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suffolk SUMMER 2011 | www.iod-suffolk.co.uk

21st Century Retail


Lighter fuel consumption with Audi lightweight construction. Lightweight construction makes the new Audi A6 less thirsty. Constructed around a bodyshell that’s part aluminium, part steel, it’s 80kg lighter than its predecessor. The result is less work for the engine and therefore less fuel consumption. Meaning you’ll spend less time at the pumps and more time on the road.

The new Audi A6. Enhanced driving.

Available to test drive at your local Audi Centre. Ipswich Audi 2 Bath Street Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8SG 0844 776 0483 www.ipswich.audi.co.uk Part of the Marriott Motor Group Official fuel consumption figures for the A6 Saloon range in mpg (l/100km) from: Urban 26.2 (10.8) – 47.1 (6.0), Extra Urban 42.8 (6.6) – 64.2 (4.4), Combined 34.4 (8.2) – 57.6 (4.9). CO2 emissions: 190-129 g/km.


CONTENTS

Welcome. Design should never say, ‘Look at me.’ It should always say, ‘Look at this’. As you can see, we have completely re-designed IoD Suffolk. Legible fonts and a contemporary clear format are the order of the day, as we continue to develop the premier business-to-business magazine for Suffolk and North Essex. Our feature article looks at the 21st Century retail in the region. Effective leadership and commitment are increasingly paramount to help drive the much-needed economic recovery. Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in our towns and retail communities. We talk to those involved in town centre planning and local business owners to examine the state of the consumer confidence. Our cover features arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds, built in 2009 and winner of last year’s BCSC Gold Award for Best New Shopping Centre. Photography by kind permission of arc. All rights Reserved.

Elsewhere in the magazine we explore key regional issues and showcase business developments with articles on social media, business advice and home-working. On a lighter note, we also take a drive with local sporting hero, Karen Pickering MBE, in the new Mercedes SLK. Jonathan Tilston

18

Contents

1

IoD events

2

Thoughts from the chairman

3

Published by: Tilston Phillips Magazines Limited enquiries@tilstonphillips.com www.tilstonphillips.com

Across the region

Designed by: Alan Brannan Design www.alanbrannandesign.co.uk Printed by: Healeys Print Group Unit 10 – 11 The Sterling Complex Farthing Road Ipswich Suffolk IP1 5AP

All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without the prior consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. The content of this magazine is based on the best knowledge and information available at the time of publication. All times, prices and details of events were correct at time of going to press. The views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers, proprietors, the Institute of Directors or others associated with this production. © Tilston Phillips Magazines Limited 2011

24

28

5

EEBW awards

12

Corporate news

13

Business advice

14

Social media

16

A word from the accountants

17

Suffolk retail

19

Corporate events

23

IoD annual conference

24

Corporate news

26

Corporate communication

27

Motoring

28

Corporate launch

30

Company profile

33

Leisure

35

Home-working

36

Charity

37

Business books

38

Business start-up

39

Member profile

40

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 1


IOD EVENTS

Join us for one (or more) of these not-to-be-missed events and enjoy meeting fellow business leaders while you relax with good food and wine.

SUMMER EVENTS Question Time Dinner

IoD Taste Bites

16TH JUNE 2011 6.30 – 10.45pm The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds

20TH JULY 2011 7.00pm – 10.30pm Suffolk Food Hall, Ipswich

The Question Time Dinner, introduced over five years ago, has become a premier event in the IoD Suffolk event calendar. Enjoy lively debate between eminent Suffolk business and political figures as they are questioned by the audience on topical issues.

An evening of culinary entertainment for members and their guests at the Suffolk Food Hall at Wherstead, near Ipswich. We will start the evening with a reception followed by a unique demonstration where the commercial reality of three local food businesses will be discussed at the same time as their products are prepared into delicious dishes by the Food Hall Chefs.

The ticket prices are £40.00 (ex VAT) for members or £55 (ex VAT) for non-members and this includes reception drinks, a three course dinner and wine.

Q

This fascinating evening will combine a bit of Jamie Oliver with Working Lunch and will follow through to supper that celebrates the best that Suffolk has to offer.

Panel members are:

Graeme Leach – Institute of Directors Graeme Leach is Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, which he joined in 1998. In 2004 he was appointed visiting professor of economic policy at the University of Lincoln.

Steven Law – Ensors Chartered Accountants Steven Law joined Ensors as a partner in 1996. He is a qualified chartered accountant and insolvency practitioner.

Rosemary Bensley – Pharmarama – East of England Business Woman of the Year 2011 Rosemary Bensley is managing director of Parmarama in the UK and President in the US. The company sources comparator medicines for clinical trials worldwide and in May 2011 it was ranked 31st in The Sunday Times Britain’s Fastest Growing Companies HSBC International Track 100.

Panellist No. 4 – to be announced shortly

Put it in your diary!

64th Aldeburgh Festival – ‘Revenge of the Folksingers’ 23RD JUNE 2011 6.15pm – 10.00pm Snape Maltings, Snape Snape Maltings has a well earned and long standing international reputation as a music and arts venue. Join us for reception drinks followed by a delicious BBQ on the veranda of the Trask Café. Enjoy the summer’s evening with friends, family and colleagues. We will then listen to ‘Revenge of the Folksingers’ – an arresting collaboration which unites period instrument specialists and some of the leading lights on the UK folk scene. They explore each other’s homelands and the disputed borders in between – with enthralling and occasionally raucous results.

Chair of the Panel: Rachel Sloane Rachel Sloane Partnerships Ltd. Rachel Sloane is an award winning broadcaster who has a long career in commercial radio and BBC local radio.

Ticket prices are £45 (ex VAT) for IoD members and their guests or £55 (ex VAT) for non-members. This includes reception drinks, BBQ before the evening’s performance, with canapé desserts served with tea/coffee during the interval.

For further information and to reserve your place at any of our events please contact Caroline Kearney – Suffolk IoD Branch Administrator. Telephone: 07917 699 498 | Email: caroline@iod-suffolk.co.uk | www.iod.com/suffolk/events

2011 programme is kindly sponsored by:

2 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011


WELCOME

New members to Suffolk branch Stephen Appleby Brown & May Ltd Peter Young Burnbank Ltd David Hooper D N H Hooper Ltd Carl Goulton E.ON UK Energy Services Ltd Howard Wright Jackaman Smith & Mulley Gary Pike Jardine Motors Group Emma North Jolly HR Services Ltd John Brunyee Oil & Gas Systems Ltd Warwick Dunnett Seven Telematics Ltd Ian McAllister Seven Telematics Ltd Bryn Maidman Taylor Wimpey East Anglia Mark Edmonds Taylor Wimpey East Anglia Paul Bensley X-on

IoD Suffolk membership benefits • • • • • •

IoD Travel Services IoD Car Rental IoD Director’s Liability Insurance IoD Professional Indemnity Insurance IoD Home and Contents Insurance IoD Health Plans For a complete list of the current affinity member benefits, please see www.iod.com/speciallynegotiated

To find out more about joining IoD Suffolk branch please contact: Caroline Kearney Suffolk Branch Administrator 07917 699 498 caroline@iod-suffolk.co.uk www.iod-suffolk.co.uk Institute of Directors Suffolk Branch 25 Wilding Drive, Grange Farm Kesgrave, Ipswich IP5 2AE

Thoughts from the chairman As I write this column, news has just been received that Suffolk’s bid for funding high-speed broadband has been unsuccessful. This is a major blow for the business community in Suffolk. High-speed broadband is now an essential tool for businesses and is as important to success as electricity or water. The IoD Suffolk has played a role in lobbying for success and we, along with others involved, must analyse the reasons for the rejection of funding by BDUK and ensure the next bid is successful. Headlines recently have been dominated by the so-called ‘super injunctions’. While this has occasionally had its amusing elements it has posed a major issue of personal privacy in the modern age. What we effectively saw was mass civil disobedience using Twitter. All businesses need to learn lessons from how the new media can have a profound impact on reputation.

The UK economy continues to struggle to emerge from recession. With GDP growth in the first three months of 2011 only cancelling out the fall in the last quarter of 2010, it is clearly going to be some time before the business community can face the future with real optimism, particularly as the public sector cuts have yet to have a real impact on jobs and economic activity. That being said, there are some signs of real growth in the manufacturing sector, which is excellent news. Elsewhere in the magazine you will see the details of recent IoD Suffolk events. We had an exceptional annual conference, which was well received by all those attending. Paul Winter

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 3


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ACROSS THE REGION

New chief for Air Ambulance A new chief executive has been appointed to lead East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

Tim Page, who has most recently worked for charities in London and Birmingham, said: “One of my aims is to develop close relationships with those organisations with whom we work in partnership: the hospitals, training providers and other emergency services. “I also want to ensure that the air ambulance helicopters can provide highly skilled and capable medical teams to any location in Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, in sufficient time, to save lives. “Above all, I want to establish the East Anglian Air Ambulance as the most professional, competent, effective and valued helicopter-borne emergency medical service in the country, providing the best possible value-for money service to those who support us and who, one day, may need our help.” Tim was previously the director of Emmaus UK, a national charity based in Cambridge. Before working with charities, he had a long and successful military career. He was commissioned into the Royal Anglian Regiment in 1974 and commanded both the 1st Battalion The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment and Old College at The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He also held a variety of staff appointments, including Chief of Land/ Air Operations in Bosnia Herzegovina and director of Army marketing at the MOD.

Women solicitors in new venture Fate has played a large part in the lives of two Suffolk women who have just opened their own law firm, Christchurch Solicitors. The paths of Clare Barlow and Julie Ferguson first crossed last year in the legal department of charity organisation Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE). “As soon as we met we hit it off,” says Julie. “We’d both been involved in charity work, locally and internationally and felt quite strongly about similar issues, namely championing the underdog. There were lots of coincidences. Our husbands are both called John and have worked in London as photographers. We’d both trained as solicitors, albeit at different times, at the same law firm in Ipswich. We’re working mothers and our birthdays are in May.”

