suffolk WINTER 2011 | www.iod-suffolk.co.uk
Preparing for 2012
Audi ultra lightweight technology means lighter fuel consumption. A car that weighs less, drinks less. The new Audi A6 Avant is engineered with Audi ultra lightweight technology. Part aluminium, it’s up to 70kg lighter than its predecessor. So it’s more fuel eﬃcient (up to 56.5mpg combined), emits less CO2 and even costs less to tax. For more information, visit your local Audi Centre or audi.co.uk/A6
The new Audi A6 Avant. Ipswich Audi 2 Bath Street Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8SG 0844 776 0483 www.ipswich.audi.co.uk Part of Marriott Motor Group
Oﬃcial fuel consumption ﬁgures for the new A6 Avant range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 26.2 (10.8) - 47.9 (5.9), Extra Urban 42.8 (6.6) - 62.8 (4.5), Combined 34.4 (8.2) - 56.5 (5.0), CO2 emissions 190 - 132g/km. For more information visit audi.co.uk/A6
Welcome. Ever since the announcement that London was to host the next Olympic Games, the year 2012 has had a ring of eager expectation about it. Amid all the economic doom and gloom it has offered the prospect of positive business opportunities – not least for a region such as ours, fortuitously situated so close to the action. The need for local companies to be alert to the wealth of potential business offered by the Games is something we have reported on previously. Now, as 2012 becomes a reality, we turn to other aspects of the Games – including advice to organisations on how to ensure they get the best from their staff during this high-profile event. Our cover features an athlete training in Lavenham. See pages 14-15 for our feature on the IoD Autumn Dinner, where some of Suffolk’s top athletes spoke about the challenges they face leading up to London 2012.
We also report on how local business leaders have invested almost £2million worth of their time to support the region’s would-be entrepreneurs. And there is news of an unmissable IoD breakfast event to kick-start the new year. Jonathan Tilston
Image © Britianonview/ Craig Easton
4 Published by: Tilston Phillips Magazines Limited firstname.lastname@example.org www.tilstonphillips.com 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
From the Chair
IoD events 2012
Across the region
A word from the accountants
Across the region
Business profile – Alan Brannan Design
HR planning for London 2012
Business profile – Winsor Bishop
Business profile – Aspall Cyder
Member profile – Christopher Johnson
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 1
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).
New members to Suffolk branch Henry Edward Garnett Bateson Bateson Consulting Simon Chrispin CoAdventure Limited John Waine Cost Forensics Ltd Nigel Hughes Itron Metering Solutions UK Ltd
From the Chair
Luke Morris Larking Gowen
As we reach the end of 2011 it is worth reflecting on what the year has brought the business community in Suffolk.
Colin Gebhard M&C Energy Group James Rudo MLM Consulting Engineers Ltd David Eaton Noble & Taylor Ongar Ltd Andrew Wood Saracen House Business Centre Judi Newman Suffolk Foundation Jane Bowen Tailored Training Peter Alan Viney Taylor Viney & Marlow David Jameson Hall The Ideas Centre Ltd Susan Wilcock Trebuchet PR & Marketing Ltd Andrew Mather Cowan
As we reach the end of 2011 it is worth reflecting on what the year has brought the business community in Suffolk. When the year started I think most expected it be a year of slow if uncertain growth. What we have seen is a year of continued and escalating turbulence in Europe and the Eurozone in particular and virtually no growth in the UK economy. The prospects for 2012 and 2013 aren’t much better with even the Bank of England predicting very limited growth. On the more positive side inflation now appears to have peaked and should fall rapidly over the next 6-12months. This will hopefully ease some of the pressure on business costs. The latest figures for unemployment are worrying particularly the continuing increase in unemployment ion the under 25 age group. We are potentially storing up problems for the future if we create a large group of disenchanted young people. I believe all businesses should be working to help deal with the issue.
The branch programme for 2012 is also pretty well finalised and members can look forward to a range of interesting, educative and enjoyable events. Like most organisation we have to keep an eye on our costs and also on our environmental impact. Taking both items together has led us to decide that in future we will use email much more to notify members of events and will be sending out pre-event booking forms on a quarterly basis. We will also continue to use this magazine to notify you of events and allow you to book. We have three new main event sponsors joining Ensors Accountants in 2012, they are Barker Gotelee Solicitors, The Ideas Centre and Quantrills Employment Law Solicitors and HR Advisers. I would like to take this opportunity of wishing you all a very happy, peaceful Christmas and an increasingly prosperous 2012. Paul Winter
IoD Suffolk membership benefits • • • • • •
As regards IoD activities elsewhere in the magazine you will read details of latest events including our highly successful Olympic themed dinner.
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 on 07917 699 498 or email@example.com Institute of Directors Suffolk Branch, 25 Wilding Drive, Grange Farm, Kesgrave, Ipswich IP5 2AE www.iod-suffolk.co.uk IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 3
A whole new look to our 2012 events The business of brewing – tour, taste and talk! 23 FEBRUARY 2012 6.30pm – 10.00pm Greene King Brewery, Bury St Edmunds IoD members £35 (ex VAT) Non-members £52.50 (ex VAT) Back by popular demand, this event is sure to sell out fast so don’t wait until last orders to book your place. Greene King has been making beer in Bury St Edmunds since 1799 and thanks to constant innovation, has taken the traditional art of brewing to new heights producing what is arguably the finest range of cask ales in the country. See for yourself how real beer is brewed using natural ingredients and traditional brewing methods. After a tour around the historic working Brew House, sample the different cask beers in the Brewery Tap where an expert will be on hand to provide a tutored tasting.
The adventure capitalist! 12 JANUARY 2012 7.30am – 9.30am Biusiness Breakfast – Seckford Hall IoD members £27.50 (ex VAT) Non-members £41.25 (ex VAT)
Conor’s Channel 4 series ‘Around the World in 80 Trades’ and subsequent book shows that the principles of trade are universal, life-enhancing and guaranteed to survive the madness of the credit crunch.
Guest Speaker – Conor Woodman Economist, Author and Adventurer Conor Woodman may be that rare thing – a likeable former city boy. Previously a market trader, Woodman wanted to see if he could make his fortune by doing business the old way: face to face, haggling, buying and selling. With £25,000 of his own money he set out to double his fortune in five months which he achieved. He turned his hand to making a profit out of everything from camels in Sudan to inflatable surfboards in Mexico, discovering how real people make real money in real markets.
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During this unmissable breakfast presentation, Conor will reflect on how he sees the world and with his infectious enthusiasm will challenge the way you think and urge you to find new ways to achieve your goals. Speaker Profile Conor Woodman has an MA in Development Economics and worked for several years in corporate finance and financial training before embarking on his adventures.
Following a delicious buffet dinner, Steve Magnall, Deputy MD of Greene King Brewing Company will join us to provide insights into the ‘Business of Brewing’.
All change on Anglia’s trains!
The BIG debate!
7 MARCH 2012
24 APRIL 2012
20 JUNE 2012
7.30am – 9.30am Business Breakfast – Seckford Hall IoD members £27.50 (ex VAT) Non-members £41.25 (ex VAT)
6.30pm – 10.00pm The Council Chamber, Endeavour House IoD members £35 (ex VAT) Non-members £52.50 (ex VAT)
9.30am – 4.30pm Woodhall Manor IoD members £95 (ex VAT) Non-members £142.50
Guest Speaker – Ruud Haket Transition Director, Abellio Greater Anglia
An exciting new addition to our programme of events and a joint initiative with Archant, The Big Debate is the place to have your say! Guests get the chance to listen to and take part in the debate then cast their vote on the issues that really matter to businesses in our region.
