Chamber! Despite the school holidays being a traditionally quiet time for us, things have been exceptionally busy for the Chamber Team.

Deputy Chief Executive Val Russell

Not only did we unwrap our new look marketing material to the sounds of samba drums at Lochgreen House, June also saw the launch of a new referral scheme and the Ayrshire Business Awards in partnership with principal sponsor Business Gateway. We also saw a record high number of new members join the ranks – yet more new contacts for you to make over the coming months. There is information of the entire aforementioned elsewhere in the magazine. Most of July and August was spent forward planning on both the new Chamber Training Academy and Ayrshire Business Week. Again full details appear elsewhere in this publication and also on our website which was also given the Ocean Agency touch of magic as part of our brand refresh. All this activity is in response to both feedback and requests from our members and I thank all those who have supported us in these new ventures. Over the summer months, consultation groups have taken place on the draft Pan Ayrshire Tourism Strategy, for those unable to attend in person, an online survey was available, outcomes of both will be made available. We look forward to seeing the final document and again would urge you to participate in the ‘interest’ groups being formed to drive this strategy forward. More details can be obtained from Moira Birtwistle, Chair Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Partnership. We continue to encourage local businesses to incorporate the Ayrshire and Arran logo, lovingly known as the ‘swoosh’ here at the Chamber, into their emails, websites etc. In doing so we are all promoting the area as a place to work, live and do business which benefits us all. The logo, with a choice of straplines, can be downloaded from the Chamber website As social media continues to be the ‘buzz’ I invite you all to follow us on Twitter where we currently have over 700 fellow ‘tweeters’ all promoting Ayrshire is some shape or form. We plan to have an Ayrshire wide live tweet as part of the October Business Week. Whilst we have basked in some wonderful sunshine over the last few weeks as the nights begin to draw in it is an ideal time to join us at some of our events and I look forward to meeting you in the coming months. If you would like to see a particular topic or event included in the winter programme please contact our Events Coordinator, Yvonne Mark the 22nd September in your diaries for our Annual General Meeting, this is your opportunity to find out how your Chamber has been performing over the last year. I am delighted to welcome Nora Senior, MD Scotland, Weber Shandwick and Vice President Scottish Chamber and British Chamber of Commerce as our guest speaker this year. Regular readers of Your Ayrshire Business will be aware that over the years the Chamber Team has participated in various charity fundraisers from Afternoon Teas, to the Great Wall of China Trek, Midnight Walks and a raft of activities in between. As if becoming a grandmother twice in quick succession wasn’t enough of a challenge for me, the Team have persuaded me to represent the Chamber participating in a ‘Strictly Come Prancing’ Charity fundraiser, in aid of Aberlour Scotland’s Children’s Charity that has a centre in Prestwick. All dance contestants are from the local community and will compete at a glittering event on November 12 at Ayr Racecourse. I hope some of you will sponsor me on this challenge and/or come along on the night to support this good cause, I already feel like Ayr’s answer to Ann Widdecombe! We welcome your involvement and feedback and encourage you to work with us to make Ayrshire a better play to work, live and play.

Val Russell Deputy Chief Executive

your ayrshire business autumn 2011



Waste not, want not

Many businesses, as well as schools, community groups and individuals across Europe are expected to take part in the awareness-raising week by holding events highlighting the need to reduce waste. Zero Waste Scotland, the programme created by the Scottish Government to deliver its Zero Waste Plan, is now encouraging businesses to get involved. By taking part in actions such as organising a waste-free lunch, a ‘return to cupboard’ day, introducing a reusable coffee cup system or encouraging your suppliers to use less packaging, your business could benefit from potential

cost savings which can be made by reducing waste as well as helping to raise awareness for an important issue at a local level. Miriam Adcock, Zero Waste Scotland’s Regional Partnership Manager for South Scotland, said: “Waste reduction plays a crucial part in our ambition to achieve a zero waste society in Scotland. If we are to make best use of our resources, we must take action to prevent waste whether we are at work, at home, or out and about. “Participating in a week dedicated to waste reduction is a perfect time for businesses, schools, community groups, individuals and others to show their support for waste reduction and celebrate successes achieved to date, and I’d encourage businesses to start planning their events now. Visit ewwr2011 for more ideas or to register


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your ayrshire business autumn 2011

your participation. “Last year 93 events took place in Scotland and it is hoped that this year Scotland can do even better.” As well as raising awareness, European Week for Waste Reduction sees the sharing of best practice and innovation across Europe. An awards programme also aims to recognize the best waste reducing actions or events. The week showcases the environmental and economic benefits organisations can achieve by influencing behaviour and reducing waste. Zero Waste Scotland works with businesses, communities, individuals and local authorities to help them reduce waste, recycle more and use resources sustainably. More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at:

To advertise in the next edition of



AYRSHIRE businesses are being urged to take part in this year’s European Week for Waste Reduction, set to take place from 19th – 26th November 2011.


the magazine of ayrshire chamber of commerce and industry

call Stuart Pennington on 07792 362 587

THE implementation of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review is now well underway, with significant cuts being made in the number of personnel in the Army, Navy and RAF. In Scotland, this has also resulted in the closure of RAF Kinloss as an operational airbase and the proposed conversion of RAF Leuchars into an Army “super barracks”.