But it was their mutual desire to set up a solicitors’ practice with a fair and friendly ethos that sealed their partnership. Christchurch Solicitors LLP opened in May in Elm Street, Ipswich, offering services in family, wills and probate, immigration and employment law. “We want to offer a more informal and equitable approach to legal services,” says Clare. “We want people to come in, have a coffee and talk over their legal requirements without nervously clock-watching in case they’re racking up an expensive hourly rate,” added Julie.

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 5


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ACROSS THE REGION

Loyalty is on the cards for Glaswells In an event spearheaded by the Suffolk Young Chamber, Glasswells of Ipswich led 80 children through a marketing campaign process, designed to open them up to new ideas and thought processes.

Pupils from East Bergholt High School, aged between 13 and 14, attended the event which was led by Andrea Johnson, manager of the Ipswich Glasswells superstore. One of the ideas generated has now led to a new initiative across the firm’s stores. This suggested an in-store loyalty card for ‘The Place to Eat’ restaurant at the Ipswich store. The idea impressed so much that Glasswells have decided to implement this scheme across their stores. Andrea explained: “We thought this was a great idea. Simple yet effective; and something which we can readily put in place to give our customers added value.” It will feature discounts and offers exclusive to card-holders. Tim Kerr, Young Chamber Co-ordinator who organised the event, said: “We are really grateful to Andrea for giving up her valuable time for this event. The attitude adopted by Glasswells is one which we hope many other local businesses will follow; and shows that some great ideas can come from this sort of activity.” Andrea said: “It was really refreshing to see such enthusiasm in the children, and was great to see where you can get to without the restrictions or barriers that often arrive with age.”

Tide Mill set for Spring offensive Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust has appointed Suffolk creative agency Spring to work on the restoration of this iconic local landmark. The agency will be helping create a new and improved visitor centre, in a year-long project involving design, production, audiovisual interactive programming. Spring’s partnership with the trust represents one of the final steps towards the restoration of the building, which was awarded £955,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund in March to fund this £1.25million project.

This sum will form the greater part of the budget for an extensive refurbishment of the building and wheel mechanism, necessary to protect the fabric for the future and to make it accessible and educational for a growing audience of all ages. The agency has started work with immediate effect and completion is scheduled for a grand reopening early next year.

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 7


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ACROSS THE REGION

Professor to head UCS business school Professor David Weir has been appointed head of the new School of Business, Leadership and Enterprise at University Campus Suffolk (UCS). He is leaving his position as Professor of Intercultural Management at Liverpool Hope University to take up his post at UCS and will lead the business, leadership and enterprise agenda at all levels, in association with a range of local, national and international partners. Professor Weir’s academic career has included leading four university business schools. He was also chair of the Association of Business Schools (UK) and is a visiting professor for numerous universities.

Could you be a social entrepreneur? Do you have what it takes to be a successful social entrepreneur? The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Suffolk is looking for its next group of recruits – 20 exceptional individuals from the eastern region with the passion and drive to set up new charities, social enterprises and social businesses that will benefit their community. The SSE Suffolk programme is a year-long course that supports budding social entrepreneurs to develop innovative ideas into sustainable enterprises. The course focuses on the practical aspects of enterprise development and supports and encourages personal growth. The course is for anybody aged over 18 –with no age limit and no academic requirements. Celia Hodson, director of the Eastern Enterprise Hub, which hosts the school, said:

He said: “I am delighted to be joining a strong team at University Campus Suffolk and look forward with keen anticipation to playing a part in establishing this exciting new venture. These are tough times but I have no doubt we can build on the strengths of the established Universities of East Anglia and Essex, of a committed faculty and of the Suffolk commercial and community environment to make UCS he place to watch.” Professor Mike Saks, provost and chief executive of UCS, said: “We are very much looking forward to Professor Weir joining us. With his leading-edge expertise and connections, I have no doubt he will make a huge difference in both the specific business, leadership and enterprise area and on the executive of UCS in further developing university provision in Suffolk and beyond.”

“We’re looking for some entrepreneurial superstars who want to develop ideas that will change people’s lives and improve communities. “There is no mould or template for a social entrepreneur and they come from different ages, background, gender, interests and expertise. All that’s required is a go-getting attitude and a passion for addressing social issues.” The course consists of weekly study sessions with activities and resources designed to provide the support that social entrepreneurs need to achieve their ambitions. The school is holding free taster events – contact Jemima Thompson on: 01473 527100 email: jemima@eehub.co.uk

New BID to cut energy costs The results of the 2011 Budget have been met with mixed reactions in the past two months. Proposed help for first-time buyers – a highly useful initiative. A potential cut in fuel duty – a big help for motorists. However, the announcement that a carbon tax will be brought in, bringing higher electricity bills, has been a source of worry. With this in mind, Ipswich Central, the business improvement district (BID) company, has employed Meercat Associates to provide a new energy scheme for Ipswich town centre.

It is designed to make carbon savings but also offer significant cost reductions for the BID zone businesses, aiming to provide a unified energy supply. By using this free service, Ipswich Central BID zone businesses will benefit from reduced energy bills as a result of the Meercat buyer power. To take advantage of this broker-type service for gas and/or electricity any BID-zone stakeholder just has to arrange a short meeting with one of the dedicated energy rangers who will be visiting town centre businesses.

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 9


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CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS


ACROSS THE REGION

Ensors make it a double celebration Ensors Chartered Accountants are celebrating two landmark events – the 20th anniversary of having a ‘full-time’ presence in Saxmundham and the retirement of Alan Hawes, partner at Saxmundham office. Alan joined Ensors in 1967 as a trainee, having worked there for two weeks in his Easter holiday to see if he liked the work. He qualified in 1972, became partner in 1981 and started the Saxmundham office in 1988. The next few years saw the expansion of Ensors in Saxmundham. Having started as a ‘one-day-a-week’ office, it became full time in 1991. During this time Alan was elected as the firm’s first managing partner and was instrumental in taking the firm into the ‘computer age’ with the purchase of the first computer system. Carl Page, who joined Ensors in Saxmundham in 1994 and is now partner in charge of the Saxmundham office, said: “It seemed quite fitting that these two events coincided. Alan has had such an influential role in the development of the Saxmundham office that it seems only right his retirement should be marked with our 20th anniversary.”

Town centre vote on way ahead

Law firms set to merge The partners of Kester Cunningham John and Ashton Graham have announced that they have agreed to merge to create a major new firm from October 1. The new business, Ashton KCJ, will build on the firms’ successful track records and have offices across the eastern region.

Ipswich Central, the town centre BID management company, will be announcing its future business plan – based on extensive consultation among its stakeholders – in September. Ipswich Central will then be asking for local BID-zone businesses to vote to continue the BID for another five years so that it can continue to support the growth, promotion and development of the town centre. The BID model has been successfully replicated in more than 115 locations across the UK, with many more towns and cities looking to set one up.

Simon Smith, CEO of KCJ, said: “Ashton KCJ will be determined to set the pace through its range and depth of expertise and sector strength. The combination of our two firms ensures we will continue to deliver the highest level of service to our clients, while extending our expertise across the entire eastern region and beyond.

range of legal services, for businesses and for individuals.”

“We shall keep our focus on providing an excellent client experience across a wide

“The completion of our merger talks marks the start of an exciting new chapter.”

Alan Brown, managing partner of Ashton Graham, added: “We are pleased and excited to join forces with KCJ given the two firms’ shared commitment to staff, client service excellence and support for their communities.

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 11


EEBW AWARDS

The awards were held in association with the IoD Eastern Region, with support from main sponsors Lloyds TSB Commercial and Adnams. EEBW chair Jane Cox said: “My congratulations go out to all the winners after what has been a very exciting time judging some outstanding entries.” Fourteen finalists were interviewed and visited by judges, who looked at their business skills – including sales and marketing, financial strengths, human resources activity and evidence of corporate social responsibility. Winners – From left to right: Businesswoman of the Year Rosemary Bensley, Rising Star of the Year Claire Bishop, Beatrice Wilkinson Memorial Award Karen Finch, Start Up Business of the Year Claire Martinsen, Businesswoman Entrepreneur of the Year Naomi Tarry

SUFFOLK WINNERS

Best businesswomen in the East Three Suffolk women collected winners’ prizes in the 21st East of England Businesswomen of the Year awards, presented by BBC business correspondent Karen Hoggan at The West Wing, Ickworth House, in May.

The Rising Star of the Year, sponsored by Ashridge Business School, was won by Claire Bishop, of Bury St Edmunds-based building risk management company Nemco Utilities. This was a new category for 2011 to recognise the achievements of an up-and-coming businesswoman who has already made a significant contribution to her organisation. Claire was spotted by the directors of her business as having the flair and determination to go all the way to the top. She has already masterminded several initiatives that have added to the company’s success and had an impact on the bottom line. Claire has won a place on one of Ashridge Business School’s prestigious business programmes and development coaching.