John McCarthy CBE will be one of our keynote speakers at the IoD Suffolk Annual Conference.
The Department for Transport has selected Abellio Group as the new operator for the Greater Anglia train franchise. From February 2012 Abellio will provide intercity, commuter and rural services throughout the region. Abellio will be responsible for 3,000 employees and the safe operation of 43,000 services per month, carrying 2 million passengers per week. As well as a commitment to improving customer service and operational performance, Abellio will focus on ensuring that the Greater Anglia network is ready to offer a major transport link to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Ruud Haket from Abellio Greater Anglia will present the company’s plans for the operation of the rail network in our region. Guests will be able to discuss the subject over a delicious breakfast as well as having an opportunity to ask Ruud questions about Abellio’s plans. Speaker Profile Ruud Haket is Transition Director within Abellio Greater Anglia. He has worked within the public transport sector in the UK and Netherlands and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Greater Anglia management team. Ruud relocated from his home in the Netherlands in 2004 with his wife and children and lives in York. He graduated from University of Twente with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
The parliamentary style debate will take place in the grand surroundings of the Council Chamber at Suffolk County Council and will be chaired by Paul Hill, Regional Business Editor of Archant. Expect big issues, expect heated debate but most of all expect an entertaining, informative and interactive evening with plenty of time to meet fellow executives and put the world to rights! The event starts at 7pm with reception drinks and canapés. A buffet dinner and wine will be served between the debating sessions. If you have an issue that you would like to see debated, email Caroline Kearney, IoD Suffolk Branch Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org
John is regarded as one of the greatest business speakers and his talks, based on his experiences at the hands of terrorist kidnappers in the Lebanon, consistently receive sensational critical acclaim and audience approval. Having endured 1,943 days in squalid captivity John has an incredible story to tell that is relevant to business and in particular resonates with subjects such as motivation, leadership and communication. The annual conference is a popular event in the IoD Suffolk calendar and has now been extended to a full day’s event to allow more presentations and time to connect with fellow executives. The new format will include three high profile keynote speakers as well as two syndicate sessions where delegates will be able to choose presentations from a range of business and professional development subjects. Set in the beautiful surroundings of Woodhall Manor the conference is sure to be an enjoyable, informative and inspirational day.
Further dates for your diary 16 MAY 2012 11 JULY 2012 19 SEPTEMBER 2012 18 OCTOBER 2012 21 NOVEMBER 2012 6 DECEMBER 2012
Business Breakfast Business Breakfast Business Breakfast Annual Dinner Business Breakfast Christmas Drinks
To find out more about any of our events and to book your place contact Caroline Kearney, IoD Suffolk Branch Administrator. Email: email@example.com Telephone: 07917 699 498. www.iod-suffolk.co.uk
2012 programme is kindly sponsored by:
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 5
Your business can access over
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worth of free travel planning, incentives and support call: 01473 265 256
or visit: freshwaystowork.org.uk Save it.
6 | IoD suffolk | winter 2011
ACROSS THE REGION
Paul has recipe for success Paul Foster, head chef at Tuddenham Mill, has added another honour to his growing collection of accolades. At a star-studded ceremony in London, Paul was named Young Chef of the Year at The Observer Food Monthly Awards 2011. For Paul, who is still only 29, it is the latest tribute in a journey that has taken him from his pub roots in Coventry (where he baked Victoria sponges for the bouncers) to Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir and Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in California, to WD50 in New York and the two Michelin-starred Sat Bains in Nottingham. To be recognised alongside names such as Heston Blumenthal, Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall and Michel Roux Senior was a huge honour for Paul and a proud moment for Tuddenham Mill – a refurbished historic water-mill situated between Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds. At Tuddenham Mill, Paul’s menus have been attracting the attention of national food critics – resulting in him also being awarded the Up and Coming Chef of the Year 2012 title by The Good Food Guide.
Broadband speed boost for business A new, high-speed communications network designed to save businesses, shops, schools and other organisations time and money is being expanded in Suffolk by BT. Halesworth, Whitton and Kesgrave will be the next communities to benefit from the upgrade, which will be completed by the spring.
BT says advances in technology mean the service is available at a fraction of the cost of a comparable one provided previously by a similar, traditional private network.
BT’s Ethernet technology allows mediumsized businesses and other organisations to opt for the guaranteed broadband speed of their choice over their own dedicated line.
Dave Hughes, BT’s East of England regional director, said: “We believe high-speed Ethernet will make this great region even more attractive to potential inward investors and help existing businesses in the county work and communicate more effectively.”
Customers can choose speeds between one megabit per second and 10 gigabits per second, depending on their needs. At the top rate of 10Gbits the system is capable of transmitting 10 billion bits of information per second.
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 7
PROTECTING YOURSELF HAS EVOLVED
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ACROSS THE REGION
Nominate your ‘unsung heroes’ The High Sheriff of Suffolk, Stephen Miles, is calling for voluntary groups to submit entries for the annual community awards that reward people doing inspirational and life-changing work across the county.
In previous years, nominations for the High Sheriff’s Awards, run by The Suffolk Foundation, have revealed inspirational stories of the ways unsung heroes are working in the community to make life safer, more positive and pleasant for others.
Entries should be submitted for one of five categories: The Suffolk Crimebeat Award, The Community Group or Organisation of the Year, The Community Partnership Award and The High Sheriff Suffolk Volunteer of The Year and the new High Sheriff Under-25 Young Suffolk Volunteer of the Year Award.
Nominations for non-profit groups benefiting Suffolk people need to be made on a form available at www.suffolkfoundation.org.uk or by calling Elizabeth on 01473 734125 and must be submitted by January 31. The awards will be presented at a ceremony hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Lesley Dolphin at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, on Thursday, March 8.
£1,500 RAISED FOR OLYMPIC HOPEFULS The Best Western Ufford Park Hotel, near Woodbridge, hosted their own Olympic-themed Charity Ball for The Suffolk SportsAid Foundation. The ‘red white and blue’ night was a huge success with the raffle and auction raising more than £1,500 to help fund local athletes towards achieving their goal of representing Great Britain in 2012 and beyond. ‘’The night was great fun and we were really pleased that Joshua Tonnar and Helen Decker were able to attend the event”, said Tarnia Robertson, the hotel’s marketing director. “We sponsor Joshua and CSD sponsors Helen, both committed athletes who hope to represent their country – Josh is an international rower and Helen a potential Olympic Marathon runner. We were so pleased we could raise a good amount for such a worthwhile charity in one night. Thank you also to all the local companies who kindly donated prizes for the raffle and auction.’’ The Suffolk SportsAid Foundation, launched in 2007, has already awarded more than 80 grants to young people from across the county.
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 9
A WORD FROM THE ACCOUNTANTS
DON’T WRITE OFF RESCUE By Mark Upton Director of Business Recovery Ensors Chartered Accountants
I have often been asked to advise Directors in relation to the financial position of their company when their view, and the reason for them being put in touch with me in the first place, is that they see liquidation as the only option. This will be based on a number of factors including: • pressure from current funders to either re-pay or reduce existing facilities; • poor performing areas of the business; • increasing creditor pressure; and • management fighting financial fires rather than concentrating on running the business.
But liquidation isn’t always the answer One option to be considered is a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). Now it’s true to say that, to date, CVA’s have not had a great track record but I would suggest that they have been inappropriately used. Where funding may be difficult to access, the ability to effectively release working capital by agreeing a scheduled repayment of debt or a debt write-off with creditors is proving to be an increasingly valuable tool.
