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EAST ANGLIA u ss ii nn ee ss ss ii nn bb u
THE EAST OF ENGLAND – THE NATION’S POWERHOUSE ISSUE 01
General of the Armies John J. Pershing
Cambridge American Cemetery, Memorial and Visitor Center
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
Explore the Visitor Center and connect with a powerful story of courage and determination. All visitor services free; group tours available Entry FREE; group tours available | Fully accessible > Coton, 3 miles west ofChildren’s downtownactivities Cambridge available phone 01954 210 350 > By bike, use the path to Coton, then Madingley email email@example.com Madingley | Coton | Cambridge | CB23 7PH > By car, take the A1303 roadRoad towards Bedford > PHONE By bus,01954 use the City Sightseeing 210 350 EMAIL bus firstname.lastname@example.org www.abmc.gov 2 Photos: Arthur Brookes and US NARA www.abmc.gov > Hours: 9–5 daily except Christmas & New Year’s
F O RE WORD
I ntro duc t ion
FOREWORD We are at the cusp of a new era for the East of England. This is our time to think big, dream big and deliver big to fulfil the aspirations of businesses here today and in the future.
his is why, Iâ€™m delighted to welcome you to the first issue of East Anglia in Business which seeks to bring people together, encourage collaboration, champion sustainable growth and showcase our competitive advantage. Our diverse economy is a real strength and we have the opportunity to drive high growth in the clean energy, ICT/ digital and agri-food sectors. We need to build on that. Many of our successful industries benefit from the advantages and resources offered by our location, with major opportunities for growth into new and developing markets nationally and globally.
No matter the outcome of Brexit, we all have a role to play in coming up with new ideas, being successful and growing our economy in a sustainable way. I look forward to meeting you in the region, working with you to achieve our shared ambitions and supporting you in delivering your business aspirations. There are great opportunities out there for you to seize and run with.
This is a unique area where ambitious people like you can flourish and join up with others feeling supported by an established business network, including Growth Hubs, FSB, chambers of commerce, CBI, IOD and LEPs. You can feel energised here because there is space to think, breathe and create. Our business, leisure and lifestyle conditions are giving us a leading edge over other parts of the country. For example, innovation and advanced manufacturing are world-class in this region and every sector can and should benefit from this. The economy grows when individual businesses grow, and there are great resources available in the region for you to take your business to the next stage. Therefore, I invite you to connect with local suppliers, get in touch with your Growth Hub advisers and help develop your teamâ€™s skills fit for the future.
Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
CO N TEN T S
C ON T E N T S
Foreword 03 We are at the cusp of a new era for the East of England. This is our time to think big, dream big and deliver big to fulfil the aspirations of businesses here today and in the future.
Business Comment 06|07 Did you know that the East (Norfolk and Suffolk) contributes over £35 billion every year to the UK economy? Since 2010 our economy has grown by 9%, outstripping many ‘powerhouse’ areas.
Education & Training 08|15 The 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week - is set to take place in March 2019.
Today’s Manager 16|17 Whether you voted Leave or Remain, you were probably bewildered by the Government’s excruciating attempts to negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU.
Q&A 18|19 Interview with Andrew Brammer, Managing Director of PSS
C O NT E NTS
Editor Ellen Rossiter ellen.rossiter@ distinctivepublishing.co.uk
Design Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 580 5990 www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk
The Big Interview 26|29 “To grow you need to do something new or different,” observes Stylianos ‘Stelios’ Kavadias. As Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation and Growth at the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School and as Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre innovation and growth are the focus of his work.
Managing Innovation 30|31 There is a tendency to think of innovation in terms of the introduction and application of exciting, life changing new technologies. People like Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison with the telephone and the electric light bulb, and latterly Stephanie Kwolek and Steve Jobs with Kevlar and the iPhone, have a lot to answer for!
Energy Focus 34|43 “There’s a revolution taking place off the east coast of England,” observes Simon Gray, and it is a revolution that is steadily shifting the UK’s reliance on traditional energy sources to renewables.
Finance 46|49 Smaller businesses are a fundamental part of the UK economy, driving growth and employment creation.
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Social East Anglia in Business @EAinBusiness
Digital and IT 50|57 Since the millennium, digital marketing has become a part of how almost every company, from multi-national to sole trader, attracts new business.
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BU SI N E SS C OM M E NT Ne w A ng l i a L EP
THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY By Doug Field,
Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Joint Chief Executive of the East of England Co-op
id you know that the East (Norfolk and Suffolk) contributes over £35 billion every year to the UK economy? Since 2010 our economy has grown by 9%, outstripping many ‘powerhouse’ areas. With more than 66,000 enterprises and worldrenowned centres of research and innovation, the East is the second fastest growing area for high-growth firms in the UK. It is a fact that investment here delivers growth.
NEW ANGLIA LEP email@example.com 01603 510070 www.newanglia.co.uk
We have a great opportunity with our highgrowth sectors – clean energy, agri-food and ICT/ digital to supercharge our economy. Your business can benefit from this by tapping into the business support networks, sourcing funding and connecting with people across sectors. Priorities
n Deliver grant programmes and support achieving growth, innovation and productivity. n Lead a cross sector ‘trade global, supply local’ campaign opening up supply chain opportunities for local businesses. n Prioritise digital and physical infrastructure projects. n Provide improved access to finance and assist business capability in identifying skills deficits. n Establish new centres of excellence to improve productivity and innovation, providing new skills for business leaders and employees. Achieving these ambitions will put our area, neighbouring counties and the UK in good stead for continued sustainable growth.
The East’s economic strategy clearly outlines our potential, ambitions and objectives. To underpin our ambitions and make sure we set the right priorities, we have developed a detailed and accurate understanding of our economy and business base.
We can make this happen but we need your involvement and commitment. Great or small, all businesses can play their part in this. Grab this opportunity to make the East of England the best place to meet aspirations and do business.
Based on the strategy, the LEP is producing a delivery plan with key partners to help increase investment in our area, drive productivity and help firms move into new markets and products. One of our key roles is providing funding and grants, and through the New Anglia Growth Hub advise on tax, R&D, attracting skilled people and legal requirements to take businesses forward.
Business support and advice
Since the LEP started seven years ago, business grants awarded by New Anglia LEP and the Growth Hub have passed £20m, created 2,400 jobs and attracted £160m private investment.
We are working closely with public and private sector partners to:
Businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk can access a wide range of grants and funding through New Anglia LEP. We have grants from £1,000 to £500,000 to support business development and growth. To discuss grants and finance for your business, contact the New Anglia Growth Hub for free and impartial advice. We can also offer loans
B U SINE SS C O MME NT Ne w A ng li a L E P
to kick-start infrastructure projects through our Growing Places Fund, and equity and investment through New Anglia Capital. New Anglia Growth Hub Need a trusted opinion on tax, growing your business, how to attract more skilled people or to better understand legal requirements? Get in touch with the New Anglia Growth Hub. Each area of Norfolk and Suffolk has an expert adviser who can help. Address: Felaw Maltings, South Kiln, 42 Felaw Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 8SQ Gathering evidence to help support business We are also seeking your views how Brexit might impact your business or supply chain, both positively and negatively. The more we hear from business, the more able we are to sharpen our business support accordingly and it gives us a louder voice when discussing crucial aspects of Brexit nationally.
The East is home to: n BT’s Global Research and Development HQ at Adastral Park near Ipswich n UK’s ‘All energy Coast’ contributing £35bn to UK plc n Port of Felixstowe handles over 40% of the UK’s container traffic n World leading life science at Norwich Research Park n Cambridge-Norwich Tech Corridor with a £27bn economy n Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) - world leader in marine science and technology, providing innovative solutions for the aquatic environment, biodiversity and food security n Over 250 hectares designated as Enterprise Zones – with great business support and opportunities
Brexit checklist www.newanglia.co.uk/brexit/ New Anglia LEP has a checklist on its website to help you get Brexit ready.
E D UCAT I ON & T RA INING
E duc at ion & S k i l l s F und i ng A genc y
THE BENEFITS OF GOVERNMENT APPRENTICESHIP REFORMS TO EMPLOYERS
Apprenticeships offer employers large and small a fantastic opportunity to get the skilled workforce they need to grow their business.
here are hundreds of thousands of employers up and down the country that are already seeing the positive impact and energy that apprentices are bringing to their workplace. From large multinational companies like Royal Mail and Coca Cola to public sector organisations like the NHS and the Armed forces and much smaller local firms, all types of employer are offering people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to secure a great job and get ahead in their career. To help with this we’ve taken a number of steps to ensure that apprentices are gaining the skills that employers are rightly demanding. Most importantly, we have put quality at the heart of apprenticeships.
We also want employers to be confident that the training their apprentices are receiving is high quality. To support this we have taken decisive action to strengthen the high bar that training providers must already meet before they can register with us. Only training providers that meet the tougher registration requirements can deliver apprenticeship training and access government funding. In April 2017 we introduced the apprenticeship levy to create long-term, sustainable investment in apprenticeship training. All large firms with a pay bill of over £3 million pay the Levy and then they use it to pay for apprenticeship training of their choice. By 2019-20 we will be investing £2.45 billion in the programme annually which means more money is available than ever before for firms to invest in the next generation of workers’ training and skills, with every penny spent on apprenticeships training. Businesses can now also transfer up to 10% – increasing to 25% from April 2019 – of their levy funds to any other employer so they can benefit too.
Businesses can now also transfer up to 10% – increasing to 25% from April 2019 – of their levy funds to any other employer so they can benefit too.
We have completely overhauled the system, working closely with employers and industry to design high quality, more flexible apprenticeships known as ‘standards’. In addition, we require apprentices to spend at least 20% of their time in off the job training, and making sure through the introduction of the end point assessment in standards – delivered by an organisation specialising in these end of apprenticeship tests – apprentices are ‘job ready’. There are already over 350 new standards available in sectors from banking to hairdressing, aerospace engineering to architecture. And there are many more being developed by employers across the country in all sectors and occupations where they want to create an apprenticeship route. To ensure that quality remains consistent, we’re phasing out the old style apprenticeships known as ‘Frameworks’ so that from the start of the 2020/21 academic year, all new apprenticeship starts will be on our new standards. These changes are making sure that today’s apprenticeships reflect what businesses want and need.
And to support smaller employers who don’t pay the Levy, but may be thinking of taking on an apprentice, we recently announced up to £240 million of additional funds to halve their apprenticeship training costs, by reducing the amount of money that they have to pay from 10% to 5%. There’s so many great reasons to hire an apprentice. They are a great way to reenergise your workplace, and bring in the skills your business needs to thrive. Everyone benefits from the economic gain of having a more skilled workforce, which is why we want to continue to encourage all employers – large and small – to take advantage of the changes we have made and consider taking on apprentices. So if you are thinking of taking the plunge and need some help the National Apprenticeships Services is on hand to offer advice and support. I can assure you won’t regret it.
ED U CAT I O N & T RA INI NG E duc at ion & S k il l s F unding A ge nc y
E D UCAT I ON & T RA INING Nat ion a l A p pre nt ice We e k
NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK 4TH MARCH - 8TH MARCH 2019 The 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week - is set to take place in March 2019.
his annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships will bring the whole apprenticeship community together to celebrate the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy. Following the most successful National Apprenticeship Week ever that took place earlier this year, National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – which also coincides with National Careers Week - will look to involve more individuals, employers, partners and providers in activities that highlight the benefits apprenticeships bring to employers and the opportunities apprenticeships present to individuals. National Apprenticeship Week 2018 was recordbreaking: with 780 events taking place across England. The ambition of delivering a 10,000 talks movement - #10kTalks – to inspire the next generation of apprentices in schools across the country was exceeded, reaching over 33,500 people. Over 300 schools joined the 10,000 talks movement and a further 130 schools also hosted teacherto-teacher talks - reaching an additional 2,300 individuals. The Big Assembly reached 20,000 people with a live video stream - showcasing apprentices and employers sharing their apprenticeships stories. Events also took place to celebrate International Women’s Day, apprenticeships diversity and a launch event with the BBC and Sutton Trust
included the announcement of a new groundbreaking apprenticeship programme. Keith Smith, Apprenticeships Director, Education and Skills Funding Agency said: National Apprenticeship Week is an important date in the academic calendar and I am delighted to announce the date for National Apprenticeship Week 2019. The success of previous National Apprenticeship Weeks’, especially during 2018, tells us that one week dedicated to celebrating, promoting and realising the importance of apprenticeships and their impact enables an apprenticeship movement across our sector. This movement sees employers, providers, partners and apprentices themselves grasp the opportunity and get involved in our celebration, creating fascinating events and opportunities to share the many benefits apprenticeship bring. More detail, including the theme, will be confirmed over coming months. I am hopeful that by sharing the date 6 months in advance of the week partners will start to plan some new and exciting activity that they will run during National Apprenticeship Week 2019. More information on National Apprenticeship Week 2019 will be announced on GOV.UK and on social media channels. Follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter and National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn to keep up to date.
E D UCAT I ON & T RA INING S c ie nce I ndu s t r y Pa r tners hi p
USING APPRENTICESHIPS TO BUILD SKILLS FOR INNOVATION IN LIFE SCIENCES Dr. Gillian Burgess, Site Head of UK Research and Vice President at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Board Member of the Science Industry Partnership (SIP) of employers, sets out the business case for greater use of apprenticeships across the life science industries. Gillian Chair’s the SIP’s Education Working Group.
ver the last few years, the life science sector’s approach to recruiting new talent has been undergoing a period of positive transformation. Advances in digital technologies will create enormous possibilities and opportunities across the life science sector and we need people with the necessary skills to optimise these exciting new advances. Until recently, life science companies seeking manufacturing or research and development professionals, focussed their new talent recruitment on a regular intake of graduates straight from University. Of course, such graduate talent has long supported our sector’s ability to innovate, but there is still much more we can do and need to do as we face replacement demand, the increasing introduction of new technologies, and a growing number of skills shortage occupations in key vocational areas.