Businesswoman Entrepreneur of the Year – Naomi Tarry, Best of Suffolk, Woodbridge (left), receives her award from Suzie Stubbing, Lloyds TSB Commercial

Beatrice Wilkinson Memorial Award – Karen Finch, The Hearing Care Centre, Ipswich (left), receives her award from Lina Hogg, Suffolk Business Women

The Businesswoman Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Lloyds TSB, was won by Naomi Tarry, of Woodbridge-based holiday cottage company Best of Suffolk. Judges said Naomi displayed considerable business talent. She had spotted an opportunity and made a success of it while continually keeping an eye out for new ideas. Karen Finch of The Hearing Care Centre won the Beatrice Wilkinson Memorial Award, sponsored by Suffolk Business Women. OVERALL WINNER The overall title of Businesswoman of the Year, sponsored by Adnams, was won by Rosemary Bensley, managing director of Essex company Pharmarama. She has steered the pharmaceuticals specialist to be one of the country’s fastest growth companies. Start Up Business of the Year sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial, was won by Claire Martinsen, founder of Norfolk-based Breckland Orchard.

Rising Star of the Year – Claire Bishop, Nemco Utilities Ltd, Bury St Edmunds (left), receives her award from Sarah Beart, Ashridge Business School

12 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011


CORPORATE NEWS

Will you still need me? By Andrew Fleming, Partner – Blocks Solicitors

Employers had been expecting a long run in to the abolition of the statutory age for retirement of 65 following an announcement of this aim by the Government last year. However, greater longevity and fitness, pressure from the European Court of Justice and, above all, the shortfall of governmental resources, have fastforwarded this step. From 1 October this year, employees will generally have the right to work after the age of 65. There was a short transitional period when employers could finalise existing arrangements for terminating contracts of employment for over 65-year-olds, but, since this requires a run in time of at least 6 months, this effectively ended on 1 April 2011. Under the new regime, any dismissal of an employee because they have reached the age of 65 will be direct age discrimination and an employee subjected to such dismissal will be able to claim unfair dismissal, subject to the usual qualifying criteria.

It is still possible to justify a particular retirement age as a matter of policy if a legitimate aim is being met and the policy is proportionate. However, such a policy is inherently dangerous and needs to be carefully scrutinised.

Employers should also remember that they are expected to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ where an older member of staff has a degree of disability and need to give due consideration to flexible/shorter hours of work.

Generally, from now on, over 65-year-olds should only be dismissed where he or she is failing to perform properly. If an employer does want to claim there are performance shortcomings, it must give a reasonable time to assess the employee’s performance-9 or 12 months-and give reasonable support in order to try and generate improvement.

Significant changes will need to be anticipated with regard to recruitment, pension, appraisal and redundancy procedures and employment contracts and handbooks will need to be carefully reviewed.

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BUSINESS ADVICE

Leap into action with Suffolk’s new signposting service A new campaign has been launched to highlight the services of Leap within the Suffolk business community. Brought to the county by the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Leap is a free and comprehensive skills advice service to businesses throughout Ipswich and the surrounding towns. With budgets ever decreasing, SME’s in particular have often been forced to make cutbacks to their staff and/or are unable to afford services which they would have once deployed in-house.

However the scheme has now expanded and is being implemented to assist businesses with providing help, support and guidance on all aspects of skills training and professional development.

With a plethora of contacts to hand, Leap is ideally positioned to offer impartial skills advice to those who need it most.

Tim Kerr, Managing Director of TSK Minerva, has used the new Leap service and he commented: “Finding the right advice is crucial to the success of my business. My experience of using Leap was very positive.”

Leap has been operational for 4 years, offering training and support centres for those who are looking for employment. The original aim was to make access to education and support available for all by having centres and points across Suffolk.

Miles Cole, Project Leader of Leap, said: “We’re delighted to launch this new initiative. Although we’re supposedly out of the recession, this is still a tough time for businesses and we are aiming for Leap to provide an invaluable service to businesses – one that they perhaps cannot fulfil in-house anymore. Our unbiased free support is designed to provide guidance and assistance to any Suffolk business that may need our help.”

They were incredibly helpful, efficient, friendly and soon pointed me in the right direction. I’ll use them again. Miles Vartan, Managing Director, Miles Vartan Consultancy Limited

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Legal | HR | Training | Employment | Suppliers | Funding | Staffing 14 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011


What better way to leave your company in the right hands by selling it to people you already know, trust and employ

It’s about time I retired but I want someone to take over the business who I trust and know will build on my hard work.

I’ve been here a number of years now. I know the business inside out and want to move it to the next level.

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Social Media – up your street, and here to stay To many businesses, social media is either unknown or not understood; just a recent fad that diverts effort away from more traditional marketing activities. But social media is here to stay, and realising the opportunities it offers should be high on the agenda when developing your business marketing plan. What is social media?

Is it for everyone?

Capitalising on the ever-growing number of regular internet users, social media is all about networked communication, exchange, discussion and sharing. It’s a way of getting people involved in what your business is doing, whilst raising awareness of your brand.

In short, yes, but selecting the right type of social media for your business can mean the difference between a waste of precious time, or a booming venture. If you’re not already familiar with social networking, or indeed the web, then get some help, because you need to be! On the other hand, if you are already an avid surfer or even a fully fledged tweeter, then examine the exchanges that are taking place with your fellow networkers to see if they are generating genuine interest in your business, or just becoming a general message board with no identifiable benefit.

Traditional advertising is all too often about what we determine to be memorable text, images and branding, and discharging these towards even carefully considered market segments in the hope that someone will hear. Web-based social media and networking, by contrast, perpetuate listening, not just hearing, inviting response and exploration of your subject. This gives you the opportunity not only to influence, but to effortlessly gather opinion on just what people think of what you’re doing.

16 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011

What does it take to jump on the bandwagon? The path from failure to success is as long as you make it, proportional to the amount of effort you put in, but we’d like to offer the following tips:

● Get familiar with social networking yourself, explore the options and see how it works for other people. ● See your web designer, and discuss integrating social media with your online presence. ● Develop a digital marketing plan, with clear objectives that facilitate measurement of success. ● Keep track of what you glean for your business, and be prepared to make adjustments, whether keeping your website up to date, or making more radical changes in response to feedback. This is what listening is all about! If you’d like to know more, Rubious would be delighted to assist you. Our expertise in marketing, digital techniques and design has helped many of our clients integrate social networking into their marketing strategies with marked success. Visit our website to join our own social network, or give us a call for a chat about your requirements, with no obligation.


A WORD FROM THE ACCOUNTANTS

Doing business in a global economy By Malcolm McGready, Partner – Ensors Chartered Accountants

Over the years I have been fortunate to work with a number of businesses who have traded successfully overseas. As the UK’s fortunes depend increasingly on the global economy, expanding overseas can be a golden opportunity for many companies. Like all things this expansion needs to be properly managed. One of the areas I see companies struggle with is international tax. If not properly thought through, this can prove to be a troublesome and costly problem. Below, I highlight some common areas that I regularly come across. CONTROLLED FOREIGN COMPANIES

TRANSFER PRICING

Setting up an overseas company in a lower tax jurisdiction may seem an attractive proposition. However, the controlled foreign company rules seek to tax the corporate shareholders on the profits of certain companies that are controlled from the UK (though there are exemptions to be considered first).

The prices charged across borders between related companies can dramatically alter the profits arising in each company. Many jurisdictions, including the UK, have in place transfer pricing regulation which follow the ‘arms length’ pricing principle and include a duty to maintain transfer pricing records.

REPATRIATION OF PROFITS PERMANENT ESTABLISHMENT A simpler route might be to establish a sales office or branch overseas. Where your footprint in another country is considered to be a permanent establishment, a portion of the profits it earns may be taxed in the overseas jurisdiction.

RESIDENCE While you operate an overseas company, if the trade is effectively managed and controlled from the UK it may be considered tax resident in the UK in any event. As well as documentation that may be in place, HMRC will also look at the facts of how the business is actually run to establish whether or not it is UK resident.

For further information and advice please contact Malcolm McGready at Ensors Chartered Accountants on 01473 220072 or email malcolm.mcgready@ensors.co.uk This information is given by way of general guidance only, and no action should be taken solely on the basis of the information contained herein. No liability is accepted by the firm for any actions taken without seeking appropriate professional advice.

There are a variety of ways that a company may do this (such as dividend) but tax may be levied in both the country of origin and the UK, potentially with a tax credit in the UK for the foreign tax. But do not assume that you will always get full relief automatically for any double tax and note new rules affecting corporate shareholders. When you’re planning to trade overseas these matters may not intuitively spring to mind. However, getting them wrong can be both burdensome and costly. Indeed, understanding the tax position is a vital ingredient to any business case. Early attention to these matters will make sure you avoid any pitfalls.

Ensors Chartered Accountants Making you more than just a number CAMBRIDGE HUNTINGDON SAXMUNDHAM BURY ST. EDMUNDS IPSWICH LONDON

www.ensors.co.uk IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 17


SUFFOLK RETAIL

Suffolk’s town centres and local independent shops – in common with those of other counties – are facing a host of challenges to their long-established place in the retail chain.

Suffolk standing up to the multinationals Huge out-of-town superstores – some aggressively pursuing expansion despite local opposition – and the rise of the personal digital assistant (PDA), enabling shoppers to compare prices at the press of a button, as well as the growing impact of internet shopping, all threaten the traditional ways of buying and selling. While Suffolk has a handful of good shopping centres, the comparative retail might of Norwich, Cambridge and London (including Lakeside and Bluewater parks) is indisputable. To take one example: in The Economist on May 21, columnist Bagehot wrote of the threat facing Stalham, a small market town just over the border into Norfolk. He says that just a decade ago 100 or more market stalls filled the town’s auction ground each week. One week in May this year there were just eight. The reason: the arrival of Tesco in 2002, which displaced the market to a small site on the town’s fringes.