The key ingredients of a CVA are to have: • a viable business that is able to generate cash to make the agreed contributions; • available funding that will enable the business to continue trading; and • the answer to the creditors’ question – what is going to be different going forward? The viability of the business is assessed in conjunction with the Directors and funding options will be a matter for discussion with the current lenders. There are an increasing number of providers who are able to provide CVA funding so this doesn’t have to be a major issue. As regards what is going to be different going forward the proposed changes need to be credible and deliverable.
We will also liaise with the major stakeholders to ensure that it has the best chance of being accepted by creditors. Clearly a CVA is only one rescue option and Administration or even informal arrangements with creditors could be the most appropriate way forward. The key, I believe, is to acknowledge financial difficulties at an early stage and take appropriate professional advice as this will hopefully ensure that rescue of the business is a viable option. For further information please contact Mark Upton on: 01473 220022 or email: email@example.com
Our experience at Ensors will assist the Directors in assessing what parts of the business need to change, implementing the changes and formulating a CVA proposal.
Ensors Chartered Accountants Making you more than just a number CAMBRIDGE HUNTINGDON SAXMUNDHAM BURY ST. EDMUNDS IPSWICH LONDON
10 | IoD suffolk | winter 2011
www.ensors.co.uk IoD suffolk | summer 2011 | 10
ACROSS THE REGION
Enterprise Club open for business The Enterprise Club, based at the Eastern Enterprise Hub in Ipswich, has held its first session.
Around 20 delegates attended the first meeting of the club, which was launched by Ben Gummer, MP for Ipswich, and is supported by Jobcentre Plus. The club offers coaching, mentoring and peer-to-peer support for people out of the workplace for a variety of reasons and looking to start their own business. Meeting once a month, the club will concentrate on a different business skillset each time, with sessions led by established entrepreneurs, business leaders and specialists in a wide range of disciplines such as finance, governance and marketing.
The first session was hosted by Steve Flory, of Hudson Signs, and retailer Cathy Lowe, of Ipswich-based Love One, and focused on the key challenges facing would-be entrepreneurs and the motivation needed to start a business. Celia Hodson, Eastern Enterprise Hub Chief Executive, said; “We are so fortunate to have such positive and committed business leaders who are keen to share their experiences and expertise to help people face up to the challenge of starting a business.”
More than just networking … Networking has a new relevance for businesses – thanks to a communication platform aimed at supporting SMEs.
A company founded by Norfolk businessman Andy Fisher in 2010, ipatter.com, claims to have corrected the shortfalls of other social networking sites, making it more relevant to businesses by a blend of opportunities and advice through online and offline channels. The company says that face-to-face networking and social networking need to be about more than just exchanging business cards or having thousands of followers. Networking facilitators need to give businesses practical advice as well as the
opportunities to connect with customers and target audiences. New features being offered by ipatter.com include masterclasses, books, educational events and roadshows to supplement the online communication platform. Chris Batten, CEO, said: “Our experience shows that businesses need support to encourage growth. It will give businesses an innovative new, and cost-effective, method of support”.
Town survives store wars
With increasing retail competition from places such as the new Westfield centre in Stratford, next to the London’s Olympic Park, how does a town like Bury St Edmunds hold its ground?
According to Nicola Sexton, of Nicola Sexton Shoes, in Abbeygate, exclusivity is the answer. “The Italian and Spanish brands I sell are exclusive to me, and are very popular. Since I opened 19 months ago, I haven’t taken a breath. I now also stock my own brand pumps, which fly off the shelves, and I offer a bespoke service on wedding shoes. I launched my website last July and I am now getting orders from all over the world.”
Round the corner, at Six Whiting Street, the website is also an important part of the sales generation for this men’s designer clothes shop. “The key to our success,” says Oliver Swift, “is that we carry a huge brand portfolio, online and in stock.”
At Cabana, in Hatter Street, Jackie Over has made an asset out of personal service in a niche market. She opened Cabana in 2006 for people who cruise or go away in the winter. The shop stocks stylish swimwear all year round.
A local resident agrees: “Six Whiting Street is a fantastic shop with really helpful staff. It’s like a slice of London fashion in Bury St Edmunds,” he said.
Beach music plays in the background, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming whatever the temperature outside. She also offers a personal lingerie service.
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 11
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ACROSS THE REGION
On the road for young drivers Insurance firm CAA has celebrated its seventh birthday with the launch of its new company, WOOP Cover. WOOP is offering competitively priced motor insurance for 17 to 24-year olds and will run alongside CAA’s claims handling business, established in Ipswich in 2004. CAA has grown to become one of the market-leading claims outsourcing solutions, with more than 100 staff. The WOOP marketing team has been on the road across the UK, attracting attention with its fleet of funky, branded cars.
David Hayward said: “We decided to be innovative in our approach to reaching a younger and very different, market. Our fresh approach has really paid off and we have the contact details of a good many younger people. “We’ve all heard horror stories of huge premiums that this age group are asked to pay to get even quite modest cars on the road. While there are some very high risk drivers in this category, many others are
being unfairly penalised. We want to bring a fairer, more affordable approach to insurance for this group.” “Many of them are struggling to find work and rising costs of fuel are hitting them hard. We’re sure that competitively priced, but very professionally delivered insurance for their cars is likely to be a winner. We’ve a good many young people on our team and, from our own in-house research, we got a good feel for what the response was likely to be.”
Rachel in frame for top award Suffolk-based businesswoman Rachel Ducker has been nominated for a top honour. Rachel, 25, who runs her own company, Apparition Marketing and Design, is a contender in the NatWest Everywomen Awards.
She has recently launched a second business, offering affordable mentoring services for young people.
After working for a variety of companies, Rachel launched her business from her bedroom at her parents’ home in 2009. Today her client base is global with brands including University College London and NFU Mutual – to whom she offers a one-stop shop for marketing solutions.
Rachel’s nomination is in the category for the most inspiring businesswoman aged between 25 and under. The winners will be announced at London’s Dorchester Hotel in December.
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 13
Over 140 members and guests enjoyed an enthralling Autumn Dinner at Hintlesham Hall on 19th October when some of Suffolk’s top athletes spoke about their physical and psychological challenges and the tough training schedules they face leading up to London 2012.
Suffolk’s 2012 athletes share Olympic goals The Suffolk ‘slinger’ javelin thrower Goldie Sayers, archer Nicky Hunt, hand cyclist Paralympian Brian Alldis and marathon runner Helen Decker were special guests at the event which was hosted by BBC East Olympic Correspondent Shaun Peel. After dinner Shaun helped each of the athletes highlight their personal stories and individual ambitions through a series of short, captivating interviews which held the audience spellbound. Brian Alldis described his endurance training with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and said: “I know if I get a good winter’s training ahead I’m in the right place.” He follows Tanni’s motto of each training session being “a good day to die”, pushing himself to the limits and putting everything on the line to get his mind and body ‘in the right place’.
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Nicky Hunt said how getting into the ‘zone’ during the Commonwealth Championships in Delhi helped her win two gold medals. The former World number one in compound archery has swapped to recurve archery to chase one of three Olympic places for London 2012.
British Javelin record holder Goldie Sayers secured fourth place at the Beijing Olympics. Talking about the burden of expectations of the UK public, with the games taking place on home soil, she said: “If we can embrace the atmosphere and deal with the adrenalin we’ll be OK.”
Helen Decker, who only started running in 2005 for fun, said she was receiving training advice from her idol Paula Radcliffe, who’d taken her on high altitude training. “I would never forgive myself if I didn’t give it everything to be there. I am absolutely motivated to achieve the team and I need an injury-free build-up to the London Marathon which is the qualifier for the 2012 team,” she said.