Through consultation and analysis we have identified a number of shortage occupations, which require immediate action to increase the availability of people with these skills in the labour market. These include informaticians, computational scientists and formulation scientists as well as some engineering roles critical to the adoption of such technologies. In order to meet this challenge, science employers have been turning to apprenticeships and increasingly Degree Level apprenticeships to build a scientific and technical skills pipeline. As an employer, we recognise that skills for innovation are a combination of both the academic and the practical. We increasingly want individuals who can manage and analyse data and use that data to make decisions. We also want team members to have key leadership and management skills, to be able to solve problems, work through challenges, and manage projects.
Our roles range from technical to specialist, all delivering long term and rewarding careers in a growth industry, and many of which can be accessed through apprenticeships.
These drivers and the changing shape of the sector have seen us revise our approach to skills and talent. We have seen an increase in the use of highly specialised, practical and demanding apprenticeships across the science-based industries. We know that the skills’ needs of the future will be driven by the adoption of a range of scientifically focused and digital technologies combined with core science skills. The Science Industry Partnership*, through its Skills Strategy 2025, identified five enabling technologies which will underpin the future success of the science-based sector.
informatics and big data
synthetic biology and biotechnology
Apprenticeships and particularly Degree Apprenticeships can deliver all of this. Degree Apprenticeships combine work, on-the-job learning and funded part-time university education, and hence provide a mixture of mentored workplace learning, practical experience and academic study, and lead to a university degree. The employer-led Science Industry Partnership (SIP), of which Vertex is a member, is working to drive the development of specialist apprenticeships for the sector by identifying the key job roles where an apprenticeship represents the ideal solution to closing a skills gap or shortage.
ED U CAT I O N & T RA INI NG S c ience I ndu st r y Par tne rshi p
The SIP is then developing high-level apprenticeship standards, which are the foundation upon which all apprenticeships are built. One example of this is the Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship Standard, the first one at Degree level to be developed by the employer-led Life Sciences and Industrial Science Trailblazer Group. This approach allows young people to gain a full University honours degree while earning a salary, and working on practical tasks in a laboratory environment. Another innovative approach to specialised education that the SIP has supported is the Apprenticeship Levy, which was developed by the Government, and is designed to encourage apprenticeships. Companies with a payroll of over £3 million must pay into the pot, but companies of any size or payroll can take from the levy pot and utilise the funding for training of an apprentice at any level. All types of life science employers can utilise the levy ‘pot’ to take on new talent and future-proof their organisation. Information on Apprentice Training Providers and Apprentice Training Agencies, which can take on parts of the apprentice training and management process can be found on the Education and Skills Funding Agency website www.gov.uk/ government/organisations/education-andskills-funding-agency The SIP is working to tackle the significant skills challenge the sector faces. Forecasts suggest that the science industries cumulative demand for staff between 2015 and 2025 will be in the range of 180,000 to 260,000 professional and technical staff. Which is one reason why our members worked closely with Government to provide input to a comprehensive skills component to the Life Science Sector Deal. The Deal sets out commitments we have developed with the Government to support and deliver the skills we need for jobs now and in the future.
There is a significant skills challenge ahead and the SIP is working collaboratively with our skills partners, nationally and regionally. Our roles range from technical to specialist, all delivering long term and rewarding careers in a growth industry, and many of which can be accessed through apprenticeships. For all of us in life sciences, innovation is the critical success factor for a sustainable science industry future. This means that we need to equip our incoming new talent with the practical skills to be able to quickly step in to a range of key science occupations, which support us in delivering the products and technologies that, as we say at Vertex, help us create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. *The Science Industry Partnership (SIP) is a network of employers influencing and developing the skills needed for the life science sector. The Life Sciences & Industrial Science Trailblazer group has delivered and received ministerial approval for a range of apprenticeship standards: n
Science Manufacturing Technician
Science Industry Maintenance Technician
Science Manufacturing Process Operative
Science Industry Plant/Process Engineer
Clinical Trials Specialist
SCIENCE INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP www.scienceindustrypartnership.com
E D UCAT I ON & T RA INING WORKING WITH EMPLOYERS TO DELIVER OUTSTANDING APPRENTICESHIPS com pa ny
The College of West Anglia works with over 900 employers, providing training to more than 1,100 apprentices a year, across different industry areas, including engineering, administration and horticulture amongst many others. The college’s apprenticeship provision is the only one in the East of England to have been rated outstanding by Ofsted. The employer benefits of hiring apprentices are numerous.
• Hiring an apprentice is an effective way for any business to develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce • Employers who have an established apprenticeship programme reported that productivity in their workplace had improved by 76% • Other benefits include; increasing employee satisfaction, reducing staff turnover and reducing recruitment costs
01553 815 600 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chloe Ludkin works for Treatt, an ingredients manufacturer, and has successfully completed the level 2 laboratory technician apprenticeship at CWA. “Since I joined Treatt as an apprentice, I have been given so many incredible opportunities, each one bringing new skills to help me develop to a professional level. The apprenticeship stood out to me through the nature of the role and the industry area, while gaining qualifications and earning a wage at the same time. Overall the combination of both has provided me with a fantastic career already and amazing prospects going forward.”
Developing Skills Through Learning
ED U CAT I O N & T RA INI NG A shton s L e ga l
ASHTONS LEADS THE WAY WITH SOLICITOR APPRENTICESHIPS IN EAST ANGLIA Ashtons have apprentices based in each of their five offices, located in Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Thetford and Norwich.
shtons Legal is proud to be continuing to set a trend in the future of training for solicitors in the region. The firm, who became amongst the first firms nationally to adopt the Six Year Solicitors Apprenticeship (originally known as Trailblazer Apprenticeships) now has four aspiring young lawyers training under the scheme. The first to sign up, Sarah-Jane Legge, joined the scheme in September 2016 and is set to qualify as a solicitor in 2022. Apprenticeships generally form a core part of Ashtons’ approach to ‘growing their own’ team members, with six apprentices having been employed by the firm in the past two years. Ashtons currently have four apprentices undertaking solicitor training - the first being Sarah-Jane who is working in the firm’s French Legal Services team in Bury St Edmunds. In September 2017 James Myers, currently working in Personal Injury in Ipswich, became the second employee to commence the programme and is now in his second year. In September of this year, two additional employees began their apprenticeships. Alex Chereches who is part of the Family team in Cambridge and Jo Morrish who works in the Lifetime Planning department, also in Cambridge. Their apprenticeships combine study with being employed in a legal practice doing a full time job. At the end of the six years, students have a qualification equivalent to anyone completing a traditional law degree, LPC and two years training contract. The
course includes 20% of the students time spent ‘off the job’ training which allows them to study as well as earn money whilst being employed by the firm. Ed O’Rourke, CEO of Ashtons comments: “We continue the firm’s successful strategy of training and development by supporting the long term plans of employees. We have a mix of solicitors trained through the ‘traditional’ route and those given the apprenticeship opportunity should they not wish to go to university or law school. In addition this adds to the work we have already done in employing over 40 apprentices over the last four years in a variety of roles across the firm.” Ashtons’s first solicitor apprentice Sarah-Jane Legge comments: “I am thoroughly enjoying the solicitor apprenticeship and am now well into my third year of studying. The monthly tutorials in London with our tutors are invaluable and not once have I felt as though I am doing a distance learning course”.
ASHTONS LEGAL www.ashtonslegal.co.uk
She adds: “It is refreshing to work and study at the same time, knowing that I am gaining vital practical skills. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work in different departments in the firm in order to gain experience before returning to French Legal Services and qualifying as a solicitor in 2022. I would wholeheartedly recommend the solicitor apprenticeship to anyone who wants to work in law.” Ashtons have apprentices based in each of their five offices, located in Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Thetford and Norwich.
TOD AY’S M A N AG ER T he A r t o f Ne go t i at ion
THE ART OF NEGOTIATION Whether you voted Leave or Remain, you were probably bewildered by the Government’s excruciating attempts to negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU.
ew of us are involved in negotiations of such importance and complexity, but we’re all involved in negotiations of one kind or another. It’s part of everyday life – especially if you’re a manager. And whether you’re haggling over a new business contract or talking about the future of the country, the principles of effective negotiation are pretty much the same. Let’s look at these and see what we can learn from Brexit.
TONY ROSSITER Author, Effective Negotiations in easy steps
There are just three basic rules. The first is pure common sense: to have clear objectives. Looking at the Brexit talks, we can see that at an early stage the EU 27 identified maintenance of the integrity of the Single Market and the customs union as their overriding objective. That meant not allowing any ‘cherry-picking’ of the benefits of the Single Market without accepting the obligations of EU membership. UK negotiating objectives included controlling EU immigration, ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK, guaranteeing citizens’ rights, and negotiating a ‘bold and ambitious’ trade agreement with the EU.
The second rule is also obvious common sense: to prepare thoroughly. The better prepared you are for any negotiation, the greater your chances of success. You need to master all the facts and figures and to make sure that you have all the relevant stuff at your fingertips. Talking to colleagues or experts who know more about the subject than you do can be useful. You need to get your arguments in good shape and to make sure that they really stand up. Facts to back up your arguments are really important. More often than not, it’s hard information, rather than subtle argument, that wins the day. Preparation can be looked at as a three-layered pyramid. At the top are your objectives: what you are seeking to achieve. Below that, come the facts and the arguments that will underpin your negotiating position. At the bottom of the pyramid is the foundation – the underlying interests and concerns on which the whole thing is based.
An important part of the preparation is finding out as much as you can about the objectives of the other side.
Whatever your objectives, it’s essential to get your key stakeholders on board and signed up to them before you begin to negotiate. So triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which stipulates a maximum of two years for the completion of a withdrawal agreement, when there were significant unresolved differences within government about the desired outcome, was a mistake. When I represented the UK on one of the EU Council’s Working Groups, the preparatory discussions in Whitehall, thrashing out an agreed UK position, were sometimes more difficult than the subsequent negotiations in Brussels. But it was a crucial first step. If you don’t have agreed, crystal-clear objectives at the outset, you’ll inevitably run into trouble. You’ll be on the back foot from the beginning, and if internal divisions become public
knowledge (as they probably will, sooner or later), they’re likely to be exploited by the opposition. You can hardly blame them.
An important part of the preparation is finding out as much as you can about the objectives of the other side. That’s not always easy, but by looking at previous negotiations they’ve been involved in, or speaking to people who have dealt with them before, or doing a little research, it’s usually possible to get some idea of their approach.
T O D AY ’S MA NAGE R
T he A r t o f Ne go t i at ion
Before you begin, you need to agree the ground rules of the negotiating process. That means agreeing the order and sequence of the different elements of the negotiation. As we have seen with Brexit, this can be crucially important. At the outset of the negotiations (June 2017, shortly after the UK’s General Election) the UK accepted the EU’s phased approach to the talks. This meant that discussions on future trade arrangements could begin only after the terms of the UK’s withdrawal had been agreed; that the first stage of negotiations would cover the three key issues of citizens’ rights, the Irish border and the financial settlement; and that only when sufficient progress had been made on these would the talks move on to discuss other issues and the future UK/EU relationship. The third key to effective negotiation is to establish good personal relationships with the other side. This can make all the difference in the world. It’s never a good idea to blame or antagonise the opposition. So, returning to Brexit, it’s pretty obvious that British Ministers who compared the EU to the Soviet Union, or spoke about ‘having our cake and eating it’, or accused the EU of blackmail, did not exactly help. In any negotiation, slagging off the other side is unlikely to lead to a successful outcome.
other side, and a strong personal rapport with your opposite number, as you put into preparing your negotiating position. In fact, this may be the most important single factor in achieving a successful result. It’s my experience that when negotiations become really tough, with huge differences between the two sides, these are rarely resolved in the conference room. More often, informal one-to-one discussions over a coffee or a beer are the way ahead. In a quiet one-to-one chat, your opposite number may be prepared to be a little more open about the pressures they are under and the underlying concerns and interests they are seeking to protect. Obviously, in that situation, you have to be prepared to say something about the interests and concerns behind your own negotiating position. But that’s what’s involved in any negotiation – you have to give as well as to take. If both parties can get a better understanding of the other’s real concerns, that can lead to a softening of positions that may eventually result in agreement. So that’s it. Three keys to effective negotiation: clear objectives, thorough preparation and good personal relationships. It’s not exactly rocket science, is it?
It can be worthwhile putting as much effort into building an open, honest relationship with the
Q & A PSS
GLOBAL MANUFACTURING IN THE EAST
Interview with Andrew Brammer, Managing Director of PSS Tell us about PSS? We’re a manufacturing and engineering company based in North Walsham, with customers around the world. Established in 1971, we’ve grown to become market leaders in the manufacturing and remanufacturing of steering and hydraulic components for off-highway, commercial and military vehicles. We essentially serve three markets. Firstly, we provide new steering columns for manufacturers of off-highway vehicles like forklift trucks and ride-on mowers. We supply over 60,000 units each year to some of biggest names in the US, Europe and the UK. Secondly, we’re the UK leader in remanufacturing of steering components for commercial vehicles. We return
used steering pumps, boxes and motors to original or better condition for HGV’s, buses, coaches and vans. Thirdly, we work with the military. Every serving US Humvee and Stryker military vehicle features our Series 600 Steering Pump. We also help the UK military overcome ‘obsolescence management’ challenges by remanufacturing existing components to prolong the life of serving military vehicles. What’s been the biggest challenge in recent years? I’m a big fan of globalisation and all the opportunities it has created for ambitious businesses like PSS. However, it’s not without its challenges.