A future of charity shops and Chinese takeaways? “On Stalham high street locals grumble, businesses such as a greengrocer, fishmonger, bakery, butcher and a convenience store have closed, to be replaced by charity shops, Chinese takeaways and (prompting mordant jokes) a funeral parlour.” So can Suffolk’s retail economy stand up to 21st century challenges? Is there room for everyone? Are our local towns pulling in all the shoppers that they could, or need they do more? Ipswich appears poised on the brink of change. While there are boarded-up units, there is the promise of John Lewis and

Waitrose arriving and the prospect of another Tesco superstore. Reportedly, big name chains are queuing to open in the town. The controversial Arc development in Bury St Edmunds brought in a raft of new shops. Does that secure its future as a mixed retail centre? In an article in The Guardian earlier this year – The British High Street: RIP – John Harris wrote: “As HMV announces the closure of dozens of branches, the big chains are finding themselves squeezed out by the internet, supermarkets and one-stop retail parks. So is the future of our town centres all Poundlands and betting shops?” He quoted Matthew Hopkinson, business development director of research firm, Local Data Company, which twice a year charts the fortunes of 800 towns and cities across the UK. His is a bleak picture for some: “It’s going to be full of services and social aspects. It’ll be full of hairdressers, tanning salons, cafes and restaurants. There might be doctors and dentists there. And it’ll become very leisure focused. If there’s an area where people like the architecture and they can socialise and not just shop, that’s what will happen. You’ll get a place where people will go for community,” he says.

Change is needed Paul Clement, executive director of Ipswich Central, the BID (Business Improvement District) management company for Ipswich town centre, has clear views and a strategy. He knows change is essential. “With an increasingly isolated society, where transactions predominantly take place through a faceless internet exchange, it is imperative that shoppers supplement their shopping with other activities.

“Eating out, culture, entertainment – the town centre experience is changing. Ipswich Central will be driving forward this change with ambitious yet realistic plans,” he says. Independent retailers such as Glasswells are already planning for a different future – one that embraces the new, yet holds on to the best of the past. Managing director, Paul Glasswell, recently opened a new Ipswich store, mirroring Glasswells’ Bury St Edmunds’ retail presence. He said: “Many people like a shopping experience that allows them to touch fabrics, try for size, assess quality and be informed. A shop that displays its wares can always do this best. “Internet-only sites are excellent for known commodities and save time and fuel for many people. There is a massive amount of data available and as one wag commented, ‘it’s like filling a glass of water from Niagara Falls’. “Search engines do unfortunately favour national retailers who have the distribution and the resources for their website. But they can never offer a personal service or overcome the sterility of the transaction,” he added. Not that Mr Glasswell is averse to the idea of online shopping to supplement a personal shopping experience. “Customers may get ideas in store and later wish to place orders with the knowledge gained in the shop,” he says. The company’s new website, launching in the autumn, will showcase many of the 50,000 items in his shops. He believes because Glasswells owns much of its property and is a member of an international buying group it can compete on price and service. ➤

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 19


A mixed basket

Supporting the centres

His upbeat view is shared by Oliver Paul, who four years ago opened the successful Suffolk Food Hall on the fringes of Ipswich. It now employs more than 50 people and recently obtained EEDA support to build commercial kitchens for food and drink artisans.

If the lure of the internet can be successfully challenged by the independents, what of the future of the traditional town centre?

“The threats posed by (inter)national trends give an opportunity for independents to offer something different as the success of Suffolk Food Hall has proven. Independents can excel in originality, innovation and traditional service levels. “Part of our success is that people visit the Food Hall for a variety of offerings –whether it is the artisan bakery, a traditional butcher’s shop, family entertainment or an informed plantswoman. “Even in today’s economy, shoppers will pay a premium for quality, providing it is still value for money,” he explained. The British Retail Consortium supports the view of these independent traders and claims it is a myth that they are being driven out of business to be replaced by ‘clone town’ Britain. It says the independent retailing sector is very resilient. In 2009 the number of independents grew by 5.6 per cent, compared with an average across all non-food retailers of three per cent. Convenience retailing showed a further growth of 5.7 pc and multiples by a lesser three per cent. Butchers and bakers were particularly active.

20 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011

Mark Cordell, Bury St Edmunds’ Bid4Bury chief executive, a BID district representing 360 businesses (not all in retail), echoes the view of Matthew Hopkinson in that towns need to offer diversity and something other than shops. “People can come to Bury and make a day of it. The impact of internet shopping does affect our retailers but we benefit from the ‘sociability of shopping’. “If you just want to buy something and get as cheap a price as possible then the internet is the best option. But if you want an enjoyable experience with friends or family then Bury has so much to offer. Bury town centre is a great place to eat, drink, shop and have a great time,” he says. Paul Clement shares the view that a rounded experience is the future for town centre shopping. “It has become imperative that town centres create a real sense of ‘place’ for visitors – rather than just a shopping district. Creating an exciting visitor experience to meet the demands of the modern consumer is going to be paramount to the future of Ipswich. We ensure there is always something happening within the town to attract visitors, consumers and businesses.

“Schemes such as Ipswich Central Plus, WOW (What’s on Wednesdays?), Desk to Dinner, Christmas initiatives and the forthcoming Independents Day and Maritime Festival are crucial to the success of Ipswich.” Mark Cordell, like Paul Clement, believes simply standing still is not enough. “It is inevitable that Bury town centre will evolve. If it doesn’t, we will lose our elevated position in the local retail market because our competitors will change to keep the customers they have and to try to increase numbers. “The proportion of retailers in town centres has changed over recent years and in Bury there is a greater emphasis on the ‘entertainment sector’ – restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs and I see this continuing. “I see the use of technology coming to the fore with businesses able to have their ‘App’ downloaded to people in the town. I also see vouchers and promotions even more to the fore.” He remains optimistic: “A business that has a good product to sell, supplemented by good customer service, is always likely to survive.”


Fighting back

The knowing consumer

Rose-tinted spectacles?

Christopher Hardman, co-owner of Berridges jewellers in Ipswich town centre, says that independents are ready for a fight, too.

All recognise that meeting the needs of shoppers is crucial.

Of course as society, families and working patterns have changed since post-war Britain so have shopping demands. Bagehot admits: “Even in Stalham, the picture is mixed, with some retailers believing that it (Tesco) draws visitors to the town.

“While many people are happy to shop from their computer, shopping in the high street remains the UK’s number one leisure activity and represents 37 per cent of all money spent. “I cannot see this trend reversing. As an ageing population has increasing leisure time, it could become even bigger. “A vast majority of our success is down to having the right stock being sold by highly knowledgeable staff. In a tough trading climate, with strong competition, it is important to specialise in particular product areas. We specialise in diamonds and antique jewellery, both of which require a great deal of product knowledge and expertise.” Ipswich town centre is the focus of attention for big names, too. Paul Clement says: “Many big-name retailers would like to have a presence in Ipswich and are actively engaged in talks. “Ipswich Central is proposing a new efficient north/south emphasis, which would integrate the Waterfront as well as opening up spaces for new retailers in the town.”

Oliver Paul says: “The consumer must have choice and originality, value for money and convenience. It does not really matter where this is delivered from, although ideally there should be a selection of ‘venues’ – the market town, out of town, online, homedelivered, etc.” Paul Clement agrees: “Today’s consumer is more knowing than ever and has far more choice of where to visit, shop, work, invest and spend leisure time. This consumer demands an exciting, unique experience from any town centre, as well as high standards of on-street management.” Christopher Hardman understands changing needs and has a strategy in place to meet them. “One thing the internet has brought is an increase in knowledge. Customers regularly bring in print-outs from the internet and we have to be constantly ahead of the game as regards to knowledge and prices.”

“… others might have spotted that supermarkets, thanks to late opening or online ordering, actually buy working families time. It is wrong … to dismiss their success out of hand just because it clashes with some sepia-tinted vision of how society should be run.” And if there was any temptation to believe that the past was a golden age for local independent retailers, Bagehot dismisses it. “A big research project at the universities of Surrey and Essex is studying shopping in post-war England. For one thing, high streets were not as quaint as politicians think. As far back as 1939, chain stores and co-operative (ie mutual) retail societies already controlled about half the grocery market. “It was middle-class matrons, the sort who dressed up to go shopping, who missed the deference shown by traditional grocers. Supermarkets were often welcomed by younger and working-class women.”

Realism prevails From our limited sample of local independent retailers, it would seem the rose-tinted spectacles view of ‘good olde England’ was ditched long ago in favour of realism. The challenge to keep the balance for retailers – and at the same time meet the needs of a time-strapped and cost-conscious public – is certainly daunting. But each independent retailer we spoke to – and the town centre managers – are all, in their own way, working hard to support and safeguard local choice. If we want to maintain elements of the retailing sector that we have in 21st century Suffolk, then the answer lies with us all. As Christopher Hardman says, we need to tread carefully: “I think shoppers will lose out if they continue to travel to these out-of-town shopping centres, which run the risk of all becoming the same and offering the same. The diversity that is on offer in the high street will be lost, which would be a disaster.”

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 21


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22 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011


CORPORATE EVENTS

Creating a strong brand and a great reputation are the holy grail of marketing and a half day conference on 30th June in Ipswich will look at how companies and organisations of any size can build their brand to better position themselves in crowded and competitive markets.

MANAGING YOUR BRAND REPUTATION

The ‘Managing Your Brand Reputation’ conference is for business managers and executives. It will explain how to build and manage your reputation to drive business growth, covering techniques for public relations, corporate responsibility and media relations, as well as how to use social media. Keynote speaker is Norfolk based Simon Middleton who is a regular commentator on brand issues on national TV including BBC Breakfast and Newsnight. In 2010 he was the expert brand advisor on Duncan Bannatyne’s TV series ‘Seaside Rescue’ which featured Felixstowe.

Simon Middleton Brand expert

The line-up also includes two of Suffolk’s top corporate affairs chiefs: Emma Hibbert of Adnams plc and Paul Davey of Hutchison Ports (UK) which owns the Port of Felixstowe, whilst Cambridge based Luke Brynley-Jones, who has worked with brands including British Airways and Essex County Council, will give insights into how to exploit social media.