Over the next four years, the number of personnel serving in the Armed Forces will be reduced by around 20,00 thus resulting in an influx of ex-servicemen and women into the already stretched civilian job market. All are highly trained individuals, but sometimes Armed Forces training and experience do not translate easily into qualifications that are immediately recognisable. However, Ayrshire based training

Business Bite – pensions FROM October 2012, all UK employers will be legally required to enrol their workers into a suitable pension scheme and pay contributions. There is a new timeline published by the Pensions Regulator for employers as date are dependant on the number of employees in their PAYE scheme. More details can be found at:

specialists, ibp academy are now working with those coming out of the services to help convert their training and experience into leadership and management qualifications. Recognition and Accreditation of Prior Learning (R/APL) is a simple way of using Forces’ training and experience to gain widely recognised qualifications. ibp has developed a straightforward approach to this process, and is currently working with Officers, Warrant Officers and NCOs across all three Services. RAF Flight Sergeant Michael Price has recently completed the process and commented: “The APL programme has not only brought a fantastic opportunity to gain accreditation in recognition of their role as leaders but, it has also simplified the whole process making it less daunting. I firmly believe that this accreditation route will not only assist personnel in gaining

recognition of what they’ve already achieved but also provide a platform for further growth personally and educationally”. Largs based ibp academy is one of the largest UK centres for the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and an approved supplier to the MOD’s Career Transition Partnership. The company also provides a number of ILM accredited online leadership and management courses offering flexible study at home or overseas. These can then lead to higher education options, including a route to accelerated entry (Year 3) to the part-time BA Business & Enterprise at Edinburgh Napier University Business School. Winners of several National Training Awards, ibp academy has been helping people become leaders in their field since 1996.

The Bribery Act 2010 THE Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1st July 2011. The Act applies to all commercial organisations registered or doing business in the UK and their associates. KEY POINTS • This Act deals only with bribery – not other forms of white collar crime • Your organisation may be liable for failing to prevent a person from bribing on your behalf but only if that person performs services for you in business. It is very unlikely therefore that you will be liable for the actions of someone who simply supplies goods to you

• There is a full defence if you can show you had adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery. But you do not need to put bribery prevention procedures in place if there is no risk of bribery on your behalf • Hospitality is not prohibited by the Act • Facilitation payments are bribes under the Act just as they are under the old law The Government has produced detailed guidance about the Act and the procedures that organisations can put in place to prevent bribery, as well as a set of illustrative case studies which you may find of further assistance bribery.htm your ayrshire business autumn 2011



Back to Civvy Street


A credit for our service AS our company, SimpsInns Ltd., continues to expand we were looking for a new provider for our Merchant Services. As an active member of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce we decided to take advantage of the member services. Through introduction via the Chamber we made contact with First Data, who in turn were contracted for all our Merchant Services work.

We found the process straightforward and our account manager was always on hand to help with any queries, which invariably were always solved swiftly. The transition process was seamless - crucial for our business - as we rely on this technology on a daily basis.

Rewarding you for championing your Chamber WE want to recruit more members to strengthen our business network and create more business opportunities for you.

We’re asking you to help by referring companies you know to us. When they join, we’ll reward you with a choice of free offers and discounts to help your business. Choose from: • A free ticket to our Annual Dinner or the Ayrshire Business Awards Dinner • 50% off a full page advert in this magazine • 50% off your annual membership (conditions apply) Plus, when you refer more than 3 new members, you’ll be entered for the Chamber Champion Award. Craig Stevenson from Cookschool Scotland was our first referral that resulted in Hendrie Bros. joining the Chamber. Craig explains, ‘The referral was initiated through a conversation that rural communities should be engaging with all types of industries not just the farming industry. Farming is like every other business as it involves buying, selling, profit making and marketing; everything Ayrshire Chambers stands for.’ Thanks to all our members who promote the Chamber, we look forward to many more referrals. 6

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We have built up an excellent working relationship with our account manager, who understands our individual business needs and advises us accordingly. Technological advances in this area are swift and thankfully we are kept up to date with new products that may be of interest and beneficial to our business. We are in the process of updating all our terminals to enhance transaction processing time, which can only improve our customers’ experience, not to mention further reduce costs in the future. Controlling costs is vital for any business and we have found First Data competitive with their costs and straight forward with their pricing structure. In these days of heightened credit card security, it is also reassuring to know we are dealing with a reputable company who are PCI DSS compliant - a genuine safeguard for our business. As SimpsInns continues to grow and evolve we are delighted to continue and develop our relationship with the Ayrshire Chamber and would recommend others to investigate for themselves the potential benefits of being a member of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce. Gill Campbell, Operations Director, SimpsInns Ltd.

The tools are different...the message the same You can’t have missed the new marketing buzzword - “Social Media.” The term is appearing everywhere and “social media” has been credited for everything from making a young cancer victim’s dreams come true through to toppling governments and inciting riots.

As the number of Facebook users approached 1 billion, the Ayrshire Chamber partnered with webbactivemedia’s Jeremy Webb to present a information packed workshop to help businesses gain a competitive advantage from social media. Social media encompasses a huge range of on-line services, including the most popular ones like Facebook,Twitter and Linkedin. Each share a key trait in that they facilitate an exchange of information between the connections of a network that you curate. If this sounds familiar, it is - your life contains just such social networks of friends, colleagues and family which thrive on

predominantly word of mouth communication. Digital social networks leverage the power of the word of mouse, allowing you to connect with and influence a large network of past customers, potential customers and other stakeholders. Digital social networks reduce the friction in sharing, but they also have a another key benefit - social media networks can be searched in real time. Businesses can monitor for brand mentions or other key phrases that enable them to identify and connect with potential customers or conduct valuable market research. As a Trustee of the charity “Forces Children’s Trust” Jeremy shared how he used such monitoring to enlist the services of fearsome Dragon Duncan Bannatyne as a patron, after he complimented the charity on Twitter. Another example illustrated what happens when brands don’t monitor social media after 10% was wiped off the value of United Airlines stock following the runaway success of a

disgruntled customer’s You Tube video, “United breaks guitars.” webbactivemedia also revealed research that indicates that “social shares” of web site content correlate to higher rankings on the major search engine Google, providing another reason that businesses must take social media seriously. Building social media into your marketing strategy is a low cost, low risk way to raise awareness, generate leads, conduct market research and protect your reputation on-line. A simple process of content creation, promotion and monitoring will allow any business to start seeing returns. A follow up event is planned to deal with the nitty gritty of social media management for business. Contact the Chamber for more details. Words by: webbactivemedia’s Jeremy Webb

Record-breaking month for PCS Public Contract Scotland (PCS), The Scottish Government’s flagship procurement portal, has recorded two significant milestones this year.