Q & A PSS
The global shift towards ever easier 24/7 access to goods appears to have driven everyone’s cost expectation down. As such, the price we charge for certain comparable components has changed little in the last five or even ten years. Within OEM (original equipment manufacturing), the biggest challenge has been responding to increased competition from Europe and Asia. Our options have been to reduce costs though more efficient production methods or further improve quality. It’s been tough but we’ve worked hard to do both. It’s perhaps our dependable quality and service that has helped most to keep our customers loyal. Remanufacturing is a really exciting and growing area. Vehicle operators, the public and government are all keen to get more from resources, so creating a second-life for used vehicle components is well supported. Much of the challenge has been educating the market place that remanufacturing is much more than ‘reconditioning’. With new techniques and materials, we can often return components to better specification than the original part. Visitors are always impressed by how professional our operation is and the sheer engineering expertise we apply. What’s been your biggest development? Last year we invested a six-figure sum to create a clean room area for assembling new components. I’m delighted to announce we’ve now made an even bigger investment to roll out the same standards across our entire factory in 2019. This is already paying dividends as we’re in advanced negotiations with several major US, UK and European vehicle manufacturers about supplying components for major projects. Though fairly typical within vehicle component manufacturing, such clean room facilities are almost unique for remanufacturing. We’re passionate members of the European Council for Remanufacturing and like to be at the forefront of raising standards. On a personal front, I was delighted to win the Institute of Directors’ Global Director of the Year for East Anglia for 2018. It’s nice to be recognised but the hard work is shared by the whole PSS team. What impact has Brexit had? Whilst the fall in the pound has helped with the competitiveness of our products, it’s also led to significant increases in the cost of materials we buy from overseas. It’s been tough to balance the two and remain price-competitive for our customers in the US, Europe and the UK. We receive payment in a number of currencies. With the fluctuating pound, we’ve now the added challenge of gains or losses if we leave too much or too little in Dollars or Euros. More recently, with the more likely threat of leaving the EU without a deal, we’ve had a number of EU manufacturers place large orders to stockpile 6-months’ supply of components. Though this has upped our production, we’re conscious customers could look at other supply routes if there are serious longer-term trade barriers. Some of our European customers have made no secret of the fact they are disappointed the UK is leaving the EU. Until Brexit is resolved, we have
little option but to redouble our efforts delivering quality products and managing costs. We’re fortunate to operate in three distinct markets which may provide some protection. We’re comfortable with export paperwork and logistics but for many businesses trading only in the EU they this may come as a shock. How do you see the future of manufacturing and exporting for the East of England? Few of the challenges in the East are unique and it remains a great place to live and do business. We’re fortunate to attract some very talented people to PSS but skills are clearly an area East Anglia needs to invest in. Likewise, infrastructure. Sometimes it feels like it’s easier to hop on a plane to Frankfurt or Detroit than travel throughout the UK! Brexit is clearly the biggest sticking point. Regardless of how anyone voted, we need some certainty so everyone can get back to focusing on moving forward.
INT E R VI E W C u s tome r S u re
HARNESSING CUSTOMER FEEDBACK FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS Customer feedback differentiates your business from your competitors, so in this issue, we speak to Guy Letts about why harnessing customer feedback will improve your customer relations and drive business success.
Putting customers first “How a company serves their customers and responds to feedback is an opportunity to create a strong competitive advantage. Doing the best job for your customers is seen as the route to commercial success in some sectors – but in others, this isn’t the strongest influence. “Back in the 1980s, when I first started working, I was fortunate to join a company in which the common expectation was you did the right thing by your customers. A fabulous British technology company, they were known for their exemplary technical work and their great service. “Yet we never used the term ‘customer service’ – we simply put the customer first and on the odd occasions that something went wrong, we fixed it at no cost to the customer. “This customer-focused ethos was one of the company’s greatest assets and it gave me a good grounding, since then, I’ve specialised in helping companies be more successful by embracing customer feedback.” Company culture is key “Customer service is largely determined by company culture and changing that can be difficult - it has to be led from the top. A company’s leaders set the pace. Their behaviour, including what they choose to measure and reward people for, drives the culture. “In an aggressively sales-focused environment, it’s difficult to champion service from a mid-level role as you’re going against the grain – there’s little hope of change unless the leadership want change. “Conversely, where an ethos of customer service is set from the top, your team are empowered to take initiatives that deliver excellent service, knowing that if anything is challenged, their motives will be understood and they’ll receive support.” Choose targets with care
uy is well placed to advise us, as he’s spent much of his career helping businesses improve their customer relations, including a spell as Head of Services at FTSE 100 company, Sage and now as founder and MD of CustomerSure.
“Targets are crucial, but often the wrong ones are chosen. Perhaps surprisingly, targets tied to service are particularly ill-conceived because they rarely reflect genuine customer satisfaction. When people are incentivised to reach a target, they’ll find a way to reach it, regardless of what’s really happening. As Goodhart’s law suggests, when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
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“You should be measuring customer satisfaction, but better targets are those which directly relate to financial performance, such as: n Are we retaining customers? n At what rate are we acquiring new customers? n Are we winning market share or is it declining? n Are customers trusting us more and increasing their spend on additional services? Welcome feedback “Welcoming and responding effectively to customer feedback is by far the most effective way to have a positive impact on a company’s performance. What I’ve also found is that although customers love to give feedback, the bad news is they hate the way most companies collect it. “Providing feedback must be easy for customers. Busy service professionals frequently fear that an easy feedback process will give them more work – but this is far from being the case – making the feedback process difficult is a huge mistake. “The reason making feedback easy is so effective is that it takes away the guesswork. If you are successfully measuring and acting on customer feedback quickly, by definition you are doing what your customers want and you are providing investment where it’s needed most.” Annual survey shortcomings
Act on feedback “The reason responding to customer feedback often isn’t done well is that it’s typically led by market researchers – who are skilled at market research – but don’t hold the keys to improving services. Measuring satisfaction is less than half the job – what you do next is the magic ingredient – if you get it right. “When you receive feedback, think through what the customer would reasonably expect you to do – avoid giving the standard reply about their feedback being important to you, instead act quickly and decisively to address their concerns. “Avoid further calls on the same issue. If something has gone wrong on that day – resolve it on that day. By acting quickly, you’ll find that much of your work falls away. You’ll make savings in terms of the time and resources taken up resolving ongoing issues. People fear that making the customer feedback process easy will increase the workload, but in fact, the opposite is true. “Fixing the problems about which you receive feedback is the most effective way of improving customer satisfaction. Conversely, collating feedback but not acting on it defeats the purpose of collecting that data – you don’t fatten a pig by weighing it.”
In order to stand out from their competitors, companies must improve their customer service and to achieve this, they need to listen to customer feedback and act on it swiftly.
“Companies frequently run annual customer surveys, collate the findings but don’t act on the individual problems. We often find that companies have received cries for help that have been ignored, so issues that could have been resolved early on, escalate into far more significant and timeconsuming problems.
“Annual surveys can have a place, but they don’t allow you to capture feedback or act on it when it matters most to your customers. Instead of running an annual survey, ask yourself, when do customers want to give feedback? “You’ll find there are key moments when this is the case – for example when a customer has opened a new account, received a bill or when there’s been a problem. Enable customers to give feedback when they want to and make doing so a great experience. “Have the confidence to abandon the traditional ways of doing things and simplify your processes – it’s dramatically effective. You don’t need masses of data. Provide customers with three or four scored questions focusing on the factors that are most important to them and a comments box – it’s as simple as that and you’ll know whether they are happy or not, and why.”
Looking forward “In order to stand out from their competitors, companies must improve their customer service and to achieve this, they need to listen to customer feedback and act on it swiftly.
“Giving feedback should be a good experience for your customers. Make it easy, make it pleasant and your customers will thank you – and you’ll reap the benefits of improved customer satisfaction and retention. The key to high-quality insights and high response rates is to make providing feedback a great experience – that’s the principle that inspired our product.
“We have a 100% track record of our customer feedback software working for all of our customers – they find it liberating as it reduces their workload, allowing their efforts to be focused on what their customers need. That’s why we’ve been voted the best customer feedback solution by 3,700 customer service professionals – the largest impartial survey of its kind. “If you think there’s something in what I’m saying, trial our software in a small way – it doesn’t have to be all or nothing – just dip your toe in the water and see the benefits. We’re here to support you and we are not like every other software company you know.”
INT E R VI E W NFU
Photo Credits: Pagepix Ltd and Brian Finnerty/NFU
FORGING A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE FOR FARMING By NFU Regional Director Rachel Carrington There has never been a more important time to talk about food. That may not be a surprising statement coming from the National Farmers’ Union. It is a subject we’re keen to promote at any time, on behalf of our 55,000 farmer and grower members. However, there is no doubt that food, and the industry behind it, has been taken for granted for too long. We cannot ignore the significant challenges we face in sustaining ourselves in the years ahead. Before outlining some of those challenges, it is worth highlighting just how much has been achieved. Food is more affordable, more traceable and more available in Britain than ever before. Shoppers don’t have to worry about whether there will be food on the shelves, whether that food is safe or if the standards of welfare in Britain are world-leading.
It is a success story to be proud of and farm businesses across East Anglia have played a leading role in shaping it. They have made the most of the climate, skills and natural resources available here. Farms in the region generate agricultural produce worth £3.4 billion a year, employ 40,000 people and support many more jobs in allied industries. The amount of food farms produce in the region is truly impressive. It includes: n More than a quarter (28%) of England’s wheat n More than a third (35%) of England’s potato crop n A quarter of England’s total pig herd n More than a fifth (22%) of England’s poultry n Approaching two thirds (62%) of England’s sugar beet. Behind these statistics are thousands of farm businesses with the hard work, innovation and determination to succeed, many of which I’ve had the privilege to visit during my NFU career.
INT ER VI E W NFU
In November I went with our NFU President, Minette Batters, to one of those businesses, Elveden Farms in Suffolk. This is the largest ring-fenced arable farm in lowland Britain, specialising in vegetable production including potatoes, onions, carrots and parsnips. Around 6% of the UK’s onions are grown here. Although it is a major food producer, Farms Director Andrew Francis and his team were keen to stress that they work hard to ensure that biodiversity thrives alongside its commercial farming practices. This includes maintaining a conservation group to help and advise on conservation issues, including the management of wildlife sites, rare plant sites and its field margins. Surveys are also carried out to monitor species such as stone curlews, bats and reptiles. Looking after the soil for future generations is crucial as well. Elveden includes cereal crops such as rye, barley and wheat in its crop rotation, to help ensure its soils remain fertile and productive. Another farmer who met Mrs Batters during her visit to the region was Viscount Tom Raynham, Chief Executive of the Raynham Estate in Norfolk. This is an estate with its own place in agricultural history, thanks to Charles ‘Turnip’ Townshend. His pioneering work promoting a four-course rotation of turnips, barley, clover and wheat in the 1700s helped spearhead Britain’s agricultural revolution. Tom Raynham is determined that the estate will remain at the forefront of agricultural development today. For instance, the whole farm has been GPS-mapped and all its machinery is now guided by satellite. He improves soil structure by incorporating muck from the farm’s broiler chickens back into the land, as well. I’ve highlighted two large farm businesses but East Anglia is home to a diverse range, many of them family-owned and run. According to Defra statistics, the average farm size in our region is just under 300 acres and about 30% of agricultural land is rented. One young farmer looking to build a new business is Will de Feyter. Will, 26, came home after finishing his degree at Harper Adams. There wasn’t enough full-time work for him on his parent’s arable farm so he established his own sheep flock and also rears pigs at East Ruston in Norfolk. He sells the lamb direct to the public, including at farmers’ markets, and held a lambing day in March 2018 to highlight what goes on beyond the farm gate and the high standards underpinning British farms. All of our farm businesses, large and small, are wellplaced to help meet the challenges we face, as long as the right policy framework is in place. The most pressing challenge is how to feed a global population, predicted to reach 10 billion people by 2050, that is also consuming more calories. One worrying forecast is that, within a decade, we will be in a deficit of 213 trillion calories around the world. As NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts told a conference in Peterborough recently, it is time politicians worried less about food affordability and more about food availability, and responded accordingly. We are working hard to brief East Anglia’s MPs on the policies needed to forge a successful future,
NFU President Minette Batters with Andrew Francis of Elveden Farms during an earlier visit in April backed by a comprehensive new NFU report, UK: A nation united by food. This stresses that a sustainable and profitable agriculture and horticulture sector isn’t something that’s nice to have but a necessity. For our region, the driest in the UK, this means ensuring that water for food is given a higher priority, so our growers can help meet growing demand for food. We need the right policies in place so our farm businesses can continue to access a competent and reliable workforce, including seasonal workers recruited from overseas. And we need to ensure that Britain’s new domestic agricultural policy, replacing the much-maligned CAP, has measures that support farmers to undertake important environmental work, to improve the productivity of their businesses and to manage the volatility and tough market conditions that fall outside of their control. So there is plenty to talk about in the early part of 2019. Let us hope the end result is a future where farmers can improve their productivity and resilience, while caring for the environment, and where our country can continue to benefit from a safe, secure and affordable supply of British food.
Rachel Carrington, NFU Regional Director
The NFU’s food report is available at www.nfuonline.com/back-british-farming/ campaign-news/nfus-food-report-deliveredto-britains-politicians/
S t a ns te d A i r p or t
LONDON STANSTED TAKES OFF INTO THE FUTURE Stansted’s pioneering spirit sets airport on a new course.
f you were standing in the vicinity of London Stansted Airport on 5th June 1983 an unusual sight would have caught your eye, for the space shuttle Enterprise was touching down on the runway. It’s a feat emblematic of an airport which has been at the forefront of aviation throughout its history and that pioneering spirit is alive and well today. In this issue, we speak to Paul Willis, Transformation Director at Stansted Airport, about the £600m investment programme that is underway, about the industry firsts it will galvanise and about the airport’s place in the regional economy. “Stansted Airport is pivotal to the East of England and it’s important to the London markets too. Our catchment area extends over Cambridge,
Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, as well as London, and it’s a really important region for international travellers too,” explains Paul. “We employ 12,000 people, making us the largest single site employer in the region, whilst we’ve created a local supply chain, using local suppliers wherever possible – and the airport brings in an estimated £1bn of inward investment to the region too.” Paul grew up close to Ipswich (an enthusiastic supporter of ‘The Blues’) and took flights from the airport as a child on family holidays. Today, Paul has over 30 years’ experience of the aviation industry under his belt and brings this experience to his role at Stansted Airport, so his insights into the importance of the airport are both personal and professional.