The conference will be chaired by BBC Look East presenter and journalist Alex Dunlop and is organised by Suffolk based Genesis PR, which recently rebranded from Project PR. Penny Arbuthnot, Director of Genesis PR, said: “This is an all-East Anglia line-up of high calibre speakers. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about the strategies and practicalities of managing and building reputation.” ‘Managing Your Brand Reputation’ takes place on Thursday 30th June, 9am – 1.30pm in the Sir Bobby Robson Suite at Ipswich Town Football Club. Price is £75 (£90 inc. VAT). There is an extended early-bird offer for IoD magazine readers of £67.50 (£81.00 inc. VAT) if you register and pay on or before 17th June and an extra 5% off (£76.95 inc. VAT) for IoD members. To book go to: www.brandreputation.org.uk call: 01473 326407 or email: book@brandreputation.org.uk for further details.

Work with us and you will see how flexible, responsive and dependable we are, both as individuals and as a team

Genesis - the new name for Project PR 01473 326400 info@genesispr.co.uk www.genesispr.co.uk

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 23


IOD ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Over fifty members and guests were inspired and enthralled by a Formula One line up of speakers at the Suffolk IoD’s annual conference in April. The event was held at Ipswich Town Football Club and received very positive feedback from attendees who enjoyed the diversity of excellent speakers, the pace of the day and the informal networking opportunity.

Formula One teamwork at Suffolk IoD conference


Keynote speaker was Steve Nevey of Red Bull Formula One, who enthralled everyone, regardless of whether they were a motoring fan. He described Red Bull’s approach to Formula One, how they move their huge entourage around the globe and the methodical processes which have been crucial to the team’s success.

“The IoD Conference had some very interesting speakers including a lovely insight into the Red Bull F1 operation! It rounded off with a nice tour of the Ipswich Town Stadium.”

What was clear was that Red Bull are innovative, have a clear focus on objectives and take competitor analysis extremely seriously. Steve said their success was built through incremental progress, which means constantly reviewing how they do things in order to achieve consistent high performance. They continually search out new people and shuffle the team players to get the best out of them.

Tony Cheung Technical Director Easy Software (UK) plc

Delegates weren’t allowed to rest, as Les Duggan of Developing Potential got them involved in his presentation about the Holy Grail of team work, with tips on how best to energize employees and get them working in the same direction. Gaining cooperation of staff could be achieved, he said, through creating a learning environment (as opposed to a blame culture) and using great communication to ensure everyone understood the company’s bigger picture or vision. Another interactive session followed, when Jane Bowen of Tailored Training involved everyone in her session about motivation and giving employees the attention and recognition which stimulated good teamwork. Claire Sandbrook, CEO of Shergroup, who runs a team of bailiffs across England and Wales, rounded off the morning by speaking passionately about her techniques for business development, including building an ‘A’ team of employees. The event was hosted by Bryan Hamilton, who made his name as a footballer at Ipswich Town under the management of Sir Bobby Robson and as a member of the Northern Ireland international team which he went on to manage.

“The most important element of good team work? Communication” Les Duggan Developing Potential

“You should seek out and hire recruits who are brimming with talent, energy, integrity, optimism and generosity and who you should ensure understand your company DNA.” Claire Sandbrook Shergroup

“As a new IOD member at my first Annual Conference I found the morning very worthwhile with some excellent and varied speakers – a great event.” Philip Dodd Managing Director Healeys Print Group

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 25


CORPORATE NEWS

New name for leading regional PR agency One of the region’s top PR agencies, Project PR, has renamed itself Genesis PR as it celebrates its fifteenth year in business. The Suffolk based agency, which won the Chartered Institute of Public Relations ‘Outstanding PR Consultancy of the Year’ award for East Anglia last year, announced its new name at an event held at Mariners restaurant on Ipswich Waterfront with clients, media and friends. Director of the newly named Genesis PR, Penny Arbuthnot, said: “We had reached a stage of our development where the Project PR name no longer sat comfortably with where we wanted to go as a business. The rebirth as Genesis PR is the result of months of research and planning to create a new brand which reflects our vision and ambition to become one of the UK’s top 150 PR agencies.”

Earlier this year, marketing industry magazine The Drum ranked the company as the second most awarded marketing and PR agency in the South East and 37th in the top 100 most awarded in the UK outside London. Explaining the choice for the new company name, Penny added: “Genesis PR is about creating stronger reputations and brands for our clients to help them achieve their goals.” Genesis PR creates and delivers PR strategies for clients, with core services including media relations, stakeholder engagement and social media. Clients are both local and national and include Ipswich Building Society, Christies Care, Grant Thornton, Ford Retail, Sanctuary Personnel and Live Well UK.

Genesis PR is based at The Coach House, Holbrook, Ipswich IP9 2QR. www.genesispr.co.uk

INTERIOR SPECIALISTS FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES Source One has a wealth of experience in dealing with and understanding SMEs’ requirements. Both Amber Osteopathy and Absolute Freight are expanding SMEs and have both moved into their own new premises furnished by Suffolk’s specialists in this field.

26 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011

Amber Osteopathy’s MD, Tim Moynihan commented: “Pat put all his time and effort into our project, although only a small office, Reception Area and Treatment Rooms, it was a big leap for us and Pat was there to guide us through the aspects of furnishing a building, including colours, wall finishes and general decor in a building which was previously a building society office, into our new practice HQ. Thanks to Source One it looks fantastic” Absolute Freight Solutions Ltd Director, Dave Foxton added: “Being a small, but growing freight and transport business in this climate is tough going at the best of times. Source One has helped us to realise a vision of mine and my fellow directors. The furniture was supplied, fitted and in place as agreed. All of which was ahead of schedule for the relocation to our new facility. Source One have been fantastic and Pat helped us to make our move to new premises that little bit easier. The costs involved were also a lot less than we were expecting. You could see that Source One take pride in their work and that the feedback from their clients on their website is a true reflection on Pat and his

team. I would highly recommend Source One to anybody who asked; their reliability, flexibility and overall top quality service has proved perfect for us.” Source One’s work covers all areas of business and all sizes of project but working with SMEs creates a relationship that grows as clients' businesses grow. Pat Lewis MD said: “It’s great that over ten years we have seen our clients grow with us, and us with our clients. Clients, whilst being careful with their budgets in this economic climate, still want an excellent service and that’s what we do. We know what it’s like for SMEs, as we are one too. “It is a common misconception that we only deal with large contracts and large clients. We welcome all businesses to contact us even if they just need some advice, our time is free.” If you are thinking of moving or refurbishing your premises, contact Pat Lewis:0845 603 1585 or email: pat@sourceoneconsulting.co.uk www.sourceoneconsulting.co.uk


CORPORATE COMMUNICATION

Evolution of video to digital media Digital Media is the new video – a transition which opens up a wealth of uses for footage captured on camera.

The advent of video in the 80s allowed organisations to deliver key messages in a visual and auditory format, which was a significant step forward from the printed brochure. However, with the demise of the VHS video and the development of digital media technology, the opportunity to use ever more creative methods to reach all of an audience effectively, is there to be exploited. Recognising that any individual has a preferred learning style is an essential; visual, auditory or kinaesthetic – individuals preferring to learn through practical handson experiences. Failure to understand the requirements of each type of learner may result in a sizeable chunk of the audience being presented with information in a manner which they cannot easily process. Digital media can transform the delivery of a visual or auditory Video Tape into an interactive medium which can be tailored to those with a kinaesthetic learning style. These learners make up a significant proportion of the population, ignore these people and you could be missing up to 20% of your target audience. Video footage, professionally captured and creatively edited, is still a vital component, but the delivery medium can be broad: online, digital brochures, paperless exhibitions and interactive technology. Being creative with video will allow your key messages to be understood by all of your target audience.

The Paperless Exhibition A recent project which demonstrates how digital media can be incorporated into a communication strategy was undertaken for Virbac, an animal health laboratory, who were exhibiting at the BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association) Exhibition. Having tasked AV Unit with producing what they wanted, a paperless exhibition stand, they attended the exhibition at the Birmingham NIA last month without a brochure or piece of paper in sight. Adam Clark, AV Unit managing director, said: “This was an interesting challenge for us given the need for a fast response and easyto-use interface. We created a short video, which ran continuously, to explain what Virbac was about but which could be interrupted to deliver product specific information, all saved to a memory stick for the visitor to take off the stand at the end of the enquiry.” Virbac wanted to do something a little different at the exhibition with the aim of making life easier for visitors to their stand. The idea of reducing the amount of promotional literature fitted with their corporate stance but had the beneficial effect of drawing people into conversation. Chris Geddes, Virbac product manager, said: “Data capture is always difficult at any exhibition, but AV Unit resolved this by creating a simple on-screen game. Over 790 people played the simple interactive game (‘Spray Ollie to relieve the itchy areas’!) which illustrated the effectiveness of a skin irritant spray treatment on a dog. It was a brilliantly simple idea well developed by the team.”

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 27


MOTORING

Sporting passion

The new SLK-Class range starts from £29,980.00. Model featured is a Mercedes Benz SLK 250 EFFICIENCY at £46,200.00 on the road including optional panoramic glass vario sunroof at £410.00, Airscarf – neck level heating £395.00, 7G-Tronic Plus automatic with tipfunction and speedtronic cruise control £1520.00.