A groundbreaking one million pages were viewed in both March and June – demonstrating the value of the portal to suppliers and buyers as Europe’s leading public sector procurement website. The free-to-use portal gives businesses a single point of

entry to Scottish public sector opportunities – a market worth £9 billion annually. Since it was launched in 2008, over 55,000 businesses and 350 Scottish public sector organisations have registered and use the portal. Latest figures show that since June 2008, there have been 2,210 Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) contract awards, 2,884 sub-threshold (lower value than OJEU notices) contract awards and 1,545 Quick Quote awards. Quick

Quote is a facility to create online requests for competitive quotes for low-value contracts where an advert is not required. With significant portal developments scheduled for this year, PCS is set to deliver greater-than-ever functionality to both suppliers and buyers – making doing business with the public sector quicker, easier and more transparent.

your ayrshire business autumn 2011



Word of Mouse!


Strictly Fundraising SCOTLAND’S children’s charity Aberlour Child Care Trust is set to bring a night of glitz, glamour and live entertainment to Ayr with the launch of Strictly Come Prancing.

Ten local couples, including our very own Deputy Chief Executive Val Russell, will take to the floor to perform and compete for the title of Strictly Come Prancing Champions 2011, at The Princess Royal Suite, Ayr Racecourse in November. Guests will enjoy a champagne reception, three-course meal and a live floorshow from the great and good of Ayrshire, with all money raised going to Aberlour, the largest solely Scottish children’s charity which runs over 40 services across Scotland. Funds raised are set to benefit local service Ardfin Road in Prestwick, which provides shortbreak respite care and general support services for children

affected by a range of learning and physical disabilities. Val Russell said “I am a huge fan of Strictly, therefore am expecting a few tears as well as laughter but it’s all in a great cause. “The Chamber is delighted to support Aberlour, who are members, in this new fundraising venture and would urge others to either sponsor

a dancer or come along and see us in action on 12th November.” To support this event, tickets are priced £50, tiered sponsorship packages are available and corporate auction/raffle donations will receive recognition and promotion, please call 0845 099 0959. Or why not sponsor Val at


It has to be Eureka for Sage products FOR over 15 years, East Kilbride based Eureka Solutions really have proven that if you are thinking about Sage software, they are definitely the people to talk to.

Recent contract wins have bolstered the company’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading Sage Business Partners in ERP, CRM, manufacturing and retail solutions. Eureka’s recent wins include companies in the retail and wholesale industries such as Lindy Electronics and Tartan Plus, the Scottish souvenir retailer. Lindy Electronics, a multinational wholesaler of electronic components, has its UK base in Yorkshire. Eureka is to provide a new Sage 200 system with integration to their ecommerce website. Businesses will be able to find out much more about Sage products – and Eureka’s unique approach – at an exciting 8

your ayrshire business autumn 2011

business show being held in East Kilbride on 27th October. Eureka360, the first show of its kind, will include exhibitions and seminars demonstrating business solutions provided by Eureka and their key business partners from throughout the UK and Ireland. This event will provide information of vital interest to Scottish businesses as they plan for the future. “Eureka is a long established Sage Partner and are acknowledged as one of the most technically competent in the UK - we are very proud of that,” explained managing director Alistair Livingstone. “This coupled with our focus on customer service has been key part of our continued growth.” “Eureka360 will showcase a range of solutions we can provide to make companies run more efficiently on a day-to-day basis and I would urge businesses across central Scotland to come along.”


Success in the public sector minefield IRVINE based company, Tasteee Catering Services, shows no signs of slowing its ambitious growth strategy. Having strengthened its procurement practices by attending a training programme provided by the North Ayrshire Council, the catering firm has recently successfully won two highly sought-after public sector contracts.

Having been awarded the catering contracts for both Eastwood Park Leisure and Theatre cafe and Barrhead Sports Centre in East Renfrewshire, Craig Denholm, MD of Tasteee Catering Services, attests his success in part to the effective advice provided by the team at the North Ayrshire Council Tendering Support programme. “I’d become increasingly conscious


your ayrshire business autumn 2011

of the potential opportunities within the public sector for catering companies and wanted to invigorate our approach to application methodologies and processes as a result. I attended the day long workshop earlier this year, and found it a thoroughly valuable experience. Guiding us through the tendering process, the course explained the current procurement landscape, providing invaluable tips and techniques to consider when researching potential clients and their procurement strategies. The team delivered fantastic sessions, preparing me for the tendering process and enabling me to take a more proactive approach in applying for contracts while successfully tiptoeing through the minefield that is public sector contract procurement,” Denholm continued.

Designed to strengthen and facilitate growth, the Tendering Workshop provided by the North Ayrshire Council Business Development department is one of many courses available to local businesses. The value of such courses has been praised by the Chief Executive of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Martin Cheyne, “Ayrshire Chamber is delighted to note that Tasteee Catering has recently won two large public sector contracts. “Public sector procurement is always a challenge for Chamber Members but this is a prime example of the Chamber being able to support its members both by providing training courses and by providing networking opportunities. Congratulations to Craig Denholm and his team.”

Food for Thought

In conjunction with the Farm Park owners, Craig and Edna Rankin, Head Chef Scott Mulveny carried out a thorough review of the menus on offer within the Park because as Edna Rankin explains; “We are a facility which attracts thousands of young families each year, and many of them eat within our restaurants. Therefore, when we were made aware of this initiative, we felt it was our responsibility to ensure that we were doing our utmost to provide a choice of healthy, tasty and affordable


FOLLOWING a rigorous review of their restaurants’ offerings, Heads of Ayr Farm Park’s new menu has been recognised with a Healthy Living Award, which is managed and delivered by the Scottish Consumer Council and funded by the Scottish Government.

options for all members of the family. To that end, we have introduced a variety of dishes including homemade soup, salads, baked potatoes and sandwiches all using local produce and suppliers whenever possible.” An integral part of the Scottish

Government’s Healthy Living campaign, the Healthy Living Award is a national award for the foodservice sector in Scotland that rewards caterers who make it easier for their customers to eat healthily when eating out.