A raffle of an overnight stay and dinner at Hintlesham Hall, as well as some Olympic memorabilia, a T-shirt donated by Goldie Sayers and a case of wine donated by Genesis PR, raised £1,060 for the Sports Aid Foundation.
Suffolkâ€™s Olympic hopefuls: Left to right are: Paralympian hand cyclist Brian Alldis; Javelin thrower Goldie Sayers, Marathon runner Helen Decker and Archer Nicky Hunt with (left) BBC East Olympic correspondent Shaun Peel and Paul Winter, Chairman, IoD Suffolk and Chief Executive, Ipswich Building Society.
Standing are (left to right) Goldie Sayers, Helen Decker and Nicky Hunt with Brian Alldis
This event was kindly sponsored by:
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 15
Me and my shadow By Andrew Fleming, Partner – Blocks Solicitors
Despite clarification of the responsibilities of formally appointed directors in the Companies Act 2006, vagueness still haunts the whole question of ‘shadow directors’ and what they really are. A shadow director is a person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the board of a company are accustomed to act. He, she or it is not held out to the world as having authority to act, but rather directs activities through the board.
Actions which predispose any party being defined as a shadow director would include : imposing financial controls on the company, influencing major decisions, negotiating with third parties on behalf of the board and controlling appointment of executives.
The term is not strictly construed and applies to someone with real influence over the company's affairs on a cumulative basis, whose wishes are complied with by the majority of the board as a matter of practice. Those at risk of being defined as shadow directors would include: parent companies, shareholders of joint-venture companies and private equity investors and any corporate lender playing a proactive role in the affairs of a corporate borrower.
The possible consequences of being treated as a shadow director are that the relevant party, in not being a formally appointed director, may fail to comply with statutory requirements and restrictions concerning the governance of the company, including obtaining member’s approval, declaring interests and other statutory duties. A shadow director of an insolvent company may be pursued by a liquidator for such offences as fraudulent and wrongful trading.
To minimise the risk of being identified as a shadow director, parent companies, bespoke lenders and the like should avoid instructing a company board in any way that limits its discretion and, if making recommendations, should give clear reasons for doing this. If attending a board meeting, it should be made clear that they are present as observers only and they should never act as a signatory for or purport to negotiate on behalf of or represent the company in question.
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Retirement & Tax Planning Wills & Probate www.blockslegal.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
16 | IoD suffolk | winter 2011
Jackamans – previously Jackaman Smith & Mulley – has gathered together an experienced team of lawyers to provide legal services to its commercial and private clients. The firm ensures that the full service range is available from each of its four offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Diss and Harleston.
BIG ENOUGH TO SPECIALISE SMALL ENOUGH TO CARE The recent arrival of Howard Wright strengthened the already impressive Commercial team. You may be surprised at the wide range of activity that the team – including Mark Rowlands Commercial Property Partner and Priya Nainthy Employment Law Partner (and an Employment Tribunal Judge) – gets involved with: • Schools – Jackamans has worked with a number of Suffolk schools as they move through the academy conversion process. Aspects involved can include land/property issues, employment rights, funding agreements, the governing body’s new responsibilities, a new school business model, leases, contractual disputes, parental and student rights and charity advice. • Employment law – Employment law advice given has involved redundancy advice for public sector employees, assisting senior executives in negotiating the terms of their termination of employment, advising clients bringing Employment Tribunal claims for issues such as unfair dismissal, sex, age and disability discrimination and maternity-related discrimination. • Assisting companies in workforce changes such as redundancies and alternatives to redundancy including changes to employment terms and conditions. • Challenging retirement dismissals, allowing employees to continue in employment. • Commercial and Commercial Property – Whilst the firm acts for a number of companies with a multi-million pound turnover, the focus of the team is looking after SME’s up to £5m turnover. A number of new initiatives for small businesses are planned over the coming months, so please keep an eye on our new website – www.jackamans.co.uk
• Share and asset sale of businesses ranging from pubs, post offices, restaurants to general retail/industrial outlets. • Freehold commercial property sales and purchases ranging from small to large scale office/warehouse units; high value London-based properties and industrial units. Work this year has included the purchase of a number of industrial units at the Olympic sailing site in Portland, Dorset and the redevelopment of a former retail site for occupation by a national supermarket chain. • Dealing with commercial leasehold premises – acting for UK and foreignbased landlords. We are always approachable, flexible and able to meet to discuss your matters at any one of our four offices or – if the client prefers – at his or her business premises. To this end, the initial commercial meeting or telephone call to establish whether or not we can be of assistance is free of charge. Ultimately our aim is to make the legal process as pain-free as possible dealing with any problems on route in a pragmatic way. We will always give you an estimate of the expected costs at the outset, so that there are no surprises, and to enable businesses to budget for the fees they will incur.
Howard Wright email@example.com
Priya Nainthy firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackamans’ private client services include assistance with Powers of Attorney, wills, trusts and probate, family work and litigation for private matters. In recent years, the firm has grown as a result of a number of acquisitions and mergers. Now a six-partner firm with around 50 employees, Jackamans views the future with some optimism. This confidence is reflected in the firm’s striking new identity – designed by local firm Kingsland-Linassi.
Mark Rowlands email@example.com
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 17
How would you spend a £30,000 marketing budget? You’ve become marketing manager for a company with ambitions to grow bigger and you’re given a modest £30k budget to do it with. A company director told me he would spend it on a chauffeur to free up the time he spends in traffic to call customers or plan strategy. Not as daft as it sounds, management time is valuable. The other interesting thing is he’s open to trying something new and it’s all too easy to keep spending on traditional marketing activities that may not be working or giving you a good enough return on investment. The biggest headache in marketing is not knowing how, where and at what point in the process you caught the customers’ attention. Advertising works as far as the publication’s reach (you don’t have the budget for national advertising). Printed literature dates quickly and often ends in the recycling bin. You could spend it all on a marketing assistant who might then have holidays, sickness or better job offers. There is, however, a marketing activity that will work for you 24/7 and give you unquestionable feedback and analytics. It will convey your brand values. It will keep products and promotions up to date. It will make administration and stock control run smoother and your life easier. It’s also the most controllable, If it’s working you can up the tempo, if it’s not, you can try a new campaign. It can reach endless new customers anywhere. It’s a shop window to the world that can transform your sales. We see that happening all the time. It’s called Digital Strategy. Yes that includes an up-to-date website of course, but a website is not enough to guarantee sales,
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it’s part of a joined-up, thought-through online plan that starts with a competitor and marketplace analysis and incorporates good design, richer content, a technically robust, highly capable website and a year of intelligent online marketing support, at the end of which you will have more customers and know more about them than you ever did before. What better way to invest your budget? If you’re a digital native, this will be familiar language. If you’re a digital migrant (as in you were working before computers arrived) we’re still talking to and understanding our customers, that hasn’t changed. We’re just doing it in an efficient and effective way, through the internet. You can find a chauffeur at butlerforyou.com or I’ll be happy to tell you more about planning an online strategy. Bill Wolff-Evans Infotex 01394 615622
There. With an insolvency law lifeline
Baker Tilly, a leading national firm with a local Suffolk presence Baker Tilly based in Bury St Edmunds offers the benefits of a national, Top 10, accounting firm with a local Suffolk presence. Baker Tilly based in Bury St Edmunds is one of Suffolk’s leading professional services firms and possibly Suffolk’s largest firm of Chartered Accountants. We benefit from a national and international network to add to the depth and quality of the advice provided to our clients. If you want the best of both worlds, a local service with a national and international reputation, please contact Stephen Duffety on 01284 763311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Baker Tilly, Abbotsgate House, Hollow Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP32 7FA
© 2011 Baker Tilly UK Group LLP, all rights reserved
T: 01206 217300 WWW.BIRKETTLONG.CO.UK WW WW. W.BIRKETTLONG.CO.UK Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No: 488404)
If you want your business to do better business on the internet, talk to us
DIGITAL STRATEGY SEO & ONLINE MARKETING ECOMMERCE SOLUTIONS WEBSITE DESIGN & BUILD MOBILE
INFOTEX 01394 615622 • email@example.com www.infotex.co.uk
Baker Tilly UK Audit LLP, Baker Tilly Tax and Advisory Services LLP, Baker Tilly Corporate Finance LLP, Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery LLP and Baker Tilly Tax and Accounting Limited are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but we are able in certain circumstances to offer a limited range of investment services because we are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. We can provide these investment services if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide. Baker Tilly & Co Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority to conduct a range of investment business activities.