Karen Pickering MBE, Britain’s most decorated female swimmer, test-drives the new sleek and speedy Mercedes SLK Roadster Karen Pickering’s achievements are quite remarkable. She has represented the UK at a senior level for 20 years during which time she won more major championship medals for Britain than any other female swimmer and won the most Commonwealth medals for England of any female athlete in any sport. She was also the first British female swimmer to win a World Championship title when she took gold in the 200m freestyle in 1993. Karen made her international debut in 1986 and went on to win an incredible 73 titles on the national and international stages. She was four times World Champion, won 14 European Championship medals, 38 British Championship titles and 13 Commonwealth Games medals (4 gold). The 2002 Commonwealth Games saw Karen gain two gold and a silver medal in front of her home crowd, a career highlight that was crowned when she was given the honour of carrying the English flag at the Closing Ceremony. Her career has been an eventful one. As well as an amazing medal haul she has twice held a World Record, she competed at four consecutive Olympic Games, which few athletes in any sport have done and in 1994 she was awarded an MBE for services to swimming. Who better, then, to test the third generation Mercedes SLK Roadster, a car that has a groundbreaking history all of its own. It has always been one of the most interesting cars when it comes to new technology: the first SLK (1996) had the first ever hard folding roof that could be opened and closed by the touch of a button. The second generation in 2004 brought us ‘Airscarf’ – a heating system to warm your neck and shoulders when you had the roof down. This latest model brings us Magic Sky Control that switches the roof to light or dark at the flick of a switch. The car has been well received by critics already, many noting that in its latest guise the SLK has been given a classic face, resembling the legendary 190 SL from the 1950s, which is regarded by many enthusiasts as being the original ‘SLK’. As Karen noted, roof down or up the SLK is one of the most comfortable roadster cockpits to sit in. Fold the roof flat for opentop motoring, as we did on the drive from Mercedes-Benz of Ipswich to the outside pool at Maison Talbooth for our photo-shoot, and you’ll be surprised – the cabin is virtually draught-free and if you flick the optional Airscarf (heating vents built into the neck of

the seats to warm the air around your head) you'll feel little wind chill. Close the hood and the car is well insulated from the wind, tyre and road noise. Ride comfort is very good as the SLK soaks up bumpy surfaces with ease. As a luxury roadster the car’s standard kit is pretty impressive not least the latest ‘surprise-and-delight’ feature – the Magic Sky Control. This gives you the ability to change the roof from light to dark and vice versa by pressing a button. When in light mode the roof is transparent and offers an open-air feel in weather that may not be suitable for having the roof down. The darker setting offers shade from the sun and also prevents the interior of the car from getting too hot. Since her retirement from international swimming in 2005, Karen has become a regular member of the BBC Radio 5 Live commentary team and has taken on a number of roles. She is now Ambassador for Sport for Ipswich, is Chair of the British Athletes Commission, and is on the executive boards of both the English Institute of Sport and British Olympic Association. Karen is also very much in demand as a motivational and after-dinner speaker and is a popular choice for hosting events. One of Karen’s proudest achievements since retiring is founding the Splash Awards, an annual black-tie event that recognises and celebrates the achievements of elite swimmers (able bodied and disabled), divers, waterpolo players and synchronised swimmers. www.splashawards.com Most recently Karen launched her own learn-to-swim school, to encourage the next generation of youngsters to take part in the sport she loves and maybe follow in her footsteps. Karen Pickering SWIM caters for all age groups and abilities as well as offering a consultancy service to teams and athletes in other sports who want to improve their cross training, recovery or injury rehabilitation work. www.karenpickeringswim.co.uk The SLK is launched shortly. Be one of the first to experience the highly responsive and thrilling performance of the third generation SLK by contacting or calling in to book a test drive at Mercedes-Benz of Ipswich. Mercedes-Benz of Ipswich The Havens Ransomes Europark Ipswich IP3 9SJ 01473 232232 www.mercedes-benzipswich.co.uk IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 29


AUDI ON SHOW

What the new sales figures reveal is that fleet sales rose 11.1pc to 83,120 in May. This shows companies across the UK are willing to invest in their businesses and suggests some sort of confidence in their outlook and strength. The increase is also likely to have been boosted by companies deferring spending on their vehicles during the darkest days of the recession. Of the cars that did sell, diesel cars accounted for 52.9% of the market, so it’s clear that there is a focus on fuel-efficiency.

Its aerodynamic shape boasts some sharp surfacing and a lovely curved roofline, while the neat taillights and that bold grille with its smart LED daytime running lights really finish things off.

For the first time in almost two years, a straight comparison of new car registration figures can be used to compare the economy of this year with last year.

With these statistics as a backdrop, Ipswich Audi hosted a Ride and Drive Event at Kesgrave Hall to launch the new Audi A6 as well as giving existing and prospective owners a chance to experience other key models in their line-up.

The 242bhp 3.0-litre TDI V6 quattro provides sports car performance with zero to 62mph in six seconds and thanks to 500Nm of torque and a slick-shifting seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox, overtaking is ridiculously easy. It’s extremely efficient too – returning almost 50mpg and emitting just 156g/km of CO2 – and remarkably quiet.

This is because the scrappage scheme introduced by the last Government to rescue the car industry and stimulate sales was effectively over by April 30, 2010.

Audi staff were out in force on the day of the stylishly hosted event, which was well supported. The all-new Audi A6 is packed with technology, but it's the executive car’s refinement, build quality and efficiency that really impress. Made from more aluminium and high-tech steels than ever, it’s lighter than its rivals, so it’s faster, cleaner and more efficient. And with a chassis from the sporty A7, it is great fun too. Prices start from £30,145 for the 2.0TDI SE emitting just 129g/km of CO2 and stretch to the £41,620 for the 3.0TFSI quattro SE. It’s certainly a good-looking car, easily confused as a slightly smaller A8!

30 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011

Inside, the executive feel continues. The dashboard sweeps classily across the fascia, the centre console is logically laid out and all the materials, from metals to plastics to leathers, are of a really high standard.

Ipswich Audi is one of three Audi Centres in the privately owned Marriott Motor Group. Since opening the central Ipswich showroom over ten years ago, they have seen the Audi brand grow beyond all expectations. The company is committed to developing their staff's knowledge in anticipation of the exciting new models and technical developments that they will be experiencing over the next 12 months. Ipswich Audi 2 Bath Street Ipswich IP2 8SG 0844 776 0483 www.marriottmotorgroup.co.uk


FOLLOW YOUR CONVICTIONS “I DON‘T WANT TO BE LIKE YOU. I DON‘T WANT TO THINK LIKE YOU. I‘M GOING TO BE LIKE ME.“ From “Looking after number one“ - Bob Geldof 1976 Sir Bob Geldof - Musician, Activist, Businessman

From starting a band to receiving a knighthood, Sir Bob Geldof has stayed true to himself in everything he does. At Maurice Lacroix, we create our unique movements and award-winning designs by hand – because, like Sir Bob, we too follow our convictions. For more information visit www.MauriceLacroix.com Pontos Chronographe

Now available at Aspens Jewellers 5 Church Street Woodbridge IP12 1DH 01394 389666

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 31


14:19

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FA C TO R S

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%# ' !$%#) ! "' & ! " ! "' '% ' ) #$! "' ' ! " ! "' The fundamental principles of growth management apply to every kind of enterprise. Ambitious businesses and organisations wanting to grow, improve and become more profitable need to consider: how are we going to generate cash and accumulate funds? how will we manage the risks of driving the business? do we have a clear strategy for the creation of value (and eventual succession and exit)? is our team strong enough for today and will it be tomorrow? how will we monitor and manage our increasing wealth?

% BESPOKE KITCHENS, BATHROOMS, BEDROOMS, HOME OFFICES, HOME CINEMAS & MORE

www.angliafactors.co.uk visit us online

01473 610 192 ask for advice

32 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011

34 Gloster Road Martlesham Heath Ipswich IP5 3RD

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With a newly opened showroom – Foxwood, an established local business is cementing its position in the market as well as attracting many new customers Developing a business to its full potential is always an exciting journey and for local stone, tile and sanitaryware suppliers, Foxwood, the opening of a superb 400 sq metre showroom in Woodbridge Road, Rushmere St Andrew, is the latest milestone in its ten year history. The company has grown from a background in the construction industry and now offers an unmatched selection of stone and tiles. The experience gained over the last ten years means that the new showroom displays some of the best quality materials available. Alongside this, as a family firm, it is able to offer incredible value for money and superb customer service. The new showroom is spacious and light; offering a great space in which to display the extensive range of Foxwood’s products. The inspirational room sets and tiled areas demonstrate how the products can be adapted to individual requirements. Indeed it’s possible to use tiling throughout your home and business and knowledgeable staff are on hand to talk you through its creative usage as Foxwood has tiles and stone to suit all locations.

Increased space has meant an increase in products and sanitaryware from leading manufacturers Roca and Laufen is also available along with the stylish Bisque radiator range. Part of the business strategy is to introduce a broader market to the products and the prominent new showroom on one of the main roads into Ipswich achieves this. The showroom also benefits from ample parking, enabling customers to visit easily and the open nature of the showroom means customers have an opportunity to really appreciate the top quality products from around the world. Foxwood is keen to stress that it caters for all budgets and carries traditional and contemporary ranges to suit every customer – including glass, stone, ceramic and porcelain designs.

Foxwood 36-38 Woodbridge Road Rushmere St Andrew Ipswich Suffolk IP5 1BH 01473 617050

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 33


milsoms meetings! kesgrave hall

Meetings with Style Best Western Ufford Park near Woodbridge in suffolk offers more than just a choice of great conference rooms - it uniquely offers packages to refresh both your mind & your body.