NHS rations ‘non-urgent’ surgery HIP and knee replacements, tonsil removal and cataracts surgery are just a few of the operations being rationed by the NHS in a bid to save money.

Research by shows that two thirds of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are now limiting ‘nonurgent’ treatments as part of a drive to reduce costs in the NHS by £20 billion over the next four years. One in three of the 111 PCTs involved in the research have also expanded the list of procedures that they will no longer fund, with some expecting to save more than £1 million by restricting referrals from GPs. This rationing is leading to significant changes such as hip and knee replacements only being carried out where patients are in severe pain, cataracts operations being put on hold until a patient’s sight problems are ‘substantially’ affecting their ability to work, and children only undergoing tonsil removal if they have suffered from at least seven bouts of tonsillitis in a 12–month period. With different PCTs rationing different treatments, we are now faced with postcode lotteries in provision.

According to negotiator for the British Medical Association’s GPs Committee, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the Government must devise a consistent set of national standards of ‘low priority’ treatments across the UK to solve this problem. He said: “The problem with different low-priority thresholds is that they are often drawn up on the basis of local interpretation of evidence. Ultimately that is not fair to patients. “Patients and the public recognise that with limited resources we need to make the maximum health gains and so there needs to be prioritisation. What is inequitable is that different PCTs are applying different thresholds and criteria.” Waiting for non-urgent operations can be a long and stressful process and increasing restrictions on treatment will make it even more so. Westfield Health, official health cash plan provider to the BCC, recognises the importance of having quick and easy access to treatment and surgery. The Chamber Primary Health Plan provides access to a range of cash benefits and health & wellbeing services including dental, optical, physiotherapy, diagnostic

consultations and scanning. Westfield’s S u r g e r y Choices is also available as an add-on benefit, giving policyholders access to up to 60 different surgical procedures normally classed by the NHS as nonurgent and that typically have long waiting periods. These can include operations for hip and knee problems, cataracts, varicose veins, slipped discs and hernias. For just an extra £1.24 per employee, per week, employers who purchase the Chamber Plan can also provide their staff with Surgery Choices cover, giving them more choice and control over their own healthcare and helping them to return to work sooner. The Chamber Primary Health Plan is available to all members of Ayrshire Chamber. For more information about the Chamber Plan, please visit or call 0845 602 1629


Innovation: A Scottish Classic A SCHOOL project planted the seeds of an Ayrshire based publishing company, which has moved from paper based books to developing a series of Scottish classic ebooks.

Giglets are currently adapting and illustrating classic texts and plan to keep up with the revolution by releasing two new titles every month. The stories are illustrated and retold in modern language. The ebook revolution is only slowly catching on in Scotland although globally it is moving at a much faster pace. A growing number of people across the globe are embracing ebook technology and carrying their reference texts and favourite novels around on their mobile device to read whenever the mood takes them. Managing Director, Craig Johnstone says: ‘Innovation combined with skill and talent, drives the creative industries in Scotland. We now have the scope to create inventive original products and launch them into a global marketplace. We’ll be relying on the creative workforce available in Scotland to develop and drive Giglets titles as ebook sales continue to grow and out-perform traditional paper publishing.’ Five new Giglets ebooks have been published already and are available on all leading ebook stores. The Giglets team was delighted to see their first ebooks enter the ‘new and notable’ section in three categories on Itunes. Tom Brodie-Browne says: ‘We were delighted with this initial success. Our first titles were all adaptations of classic texts by Scottish authors. It’s great to see our home-grown creativity combined with Scotland’s rich literary heritage result in products that appeal to consumers around the world.’

Employers can get training cash and boost jobs EMPLOYERS across Scotland are being encouraged to take on people who have struggled to find work in the past through assistance from Skills Development Scotland (SDS). The Employer Recruitment Incentive (ERI) is delivered by SDS, Scotland’s skills body, and offers businesses up to £2000 when they take on someone who has faced barriers to employment in the past. This year, SDS has widened the criteria to offer 6,000 additional incentives to support businesses in Scotland to benefit from the ERI. Among those who will now become eligible for the initiative are individuals aged 18 years and over who have previously been unemployed. For further information, contact Frances Ridge, SDS External Communications Executive on 0141 285 6031 or 0779 868 2960 your ayrshire business autumn 2011


THE recent Chamber family business event at the Horizon Hotel was very enjoyable and informative. I found both Martin Stepek and George Stevenson to be exceptionally good speakers who made the subject matter come alive in an amusing but informative way. I was particularly pleased to be able to meet both of them as I have heard so much about them.

Coming from a family business background, I was already well aware of the myriad of problems which can arise. Relationships in my own family never really recovered from years of feuding so I am keen to help others deal with the emotional conflict and


Chamber event hits the spot differences of opinion which can escalate. These differences may well lead to the disruption of family relationships and unsatisfactory business strategies and procedures, in some cases resulting in the downfall of the business. As a result of my experiences, I am now qualified in Workplace Mediation and Family Mediation and this leads naturally to effective Family Business Mediation. If you would like to know more visit: uk or or contact me on 07761237646

Words by Alicia Smith

Ayrshire Food Network benefits from brand THE Ayrshire Food Network was founded on the principals of collaboration and connectivity and has thrived over 8 years as a result.