Realising digital potential through online success Design & interaction Web & mobile development Internet marketing CMS
www.F2B.co.uk IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 19
BUSINESS PROFILE – ALAN BRANNAN DESIGN
When you are looking to raise the profile of your business, why not work with an agency that understands where you are coming from?
Made in Suffolk creative design on your doorstep Alan Brannan Design is a well-established graphic design company, born and bred in Suffolk. Based in a historical Grade II Listed barn in the picturesque village of Wetherden, we produce creative solutions for a wide range of Suffolk businesses of all sizes and from sectors as diverse as surveying to software and ports to poultry. Our portfolio, encompassing both print and digital media, includes branding, brochures, magazines, websites and signage. Frequently we conduct integrated campaigns involving the launch of a new identity or a brand refresh to bring the image of a business up to date. Paul Newman heads up the team at Alan Brannan Design and is passionate about the company’s Suffolk heritage and its partnership with clients.
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He says: “Over the last few years, we have seen the benefits of having long-term relationships with our clients and appreciate their loyalty. We understand their businesses and what they are trying to achieve which means we can work as a valuable extension of their team to not only meet but surpass expectations. “In these challenging times, it is more important than ever to market your business, so excellent service and value for money are crucial”.
Here are some of our Suffolk clients The internationally renowned Port of Felixstowe has recently chosen us for the eighth consecutive year to produce its Annual Review. Leading yacht builder Oyster Marine commissions us to produce various brochures to promote its luxury products.
Educational establishments such as West Suffolk College work with us on a wide range of projects and materials to publicise their courses.
We created a new identity and website for Haughley Park Barn, a traditional barn for memorable weddings and events which has taken its business forward.
Professional firms such as Survey Solutions, one of the largest independent survey companies in the UK and Hamilton Smith, a leading firm of Suffolk estate agents use our services to keep ahead of the competition.
Foxwood needed a brand to reflect its exclusive and prestigious range of ceramic tiles, natural stone and sanitaryware products. More recently we have been selected as the design agency for Tilston Phillips Magazines, carrying out the design on a range of Suffolk titles including IoD Suffolk, The Best of Suffolk and The Best of Norfolk.
And we were delighted to help a new start up promote its outstanding range of coffees to the county. Campaccino Coffee Company serves from its mobile coffee shop at festivals and events. Paul concludes: â€œWe are proud of our Suffolk roots and look forward to working with its businesses for many years to come. Suffolk may be our stronghold but we step over the county boundaries too with clients in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex and central Londonâ€?. For effective design solutions whatever your size or type of business, please contact Paul Newman at Alan Brannan Design. 01359 240202 firstname.lastname@example.org www.alanbrannandesign.co.uk
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 21
Hire a Room with a View
Welcome to the Eastern Enterprise Hub Looking for a place to meet with a difference? If you’re tired of having meetings in conference rooms with artificial light, large boardroom tables and plates full of dry biscuits, where you almost feel the energy drained from your body... then you’ve come to the right place. If you need an inspirational backdrop to board meetings, events, product launches and team building experiences, the EE Hub is the perfect space to create and innovate.
Speak to the EE Hub team to book your space on 01473 527100. Stunning Ipswich Waterfront location Flexible space for two to 100 people Convenient access and car parking
Breakout rooms and state of the art AV Food and drink to suit all tastes and budgets Warm EE Hub welcome
DELIVERING DELIVERING INNOVATIVE INNOVATIVE A AUDIO UDIO V VISUAL ISUAL S SOLUTIONS OLUTIONS
EVENT PRODUCTION THE THE TEAM TEAM YOU YOU CAN CAN TRUST TRUST An experienced team with a full range of services will engage your audience and bring your events to life.
TO FIND FIND OUT OUT MORE MORE TO 0845 678 678 0390 0390 Call 0845 Call Visit www.avunit.com Visit www.avunit.com
22 | IoD suffolk | winter 2011
SOUND SOUND A ADVICE D V I C E WITH W I T H VI VIS SION ION
HR AND THE OLYMPICS
Organisations need to start planning for next year’s Olympic Games in London, to reduce the risk of unauthorised absence and to make sure they get the best from workers during the event.
PLANNING FOR LONDON’S OLYMPIC GAMES With less than a year to go you need to start communicating policies and procedures of what will happen during the event. The aim of the policy should be to set out rules and guidance for all staff on what is expected and what concessions may be granted. Any such policy would be non-contractual and management could reserve the right to amend or withdraw it at any time. The policy should include: • • • • • • •
Absence management Unauthorised absence Time off work Flexibility Group events Facilities for watching the event at work Drinking or being under the influence of alcohol at work • Criminal conduct outside work You need to be aware of your staffing needs during this time and how many you can allow to go on leave. This will need careful planning as staff who are denied holiday may be resentful. Employees will either be those who plan time off, if they hope to be a spectator or a volunteer, or those who do not, but may wish to watch the events on TV or internet. Some may even just get fed up with all the fuss!
You also need to be aware not to give priority to those with Olympic tickets as other employees will have equally valid reasons for taking annual leave. Decide on your strategy early and communicate this as employees are less likely to feel hard-done-by if you are seen to have given plenty of notice and been even-handed from the outset. Some employees may be indifferent about when they take their leave. If this is the case, ask employees not to take annual leave during this period.
Set an initial deadline for requests – employees should make their request by a certain date, allowing you to consider all the requests together and distribute fairly.
If any employees are volunteering at the Games you need to decide whether you will allow them to take special or unpaid leave or for them to take holiday. Whatever the reason for annual leave or requests for leave during this time, you need to adopt an approach for holiday and leave allocation. For example:
By being flexible and accommodating where possible this will potentially reduce unauthorised absences, which can disrupt your operations. You need to be aware of your organisation’s disciplinary procedure to remind your employees that this will be enforced should they not turn up for work or call in sick in circumstances that you do not believe to be genuine.
First come first served – this is the most common used which, enables you to be consistent.
For further information on a policy, HR advice or guidance please contact SOS-HR 01473 276170
Limit the length of bookings during the period – by limiting this to 2 or 3 days per employee this would maximise how many employees take time off. A lottery – ask for all requests by a certain date and effectively draw them out of a hat.
First come first served after a particular date – advising that you will accept requests only during this time by a certain date.
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 23
BUSINESS PROFILE – WINSOR BISHOP
Patek Philippe boasts an unrivalled reputation as the finest watchmaker in the world, setting the highest technical and aesthetic standards within the industry. With such dedication to quality and service, there is no doubt that Winsor Bishop in Norwich is the perfect location to enter the exclusive world of Patek Philippe.