Air conditioned banqueting & conference rooms (2-300) Tailored corporate golf & conference packages available Restaurant & Bar

87 bedroom hotel 2 storey driving range Health Club & Luxury Spa 18 Hole, Par 71 golf course Team building available

For more information call 0844 477 1832 or visit www.uffordpark.co.uk

- 3 fully equipped private meeting rooms - team building space and breakout areas - bar-brasserie restaurant and/or private dining - 23 bedrooms with exceptional 24 hour delegate rates

book your meeting, training or conference today! 01473 333741 | hall road, kesgrave, ipswich, suffolk, IP5 2PU

Yarmouth Road, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1QW

Gateway to Suffolk’ Suffolk’s Heritage Coast...

visit www.milsomhotels.com/meetings for full specification

Fine dining at Seckford Hall Hotel

Enjoy the wonderful setting of Seckford Hall

local ingredients

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To avoid disappointment your table can be reserved in advance

Bespoke, creative event organisation in the most wonderful setting. Are you celebrating a special anniversary or event? We can take care of your special celebration whether it be a wedding, anniversary or a special birthday Our staff will make your event stress free and streamless but certainly one to remember Call us for details

Seckford Hall Hintlesham, Ipswich. IP8 3NS

01473 652334 reservations@hintleshamhall.com www.hintleshamhall.com

34 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011

Seckford Hall Hotel & Restaurant Woodbridge Suffolk IP13 6NU Tel: +44(0)1394 385678 Web: www.seckford.co.uk

Fax: +44(0)1394 380610 Email: reception@seckford.co.uk

Seckford Hall Hotel & Restaurant


LEISURE

Stuart Robertson PGA Golf Professional Director of Golf Best Western Ufford Park Hotel, Golf & Spa Woodbridge Suffolk IP12 1QW 01394 383480 www.doctorgolf.co.uk mail@doctorgolf.co.uk

Externally motivated or internally driven? By Stuart Robertson, PGA Golf Professional

In sport, as with other aspects of life and business, the leaders may react to external factors but will be driven by an internal desire to be better than your competition. Are you or your business constantly ‘reacting’ to the ever-changing environment or do you drive your business forward, comfortable in the knowledge that you have a good product or service that can benefit other individuals or companies? To become the top in any sport will require the athlete to dedicate themselves to the process of constant improvement in all areas, driven by an internal need to be better than the rest. This will see them actively researching any aspect that may help them to perform at their best, be that – diet and nutrition, practice techniques and drills, psychological help as well as developing their body to be more physically astute to move at its most efficient.

Are you doing the same with your business? Do you – keep yourself up to date with the latest innovations within your industry, set regular S.M.A.R.T. goals, review and reflect on all of your procedures on a regular basis, constantly strive to improve what you offer to your customers? If the answer is YES, then you are driving yourself and your business forward. If NO, then you may be “firefighting” from one challenge to the next without really taking full advantage of your own Unique Selling Points. Although it is tough in the market place at the moment, those that are driven by an internal desire to succeed, will and those that don’t, won’t.

Maritime Ipswich 2011 Thursday 9th June saw the official launch of Maritime Ipswich 2011 with local media and businesses gathered at the Salthouse Harbour Hotel to hear about the major two-day summer festival – which will be a celebration of all things nautical, and will for the first time incorporate the Ipswich Beer Festival. Thursday’s launch event featured speeches from Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council’s new Leisure portfolio holder and Paul Clement, Executive Director of Ipswich Central, the business improvement district (BID) company. It has been 14 years since the last Waterfront festival; and bringing together Ipswich’s past, present and future of the historic Waterfront, Quayside and Docks, this is an exciting opportunity for both Maritime Ipswich and the Beer Festival to evolve into one entity, and become a permanent vibrant, dynamic fixture on the Ipswich events calendar. Maritime Ipswich will also be a great opportunity for local quayside entities such as Issacs, the Waterfront, the Brewery Tap and

Kai Bar to showcase their businesses – alongside a backdrop of impressive traditional, classic and working vessels. Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Portfolio Holder for Ipswich Borough Council, said: “The change seen at the Waterfront is remarkable from when the last Maritime festival was held and we’re hoping to channel the now vibrant atmosphere into creating a unique and special event.” Paul Clement, Executive Director of Ipswich Central, also commented: “We’re delighted to join together with Ipswich Borough Council for the delivery of a fantastic Maritime Ipswich – the celebration of Ipswich: A Waterfront Town. We hope it will be the first of many.”

WELCOME ABOARD

MARITIME

IPSWICH

SAT 20TH & SUN 21ST

AUGUST 2011 Ipswich the waterfront town

A FREE festival celebrating Ipswich’s maritime past, present and future

www.maritimeipswich.co.uk

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 35


Home-working Require a new or improved home office? Anglia Factors have the solutions With more and more people opting to work from home, Anglia Factors based on Martlesham Heath in Suffolk, can help to make home-working a more comfortable experience… “If you intend to work from home it is important that you create a space in which you can work, where the resources you need are readily to hand and where you are not subject to distractions.” Commented Daniel Barr – Director. “This will normally lead you to setting up a room in the house as a home office; perhaps a spare bedroom or an attic conversion. If you do not have the luxury of a spare room, you will need to create space some other way.” He added: “Getting the basics right for your home office is vitally important. The home office is primarily task-orientated so its design will be governed by certain practical considerations, but once these basic needs have been met, design the office around your own personality, if you work from home you may as well be happy in your environment!”

36 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011

Take into consideration the following: How you will create a suitable environment? You might find it difficult to work and maintain a professional approach to your work if you are surrounded by chaos. Ambient sound and lighting might also become issues. Even the colour of walls and ceilings can affect your ability to work productively and efficiently. Your need to store documents – Manuals, reference books and accounts, equipment so they are readily available to you when you need them. How you will connect to power outlets. Do you have enough? – Are they in the right place? How will you connect to telephone lines and the internet?

Windows – screen glare can be an issue with computers. Doors – you may need to face the door, or you'll find it distracting. The company has carved a niche in designing and building home offices throughout Suffolk, and with over 40 years’ experience of supplying hand-made, bespoke kitchens and interiors, they realise the importance of achieving an office environment that is a unique and personalised workspace. A visit to Anglia Factors will start with a consultation to establish the client's needs. The team will then design a package suited to the space available, taking into consideration communication technology needs, allowing for cabling and even special task lighting. www.angliafactors.co.uk


CHARITY

LOCAL GIVING FOR SHARED COMMUNITIES As well as a charitable instinct to ‘put something back’ into society, most companies recognise that it makes good business sense to engage positively with their local communities.

Communities are not something ‘other’ or separate from business: they are made up of your employees, your suppliers and, crucially, your customers. It is in everyone’s interest to invest in building stronger communities and the most obvious place to start may be with some charitable donations. But with so many hundreds of good causes, who do you choose to support? How do you know that your donation is being targeted wisely or effectively? Are you going to find the time to monitor how the gift has been spent, let alone evaluate its impact?

Around the UK, many companies are now using community foundations such as The Suffolk Foundation to channel their local giving through a Named Fund, maintaining the pleasure of giving without the administrative burden of due diligence, evaluation or monitoring. Awarding over £4million since being created in 2005, The Suffolk Foundation manages over 50 Named Funds on behalf of local companies, families or organisations who wish to direct their charitable support to where the needs are greatest in the heart of local communities.

Local companies working with The Suffolk Foundation include AXA Insurance, Baker Tilly, Birketts LLP, Call Connection, Cheffins, Eversheds, Hopkins Homes, Lovewell Blake, May Gurney, Marriott Motor Group, Ipswich Building Society, Shadwell, Skinners and Tattersalls, as well as a collaborative fund of 12 Felixstowe companies called the Port Community Fund. There are many models of how companies can work successfully with the Foundation to achieve their charitable objectives, ranging from quarterly grants panels with staff involvement through to leaving the decisions to the Foundation’s small team in Grundisburgh. “We have always trusted The Suffolk Foundation and I am happy for them to decide which grants Marriott Motor Group should support to help the community,” says Tim Hammond, Chief Executive of the Marriott Motor Group. Others, such as Birketts and AXA, prefer their staff to be actively involved in the decisionmaking of their Fund: “The fact that the staff help decide which grants to support really strengthens their commitment to the Fund,” explains David Williams of AXA Insurance.

For more information on how The Suffolk Foundation can help direct your local giving to where it is needed most, please contact Judi Newman on 01473 734126 or judi.newman@suffolkfoundation.org.uk For more information on the Foundation’s joint Shared Community initiative with the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, contact Cara Miller at caram@suffolkchamber.co.uk

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 37


BUSINESS BOOKS

BOOK REVIEWS Fixing Britain: The business of reshaping our nation by Digby Jones Published March 2011, John Wiley £18.99

The Decision Book: Fifty models for strategic thinking by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler Published January 2011, Profile Books £9.99

No nonsense solutions from the straighttalking face of British business.

If fundamental reform does not take place then we are dead in the water. Globalisation does not take prisoners. Britain must become fit for purpose in the 21st century. This is the explosive, first book from ‘the face of British business’, Lord Digby Jones. With a renowned, no-nonsense, straight-talking approach, he is one of the world's most acclaimed business commentators. In his candid and forthright style Fixing Britain puts the spotlight on critical national and international business issues and lays out the essential reform urgently needed for the growth of our nation. Knowledgeable, authoritative and independent, Digby highlights how untenable the status quo is in the UK, and sets out how Britain can get back in – and stay in – the globalised race. Sending a clear message to government, business leaders, strategists and the media, Fixing Britain explores the effective linkage of change at all levels, from Westminster to education, the public and private sectors, our social cohesion and our sense of common purpose. Digby is never afraid to say what others are thinking – this is the most explosive examination of the state of British business in years.