As proactive members of the Ayrshire & Arran Chamber Tourism Partnership, we were pleased when an inclusive pan Ayrshire brand was developed. To show our commitment we publicly endorsed the brand, at the launch last October. This fortuitously timed perfectly with the print of our 2011 brochure, so we adopted it immediately. From the choice of alternative strap lines, “Just be connected” seemed a near ideal match. Happily, the brand colours complemented our own, reflecting the land and sea. Reactions have been very positive, but more importantly, it has provided us with a core theme for internal communications and external audiences. No more so than in our communications within the impending Leader project TORE (Tastes of Rural Europe) transnational partners, and with domestic and international trade buyers at the successful Tourism Expo in Aberdeen. We consider the Brand to be inspirational. Let us all get behind it and put into practice the slogan. Howard Wilkinson, Chairperson - Ayrshire Food Network also embracing the brand are and who have incorporated the brand into websites and marketing materials. Keep up the good work! your ayrshire business autumn 2011



Get ahead, get a student! DO you have a short term project you need progressed within your business? Maybe website development, strategy review, product design, marketing implementation – the list is endless. An exciting new partnership between the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils Scotland and a consortium of educational establishments can help you tap into the expertise of an ambitious, enthusiastic student to suit your project needs. Education into Enterprise, a business-led student work placement programme, can help you get ahead.

As employers know, there are many work placement schemes to choose from and finding the right one for the business can be time consuming and even confusing; so we’ll help to put EiE into perspective: • The emphasis of this programme is for the host employer to lead on the length, location and timing of the placement to best suit the business requirements. • A website will be available for employers to register placement details and for students to register their skills and availability. Dedicated Work Placement Co-ordinators, based at each college/university, will work closely with employers to place the most suited students. If you r project is applicable to the skills available, you will receive a shortlist of candidates to interview. • Working closely with the student and the EiE team, the employer will be assisted in translating the

business requirement into a defined project with measurable outcomes. Typical project duration will be 30-90 days • Students participating in the programme within the Ayrshire area will come from James Watt College. Many of the courses within the college will be participating in the programme, providing employers with students studying from HNC level up to Degree level. • Host employers would pay only reasonable expenses incurred e.g. travel. A key focus of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) will be to ensure our Chambers’ members are introduced to the initiative, and their needs managed effectively, should they wish to take advantage of both the student and the EiE team resource available. SCC involvement in the programme is being managed by Fiona McCann. Fiona comes to the SCC with many years of business experience and is using this to ensure that the business voice is heard within the ongoing delivery of the programme. The main drive for registering student availability is commencing now as stude nts start a new academic year. Employers will be invited to register placement opportunities from October 2011. Should any employer wish more information on EiE, or wish to register interest in participating, please contact Fiona directly at:

RIDDOR Reporting Update PLANNED change for reporting work related injuries and incidents under RIDDOR 95 From 12 September 2011, the system for all reportable work-related injuries and incidents under RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995) will move to a predominantly online system, with a suite of seven forms 16

your ayrshire business autumn 2011

available on HSE's website to make the statutory reporting process quick and easy.

Presently more than half of reportable injuries are already notified to HSE through the website and this proportion has been increasing steadily over recent years. Taking advantage of the growing use of the internet allows HSE to be more efficient in the way it works. Businesses and members of the public seeking information

and official guidance on health and safety can use HSE's website, which features information on the most frequent health and safety enquiries such as those on RIDDOR reporting, First Aid and the health and safety responsibilities of new businesses. If you need help with your health and safety issues please contact qdos 01455 852028 or email

This spectacular new building situated in Kilmarnock’s Kay Park is a major asset to East Ayrshire, and Scotland. Rising out of the ashes of a fire that almost destroyed the renowned WG Stevenson statue of Burns and the famous monument, Alex Salmond said “The creation of the centre involved snatching triumph out of disaster” and the idea of housing family, local history, archives and registration services under one roof was “an act of genius”.

The Burns Monument Centre boasts an 85 seat state-of-the-art, fully equipped auditorium, the Robert Burns Suite, designed for use as a Civil Ceremony or Conference Suite, making the Burns Monument Centre a spectacular venue in which to hold weddings or other ceremonies. An attractively designed and flexible space, it can be tailored to suit individual needs. It has hosted a wide variety of high profile events including Imprint, East Ayrshire’s annual Book Festival. The Burns Monument Centre is the first custom-built venue in Scotland designed to make it easy to trace your family tree and to place that information in a local

context. You can come into the centre knowing only your own birth date and come out with a printed family tree chart showing who your ancestors were, where they were born, were married, lived and died. Importantly however, you can also get the information that locates where they are buried and through the local history and archives services the contextual information that gives a picture of what their lives were like. Services provided in the Burns Monument Centre: • Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages • Family and local history services • Archives services

• Conference centre • Venue for civil weddings and ceremonies • The Robert Burns Suite and Meeting rooms can be hired out for private conferences • BMC houses a Burns Collection consisting of 1500 volumes which contain poetry, songs, letters and information on Burns’s association with Ayrshire • BMC houses archives (stored to BS 5454) which have been previously scattered across Ayrshire. For more information visit

your ayrshire business autumn 2011



Burns Monument Centre


Chamber Golf Challenge 2011 West Kilbride Golf Club OVER 40 golfers were ready to GET TEED OFF, as they gathered at the picturesque West Kilbride Golf Club, for a competitive round of golf in teams of 4, for a Stableford competition.

The sun shone all day providing excellent golfing conditions, for our golfers, along with spectacular views of the Ayrshire Coast from the fairways! After a great lunch in the club house, the all important prize giving revealed the winning team, to be Ivory Solutions Ltd, on 51 points, they were presented with a trophy sponsored by Reids Trophies, 4 ball at the famous Kintyre Course, sponsored by the Westin Turnberry

Resort and golf bag and clubs sponsored by Amer Sport , Ltd. In close second place, also with 51 points was Stellar UK Ltd, beaten on a count down at the final hole, and O’ Neil Gas Services picked up the third team place. Individual prizes went to Gary Wallace of Fortress Security Ltd for longest drive and nearest the pin, was Mark Raymond, also of Fortress Security Ltd.