S t anste d A i r p or t
Stansted was bought by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) in 2013, in the wake of the break-up of the BAA Group. Since then MAG has focused their efforts on investing in the airport, offering passengers more choice and a better service. “What we have at Stansted which is rare for an airport is spare capacity,” explains Paul. “Spare runway capacity is almost unheard of and our £600m transformation programme is all about making the most of this capacity and fulfilling the airport’s potential. “An investment of this magnitude is made around every 15-20 years and the challenge is to look into the future and take a view as to what it will look like. Over the last few years, we’ve seen massive changes in how passengers use the airport and our plans have to take account of what changes may be around the corner. “At this point the terminal is constrained, so a key element of the transformation programme is the new arrivals terminal, a 39,000 square metres facility adjacent to the existing terminal. While Sir Norman Foster’s iconic terminal design, opened in 1991, will become a dedicated departure terminal. “This concept of a separate arrival and departure facility is unique in the UK and draws on Stansted’s proud history of pioneering aviation. All in all, the transformation programme will improve every point of the passengers’ journey, from the car parks to the checkin facility, the baggage area and the security system. “The programme is underway and we already have eight new aircraft stands in operation with a further six stands to follow, whilst work on the flagship arrivals terminal is set to begin later in 2019. The centrepiece of the transformation project, this terminal represents an investment of £130 million and it is due to open in Autumn 2020. “Passengers can fly to more destinations than ever before from Stansted, with over 200 from which to choose – serving more destinations in Europe than any other airport in the UK.
year. “Stansted is in the top five airports for growth in Europe,” observes Paul, “with year on year growth of 8-9% which compares well when you look at Heathrow, which has less than 1% growth each year.” It is a trend which is set to continue as London Stansted’s planning application to increase the number of passengers it is permitted to serve to 43 million a year, has been approved by Uttlesford District Council. “This is a major milestone for us,” explains Paul, “it is a great vote of confidence by the region and the local community in our transformation programme. The plan will boost the region’s economic growth, creating 5,000 new jobs, whilst achieving all of this within existing flights limits and a smaller noise footprint.
We employ 12,000 people, making us the largest single site employer in the region, whilst we’ve created a local supply chain, using local suppliers wherever possible.
“Long-haul flights are now being introduced, with Dubai proving a popular destination. These new destinations have been welcomed by local businesses from pharmaceutical companies to the racing community in Newmarket – who now fly all of their jockeys to Dubai from Stansted.”
MAG is also working to provide a greater mix of airlines at Stansted, so passengers have more choice. Where once Ryanair dominated the airport accounting for 90% of the flights their share has now reduced to a little over 70%. More and more airlines are choosing to operate from Stansted, with Jet2’s decision to take up their first base in the south of England, proving particularly popular. After a mere five years of ownership, there has been a tremendous growth in passenger journeys at the airport, up from around 16 million to 28 million each
“Along with the transformation programme comes a huge investment in education and skills. Our Aerozone children’s education centre aims to inspire the next generation to work in aviation, whilst we have a dedicated on-site Stansted Employment and Skills Academy, and we work with the long-term unemployed too.
STANSTED AIRPORT www.stanstedairport.com
“We’ve just opened a new further education college at the airport in partnership with Harlow College, the first purpose-built on-site college at a major UK airport. It’s a phenomenal achievement and a great example of partnership working which will help bridge the skills gap and create a clear career path for students. “The transformation programme at Stansted Airport is fantastic for the region, creating more jobs, more opportunities and it is set to increase the amount of inward investment to £2bn.”
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C a m br id ge J ud ge B u s i nes s S cho ol
WHY GETTING YOUR HANDS DIRTY IS IMPERATIVE FOR GROWTH “To grow you need to do something new or different,” observes Stylianos ‘Stelios’ Kavadias. As Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation and Growth at the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School and as Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre - innovation and growth are the focus of his work.
“The third type of activity is executing these ideas. Ideas often don’t get through to this stage because of an underlying fear of what will happen if the project doesn’t work, but a fear of failure stifles innovation. Businesses need a culture in place that is conducive to taking forward more demanding or risky ideas. “The business environment needs to be conducive to the incubation and development of ideas. All too often businesses don’t have the time or resources necessary to develop their initial ideas, but it is fruitless to first generate and then select ideas if you don’t have the capability to develop them. “All three activities need to be in place to galvanise innovation – you can’t substitute one for another. We’re taking these activities to the classroom, working with businesses to see where they have a weakness. Senior executives need to be asking themselves – how am I doing trying out and supporting riskier ideas?
telios is keen to nurture new and growing companies, which typically have something innovative to offer. As he explains, “upcoming companies rarely offer products or services that are exactly the same as existing businesses. “One of the most common mistakes I see businesses make is trying to adopt a practice from another business. They assume a simple copycat process will drive competitiveness – but this is far from being the case. “You shouldn’t assume you can take a wonderful practice from somebody else and apply it your business. What really makes companies successful is to offer something distinct from their competitors. “Much of our work asks - how can we be more innovative? For innovation to happen, three types of activity are necessary. Firstly, businesses must have a way of creating new ideas, a mechanism by which they can continuously source or generate new ideas. “Secondly, businesses need to prioritise which ideas to take forward. Ask, what mechanism do you have in place for selecting the right ideas? Businesses need to think through how they prioritise, then take forward innovative ideas over time.
“The second set of activities – selecting ideas to develop – is often the most challenging. Companies may have a lot of ideas bubbling up – but the moment these are taken to a higher level in a bid for a development budget, you tend to see people leaning towards the most understood and familiar ideas. “One of the issues is that much of the capital available to businesses is focused on short- term returns – which makes developing and funding new ideas over the long term more challenging. “The least risky ideas are the ones with which people are most comfortable – but the unfortunate reality is that these are not usually the winning ideas. In business, there is no way you can avoid innovation; stall and the competition will catch up with you. “In the UK, we’ve done well from an entrepreneurial standpoint – helping businesses to start up - but not so well from a growth standpoint. That middle ground when companies are no longer a start-up but not yet a huge business repeatedly proves a challenge. “Not enough has been done to support this transition and as a result, a pattern has emerged of businesses being sold to larger firms – rather than being given the support to grow. Systems need to be in place that support companies in scaling up, moving beyond the early stages of growth and traversing this middle ground.
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C ambr id ge J ud ge B u siness S cho ol
INT E R VI E W
C a m br id ge J ud ge B u s i nes s S cho ol
“In reality, growth entails so much uncertainty and change, that you can’t be distant from it – you have to get your hands dirty. The commitment of the CEO is crucial in galvanising the rest of the team to move forward. Where the CEO leads – people will be willing to follow. If you haven’t thought it through and are not committed – then everything else is meaningless. “This is where the effort to grow is so difficult, you need to let go of certain things and bring in new partners, whilst at the same time exercise the right amount of control in the right areas. It is a difficult balance to strike, knowing when to take a step back and when to muck in and get involved. We need to create experiences which allow people to figure out what the right balance is for them. “At the Entrepreneurship Centre, we help businesses traverse this challenging middle ground. Our nine-month programme sees our academics engage deeply with each business, taking into account their specific circumstances.
“Two factors are key, accessing the capital necessary for growth and developing the management capabilities essential for leading a company strategically – so it can become a larger business. “There comes a time when businesses need professional management in place. There are instances where the founders of a company become the obstacle to growth - exerting control over their creation to an extent that it inhibits the company’s progression. “Sometimes, in order to develop – the founder needs to let go and bring other people on board. Businesses need to ask themselves – what capability are we missing – where are we weakest? Then build that capability. “Beyond professional management, businesses also need to look at moving into the international market. Support systems are emerging to help businesses make this progression, but these are a relatively recent phenomenon. “Founders or owners of companies must have an honest discussion up against the mirror about whether they are ready to go through growth. You can’t delegate growth - you can’t partner with another organisation and expect them to take care of it. There are many cases in which a business has lost control of its operations and then quickly lost market share.
Already, the Barclays Scale Up UK programme has mentored over 100 companies, with another 100 set to benefit in 2019 – equipping them for growth. Asked about the regional economy, Stelios comments, “East Anglia has a diverse economy from agri-tech to fintech and biotech pharma companies, plus manufacturing and technological developments you don’t find anywhere else. “This diversity has fuelled innovation, plus the tradition of manufacturing in the region, means businesses are well equipped to turn their knowledge into hardware as well as software – something with which Silicon Valley, for example, has struggled. “A high tech hub has emerged at Silicon Fen which has been a great success. The next big hurdle for Silicon Fen is to drive more sustainable growth so that companies emerge on a par with those from Silicon Valley. “I would be surprised if we don’t get there given the sheer numbers of companies emerging. The move of some of the tech giants to Cambridge including Samsung, Microsoft Research, Apple and Amazon is likely to galvanise this growth, facilitating a speedier evolution. “Something unique will be created here in the UK. We have some phenomenal new companies fuelled mainly by technology and my hope is that the UK will become the most innovative economy in Europe.”
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C ambr id ge J ud ge B u siness S cho ol
“At the Entrepreneurship Centre, we help businesses traverse this challenging middle ground. Our nine-month programme, sees our academics engage deeply with each business, taking into account their specific circumstances.” STYLIANOS “STELIOS” KAVADIAS
M A N AG I N G I N N OV ATI O N No t t i ng h a m Tre nt U ni vers i t y
INNOVATION ISN’T JUST ABOUT TECHNOLOGY! There is a tendency to think of innovation in terms of the introduction and application of exciting, life changing new technologies. People like Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison with the telephone and the electric light bulb, and latterly Stephanie Kwolek and Steve Jobs with Kevlar and the iPhone, have a lot to answer for!
he new technologies that they introduced brought big changes both for work and the home. It would be fair to say that they transformed the lives of millions. Perhaps its not surprising then that in the process these individuals caught the public’s imagination, becoming the model for the innovator as hero – that is the creator of technological marvels. Reality is normally somewhat different. While single individuals make for a better story, especially if they can be portrayed in heroic terms, the development of new technologies is more commonly the product of teams. Similarly while technology often lies at the heart of an innovation, in fact innovation is about more than new technologies. The internet age and the changes and disruption it has brought in its wake, has increasingly brought another kind of innovation to the fore, notably innovations that involve not merely the introduction or application of a new technology but the introduction of a new business model. Business models have been described as a ‘recipe for making money’. That’s to say they are the means by which the technological potential of an innovation is unlocked and converted into economic value. To put it in somewhat simpler terms, business models are about finding new ways to get innovation users to part with their money. This has risen to prominence with the growth of the internet because innovations involving the internet are typically new services and it isn’t always obvious or easy to determine just how one will get the consumer to pay for such services. Though that doesn’t seem to have been too much of a problem for some of today’s tech giants like Google, Facebook or Amazon!
Innovations that require a new business model aren’t actually an especially new phenomenon. Innovators have had to do this in the past. When King Gillette in the early years of the twentieth century developed the safety razor, utilizing thin, inexpensive and disposable steel blades, he introduced a new business model: charging a low price for the razor, in order to persuade customers to switch to his innovative new kind of razor, but then charging a high price for consumables in the form of replacement razor blades. Currently the automotive industry is attracting a lot of attention by virtue of the technological innovations it is beginning to embrace in order to tackle the problems surrounding climate change. These innovations are centred around engines and powertrains, in particular new propulsion technologies that are more environmentally friendly and capable of reducing the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels. Chiefly this involves a switch from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines to ones powered by electric motors. But while electric vehicles (EVs) are grabbing headlines because of the technological innovations they are bringing to the market, behind the scenes or at least beyond the limelight, what may well prove to be more significant innovations in business models are beginning to pop up in the automotive industry. The French car maker Renault for example has introduced a new business model for its small urban EV the Zoe. With this business model the car and the energy supply have been separated. Thus while the car is sold in a conventional way, the battery can simply be rented on a monthly basis. The advantage that this offers the consumer is that it removes the uncertainty and risk associated with battery technology. In America Tesla too has introduced a new business model for its EVs. Not only does the company manufacture cars, it sells them through its own network of retailers and distributors who also handle maintenance and repairs. At the same time the company is also engaged in energy supply through its electric charger network. What is novel and innovative about this business model is that it enables Tesla to capture more value from the automotive value chain.
MA NAGING INN OV ATI ON No t t ing h am Trent Uni ve rsi t y
A more radical business model is to be found in Britain or more precisely in Wales. Here in the sleepy market town of Landrindod Wells are the headquarters of Riversimple, a company that recently unveiled a hydrogen fuel cell powered car. Called the Rasa (short for tabula rasa meaning clean sheet), this two seat design weighs in at a mere 580 kgs and features electric motors powered by a fuel cell supplemented by a bank of supercapacitors and regenerative braking. Capable of accelerating from 0-60 in 10 seconds and achieving the equivalent of 250 miles to the gallon, the Rasa represents a radical departure from conventional automotive technologies. But new technologies aren’t the only aspect of the Rasa that is innovative. When it goes on the market in 2019 you won’t be able to buy one. Instead the company plans to lease them charging a fixed tariff plus a mileage fee. The logic behind this novel business model is that the ultra lightweight carbon fibre chassis is expensive to produce and has a long life. Unlike a conventional car it won’t rust! Also, with fewer moving parts the engine and powertrain are likely to be more durable. Long life products are good for the environment because they save resources but they are often expensive. Hence the logic behind this novel business model, is that it is a way of making it easier for the consumer to acquire the benefits of this environmentally friendly design while also reducing the uncertainty surrounding something new.