One of the UK’s leading independent jewellers for over 100 years
Winsor Bishop Managing Director Sophie Fulford, with Patek Philippe’s UK Managing Director Mark Hearn at the recent Patek Philippe 2011 Exhibition Event hosted by Winsor Bishop.
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Patek Philippe Officer’s Case Calatrava Ref. 5153G in white gold, with black alligator strap. £25,030
Patek Philippe is the last, privately owned, independent Genevan watch manufacture, now headed by fourth generation owner and president Thierry Stern, who understands and revels in the challenge of leading a family company renowned for making the most highly valued and desirable timepieces in existence. Like Patek Philippe, Winsor Bishop is a true family business sharing many of the same values of tradition and heritage. Originally established in 1834 under the name of the Peglar brothers, it was Robert Croydon who took over the reins in 2004, thus launching a thriving family business, now headed up by Robert’s daughter Sophie Fulford. Patek Philippe watches are symbols of discernment and exclusivity, representing a lifelong statement of excellence and refinement. No other watch lends better expression to the true Patek Philippe style than the Calatrava. Created in 1932, this signature model showcases sleek lines and subtle elegance and is distinguished by a round case with a dial that displays the time in the simplest way.
Patek Philippe Ladies Calatrava Ref. 7119/1J in 18K yellow gold. £26,170
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Nautilus Ref. 5726A in stainless steel, with black alligator strap. £28,550
One of the most exciting additions to the Calatrava collection is the Officer’s case Calatrava Ref. 5153, launched in 2009 in yellow gold and this year in white gold. The First World War brought with it a need for a safer, more accessible place for a watch than at the end of a chain in a waistcoat pocket. This practical need gave birth to the Officer-Style watch, reserved for men of Officer rank and inspired by the pocketwatches of the time, with features such as a hinged dust-cover, a simple, functional dial and turban-style crown. Reference 5153 combines these typical attributes of the Officer style and is presented with a simple dial featuring a beautiful hand-guilloched sunburst pattern at the centre. Whether extra thin with hobnail pattern or wide polished bezels, the Calatrava design is always unmistakably classic, yet inherently contemporary. The endearing quality of the Calatrava design reflects the relentless pursuit of perfection that has always been at the core of Patek Philippe's mission. A little revolution took place in Geneva in 1976, the launch of the Nautilus; a luxury watch in a steel case. At a time when the world of horology was competing for thinner watches, Patek Philippe introduced an oversized watch with an extravagant shape.
Patek Philippe Ladies Nautilus Ref. 7008/1A in stainless steel, with silvered dial surrounded by 50 flawles diamonds. £22,570
The casual elegance of this ground-breaking model inspired an instant cult following, which still exists today. Patek Philippe recently extended the range introducing a number of new Nautilus models for men and women, including the first set of stainless steel ladies Nautilus models with an automatic movement. In fact, many of the new ladies models presented by Patek Philippe more recently have included mechanical movements, as increasingly women, as well as men, are interested by the beauty and workmanship of what is housed inside, often revealed through the sapphirecrystal case back. Winsor Bishop in Norwich is home to an extensive range of Patek Philippe timepieces, including complications, Calatrava models, Nautilus models and many more. Winsor Bishop has enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s leading independent jewellers for more than 100 years, with the Norwich shop well known for offering a friendly and knowledgeable service by its experienced staff.
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 25
Getting a return on your event? How many of us ask the question of an event we run, “What is this meeting costing us and what are we getting in return?” Surprisingly, few meeting owners either ask this question or invest the time in establishing the criteria to measure it.
But with the economy as it is and budgets under pressure, it makes business sense for managers and directors to be able to understand what the return is on their investment. After all, the question would be asked of an advertising campaign so a meeting which continues to take place simply because it always has, must surely come under that same scrutiny. The difficulty comes with how to make any sense of the return on an event. Financially, there is a cost to holding an event – venue, food, drink, audio visuals, etc – but can we balance the total against an income? Yes, if it was a commercial undertaking with ticket sales and sponsors, but we are more likely to be talking about an event designed to communicate with stakeholders as part of a marketing plan.
There are organisations that proclaim to impart their methodology and metrics to allow us to calculate our return, but before going to those lengths and cost, a bit of common sense may shed some light. Managing Director of Ipswich based event production company AV Unit, Adam Clark, comments: “Face to face meetings remain an extremely effective tool to communicate key messages and develop relationships with an organisation’s stakeholders. However, we recognise that money should be invested in an event, rather than just spent, and therefore there must be some measurement on its return.” Whether a return on investment or on the event, the key criteria for measurement must be the objectives set for the meeting. Clearly defined objectives that include a focus on learning, application and impact, provide something to measure against and hence calculate the return. Adam continues: “When we first speak with a client, we work with them to define their objectives and discuss how the format and technology might help these to be achieved. If it is appropriate, a pre-meeting survey sets a baseline against which to measure. However, post-event questionnaires should really explore whether behaviour has changed, which isn’t a factor you can gauge during the meeting. It is here that technology in the form of the Web, on-site kiosks and electronic input devices can supplement paper and pencil as a means of capturing feedback.” Events, whatever their size, should be measured in order to determine their relevance and return, and managers can easily establish the criteria for measurement by setting clear, achievable objectives.
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Event Objectives Merge with Financials Face to face meetings and conferences are an essential tool for mergermarket, part of the Financial Times owned Mergermarket Group, to communicate with their target audience. As an independent Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) intelligence service, mergermarket’s clients include the world’s foremost financial institutions. However, whilst the company organises highly interactive events and conferences that introduce delegates from around the world to key people, unparalleled intelligence and new investment opportunities, it also recognises that there must be a demonstrable return on the investment. Matthew Robinson, Events Director, comments: “To measure a return on our events is something we do very closely with our event sponsors and key partners. It’s essential that we are delivering a measurable return for them in terms of new business contacts and thought leadership at our events. We consistently receive feedback about how important the on-site delivery is and working with a production company who understands our requirements and event objectives is essential. In the case of our UK events, AV Unit plays an important part in meeting the expectations of our clients and sponsors. We find this partnership essential since it frequently identifies innovative ideas to engage the audience and, as a result, develop a relationship with them.” Mergermarket is in the business of delivering forward-looking proprietary intelligence on global M&A opportunities that help originate deals for clients; and those same company principles are also adopted for its events programme.
LOCAL COMPANY RECEIVES ENVIRONMENTAL HONOUR SEH French, the Ipswich-based construction arm of SEH Group, has recently received one of the highest environmental building accolades possible for their latest project – a Busway passenger building in Longstanton. The building has been rated as ‘excellent’ by the Building Research Establishment (the independent body who assess environmentally-friendly construction) and is only the fourth in the East of England to have achieved the ‘excellent’ rating for environmental efficiency.
The brief was to create a sustainable, education centre which would not only serve as a Busway passenger transport, but could be used by the local community as an encouragement to go ‘green’ in their own lifestyles and educate young people about the sustainable building process.
SEH French collaborated with Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) to create this Busway passenger building (also incorporating an environmentally-friendly exhibition centre) which forms part of the longest guided Busway in Europe.
Not only is the building now rated as ‘excellent’ and will be over 90% more selfsufficient for energy, but it is also the first in the country to be made using Hempbuild.
Having invested a considerable amount of resource, time and money in order to create a network of sustainable travel initiatives for improved access in and around Cambridge, CCC needed a contracting organisation who could deliver the entire project in just 20 weeks to meet the deadline. And with SEH French’s reputation for professionalism and sustainable credentials, plus the already established relationship that CCC have with Jackson Civil Engineering (part of the SEH Group), it was an easy choice.