Prize and hole sponsors include Murphy Financial, The Pinewood Restaurant, Everything Everywhere, The Waterside Hotel, Atlas Communications, Ayrshire Business in the Community, Fortress Security Ltd, Adcraft Ltd, Reid Trophies, Westfield Health, Spirit Aero Systems , Stellar UK, Dewar Rattray, and West Kilbride Golf Course.

Communication is the key A THIRD of UK business managers will sack service providers who they feel neglect or ignore them, according to research published by customer communication experts Pitney Bowes.

Lack of communication was the key issue prompting customers to find alternative suppliers; nearly a third of respondents saying they aren’t told about updates and developments, while more than a quarter found it difficult to get answers from call centre employees. Phil Hutchinson, Pitney Bowes Tactical Marketing Director, said: “It’s essential for small and medium business enterprises to protect their existing customer base in the current economic climate, where business owners are constantly forced to consider their costs.” Many business managers felt the efforts of their service providers, including office suppliers, IT support services and printing, were skewed towards customer acquisition rather than customer retention. “Winning new business can be more expensive than retaining existing customers, which not only

provides stability but can also lead to impressive growth,” Hutchinson added. According to the findings, small and medium businesses including office suppliers, printing and IT support services are most at risk of customer churn according to the findings, while law firms – who have communications at their core – were least at risk. Hutchinson believes there are five simple ways to dramatically decrease customer churn and nurture existing customers: 1. Make your existing customers feel special with loyalty deals and sales, throwing in a freebie from time to time to thank them for their business and calling or mailing them to tell them the good news. A major complaint of existing customers is that special offers and freebies are only offered to new clients. 2. Ensure internal communication is a high priority; often small and medium businesses see little value in this area because it isn’t customer-facing, but in fact sharing customer data appropriately in any business can open up obvious crossand up-selling opportunities based on the past behaviours of existing clients.

3. Find out straight away how they prefer to be contacted. If they don’t want to be called on the phone, then don’t call them – they could end up firing you just to get some peace. If it’s mail or e-mail they’re after, make sure yours are personalised and stand out from the crowd. 4. Make sure your sales and call centre staff know what they’re talking about: and understand the importance of existing clients. Often the first point of contact, an unhelpful phone call or incorrect information can lose you a lucrative client. 5. If you do lose a customer, find out why they left and offer to make amends but do it tactfully. Know their name, their business and how long they’ve been with your company. Make it personal and send a small gift and note thanking them for the duration of their business with you. Hutchinson said, “Alternative service providers and suppliers are only a phone call or mouse-click away for those businesses unhappy with how they are being treated, so it pays to nurture the customers you already have.” (article by Michelle Fowler, Senior Account Executive, Lucre) your ayrshire business autumn 2011



Free advice to drive down your costs IN today’s competitive business environment it is vital to reduce costs to increase profitability. One way of achieving this is by using energy and resources more efficiently.

The local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre, based at Auchincruive, can provide a package of free services to assist you in identifying potential savings. Furthermore there are interest free loans available to support you in taking forward any recommendations. The loans are funded by the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland. The services include: • Free in-depth energy audits – (for businesses with energy bills less than £30,000p.a.) you will


your ayrshire business autumn 2011

receive a half day consultancy on site followed by a comprehensive report detailing potential savings ; • Transport reviews – you will receive consultancy from a transport specialist to identify cost saving measures followed by a comprehensive report of recommendations; • Fuel efficient driver training – the advice centre can organise training for a heavily subsidised rate of only £10 (excluding VAT) per person. After training you could save as much as two months’ worth of fuel in a year. • Employee awareness training – the advice centre can help you to promote energy efficiency and sustainable transport to employees through presentations, leaflets and newsletter articles. This is an

effective way for a business to demonstrate its corporate responsibility to its workforce as well as motivating staff. Laura MacAulay, Marketing Manager for the advice centre said, “The continuing rise in energy and fuel prices is making it more expensive for all of us to deliver services. We can provide local businesses with a tailored package of free advice services to help address this issue and hopefully show a positive impact on their balance sheet.” To find out more about the services and financial support available call Laura on 0800 512 012 or email laura.macaulay@sw.energysaving

Suicide Prevention Week across Ayrshire

“SUICIDE. Don’t Hide it. Talk about it”. That’s the message Choose Life is sending out to people in Ayrshire to mark Suicide Prevention Week (5-11th September).

Every day, two people take their own lives in Scotland and it is the biggest killer of young people. In 2010 , 46 people in Ayrshire lost their life to suicide, leaving behind a trail of devastation and unanswered questions. To help tackle this issue, a nationwide campaign consisting of radio and online advertising launched during Suicide Prevention Week. The message is simple: if you are feeling suicidal, call a helpline such as Breathing Space or Samaritans, or talk to someone you trust. If you are worried about someone please take the time to talk to them. Just talking

can make a difference. Choose Life Co-ordinators from North, South and East Ayrshire say “We hope to reduce the stigma and myths that surround suicide and give people the confidence to talk about the issue and not ignore it” The campaign is part of the work of Choose Life, Scotland’s national strategy and action plan to prevent suicide. Since the launch of the strategy in 2002, Choose Life in Ayrshire has worked hard to raise awareness of suicide prevention and offer training (safeTALK, ASIST and STORM) and awareness raising for communities, workplaces and organisations. If you want to find out more about these training opportunities please contact your local Choose Life Co-ordinator: North Ayrshire 01294 475954 South Ayrshire 01292 513989 East Ayrshire 01563 576717

Or phone the training co-ordination team on 01560 826 243 for booking information If you are feeling suicidal or suspect that someone you know is considering suicide, there are a number of helplines to contact: - Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90 - Breathing Space: 0800 83 8587 (Mon – Thurs 6pm-2am; Weekends: Fri 6pm – Mon 6am) - ChildLine: 0800 11 11 - Copeline: 0800 056 81 81 - National Debt line: 0808 808 4000 (Mon – Fri 9am – 9pm, Sat 9.30 – 1pm) Or if you have been bereaved by suicide contact Touched by Suicide 01294 229087 For more information about how you can involved with Choose Life visit SUICIDE. DON’T HIDE IT. TALK ABOUT IT