Really one shouldn’t be too surprised at what’s happening in the automotive industry. Innovations, especially more radical innovations tend to be disruptive both for producers and consumers. Consequently when major changes are manifest in any industry we shouldn’t be too surprised to find that innovations don’t only involve new technologies but also far reaching changes associated with innovative business models as well.
Professor of Innovation Management, Nottingham Trent University
BU SI N E SS C OM M E NT Suf fol k Co u nt y Co u nc i l
SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WORTH £270M A YEAR TO THE SUFFOLK ECONOMY A new report has revealed the importance of the Sport and Physical Activity sector to the Suffolk economy. In relation to events, the report acknowledges that Suffolk has a busy annual sporting calendar with potential to grow further. Events like the Great East Swim generate an estimated £¾ million to the county annually. The county’s event programme could be further enhanced to include events like an Ironman or a large-scale beach sports event. This could cement Suffolk’s reputation as a leader in the sector and attract people from different parts of the country and stimulate local economic spend. Cllr James Reeder, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “Undoubtedly, sport and physical activity is integral to Suffolk life. Not only is it essential to the health and wellbeing of the whole community it also makes an important contribution to the local economy in terms of spending, output and employment. “Despite this, the contribution that sport makes to the economy has not, to date, been fully acknowledged. It is therefore essential that we fully understand the potential of the Sport and Physical Activity sector in Suffolk and work collaboratively to maximise its contribution to the economy.”
ndertaken by specialist economic development and regeneration consultancy Hatch Regeneris, the report shows that the sector contributes £270m a year to the Suffolk economy. This accounts for over 10,000 jobs or 3% of all employment in Suffolk and is almost double the proportion seen at national levels.
NICOLA HEATH, Senior Communications Officer Suffolk County Council
The report shows that employment in the sector has grown at a faster rate than all other sectors in Suffolk, up 60% in the last 5 years. By contrast, employment in financial and professional services has grown by 10% over the same period.
“This report shows just how quickly the sector is growing, which is evidence of the success of the Most Active County Partnership so far. But there’s also potential to do even more – to work with business to create a culture of health and wellbeing, and to promote Suffolk as a great place to participate in sport and physical activity.”
Patrick Ransom, Senior Consultant with Hatch Regeneris, said “Our work highlights that the Sport and Physical Activity sectors are growing rapidly in Suffolk and there is a higher concentration of jobs in the sectors than in other places. Public and private sector partners should work together to unlock further growth and help the sectors reach their potential.”
John Dugmore, Chief Executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said “Suffolk Chamber’s involvement in supporting the health and wellbeing agenda by encouraging local businesses to help boost their productivity has highlighted to us the growing significance of the sport and physical activity sectors to the county.
The report highlights the importance of continuing the drive towards increasing participation as a way of both improving productivity and reducing the spend on health and social care. It estimates that a reduction of just 10% in Suffolk employee sickness rates would give the Suffolk economy a boost of £42m annually.
“These sectors are important in themselves because of the number of jobs they provide, but also as their presence is an opportunity to deliver improvements to the workplace health of all of Suffolk’s workforce.
The report also recognises both the importance of the sector in providing a stepping stone into employment as well as a gateway into higher skilled jobs. The report also highlights the need for organisations in Suffolk work together to respond to the future skills needs of a growing sector.
Doug Field, chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “A growing Sport and Physical Activity sector is a double win for our economy – helping business by creating jobs and improving our visitor offer to the world, while also benefitting the health and increasing the productivity of our workers.
“We look forward to working with others on the Most Active County Partnership to build on this growing strength.” The full report can be viewed at www.suffolk.gov. uk/assets/council-and-democracy/councilnews/Suffolk-Economic-Assessment-ofSports-and-Physical-Activity-Sectors.pdf
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E a s t o f E ng l a nd E ne r g y Gro u p
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E a st o f E ng l and E ner g y Gro u p
THE EAST OF ENGLAND – THE NATION’S POWERHOUSE “There’s a revolution taking place off the east coast of England,” observes Simon Gray, and it is a revolution that is steadily shifting the UK’s reliance on traditional energy sources to renewables.
s CEO of the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), Simon is well-placed to comment on all things energy related. For the EEEGR is a not-for-profit trade body and business development organisation that has been representing the energy sector and its supply chain in the East of England for over 17 years. “No sector with a turnover as significant as £3.6bn should be overlooked,” explains Simon, “yet the contribution of the East of England in meeting the UK’s energy needs has been underappreciated in the past.” “Take a closer look and you’ll find a vibrant energy sector in the region comprising of 1450 businesses, employing more than 20,000 people, with a hefty turnover that is galvanising the economy in the region and beyond. “What is particularly remarkable is the sheer breadth and diversity of the energy sector in the East of England, for rather than depending on a single source of power, a multiplicity of sources is being utilised. Oil, gas, renewables (in particular onshore and offshore wind), and nuclear all have a part to play in this thriving economy.” “What you may not realise is that up to a maximum of 50% of the nation’s gas comes through the UK’s largest gas terminal in Bacton on the North Norfolk Coast. Offshore the Southern North Sea is home to over 100 gas fields and over 150 gas-related platforms. “Gas will still be massively important to us for decades to come,” explains Simon, “and work is underway looking at the feasibility of sourcing tight gas, that’s gas that’s located much deeper down. Should gas prices rise – this will become more viable.” The region is also potentially the site of the UK’s next nuclear power station at Sizewell C through developers EDF and in another project, CGN and EDF are developing proposals for a new nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex. Offshore wind is of growing importance, with 14 offshore projects delivering nearly 4GW, accounting for 52% of the UK’s current 7.5GW total installed capacity. Another 10.5 GW are in various stages of development, one of which, East Anglia One, is set to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm. In some cases, the more traditional energy infrastructure has been given a longer life or a new purpose and where this isn’t possible, the skilled work
of decommissioning provides yet more opportunities for the local economy. In fact, estimates put the value of decommissioning work as high as £40-70bn Central to meeting the UK’s energy needs, the East of England has a unique combination of physical and locational characteristics which lend themselves to energy production – making it a frontrunner in the sector. “The proximity of the region to London, the South East and the Midlands – the areas of the highest energy consumption in the UK - mean it is a convenient and economically viable location for energy production,” explains Simon. “Whilst the physical characteristics both inland and offshore, mean the East of England lends itself to energy production in a way that is quite unlike any other region. The shallow waters of the Southern North Sea, and the geological characteristics of the seabed itself, mean it is comparatively easy to install offshore energy infrastructure. “You’ll also find a diverse and collaborative supply chain in the region with a skilled workforce who have the ability to meet the development, manufacturing, installation, operational and maintenance needs of the sector. A workforce who have expertise that can be transferred from oil or gas to renewable energy and vice versa.
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“All of which is set in the context of a region that is leading the field when it comes to advanced manufacturing, engineering; life sciences, biotech, ICT and the digital sector. Our universities, research and development establishments, the various science parks and start-up incubators are all contributing to this cross-sector expertise.
A huge area of growth is in the development of offshore wind farms and there are, as Simon observes, some misconceptions about these. “There is a perception that offshore wind farms are heavily subsidised – but this is no longer the case, the subsidy has reduced dramatically in recent years and soon the sector will be subsidy free.
“Plans are also underway in association with our “In addition, the wind turbines created today produce Skills for Energy programme, to maintain the far more energy than was once the case – with a single region’s expertise in turbine now capable of the energy sector and producing eight and a ensure there is a steady half or nine megawatts stream of suitably of power as opposed to Whilst a turbine’s operational qualified workers in the two megawatt turbines future, addressing local installed at Scroby Sands life of between 20-30 years, engineering skills. in 2004.
“A particular success story has been the one year pre-apprenticeship course run in association with the East Coast College at their campuses in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Here, students are given a feel for all aspects of the energy sector and the broad range of jobs available.
means there is an ongoing and long-term demand for engineering and maintenance skills in the area – creating and sustaining well paid skilled jobs in the local economy.
“We’ve had a great response to the course and found that students leave with a better understanding of the industry and where their skills best fit. Meaning we have better retention and completion rates with more students going on to successfully complete their apprenticeships.” It is telling that almost all of the major energy companies in the UK have projects in development in the region, there is what Simon describes as “a perfect storm of opportunity gradually coming together at the same time.”
“Whilst a turbine’s operational life of between 20-30 years, means there is an ongoing and long-term demand for engineering and maintenance skills in the area – creating and sustaining well paid skilled jobs in the local economy.
“The East of England is quite literally the nation’s powerhouse, making a huge contribution to the UK’s energy needs. We keep the UK warm and lit - and our contribution is growing.” Looking forward, the region is playing an instrumental role in the decarbonisation of the economy and the move to renewable energy. There is a revolution taking place off the east coast of England and it is a revolution that’s quite literally bringing about the winds of change, ensuring we have a steady supply of energy now and in the future.
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E NE R GY F OC U S E a s t Co a s t Col le ge
EAST COAST COLLEGE AND OFFSHORE ENERGY LAUNCH BRAND NEW OFFSHORE WIND SKILLS CENTRE Brandon Lewis MP and over 60 people from the Offshore Energy Sector have launched the brand new Offshore Wind Skills Centre based at East Coast College, Great Yarmouth Campus. Wind Skills Energy Centre, promoted the benefits to employers and importantly promoted the sponsorship opportunities that are available. Ferlin Quantrill, Commercial Development Manager at East Coast College, explained the detail of the courses and how they are tailored to the needs of employers – particularly in relation to selecting appropriate candidates and employability skills training. There are currently two main offers at the centre: A 12 week full-time Level 2 Diploma in Safe Working Practice in the Wind Turbine Industry. Or the 3-4 week Transition to Offshore course for engineers and technicians who are already working in closely aligned industries. Paul Winter, Chair of NALEP’s (New Anglian Local Enterprise Partnership) Skills Board highlighted how Norfolk and Suffolk have some of the biggest wind farms Nationally and how this Centre in Great Yarmouth is perfectly placed to serve the local offshore sector which is still growing. Dan McKinley, East Anglia ONE – HESQC Manager, from ScottishPower Renewables explained why they had invested as a training partner. The key being that the initiative is employability led by East Anglia based employers and educators. “We can build strong relationships across the industry creating responsive and demand led training whilst developing industry knowledge of companies’ workforce requirements. I look at your situation and I can see what you have in front of you from all of the great work that the guys here have done, the facilities that are coming together and what is planned for the future, it’s a really exciting time. What a fantastic time to be in this area and in this industry!”
he East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre is a collaborative regional training and competence facility that will provide support to local people wishing to reskill and gain sustainable employment in the offshore wind industry on the New Anglia Energy Coast. Graham Hacon the CEO of 3sun Group opened the event with a presentation and overview of the initiative for which 3sun has been a key delivery partner. He explained the concept of the Offshore
Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth concluded the presentations “There is a huge opportunity here for us, as there are so many job opportunities in this particular sector and it’s our job to make sure our candidates have the right skills to satisfy the industry as it grows in the years ahead. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in pulling this project together. It will play a huge role in the region ensuring we send candidates off, employment ready, with the right skills to branch out into this growing sector. Two recent graduates from the first Transition course run in the Summer also attended the event and received their certificates. Ricki Western and Jack Hurren joined the Transition Course with engineering skills but no employment at that point. Ricki was employed by 3sun after the course and starts his career with them in January.
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Ricki said “It’s been a great opportunity for me to climb the ladder, anyone that completes this course has a fantastic future.” Jack, who recently completed a degree before going on to the Transition Course, is still on the hunt for an offshore job. Jack said “This course is exactly what you need to get into the industry both for newcomers and experienced workers. You can’t just turn up and expect to be employed, you have to be committed, listen and work hard as it’s very demanding. It’s all worth it in the end and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I am positive I will find a new position in the New Year.” Vicky Beck, Director of Business Development at East Coast College said “The project provides the perfect opportunity for adults to retrain into a thriving and growing local industry. These courses are at the forefront of skills development building on the College’s strong links with the sector ensure that we are keeping up with industry developments and meeting their skills needs both now and in the future.” Simon Gray CEO of EEEGR said “It’s really exciting to be here today for the launch of the new skills centre. About 50% of the total install capacity of offshore wind in the uk is here of the East Coast of England so it’s absolutely vital we have the workers and the skill in the workforce in this region to be able to offer the operations and the maintenance that will be required on these turbines. By 2030 we are looking in the region of 5 hundred million pounds per year will be spent in operations and maintenance. That’s the size of the prize that’s available for our region and we need to capitalise upon it. This initiative here will allow us to do that, so this is great news.”
The project has been funded by the NALEP Skill Deal with support from the following key partners and training providers: East Coast College, 3sun Group, Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limted, Scottish Power Renewables, EEEGR, Skills For energy East of England, Job Centre Plus, Baker Hughes, CWIND Training, Petans Thank you for your support.