This is a smart, fun, bestselling guide to making the right choices. Most of us face the same questions every day: What do I want? And how can I get it? How can I live more happily and work more efficiently? A European bestseller, ‘The Decision Book’ distils into a single volume the fifty best decision-making models used on MBA courses and elsewhere that will help you tackle these important questions – from the well known (the Eisenhower matrix for time management) to the less familiar but equally useful (the Swiss Cheese model). It will even show you how to remember everything you will have learned by the end of it. Stylish and compact, this little black book is a powerful asset. Whether you need to plot a presentation, assess someone's business idea or get to know yourself better, this unique guide will help you simplify and problem and take steps towards the right decision.

Treasure Islands: Tax havens and the men who stole the world by Nicholas Shaxson Published January 2011 £14.99

The Cult of the Leader: A manifesto for more authentic business by Christopher Bones Published January 2011, John Wiley £18.99

A critical look at the way that business leadership has gone so badly wrong. Modern business is obsessed with leaders. We talk about leadership all the time, but its real meaning is becoming more and more obscure. Recent corporate crises have shown that all too often, our leaders are missing in action when we need them most. In this groundbreaking and provocative new book, Chris Bones shows how we need to: * Restore trust and confidence * Be more realistic about what leaders can and can't do * Redefine talent * Revalue experience * Reconsider remuneration.

Dirty money, tax havens and the offshore system describe the ugliest and most secretive chapter in the history of global economic affairs. Tax havens have declared war on honest, lawabiding people around the world. Wealthy individuals hold over ten trillion dollars offshore. Tax havens are the most important single reason why poor people and poor countries stay poor. Britain and the United States are the world's two most important tax havens. Tax havens now lie at the very heart of the global economy. Over half of world trade, and most international lending, is processed through them. Tax havens have been instrumental in nearly every major economic event, in every big financial scandal, and in every financial crisis since the 1970s, including the latest global economic crisis. ‘Treasure Islands’ will show how this happens and reveal what the economics text books will not tell you.

Please join us at our

WHOLE SCHOOL OPEN MORNINGS 23 September 2011 – 9.30am – 12.00pm (Informal Open Morning)

8 October 2011 – 9.30am – 12.30pm

38 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011

A co-educational Independent Day School for 2-18 year olds with boarding facilities. Scholarships and bursaries up to 100 per cent of fees available. A Christian School in the Lasallian Tradition. Belstead Road, Ipswich, England, IP2 9DR Tel: 01473 6980281 registrar@stjos.co.uk www.stjos.co.uk


BUSINESS START-UP

Last word... In the last issue I wrote about my initial impressions of being in the first cohort of students at the Suffolk School of Social Entrepreneurs. I also described my hopes of setting up Got To Read – a company committed to improving levels of literacy and promoting the enjoyment of reading. photo courtesy of Sam Mellish Photography

I was very unsure at that point about which company format and structure would best satisfy the aims of Got To Read. With those questions at the forefront of my mind, a school day at the end of March with a focus on governance issues came as perfect timing. This started with an excellent ‘witness session’ from Jim Overbury of the charitable organisation Housing Action. Jim gave us his experienced view of working with boards, making the most of the potential in the relationship between a chief executive and a chairman, and the importance of matching long-term ambitions for any enterprise with how the board is structured. We ended the day with students working in teams, drawing the outline of a body on paper and filling it with the qualities that we would like in our board members or trustees. No prizes for artwork, but the ‘bodies’ provided illuminating moments. We’ve now also had our first two sessions of action-learning sets. For the uninitiated, these are an opportunity to work through problems in a supportive and confidential environment. The people in the ‘set’ listen to your problem – anything big or small, but with which you are struggling to find a way forward. Through the power of open questioning, rather than directly suggesting answers, you are helped to see the problem in a new light and discover a way forward. We’ll be working in the same sets throughout our time at the school and I can easily see them extending forward into our professional lives. The opportunity to really listen, and be listened to, is quite rare. And yes, I did find a workable solution to the problem that I took to my set. Other highlights have included attending and contributing to a conference on public service reform and localism in Cambridge, an introduction to AGILE project management and an informative day with Ensors which left me thinking about a reserves policy and making sure that I build full cost recovery into project planning and costing.

So where does that leave things? Well, I believe that Got To Read will be best able to meet its aims if it is established as a Community Interest Company (CIC). I’m working through the processes of setting it up in that way and exploring revenue options. So, if you’re intrigued by this and think you’d like to support the company or be part of its board, then please do get in touch. Got To Read will also need volunteers who enjoy reading and want to share that enthusiasm with others, so there are potentially great opportunities for employees to be involved in community engagement. It’s certainly been a fascinating and productive few months, with fellow students moving at different paces and facing different challenges. The school is now recruiting the next cohort of students to start in September.

If anyone has an idea for a social enterprise I’d recommend attending one of the taster sessions. By my next article, I’m hoping to report that Got To Read is up and running.

Tracy Bose tracybose@btinternet.com M: 07939 972792

You can learn more about the School for Social Entrepreneurs Suffolk at: www.sse.org.uk/suffolk

IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 39


MEMBER PROFILE

Quentin Jarvis MANAGING DIRECTOR – JARVIS COSMETIC DEVELOPMENTS LTD

What is the company background?

How are you tackling them?

The company in its present form has existed since 1974, but the family has in one way or another been in the business of developing cosmetics for four generations.

By looking at what we can offer that is unique and by employing innovative thinking. We are using our size to our advantage. We know we cannot win on price but we can on flexibility and creativity. We can change strategy in minutes, implement important changes quickly and stay one step ahead of the game.

The development of cosmetics has come a long way over the past 30 years and the last ten years have seen the greatest change. Today’s consumers want ever more sophisticated and effective cosmetic products made from natural ingredients. The result has been a surge in demand for new and exciting raw materials from all over the globe.

When did you join the business? I see myself as part of a team. To try and identify my joining the company as more of a milestone than anyone else is wrong. The team evolves constantly and the team, its actions, and thinking are shaped from experiences we face each and every day

Founded by Quentin’s father Peter Jarvis in 1974, the family owned business started out refining and selling herbal extracts. Over the past two decades it has expanded its development laboratories and manufacturing divisions to offer a complete service and the latest advances in cosmetics technology.

How are you meeting today’s challenges? In the past five years we’ve invested heavily in R&D, particularly in the use of ever more natural products which our clients today are demanding. The most important thing we have done which is also the simplest, is to listen to our clients and adapt our company to satisfy their needs. To this extent we expanded our offer to our clients and can provide a complete solution, running everything from development to fulfilment and distribution. This has brought us much closer to our clients.

What are your biggest headaches? It will come as no surprise to anyone that running a R&D department and setting up fulfilment facilities has huge upfront costs so that has to be one of the top headaches. Legislation comes a close second. Our clients rely on us to advise them on all aspects of their business and legislation regarding products is different for each and every region of the world. Fulfilling this responsibility is very time consuming. Finally the rising costs of raw materials, packaging, energy and distribution all makes for quite challenging times!

40 | IoD suffolk | summer 2011

What are the company’s values? Honesty, understanding and loyalty need to be at the heart of any company in no matter what sector they operate if they are to succeed. I think that over and above these cores we possess a very strong collective desire to be more than a supplier. We see ourselves as partners both to clients and suppliers. If we are to genuinely supply a highly efficient and flexible service it’s important for every member of the team to understand that the whole supply chain needs to pull together We’re proud of our scientific and technical heritage which is a result of significant investments in staff, processes and modern laboratories.

Do you export? Our products go all over the world. We have recently won new business from Hong Kong and Thailand and these orders helped increase our exports of botanical extracts by 18% over the past year. The Far East exports in particular have grown because the manufacturers there like the ‘made in the UK’ label for their cosmetics. Overseas markets value the integrity of European/English brands and although margins are often smaller than with UK or European business, demand is increasing all the time.

Finally, how do you find Suffolk as a business location? Suffolk is home, there is no county quite like it.


At Foxwood we supply an extensive range of glass, ceramic and natural stone wall and floor tiles. Our showroom has a comprehensive display with the majority of products being exclusive in our region. To complement the quality of our tiles we have the wonderful Roca and Laufen sanitaryware on display along with the very stylish Bisque radiators. Patio furniture is also now available from us.

36-38 Woodbridge Road Rushmere St Andrew Ipswich IP5 1BH T: 01473 617050 F: 01473 239090 E: info@foxwoodceramics.co.uk www.foxwoodceramics.co.uk


Life is short. The new SLK.

Join us to discover more. Summer is nearly here and so is our dynamic new SLK. Launching soon, it will set hearts racing with its aggressive looks and thrilling performance. Highly responsive new-generation engines together with taut suspension and agile handling ensure that you always feel close to the road. Be one of the first to experience it, just call in or call us for a test drive. To find out more contact us on 01473 232232 or visit www.mercedes-benzofipswich.co.uk

Mercedes-Benz of Ipswich The Havens, Ransomes Europark, Ipswich IP3 9SJ 01473 232232 www.mercedes-benzofipswich.co.uk Official government fuel consumption figures in mpg (litres per 100km) for the SLK-Class range: urban 28.5(9.9)-32.8(8.6), extra urban 51.4(5.5)53.3(5.3), combined 39.8(7.1)-43.5(6.5). CO2 emissions: 167-151 g/km. The new SLK-Class range starts from £29,980.00 on-the-road. Model featured is a new Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 BlueEFFICIENCY at £33,110.00 on-the-road including optional 18" alloy wheels at £715.00, sports suspension at £205.00, Nappa leather upholstery at £1,355.00, headlamp wash at £210.00 and metallic paint at £645.00. (On-the-road price includes VAT, delivery, maximum Road Fund Licence, number plates, new vehicle registration fee and fuel). Prices correct at time of going to press (06/11).


IoD Suffolk Magazine Summer 2011  

The premier business to business magazine in the Suffolk and North Essex region, mailed directly to key business leaders and with a high pro...

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