Don’t let conflict get out of hand THE Scottish Mediation Helpline (SMH) is set up to provide the public with a simple, low cost way of resolving a wide range of disputes. The SMH answers general enquiries about mediation and puts parties in contact with a mediator. What is Mediation? Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without going to court. It involves an independent mediator who helps both parties agree a solution to their problem. Who are the Mediators? The Scottish Mediation Helpline mediators are all members of the Scottish Mediation Register and meet the benchmark standards of

the Scottish Mediation Register Standards Board. Finding you a Mediator • You can either call us directly on 0131 556 8118 or email • Your contact details will be taken and we will refer you to one of the approved mediators local to you. • They will contact you to discuss your dispute and, if all parties agree to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a time and place for the mediation. • If a claim about a dispute has been issued by the Court you must inform the Court in writing, that the dispute is going to be mediated. The Costs of Mediation Mediation can be cheaper than

litigation and takes less time for an outcome to be reached. Parties can discuss issues early on before legal costs escalate. Taking a case to Court can take months and involves considerable legal expense. There can be extra costs for reading court documents, consulting lawyers and attending court. The Court charges for enforcing settle¬ments and there is no guarantee that the enforcement will be effective. In contrast, Helpline mediations are time-limited, meaning that costs are also limited. What do I do now? Call us on 0131 556 8118 or your ayrshire business autumn 2011




THE Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce was delighted to host the Celebration and Assessment day for Go4SET Ayrshire earlier this year. Go4SET is one of the schemes organised by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT). The EDT is a charity with the sole aim of working with industry and education to provide an opportunity for the best of young Scottish students to pursue a career into engineering, science and technology.

The celebration and assessment day was the culmination of 10 weeks of hard work by 16 teams of second year pupils led by their teacher and aided by mentors from local companies and organisations. The teams presented their projects to a judging panel made up of local business people who were extremely impressed by the high quality of work produced by all the teams. At the end of the day, the overall winners were announced as the team from Kilmarnock Academy, led by their teacher Lynsey Johnstone and mentored by Irene King from Asda (Kilmarnock). The team then went on to take

part in the Scottish National Final. This worthwhile endeavour would not be possible without the generous support of the mentors and their organisations so many thanks go to Alex McMail (BPI), Ian Kennedy and John Bradley (ArdaghGlass), Greig Blaney and Moira Weatherup (Dumfries and Galloway Council), Safaquat Safi

First Aid at Work Training Courses TRAINING in skills and knowledge to achieve standards of competence of a fully qualified first aider in the workplace. Health and Safety Executive Approved and compliant with the Health and Safety (First Aid at Work) Regulations 1981

and James Weilding (GlaxoSmithKline), Ian McFadzean (Goodrich), Mathew Lamont (Asher Associates) and Irene King (Asda). If you would like to know more about the Go4SET scheme please contact or visit the website at

3 Day Courses Start dates: 19th September 24th October 28th November 5th December Cost: £216 (£300 non members) Facilitator: ARC Training Venue: Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine To book call Anne Reid 01292 678666

your ayrshire business autumn 2011



Building the Future


The Board of Directors wishes to take this opportunity to welcome these companies on recently joining Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Member to members discounts are highlighted. Aberlour Child Care Trust 36 Park Terrace Stirling FK8 2JR Contact: Sarah Nicholson Tel: 01786 450335 Childrens Charity Advanced Storage Systems 37 Macadam Place South Newmoor Business Park Irvine KA11 4HP Contact: Jim Ferguson Tel: 0845 880 2626 Design, supply & installation of pallet racking shelving & associated products, with free surveys. AMAS Scotland Ltd 14a Beresford Terrace Ayr KA7 2EG Contact: Jane Grant Tel: 01292 291010 General Accountancy Practitioner. Taxation work & management accountancy Services. AMD Studios Ltd 9 Inkerman Court South Beach Road Ayr KA7 1HF Contact: Anthony Darcy Tel: 01292 263640 Digital video production & photography. Aspire2gether Alexander Fleming Building Hannah Research Park Ayr KA6 5HL Contact: Louise Christie Tel: 01292 670674 Deliver services for councils & housing associations across Ayrshire. Atomised Co-operative Ltd 7 Loudoun Court Darvel KA17 0BF Contact: Alasdair Macmillan Tel: 07866218073 Branding, web design & development company. Ayrshire Association of Business Women 11 Lamford Drive Doonfoot Ayr South Ayrshire KA6 7LR Contact: Liz Cooper Tel: 07729731984 Association for professional managerial & entrepreneurial women in Ayrshire. 24

your ayrshire business autumn 2011

Ayrshire Tree Surgeons Fairlieward Fairlie KA29 0BH Contact: Chris Calvey Tel: 0793192 7101 Tree surgery, professional tree inspections & surveys, biological surveys. Beaver Printing Unit 3 17 Avenue Street Stewarton Kilmarnock KA3 5AP Contact: Mr John Ainsworth Tel: 01560 48541 Keen prices for Chamber members Cann Print Crookedholm Commercial Centre Main Road Kilmarnock KA3 6LX Contact: Andi McCann Tel: 01563 572440 Commercial print, business stationery, colour magazines, screen printing Carrick Lean Consultancy 15 Neward Crescent Prestwick KA9 2JB Contact: Alex Morton Tel: 01292 476397 Rapid sustainable improvements. Coolbawn Consulting 26 Dundonald Road Troon KA10 6NR Contact: Karen Callow Tel: 01292 222307 Quality, environmental & safety management systemsimplementation & audit. Community Care Homes Ltd Westbank Care Home 28 Titchfield Road Troon KA10 6AN Contact: Mairi Riley Tel: 01292 311246 Nursing home for elderly clients. Dumfries Arms Hotel 54 Glaisnock Street Cumnock KA18 1BY Contact: John Campbell Tel: 01290 429230 Hotel, conference & wedding venue.