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S e a b e d S co u r Cont rol S y s tems L i mi te d
SSCS™: THE LOCAL WORLD LEADER OF SCOUR PROTECTION AND LIFTING SERVICES Seabed Scour Control Systems Limited (SSCS™) was established in the early 1980’s in order to meet a requirement from the Offshore Oil and Gas industry to address the impact of seabed scour on platforms, pipelines and similar subsea structures installed in the UK Southern North Sea sector. Scour is the removal by hydrodynamic forces of granular bed material in the vicinity of submerged structures otherwise known as erosion. The SSCS Frond Mats are used to provide planned and preventative scour protection for new subsea installations and to rectify scour encountered at existing facilities and provide the only permanent solution to scour available today. Our first client was Shell International Limited. We installed a substantial quantity of SSCS Frond Mats to remediate seabed erosion which led to exposures and unsupported sections of pipe, also known as freespans. Today, 34 years later, the SSCS Frond Mats are still in place preventing scour. Subsequently we have become the world leader in Frond Scour Protection Systems. After successfully proving the product in the Southern North Sea we have also established an international reputation supporting projects in the USA, Canada, China, Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and many other countries. Having successfully proven the SSCS Frond Mats in the Offshore Oil & Gas Industry over the past
30+ years we are also providing scour prevention and remediation solutions to the Renewable Energy Market, River Defence and Marine Research Industries where market demand is growing rapidly. Our offices and manufacturing facilities are located in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk which was recognised as being the UK’s offshore Oil & Gas hub and is now becoming the UK’s Offshore Wind hub. Since the early 1990’s SSCS has diversified its business activities by creating a Lifting and Testing Division from the acquisition of two former well established lifting companies; we have since developed SSCS Lifting into one of the leading lifting service providers in the East of England, boasting a gantry with 80T lift capacity which is the largest in the region as well as being the only local webbing manufacturer. This business development strategy achieved an important milestone when the company had both SSCS Subsea and SSCS Lifting working in harmony on the same offshore projects during 2018. We are also proud to have been nominated as finalists in three categories in the 2018 GY Sprit of Enterprise Awards, which is a prestigious event recognising the successes of local industry. As part of continued
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S e a b e d S co ur Cont rol S y stems L i m i te d
investment in the company we are currently in the process of upgrading our lighting to new LED’s to run a more energy efficient site expected to be completed by January 2019. We have also gained ADIPS (Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme) accreditation allowing us to complete NDT on amusement park rides and devices. SSCS Lifting is the only manufacturer of polyester Webbing and Roundslings in East Anglia. This allows us to provide bespoke slings within a short timeframe to meet client specific requirements. To date we have manufactured up to 200T 60M circumference Roundslings, however we have the capabilities to manufacture much larger slings if needed. Subsea SSCS Subsea designs and manufactures the SSCS Frond Mats for all types of subsea and underwater installations. The SSCS Frond Mats are used globally for applications including Offshore Wind turbine foundations, cables and other structures; subsea pipelines, platform legs and umbilicals for the offshore Oil & Gas sector; inshore civil sector requirements; environmental projects; and for the protection of archaeological sites. The SSCS Frond Mats are made in-house and can be manufactured to any shape and size and to suit various deployment methods, including removing the need for diver or ROV (Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle) intervention during installation. SSCS provides advice and solutions designed for specific projects relating to existing and planned installations, and the use of our ‘self-maintaining’ SSCS Frond Mats eliminates the requirement for ongoing maintenance. 2018 was a successful and innovative year for SSCS Subsea: the continued development of the SSCS Weighted Frond Mat has been well received by industry being implemented on several major offshore and inland projects around the UK and overseas. The SSCS Frond Mats have been used on several UK river scour projects and also to protect a number of offshore installations in UK waters, namely pipeline protection and jack-up rig leg protection at wind farm locations. The significant increase in demand for our edge weighted SSCS Frond Mats resulted in the need to review our production process increase productivity. SSCS designed and developed a new hopper system that was fabricated locally. This new system has resulted in a productivity increase of more than double for the edge weighted tube filling process and has also considerably reduced the manual handling element. As part of SSCS’s ongoing investment in R&D the company is acting as the lead partner of an InnovateUK backed project for the development of the world’s first self-installing permanent scour protection system for suction bucket foundations to be used in the offshore wind industry. The £1M project is anticipated to save an average wind farm around £8.6m per year, based on 2016’s cost reduction monitoring framework. Lifting SSCS Lifting operates as a division of SSCS and combines expertise with many years’ experience
and not only manufacturers and supplies lifting products but additionally offers a genuine problemsolving capability for all lifting and lashing problems covering all areas of testing and certification. The company operates a quality assurance system to BS EN ISO 9001 which is assessed by LRQA and SSCS Lifting is approved to DNV 2.7-1 for the manufacture of lifting sling assemblies for offshore containers as well as being full members of LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association). Testing and certification work is supported by a fully computerised certification management system which maintains a comprehensive client database with records of each individual item of equipment and can be used to compile factory, site, vessel, rig or platform registers electronically or in hard copy. All certification is accessible from the company website at www.sscsystems.com which provides clients with 24/7 access to their certification. An extensive range of test equipment can be offered at the SSCS Lifting premises or alternatively on a call out service to inspect, test and certify lifting equipment and machinery at a client’s site. Additionally, SSCS Lifting offers Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) including Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) and Dye Penetrant (DP) and other forms of NDT including Visual Weld Testing (VT). 2018 was a successful year for SSCS Lifting, having provided excellent services to our existing clients in addition to expanding and developing our relationship with new clients. We are proud to announce that during 2018, SSCS Lifting were contracted by several large clients for the provision of fully qualified LEEA engineers to inspect and certify equipment on their sites. These customers were highly satisfied with our services and subsequently awarded further contracts to complete routine on-site inspections.
SEABED SCOUR CONTROL SYSTEMS LIMITED www.sscsystems.com
We also upgraded the safe working load on our test gantry from 45 tonnes to 80 tonnes making it the largest in the region. This enables us to service much larger jobs for clients and we are expecting it to be much needed this year for upcoming windfarm work that will start in the East of England, which is fast becoming the hub of Offshore Wind.
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HYBRID IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS With all the power of a petrol engine, seamlessly combined with the efficiency of an electric motor, it’s easy to see why hybrid makes perfect business sense. Offering fuel economy and reduced emissions without compromising on performance, the Lexus ES is as high-performing as your business, and the smarter alternative to diesel. What’s more, you can expect the exceptional reliability of a Lexus, no extra maintenance costs and Hybrid Health Checks included with each service.
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BU SI N E SS C OM M E NT U n i ve rs i t y o f C a m br id ge
AN INSIGHT INTO THE CAMBRIDGE ECONOMY - WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR SILICON FEN? These are rather frantic days for the UK, since several outcomes remain possible following the Brexit referendum in June 2016.
hile the government strives to reach a deal with the EU before the UK’s departure on 29 March 2019, recent analysis from the Treasury suggests that Brexit is likely to make the UK worse off. In 15 years’ time, the national economy could be up to 3.9% smaller under Theresa May’s plan compared to today’s arrangements, with this figure increasing to 9.3% in a no-deal scenario. These results spark questions about the implications that this changing context may have for an economy like Cambridge, where companies rely on highly skilled labour and export heavily to other EU countries. Our work at the Centre for Business Research makes us well positioned to shed light on these questions. Since the project group’s formation in late 2014, we have been concerned with establishing an accurate and accessible source of information on the scale, make-up and growth rate of economic activity in the subregion, defined as a 20-mile radius around the city of Cambridge.
DR ANDY COSH & DR GIORGIO CASELLI email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the key drivers of this growth is a thriving knowledge-intensive (KI) economy, which accounts for 26.7% of employment and 32.1% of turnover in the Cambridge sub-region. The 440 companies in the life science sector employed over 14,000 people in 2016-17, up by 8.2% from April 2016. Similar growth was also observed in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, with its 3,000 companies reaching a combined employment just below 20,000 people. Contributing further to a vibrant local economy are a variety of world-leading research institutions, including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the Babraham Institute. These companies and research institutions are found to be clustered in and around Cambridge, following a process known as ‘agglomeration’. A case in point is the life science sector, which has experienced increasing density of similar organisations over time. While companies and research institutions operating in the life sciences tend to be located in the south and south-east of the city, ICT companies are concentrated primarily in the northern part of the city around the science parks.
The Cluster Map, which originated from the earlier platform launched in July 2016, monitors global employment and turnover of almost 25,000 Cambridgebased companies.
The Cluster Map, which originated from the earlier platform launched in July 2016, monitors global employment and turnover of almost 25,000 Cambridgebased companies. The database behind the map, which is managed by the authors on behalf of Cambridge Ahead, has also been extended to cover the whole Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP), providing seven years of data for more than 70,000 companies. These data, which show the location of employment and its changes over time, are being used to inform the Local Industrial Strategy after the ground-breaking Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER).
At the last count, the remarkable growth that we had revealed for 2015-16 was found to continue in 201617, despite the Brexit vote early that year. Global employment of Cambridge-based companies grew by 9.6% to 224,762 compared with a year earlier, while their global turnover went up by 14.7% to £43.3bn. During the period between 2010-11 and 2016-17, companies based in the Cambridge area witnessed a growth rate in employment of 6.9% per annum
(9.1% in turnover). These figures indicate that the local economy has performed well over recent years, growing at faster rates than official statistics suggest.
Collectively, companies operating in the life science and ICT sectors are estimated to have carried out over £2bn of R&D expenditure in 2016-17, far more than all other companies in the sub-region taken together. Furthermore, our survey of the largest players in the area indicates that these companies would not consider relocating their activity elsewhere in the UK, highlighting the additional benefits brought by the Cambridge cluster to the national economy. Our company data provide clear evidence of the ongoing success of the ‘Cambridge Phenomenon’, a term first coined by Peta Levi in a Financial Times article to describe the explosion of high-tech businesses in and around the city since 1960. The emergence of the Silicon Fen – as the area is often dubbed by analogy
B U SINE SS C O MME NT Universi t y o f C ambr id ge
with Silicon Valley in the US – can be traced back to the founding of Cambridge Consultants, the brainchild of three Cambridge University graduates whose mission was to “put the brains of Cambridge University at the disposal of the problems of British industry”. The area has since grown to become one of the leading technology clusters in the world and is now home to over 30 science parks, including the Cambridge Biomedical Campus – Europe’s largest healthcare and medical research centre. Cambridge has also produced some of the UK’s most successful businesses and start-ups. Among the best known are Abcam, CMR Surgical and Kymab in the life science sector, along with ARM, Darktrace and Raspberry Pi in the ICT sector. The past few years have also seen the cluster quickly becoming a hub for artificial intelligence (AI) companies, with Fetch.AI, FiveAI and PROWLER. io all based locally. Alongside these homegrown companies, a number of international tech giants have established a presence in Cambridge, including Amazon, Apple and Microsoft in the CB1 development area. Therefore, it comes as little surprise that – according to an analysis by research consultancy Beauhurst – Cambridge outperforms London in terms of number of high-growth tech companies per capita. Looking ahead, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the Cambridge Phenomenon, providing that its members can continue to draw upon the global pool of talent. The cluster continues to attract companies from around the world, as epitomised by AstraZeneca’s decision to move its global headquarters to Cambridge in May 2016. Once completed, the new £500m facility on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus will host more than 2,000 science jobs. The area also appears to be well placed to take advantage of the booming AI sector, with Samsung set to open a new AI research lab in the city that could recruit as many as 150 staff. These key facts are all the more encouraging in light of a recent UK Powerhouse report, which foresees Cambridge becoming the fastest growing economy in the UK during 2019 despite Brexit. If the area is able to capitalise on these opportunities and address its long-standing problems – such as increasing traffic congestion and spiralling house prices – we will likely hear more success stories about Silicon Fen. Legend shows minimum size of bubble. Bubbles within each legend class increase in size department upon number of employees up to the size of the next class. Source: Andy Cosh, University of Cambrdige 2018. Contains Ordnance Survey data. © Crown Copyright and database right 2018. Mapping: Steve Denman, University of Cambridge.
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B r i t i s h B u s i ne s s B a n k
ENHANCING THE BUSINESS FINANCE ECOSYSTEM Smaller businesses are a fundamental part of the UK economy, driving growth and employment creation. Having access to finance, and importantly of the right type, is an essential ingredient for businesses to grow and prosper. Start-up and scale-up funding, in particular, can be critical in helping to bring innovative products to market. There are two sides to every market – the supply side and the demand side – and regional finance markets are no different. The supply of finance, obviously, is important, and the British Business Bank plays a role in increasing both the volume and diversity of finance in the East of England. Since we were set up in 2014 we have been involved in supporting almost £1.9bn of finance to around 5,700 smaller businesses in the region, and have increased the number of partners with whom we work to deliver such finance to over 120 – partners such as Funding Circle, Liberis and Metro Bank – helping to bring diversity and choice of both finance type and provider. Over the same period, our subsidiary, Start Up Loans, has provided 2,365 loans across the East of England to help aspiring businesspeople turn their dreams into reality. There is, however, more to do. Our 2018 Small Business Finance Markets report found, for example that, while the East of England was home to 8.7% of high-growth businesses, it only accounted for 6% of all UK equity deals by number. This came despite the region having significant clusters for software and life sciences, where growth prospects can be closely aligned to the ability to attract equity capital. As well as supply of capital, there is a general demand-side issue across the UK in that smaller businesses are often not fully aware of their finance options. British Business Bank research shows that a little more than half of smaller businesses considered only one provider when they last needed external finance. That was most often their current bank, although a bank loan might not always be the most suitable form of finance. As the UK government’s economic development bank, we want to help smaller businesses at every stage of their business journey – from start-up to high-growth scale-up – to understand the financial landscape and, ultimately, to be able to access the right finance for them.
hose businesses categorised as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) employ around two thirds of the private sector workforce and generate turnover almost equal to that generated by the country’s largest businesses. Enabling their success is therefore crucial to UK economic growth.