Patented just days before the project got underway by Lime Technology, Hempbuild is a natural product with zero carbon outlay. Completely sustainable and offering unparalleled insulation, it is so effective that the conventional heating system will only need to be used in extreme weather temperatures. The hemp used in this building came from a local source based in Halesworth, which demonstrates one of the key ethos’ behind SEH French - locality. In order to reduce their carbon footprint and offer assured efficiency, they only work within an hour and half radius from their base in Ipswich and all materials are sourced locally where possible.
Simon Girling, Director of SEH French, said: “This building has become one of our best examples, from both a structural and a sustainable point of view. Our team has worked extremely hard to create not only a unique building, but one that will educate and serve as an example of how a fully sustainable building should be created. “We’re delighted with our ‘excellent’ rating and we’re committed to our environmental promises. Although the initial capital outlay is sometimes slightly more with a sustainable building, in the long run it will pay dividends with money saving and lessening an organisation’s impact on the environment.” Chris Poultney, Project Manager for Cambridgeshire County Council, commented: “We’ve set a benchmark standard now by creating this building with SEH French. Their professionalism and attention to detail is second to none, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the Longstanton project. “Not only was it delivered on time, and within budget, but their straightforward approach and attention to detail means that we won’t have to look too far when planning for our next project.”
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 27
IS THERE A BIG ‘BUSINESS’ SOCIETY? The region’s business community is embracing the concept of the Big Society so says the Eastern Enterprise Hub. It has good reason; experiencing on a daily basis the enterprise responsibility, altruism and sheer will power of the Suffolk business community who are giving hands-on support to would-be entrepreneurs. Since it was set up in January 2011, the EE Hub has been quick to harness the enthusiasm of business leaders and entrepreneurs to ‘do their bit’ into a structured programme of mentoring, tutoring and coaching for these early stage businesses. Celia Hodson, speaking at an event at the EE Hub
The EE hub has just calculated the extent of all this support, finding that business leaders have donated a combined 2,560 days of their time since the start of the year. Given the seniority and experience of the individuals involved, many of them IoD Suffolk members, a conservative value to put on this pro-bono time is £1.9m. As EE Hub Chief Executive and IoD member Celia Hodson explains: “We realised very quickly that there was enormous goodwill from business leaders for the model we were trying to establish – seeing the potential it could have to drive economic growth here in
Suffolk. Business leaders worked with us every step of the way as we developed our learning programmes for students on the School for Social Entrepreneurs – East, Enterprise Academy and Enterprise Club programmes and they have led on how it should be delivered, ensuring we stay business focused at all times. What we have created is a highly productive student-tobusiness network – our students benefit from quality exposure to entrepreneurs and senior business people, whilst the established business community gain from contact with early-stage businesses and from knowing they are playing a key part in driving
economic growth. Results speak for themselves and, so far, enterprises coming out of the EE Hub have a combined turnover of £21.5m and employ 730 people.” One business who have been involved from the start is law firm Prettys, who in addition to being a principal sponsor of the School for Social Entrepreneurs – East, have made members of their senior team available to act as student mentors and their staff have given regular full-day masterclasses on legal affairs. “It's important for members of the business community like ourselves to do everything we can to help new entrepreneurs who are just starting out,” explains Prettys Partner, Matthew Cole “It's also a way for us to demonstrate how seriously we take the concept of enterprise responsibility.” Many other businesses have been involved in pitching panels, helping students develop a winning patter when pitching for funding and investment. Others, such as social entrepreneur Steve Allman of Out and About and Lee Weaver from Viking Mariners, have hosted regular visits and business exercises for whole groups of students. Steve Flory of Hudson Signs, Paddy Bishopp of Paddy and Scotts Coffee and 15 more entrepreneurs have been recruited as Enterprise Superstars and are spreading the enterprise message across Suffolk from schools to prisons. Evidence, surely, of the big business society in action.
An Enterprise Academy session at the EE Hub
28 | IoD suffolk | winter 2011
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IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 29
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Festive Fayre Lunch Available Mon to Sat from 21st Nov to 30th Dec (excluding 26th Dec) Glass of Bucks Fizz or Mulled Wine and canapes on arrival, a delicious choice 3-course menu, coffee and mince pies. £34.00 pp Our Famous Party Nights Bring your party to our party. Fantastic Value. Bucks Fizz and canapes – choice 3-course meal, coffee and mince pies. Then onto the dance floor or just relax with friends in the lounges. Friday’s – £51.00 pp. Weekday’s £46.50 pp – Please see our website for selected dates. Hintlesham Hall Gift Vouchers For those ‘difficult to buy for’ gifts. Any Value – The ideal gift presented in a beautiful folder – Just phone and we do the rest.
01473 652334 Seckford Hall Hotel & Restaurant 30 | IoD suffolk | winter 2011
BUSINESS PROFILE – ASPALL CYDER
There’s been Aspall Cyder throughout eight generations of the Chevallier family, ever since 1728. But according to Barry Chevallier Guild – the business just “ticked over” for most of that time. There were milestones, of course. Like the decision to grow apples organically, half a century before it became fashionable. And the 1970s saw state-of-the-art equipment replace the old apple press. In recent times Aspall was producing mostly cyder vinegar, a niche healthfood product. With their relaunch of cyder in 2000, brothers Barry and Henry turned Aspall into an iconic brand and global success. While today’s cyder bottle would be instantly recognisable to the 1930s generation, who produced but small quantities, its content bears little resemblance to the tannic bittersweet predecessors. The brothers have achieved much, simply by relying on their own tastes and palates. Quality is non-negotiable. (A ‘perry’ drink was developed recently, but ditched when it failed the taste test.) There are three strands to Aspall’s business. Firstly the apple juice, sold locally as Aspall and to supermarkets as an own-label product. Secondly, Aspall cyder vinegar. Thirdly, and most spectacularly, Aspall Cyder (the spelling dating back 100 years or so). Aspall Cyder was launched as a bottled product, but this now accounts for only 30 per cent of output. When Aspall started to sell on tap in selected pubs and restaurants, brand awareness really grew.
They’ve no shortage of competitors. But when Magners, a huge name in the cider world, launched in the UK in 2006, Aspall benefited from growing cider consumption. Without huge marketing budgets of their own, outside expertise in specialist areas has been essential. Export sales are small, but growing. “We’ve been selling into the USA, Australia – where it’s a ‘must-stock’ brand – and Japan for some time, and we’re opening up new markets in Germany, Brazil, Finland and Ireland. We’re close to China and India too,” said Barry. “In Japan, we didn’t understand the culture at all. So we brought in a distributor – English born but has lived there most of his life – to get us into the right places. We do listening mode very well.” This listening mode led to the launch of two new cyders recently – Lady Jennifer’s (named after a family member and four per cent ABV) and Imperial (eight per cent ABV). The names are wholly in keeping with Aspall’s “looking to the past for the future”. There’s history in every drop of this iconic Suffolk cyder, right down to naming the fermentation tanks after past generations: Clement, Temple and the downright confusing – for some visitors – Stella!
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 31
St John Ambulance Suffolk As part of the country’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance Suffolk is committed to making a difference in its local communities and believes that everyone who needs it should receive first aid from those around them.