Dyno-Rod Ltd SW Scotland Unit 3 Kyle Business 2 Cunninghame Road Irvine KA12 8JJ Contact: George Kerr Tel: 01294 272713 24 hour emergency care & repair for drains, plumbing. Ecosse Group Limited 11 Maybole Road Ayr KA7 2PZ Contact: Alan Weldon Tel: 07736865170 Telecommunications provider, niche & low cost general solutions.

Egger Barony Ltd Barony Road Auchinleck KA18 2LL Contact: Debbie Fitzgerald Tel: 01290 426026 Manufacturer of wood based panels. Emporium 125 Main Street Prestwick KA9 1LA Contact: 01292 677991 Tel: 01292 677991 Clothing retailer. Everything Everywhere Ellismuir House Ellismuir Way Tannochside Park Udingston G71 5PW Contact: Gordon Jess Tel: 07841192774 Mobile network provider for business to business mobile contracts. GE Optical 38 Main Street Kilbirnie North Ayrshire KA25 7BY Contact: Yvonne Wilson Tel: 01505 683672 Independent Optician

Handy Haulage Logistics Ltd 21 Whittle Place South Newmoor Industrial Estate Irvine KA11 4HR Contact: Alan Porter Tel: 01294 538133 Independent transport company with extensive UK & international networks.

JD Embroidery Ltd Wundralea Newfield Dundonald KA2 9BQ Contact: David Torbit Tel: 01563 850973 Embroidery & printing for corporate, schools, leisure & catering. J Gran Electrical 2 Ladykirk Road Prestwick KA9 1JW Contact: John Cann Tel: 07766725955 Electrical work; industrial, commercial, domestic & electrical installation, testing, alarms, 24hr call out. John & Christine Boyd T/A Brisbane Taxis T/A Waterside Motors 3 George Street Largs KA30 8AJ Contact: Christine Boyd Tel: 01475 689990 Taxi company & MOT testing & repair service McCallum Bagpipes Ltd Moorfield Industrial Estate Troon Road Kilmarnock KA2 OBA Contact: Stuart MaCallum Tel: 01563 527002 Piping, drumming & highland dress specialists. McCaig Renewables 3 Old Farm Road Heathfield Ayr KA8 9ST Contact: John McCaig Tel: 01292 283018 Supplier & installer of solar panels, wind turbines & heat pumps. New Horizons Creative Solutions 43 Melville Street Kilmarnock East Ayrshire KA3 7EW Contact: Ms Susan Chan Tel: 01563 528801

NMT Plant Ltd 24 The Cross Beith KA15 1BS Contact: Neil MacTaggart Plant Hire - civil engineering.

Roseangle Gardeners Cottage Dumfries House Cumnock Ayrshire Contact: Jonathan Bryant Tel: 07717581221 Consultants.

Sign Language Interactions Ltd referred by Stobbs the Bakers 127-29 Crown Street Suite 10 Ayr KA8 8AG Contact: Andrew Dewey Tel: 01292 269542 Sign language interpreters & electronic notetakers.

Smyth Contract Services Limited 12 Brailsford Crescent Kilmarnock KA2 OLH Contact: Scott Smyth Tel: 07861298145 Quantity surveying services including commercial & contractual advice to the construction industry.

TaxAssist Accountants Ayr 10 Parkhouse Street Ayr KA7 2HH Contact: Mike Wood Phone: 01292 619933 Accountant to small businesses, core services accountancy, bookkeeping, tax & payroll.

Team Singh Personal Fitness Training 7A Bensley Avenue Girdle Toll Irvine KA11 1AH Contact: Ricky Singh Tel: 07725988144 Personal training, fit camps, weight loss, boot camps, health & wellness.

Tom Cairns Photography 1 Holehouse Road Kilmarnock KA3 7AR Contact: Tom Cairns Tel: 01563 535064 Wedding, portrait, events, commercial & fine art photography. The Eden Lodge Hotel Shore Road Whiting Bay Isle of Arran KA27 8QH Contact: Finola Gow Tel: 07917809273 Hotel, Bars and Restaurants Wallacetoun & Newton Dynamic 16 George Street Ayr KA8 0BL Contact: Joe Lafferty Tel: 01292 270005 Social Enterprise company involved in providing cleaning & clear up services for clients with reference to void properties.

Wai-Yin Hatton referred by Alf Hatton Associates 22 Station Road Ayr South Ayrshire KA7 4LL Contact: Wai-yin Hatton Tel: 01292 500671 Consultant

Wm Murchland & Co Ltd 10-16 Grange Street Kilmarnock KA1 2AR Contact: Greg McTaggart Tel: 04563 525051 Construction services provider, core business plumbing, sub contracting & general construction. Energy renewable XFM Information Management Unit 7 Wellheads Crescent Wellheads Industrial Estate Dyce Aberdeen AB21 7GA Contact: David Rowan Tel: 01224 214970 Printing, reprographics, shredding, secure storage, mailroom management, scanning & archiving, web & graphic design. 10% Discount on all services your ayrshire business autumn 2011



Hendrie Brothers (Millands) Ltd referred by Braehead Cookschool 3 Station Road Galston KA4 8HS Contact: Wallace Hendrie Tel: 01563 820316 Milk, beef, environment supply & procure dairy cattle replacements & process cull cows.


EVENTS ROUND UP by Chamber Events Co-ordinator Yvonne Munro             

                              

                                               


your ayrshire business autumn 2011

                                                                        

                                                            

your ayrshire business Autumn 2011  
your ayrshire business Autumn 2011  

the magazine of ayrshire chamber of commerce and industry