In addition, there is particularly low awareness and therefore demand for alternatives to traditional bank lending outside of London and the South East. Addressing these types of regional imbalances is a key objective for the British Business Bank. That’s why we are currently putting in place a new UK Network, with dedicated regional managers and directors, and I am delighted to have been appointed as dedicated Senior Manager covering
F INA NC E
B r i t ish B u sine ss B a n k
the East of England region. This new UK Network was originally announced as part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy in November 2017, with a remit to identify and help to reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK. As part of the UK Network, we are aiming to enhance the business finance ecosystem in the East of England, so smaller businesses located here can grow, create jobs and prosper. Helping to raise awareness of small business finance options will be a key part of our activities, building on our existing initiatives. The Bank has worked for some time to develop products aimed at raising small businesses’ awareness of, and confidence in, the wide range of funding options in the market. This includes the Business Finance Guide, developed and co-published with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and with the support of over 20 leading business and finance organisations. The Bank has also recently launched the Finance Hub – a new interactive website, developed with a range of industry partners and business groups and dedicated to providing independent
information on finance options specifically for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses to help them see what’s really possible. Access to the right type of finance, whether that be debt or equity, opens up fantastic opportunities for businesses in any industry. The example below – supported through one of our venture capital programmes – shows how the right finance at the right time helped a local business to further success. We also want the flow of information to be two-way – helping the Bank develop a deeper understanding of the small business finance markets in the East of England, so that, ultimately, we can improve our support to smaller businesses in the region. If you are an East of England-based funder or advisor to smaller businesses, please do get in contact with me at paul.sullivan@british-business-bank. co.uk or on 07785 234250 so we can explore further how to help smaller businesses across the region get the finance they need to grow and succeed.
PAUL SULLIVAN, Senior Manager for East of England, British Business Bank UK Network www.british-business-bank.co.uk
HOW THE BRITISH BUSINESS BANK IS HELPING EAST ANGLIA-BASED FLUIDIC ANALYTICS TO GROW Here in East Anglia, Cambridge is home to a world-beating life sciences cluster, with around 430 companies ranging from tiny start-ups spawned from the university to bigger emerging leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. The cluster provides 15,500 jobs generating about £2.9bn per year for the British economy. Based in Cambridge, Fluidic Analytics designs and manufactures special tools for protein characterisation (new techniques for studying protein structures) for applications in scientific research, clinical diagnostics and consumer healthcare. Fluidic Analytics secured £6.8m in equity finance over two rounds from six institutional investors. Initial financing of £1.7m received from IQ Capital, via the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Fund, allowed Fluid Analytics to transform their prototype products into a laboratory demo, and then to a market-ready product. It has allowed the launch of their first model (the Flow Mk-1, released in August 2016) and to continue development of further products to bring to market. To continue to scale-up, their ambition is to secure further funding. This will allow them to create and manufacture a new generation of laboratory tools that will contribute to new scientific discoveries. Having access to clear and impartial information on finance options is a
pre-requisite for further growth. It is an essential first step in enabling a business to shop around and get the best deal, on the right kind of finance, to help them grow and succeed. What is more, it drives competition and improves the way finance markets operate for all of us. If you are not clear on the full range of finance options available to your small business, you can learn about the many choices available at https:// thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/ or follow the Guide on Facebook @ TheBusinessFinanceGuide. If you are a business looking to grow rapidly, you can access our new Finance Hub at
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L e adi ng B u s i ne s s S e r v ices Ltd
COMPANY BUSINESS RECOVERY, INSOLVENCY AND RESCUE ADVICE Leading Corporate Recovery is a firm of licensed insolvency practitioners founded in 2015 and headquartered in Norwich. It provides a full range of business rescue, insolvency, restructuring and turnaround solutions for clients and professional partners across East Anglia, London and the Midlands.
eaded by Jamie Playford, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry, our team of restructuring professionals and licensed insolvency practitioners work closely with clients in many challenging situations. We know that these situations can be difficult, and we pride ourselves on our understanding and empathetic staff to achieve the best result. We offer both formal and informal procedures to help businesses through financial difficulties. Typically, clients will come to us for help when they are struggling to pay off debts, find cash flow difficult to manage or find themselves making less profit than they expected. We meet with our clients to fully appraise their situation and provide bespoke advice on the pros and cons of all options, with our recommendations of how to proceed.
LEADING UK www.leading.uk.com 0800 246 1845
One of the services we provide is a Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”). This is an agreement that we broker between the client and its creditors, where the outstanding debts are consolidated into one manageable monthly repayment. This also means that creditors can no longer pursue the company direct, which can alleviate a lot of the stress and allow the client to focus on running the business, rather than firefighting. The most common type of liquidation is a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (“CVL”). This is where the directors and shareholders take the decision to close the company, rather than continue trading, and is used when the business does not have enough funds to pay the outstanding debts and is considered insolvent. Once a company is in liquidation, no further legal action can be taken, and the job of the liquidator is to sell the company’s assets to realise funds for the creditors. An Administration is another statutory procedure which we use for companies that need protection from creditor action and if we think, after discussing with the client that the business can
either be traded on or sold, then we will work with the client to achieve either of those options. Often the protection of the Administration can be sufficient to allow the company to restructure and survive in some form or another. Sometimes a formal option may not be necessary, and we use other processes such as helping businesses to restructure, find cost-savings or raise fresh investment or refinancing. For clients who wish to close their company in a tax-efficient way and can repay all of their debt, we also offer Members Voluntary Liquidations (“MVL”) also known as solvent liquidations for company shareholders, this could be used in the example of a business owner looking to retire, or after a business sale. As well as businesses, we also help people that may be struggling with their finances. Our team provides a service which consolidates a person’s individual debts, and allows them to make a monthly payment plan, usually spread interest-free over five years. This is called an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) which, like a CVA, stops all creditors from pursuing the client, which can alleviate a lot of stress. We understand that a lot of the time clients may come to us when they have reached the point that they may no longer know how to handle their finances and require our assistance to manage them on their behalf. Our clients are usually referred to us by our professional partners, such as accountants, solicitors and IFAs. We work with those partners to ensure that the solution for the client covers all areas of the client’s situation, rather than focussing on just one area. This allows our team to get a greater knowledge and wider experience in many different business areas and look for solutions that would not ordinarily present themselves.
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A A T hor nton
THE IMPORTANCE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Every business will have some form of Intellectual Property (IP) – not just those that deal with technology. To appreciate the importance of this IP, it is necessary to understand the nature of different IP rights, what they protect, and how the rights can be obtained and how they best be commercialised.
enerally speaking, IP can be seen as a bundle of property rights that protect “creations of the mind”. These rights can be crucial for your business, as not only can they be used to protect your own creations, but also provide useful business tools that can be exploited commercially. Different forms of IP may be used to protect different aspects of your business. Not all IP rights may apply to your particular field of business, but many will, and understanding not only your rights but those of your competitors will put you on a sound commercial footing. The first group of rights below are all obtained through a registration process, and the costs, timescales and procedures for each will vary. Brand names and logos, whether they be the name of your business, the name of any products you produce or any associated services, can all be protected by way of a trade mark registration. Innovative products and methods of manufacture may be protected by way of a patent. Whereas patents may protect the way something works, or the way it is made, the visible appearance of these products may be protectable by way of a registered design. Whilst registered trade marks and designs and patents all need to be obtained through a legal procedure (with associated expense), other rights are automatically obtained, and can also be used to protect your intellectual creations. Copyright exists to protect the expression of ideas, and protect original written works (including computer code), as well as works of art including drawings, sculptures and photographs. The design of products is also protectable by an unregistered design right, but this offers weaker protection than a registered design. There is also limited protection for names, logos, trade style and other indicia associated with your business, if it can be proved that you have sufficient goodwill and reputation for those indicia. It is also important to be aware of your confidential information and trade secrets, since action can be taken if this information is disclosed without permission. IP rights can be put to use in a number of different ways. On one hand, IP may be seen as a negative right. That is, it can merely be used to prevent others
from copying your written material, or producing products that infringe upon your patents and designs. From this, you maintain a competitive edge. On the other hand, IP can be used in a positive sense. Since IP is a property right, it can be bought and sold. It can be licensed, so that others can use your brand name or make products that fall within your patent, for which you will receive a royalty payment. IP can be used to give you the upper hand in negotiations, and can be exchanged for mutual benefit.
AA THORNTON www.aathornton.com
Furthermore, IP rights can be obtained globally, unleashing your businesses potential to a global market. It must also be borne in mind that not only is your IP important, so is that of others. You will need to be aware of competitors’ rights so that they are not infringed, which could put your own business at risk.
DIGI TAL AND I T F ul l M i x Ma r ke t i ng
DIGITAL MARKETING – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN 2019 Since the millennium, digital marketing has become a part of how almost every company, from multi-national to sole trader, attracts new business.
or many, their strategy depends on their customers, with consumer marketing often engaged in sophisticated digital marketing. But should every business be paying more attention to their customers online in 2019? We asked Sarah West, digital marketing expert and founder of East Anglia-based Full Mix Marketing, for her advice: Find the right balance Whilst many businesses make digital marketing their sole focus, others believe it provides fewer opportunities with their specific customers. The answer typically lies in-between. If people are actively searching online for your product, a well-designed website, search engine optimisation (SEO) and digital advertising (PPC) can be highly effective. If what you deliver needs more introduction or explanation, resources might be better directed towards social media or offline marketing.
With the sheer increase in content, quality is critical in 2019. For consumers, content needs to be fun and engaging but relevant to your product. For businesses, overtly salesy messages are increasingly ignored. Reporting even minor developments from your business will be more effective at attracting genuine customers. Video content was predicted to dominate online by 2020. It’s undoubtedly popular but growth has slowed as users still value the immediacy of text and images. Videos should be short and contain key messages within the first ten seconds.
Over 50% of traffic is now from mobile devices so use your smartphone to evaluate your visitor’s experience.
If you know who your target customers are, the best results often come from marketing directly to them. This has historically meant direct mail or print advertising but may now include digital methods like email and online display advertising. The right mix of marketing should focus on whatever creates the greatest return. Customers don’t usually recall how they discovered your business, so blending digital, offline and direct marketing will likely remain the most powerful approach in 2019.
If you’re looking to reach company decision-makers, LinkedIn is often most productive. Businesses can’t invite users to connect to their page, so grow your personal following and share your business’s posts.
Dress your shop window Before developing your website, evaluate its importance in 2019.
Whatever your business, almost all potential customers will look you up online. Your website must meet their expectations and provide the information they need. If it’s old fashioned or difficult to use, they may think the same of your business. If you’re actively seeking customers online, your website is a shop window and needs to be more appealing than your competitor next door. However, before investing in a new website, use tools like Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner to understand the number of visitors you are, or could be, attracting. A new website alone may not increase visitors but could improve sales conversion.
Use content effectively
Content and functionality are almost always more important than looks. Over 50% of traffic is now from mobile devices so use your smartphone to evaluate your visitor’s experience.
With three-quarters of Brits active on social media it’s a very powerful tool.
Facebook remains a strong way to target consumers, though its demographic is aging and Instagram can be strong for under 35’s. Neither are particularly effective for targeting businesses.
Search Engine Optimisation is complex but the principles remain relatively simple in 2019. More than ever, Google, Bing and other search engines want to provide users with the very best content. There are three main factors:
Twitter has grown as a news source but requires more frequent posting as it displays most Tweets in chronological order. It can be used to target businesses too but is typically less effective than LinkedIn.
The first is Structure. A high-ranking website opens quickly, displays securely on all devices and is easily understood by search engines.
D IGI T A L A ND I T F ul l M ix Mar ke t i n g
The second is Relevance. A website with lots of appropriate content will appear higher in search results. Specific landing pages and fresh text like blogs will help but old-fashioned tactics, such as endlessly repeating keywords, can backfire. Finally, Authority measures how respected your website is and is demonstrated by links from other websites. Blogs and press releases published by respected websites will help but excessive links from low-quality sites can be harmful. Google AdWords may have become Google Ads but pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in search results remains highly effective. Again, quality management is key in 2019, as one website visitor who buys is worth hundreds who simply visit. Conversion tracking is a good way to evaluate what works. Even if visitors are unable to buy on your website, you can track other behaviours to ensure you’re targeting the right searches. Customers are unlikely to choose your product after just one visit. Remarketing displays an advert on other websites which visitors to your website subsequently see. It’s strong for boosting sales and can include HTML5 animated adverts. Searching may not be the only way customers discover you online. Display, social media and affiliate advertising may also be an effective part of your digital strategy in 2019.
Be direct Despite GDPR regulatory changes, email remains a powerful part of digital marketing in 2019. It’s no longer possible to target consumers without their prior permission but email is a great way to stay in your existing customers mind’s and maintain loyalty. The rules for targeting businesses are largely unchanged. You can speculatively email businesses but you must provide an opt-out and be sure they have a ‘legitimate interest’. Keep your email’s title descriptive and include at least one piece of news. Open rates significantly reduce when business recipients believe an email is simply selling to them.
FULL MIX MARKETING www.fullmixmarketing.co.uk
GDPR means direct mail can now be even more effective. Costs are higher than email but response and retention rates are typically higher too. Worth considering in 2019.
DIGI TAL AND I T DR P
5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019 Employee advocacy will also grow in popularity. A lot of businesses forget that their own employees can be excellent ‘influencers.’ If you have 100 employees who are active on LinkedIn, and each of those have 100 connections in their networks, that’s a potential (free!) reach of 10,000 people. Facebook groups Facebook has received a lot of bad publicity in the last year or so, with users complaining that their newsfeeds have become overrun with spam and “fake news.” Earlier this year Facebook changed its algorithm so that posts from friends and family are more likely to be seen in the main newsfeed. Great news for Facebook users, but bad news for business pages.
Achieving organic reach as a business page may have become more difficult, however there are ways to get around the algorithm. Facebook groups offer an alternative way to reach people who are genuinely interested in your industry. People tend to join groups about topics they’re interested in, therefore the content shared in these groups tends to receive high engagement.
Facebook pages can also now join Facebook groups, making it even easier for businesses to engage with potential customers in a more personal setting.
ocial media is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to work out what you should and shouldn’t be paying attention to.
Here are 5 social media trends which you should be looking out for in 2019…
It’s no secret that most online content is now consumed on mobile. Social media users have traditionally been required to physically turn their phones to view a video in full screen, however times have now changed. If you want to create videos which stand out, think vertically. Picture this. You’re scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed and come across a video which takes over your entire screen. It’s hard to ignore! If you’re not yet using Instagram stories as part of your Instagram strategy, then it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Instagram stories have grown rapidly in popularity since they launched in 2016 and are traditionally viewed vertically. Influencer marketing
SAMANTHA GRIFFITHS @drpgroup
There’s no denying the power of influencers. It’s estimated that nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer, and 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchase decisions. For those who haven’t come across the term before, a social media “influencer” is someone who has the power to directly or indirectly sway the decisions of their followers. There’s been some bad publicity recently around social media influencers who have bought “fake” followers to cheat their way into paid partnerships with brands. Spotting fake followers can be tricky. Online tools (for example socialblade.com) can help, and Instagram has already started to crack down on accounts buying fake followers. As a result, we should hopefully see brand-influencer partnerships become more authentic.
Stories The popularity of Snapchat and Instagram has shown that people love raw, realistic content. For businesses, stories give you the opportunity to take people “behindthe-scenes” and show off your personality and culture. Facebook stories are still relatively new, but Facebook seems keen to promote them. For certain advertising objectives you can even use Facebook stories as a placement, and the early adopters are likely to be those who benefit the most. Technology You may have noticed Facebook recently rolled out the ability to upload 3D photos. You can take these on your iPhone using Portrait mode, or through Facebook itself. Because 3D photos are still new, they’re much more likely to grab attention, so this is a feature worth exploring if you’re a product-focused business. Chatbots are also here to stay. A report by Oracle found that 80% of businesses either already use chatbots or are planning to implement them by 2020. Facebook recently announced a new smart device “Facebook Portal” which will allow you to video call friends and family hands-free, with a camera that automatically zooms in and out and follows you around the room. While it’s currently only available in the US, if it proves popular it’s likely to go worldwide. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more social networks developing smart technology which mimics the likes of Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
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DIGI TAL AND I T
ARE YOU SATISFIED YOUR FIRM’S CYBER SECURITY WOULD STAND UP TO THE TEST? Experts now say that it’s a case of when, not if, a business is targeted by online criminals – so are you satisfied your firm’s cyber security would stand up to the test? It is believed that the vast majority of successful cyber attacks are enabled as a result of human error. It’s estimated at 90 per cent of all such attacks can be prevented by taking some simple security steps – and staff training is key. It is evident that businesses need to do more to ensure all staff have appropriate online fraud awareness training and everyone knows and understands their role in keeping the business secure. A substantial amount of online fraud targeted at businesses is successful due to lack of knowledge or complacency on the part of employees. It is also important to take into account that if you or your staff fall for scams such as a phishing email or a mandate fraud, your bank may not refund the money lost, as they could claim you have not done enough to protect yourself. Cyber security should be the golden thread running through your business. It should be an agenda item at every team briefing and every meeting. This is the only way to make it clear just how important it is. Another important thing to bear in mind is the cost of a breach may not only be the money lost to the attackers. The Information Commissioner’s Office can also issue fines to companies when customer data is compromised as a result of cyber attacks, if it finds not enough has been done to prevent that data being stolen – and the sums are not insignificant.” To help reduce the risk to your business, you need to ensure you have the following measures in place at the very least: n Set up structured employee education and awareness training, make sure it is conducted regularly and kept up-to-date.
n Install internet security solutions on all systems – including mobile devices – and keep all operating software, application software, mobile apps and web browsers up to date. n Set up and enforce a strict password policy for all employees and contractors. n Consider restricting access to inappropriate websites to lessen the risk of being exposed to malware, and create a policy governing when and how security updates should be installed. n Introduce rules on safe mobile working, including use of unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots, shoulder surfing and protecting devices from theft or loss. n Increase protection of your networks, including wireless networks, against external attacks through the use of firewalls, proxies, access lists and other measures. n Maintain an inventory of all IT equipment and software – including redundant systems – and identify a secure standard formation for all existing and future IT and comms equipment used by your business. n Restrict staff and third-party access to IT equipment, systems and information to the minimum required. Plus, keep items physically secure to prevent unauthorised access. n For home and mobile working, ensure sensitive data is encrypted when stored or transmitted online so data can only be accessed by authorised users. n Restrict the use of removable media such as USB drives, CDs, DVDs and secure digital cards, and protect any data stored on these to help stop data being lost and to prevent malware from being installed. Have a proper BYoD (Bring Your Own Device) policy in place.
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Many SME directors fear that as they do not have the ability to employ online security experts, they may not be able to sufficiently protect their assets. However, there is a wealth of free information available that can help you to put the basics in place. The Cyber Essentials scheme provides an easy way of showing your business can be trusted when it comes
to cyber security – and a quick way of spotting which firms also make the grade. It identifies the security controls you must have in place within your firm’s IT systems in order to qualify for the accreditation, and although relevant to firms of all sizes, it also recognises that some small and medium sized enterprises may need more help, guidance and support than larger firms with IT experts on staff.
DIGI TAL AND I T I nte l l i ge nc i a Tra i ni ng
INTELLIGENCIA TRAINING RAISE INTELLIGENCE SKILLS WITHIN LOCAL AUTHORITIES Specialist training provider, Intelligencia Training Limited, have successfully completed a programme including delegates from Hertfordshire County Council, Suffolk County Council, Luton Council, The London Borough of Hackney, The Royal Borough of Greenwich, Peterborough and Central Bedfordshire Councils.
vocational training available for intelligence and analytical personnel and delivers significant skills within specialist sectors that have not previously benefited from formal, professionalised training.
The Level 4 Apprenticeship in Intelligence Operations represents the UK’s highest level of
The mixed local authority cohort was championed by Hertfordshire County Council who invited a number of their neighbouring local authorities and strategic partners to participate in the programme. Andrew Butler, the council’s Head of Protection (Business) said: “It is more important than ever before that we make the best possible use of the intelligence that we have to ensure we are directing our resources in the right areas.
his mixed cohort of local authorities utilised the Apprenticeship levy funded Level 4 Apprenticeship in Intelligence Operations and represented the UK’s 1st public sector organisations to take advantage of this cutting edge programme. Previously this level of intelligence training was only available within military intelligence settings and the ability to take advantage of the latest skills and techniques available received excellent initial support from department managers.
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I ntel l i genc i a Tra i n i n g
“The course will help our people detect fraud and assist trading standards teams in taking forward prosecutions in what are often complex cases.” The programme included delegates from a range of departments including Trading Standards, Regulatory Services, Counter Fraud, Housing and Intelligence Teams. The ability to work together, utilising a collaborative approach to the way in which intelligence and intelligence led decision making processes are offers significant benefits to public sector department and Government agencies.
Jordan Frances, Intelligence Officer, Hertfordshire County Council, commented, “From completing the intelligence operations course our 3 Intelligence officers have gained a good insight into how many avenues intelligence can be used in the work place by showing us techniques that we did not know before which can be applied within our role. It also taught us ways to think critically about how we can make better use of information given to us and how to get the best intelligence out of it. What made the course very beneficial were the scenarios they used for us to try out these analytical techniques which made the techniques easy to understand and carry out in a work like situation; having us present the work to the class also gave us confidence in being able to present to work colleagues in the future. The delivery team were very knowledgeable and able to assist us with any query we had on the task at hand. This level 4 qualification will come as a huge benefit to all of us, we now have evidence to show for our knowledge regarding intelligence.”
Alison Brown, Trading Standards Officer, Public Protection, Central Bedfordshire Council commented, “I would like to say how much I enjoyed the apprenticeship in Intelligence Operations which I recently completed. The tutors were very knowledgeable and approachable. I found it particularly beneficial to meet up on a regular basis with fellow apprentices, as many of them were full time Intelligence Officers whereas I am new to the role. We participated in lots of group exercises so I Nick Atkinson, Intelligencia Training’s Commercial was able to tap in to their expertise as well as that Director, advised that this mixed local authority of the tutors. The assignments we had to complete cohort “gave us the opportunity to showcase how during the course were very useful as they required this rewarding apprenticeship programme could be us to apply the techniques we had learned to our utilised by public sector departments to develop own organisation. the intelligence I have been skills of key using my newly personnel. We learned skills have identified more or less since I’m hoping to use my new that previously the start of the this type of knowledge to help my department course, to better training had only inform the work work smarter, finding out the real come from within carried out by my organisation’s issues affecting local residents and Trading Standards own skill set department, businesses and taking effective without access to and to provide the latest skills action. I would also like to help other intelligence to and techniques.” colleagues to CBC services that have traditionally assist them in Nick pointed out been reactive to be more intelligence that “as a direct carrying out their roles. Looking result of the initial led in their ways of working. to the future, I feedback from this believe I can use programme we are my new skills to now engaged with help other departments within my organisation. over 35 local authorities now taking advantage of this programme with the vast majority involved in “I’m hoping to use my new knowledge to help my inter-organisation, mixed cohort delivery models to department work smarter, finding out the real issues promote the regional and sector use of intelligence. affecting local residents and businesses and taking The apprenticeship programme has also been effective action. I would also like to help other CBC adopted by a number of Government agencies from, services that have traditionally been reactive to be law enforcement and custodial sectors as a method more intelligence led in their ways of working.” to formalise and professionalise their intelligence processes. We are also very proud to be operating “I would say to any employee looking to upskill within the private sector with the apprenticeship through an apprenticeship to “go for it”. It will give programme being utilised by many high profile you a new lease of life, especially if you have been in organisations within the banking, insurance, utilities the same job for a long time like I have.” and retail sectors. These certainly are exciting Joanne Smith, Senior Trading Standards times for our organisation and the opportunity to Enforcement Officer, Luton Borough Council participate in cross sector engagement, promoting commented “Since undertaking the course, I have the effective use of intelligence is very rewarding, we moved jobs to one where I now oversee intelligence consistently receive positive feedback from both our gathering and analysis, I am showing members learners and employers. The ability for public sector of my team, and other teams, how they can departments and large organisations to make cost utilise intelligence to help make better informed effective use of their significant Apprenticeship levy operational decisions. We are use trend and pattern payments is obviously a huge advantage!” analysis regularly to assist with target identification, You can read more about Intelligencia Training and as well as using some of the other techniques to the programmes they currently offer at help inform enforcement operations direction and www.intelligenciatraining.com to seek partners to assist where wider intelligence means there are cross boundary and remit interests.”
INTELLIGENCIA TRAINING www.intelligenciatraining.com
BU SI N E SS SUP P O R T Open CRM
THE FUTURE OF CRM - GENUINE INTELLIGENCE FROM AN ARTIFICIAL SOURCE If you jump onto any tech blog or happen to come across some marketing material for IT giants, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hot topic shaping the marketplace. decisions of the future. Soon, we may see systems recommending next steps based on previous results of leads with a similar profile. When it comes to prospects, AI won’t just enable us to build up a score but instead, map out the ideal process which is tailored to their needs to get them over the line intelligently. Pipeline Forecasting Almost an extension to the above, pipeline forecasting is used to give a manager information about how many sales are likely to come through in the future and what the revenue of those might be. This allows them to make plans related to hiring and other outgoings.
ut the term does seem to get overused and maybe undervalued at times AI is used to describe any type of automation, something which may can often get away with due to a lack of detailed general knowledge. To help clarify what these means in my industry, I’d like to look at some of the key AI advances I expect to see in the CRM market over the next 12 months which may shape the way tasks are performed intelligently on the behalf of you, our user. Lead Forensics
Graham Anderson, is the CEO and founder of OpenCRM, one of the UK’s leading customer relationship management systems
OPEN CRM 01748 473000 www.opencrm.co.uk
Most CRM systems are based, at their heart, around improving the efficiency of the sales process for a business. Let’s look at an example at the Lead/ Prospect stage (known as lead scoring). Something many Sales Directors use to boost efficiency is to prioritise the needs of the highest value prospects. Lead scoring isn’t something that’s new to the market, but it is something which I believe is often wrongly classed as ‘AI’ for purely marketing reasons. Currently, most CRMs score leads on fairly straight forward conditions, i.e if the prospective company size is 30+ or the expected spend is higher than average, give them a high score. The CRM hasn’t really applied intelligence, it has just followed the rules set out by the administrator. True intelligence would sit outside these rules, with the CRM using trends of the past to inform
Soon enough I think we’ll see systems taking historic sales data, mapping it against data of the present, to give us intelligent insight into the future. Giving a secondary forecasting that maybe goes even further into the future. It would then update that on a rolling, daily basis using the newest data available, something a set of simple rules couldn’t do. Contextual Recommendations As the name suggest, we need our CRM systems to help us better understand, manage and maximise the relationships with our customers. Whilst it’s undoubtedly true that they already play a major part in making this happen, with the data at hand and powerful computing, we need our systems to calculate the trends and highlight the issues we just can’t! We’ll begin to see our CRM systems give us recommendations on next actions based upon the existing relationship with our customers. The intelligent thing here is the context. An automated system rule just wouldn’t cut it as every customer, their needs and their behaviours are entirely different. Soon CRM systems will be able to track hundreds of individual ‘norms’ and let you know when it’s time to step in! Whether we like it or not, AI is on the horizon and won’t be disappearing any time soon! For software organisations, it opens a whole new realm of possibilities and will allow customer the opportunity to transform the way they run their businesses and keep their customers happy!
com pa ny
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East Anglia in Business is designed to generate collaboration, sustainable growth, competitive advantage and to build links with businesses...
Published on Jan 9, 2019
East Anglia in Business is designed to generate collaboration, sustainable growth, competitive advantage and to build links with businesses...