St John Ambulance Suffolk is one of the country’s most thriving counties, with six training centres delivering a range of commercial training courses at Bury St Edmunds, Framlingham, Ipswich (Bramford and town centre), Lowestoft and Newmarket and sixteen volunteer divisions across the county. Anne Chaplin, county executive officer of St John Ambulance Suffolk explains more about the role of the charity: ‘Incredibly each year there are up to 150,000 needless deaths as a result of a lack of first aid knowledge. ‘Here in Suffolk we treat over 2,200 people a year at over 1,700 events at which we provide first aid support. Our commercial training division is also one of the busiest and in the last twelve months approximately 800,000 employees have been trained in first aid. ‘Our campaign to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved resonates through everything we do and those we have trained often go on to offer their skills and time right in the heart of their community, either as a volunteer or as a community first responder, attending emergency calls and providing care until an ambulance arrives.’
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Keith Hotchkiss, operations manager for Suffolk continues: ‘Through our ambulance transport service, based out of our Bramford headquarters, we transport over 350 NHS and private hospital patients a month, but it is our work with bariatric patients that is leading the field. ‘St John Ambulance Suffolk is at the forefront of bariatric service provision and we now regularly transfer over 20 patients each week. Bariatric ambulance provision differs hugely from conventional ambulance transportation and our crews are specially trained to ensure patients’ safety, as well as treating everyone with dignity and compassion.’ Teaching members of the community lifesaving first aid skills is key to the ethos of St John Ambulance. Earlier this year Mark Hedges was appointed as schools, youth and community trainer and his time is spent arranging ‘community essential first aid courses’ and working with schools to encourage children to take-up first aid skills. Open to the general public, the two-hour ‘community essential first aid course’ teaches delegates all about adult resuscitation, how
to treat somebody who is choking, treating severe bleeding and chest pains, as well as helping an unconscious casualty. Anne adds: ‘Through Mark’s work we’re also delighted to say that an amazing 450 Suffolk school children are now equipped with life – saving first aid skills and knowledge.’ Engaging with the county’s youngsters is also a key element of the charity’s work. With Badger Setts (for children aged 5-10) and Cadets (aged 10-18) over 300 youngsters attend weekly meetings and learn a range invaluable life skills through tuition tailored specifically to their age group. Anne continues: ‘In addition to my role as county executive, I am also officer in charge of the Saxmundham Cadet division and some of my most rewarding St John Ambulance moments are with my cadets. No two weeks are the same, and although first aid training is a key element of the meetings focus, they get involved in a range of activities.’
If you would like to find out more about the work of St John Ambulance in Suffolk or ‘community essential first aid courses’ in your area, please contact 01473 241500.
Are you still offering what your customer wants? Although this autumn has been a really mild one, the current economic climate has had a debilitating effect on many businesses. However, within every recession there will be some businesses that will increase their turnover significantly. These businesses will be the ones that have been able to adapt more quickly to the ever-changing marketplace. It is now not enough to continue doing or offering what you did a few years ago or even last year. The consumer has changed and their buying habits have also changed. It is no longer enough to say, â€œwe did this last year and it workedâ€?. You may have to look at new ways of packaging your product or service that will appeal to the new consumer. Some or all of the statements below may be pertinent to your business; â€˘ It is not what you offer â€“ but it is how you offer it. â€˘ It is not how you market it â€“ but it is when you market it. â€˘ It is now not what the client wants â€“ but it is now what the client needs.
â€˘ It is not about fulfilling your needs â€“ but it is about fulfilling theirs. â€˘ It is not always about price â€“ but it is always about service. â€˘ It is not always about location â€“ but it is about how people can find you. â€˘ It is not about having a website â€“ but it is how you utilise that website. Within the golfing arena, there has been a marked decrease in participation overall as players cannot always justify the amount of time it takes to play a round at the moment, or the cost of a full membership for the few rounds of golf they play in a year. The industry has retaliated with trial memberships; seasonal memberships or points based memberships as well as different formats of the game over 9 or even 6 holes. Driving ranges are busier as golfers can get their golfing fix over a 30 â€“ 60 minute session. If a traditional sport like golf can make those changes to attract the new consumer â€“ can you not afford to change too?
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IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 33
BOOK REVIEWS Steve Jobs – The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson Published October 2011 by Little Brown £25 From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs’ professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs’ family members, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.
Boomerang: the Meltdown Tour by Michael Lewis Published October 2011 by Allen Lane £20 Having made the U.S. financial crisis comprehensible for us all in ‘The Big Short’, Michael Lewis realised that he hadn’t begun to get grips with the full story. How exactly had it come to hit the rest of the world in the face too? Just how broke are we really? ‘Boomerang’ is a tragi-comic romp across Europe, in which Lewis gives full vent to his storytelling genius. The cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack. The Irish wanted to stop being Irish. The Germans wanted to be even more German. Michael Lewis’ investigation of bubbles across Europe is brilliantly, sadly hilarious. He also turns a merciless eye on America: on California, the epicentre of world consumption, where we see that a final reckoning awaits the most avaricious of nations too. This is the ultimate book of our times. It's time to brace ourselves for impact and, with Michael Lewis, to laugh out loud while we're doing it.
Price of Civilization – Economics and Ethics After the Fall by Jeffrey D. Sachs Published October 2011 by Bodley Head £20 One of the world's most brilliant economists and the bestselling author of ‘The End of Poverty’, Jeffrey Sachs has written a book that is essential reading for everyone – politicians, people in business and industry, and you. Setting out a bold and provocative, yet responsible and achievable, plan, ‘The Price of Civilization’ reveals why we must – and how we can – change our entire economic culture in this time of crisis. The world economy remains in a precarious state after the recent global recession – where quick fixes were implemented instead of sustainable solutions to systemic problems. Jeffrey Sachs argues powerfully for a new co-operative, common-sense political economy, one that stresses practical partnership between government and the private sector, demands competence in both arenas and occasionally insists on carefully chosen public and private sacrifices. In this new era of global capitalism, Sachs believes that we have to forget partisanship and solve these enormous problems together, clinically and holistically, just as one would approach the eradication of a disease. ‘The Price of Civilization’ explains how government can be made to reform corporate culture by fairly policing compensation but not stifling competition and forced to improve our energy infrastructure by both taxing emissions and providing market incentives for innovation. Sachs shows how government, business and citizens can find common ground - on bank accountability, the decentralising of social services and taxing the super-rich – as a way to achieve our shared goals of efficiency, equity and sustainability. Sparing no-one but potentially benefiting us all, ‘The Price of Civilization’ is a masterful roadmap, a programme designed to bridge seemingly impossible divides in our society and a way forward that we – and our leaders – ignore at our peril.
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The launch was well attended by a diverse audience who heard Paul Winter, Chief Executive of Ipswich Building Society, and Chair of IOD Suffolk, speaking about the importance of good literacy skills to the business community and the economy. And so this really is my ‘Last Word’ for IOD Suffolk, as I and my fellow students flew the nest this week by graduating and becoming Fellows of the School for Social Entrepreneurs Suffolk (SSES). We ended our learning programme at the school with a three-day residential in London, where a packed programme of site visits gave us a last soaking in entrepreneurial experience and wisdom. The highlight of the residential for me was a visit to the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF), where we met Chief Executive June O’Sullivan, Some of the young apprentices then hosted us as we visited LEYF nurseries. Their understanding of and eloquence about the foundation’s vision, and insistence on a high-quality experience for the children in their care, was highly impressive.
Photography by Andy Ingate
Got to Read held its launch event on the evening of 30th November 2011 at the Enterprise Hub in Ipswich, and by the end of the evening, it felt like we had a lot of new supporters and advocates for the promotion of literacy across Suffolk.
My final verdict on being a student with SSES is that the year has been invaluable. We’ve had such fantastic opportunities to meet experienced entrepreneurs, develop our networks with local businesses, and be supported as we’ve started up our own ventures. I also feel fortunate to have had the sound advice of Steve Allman, CEO of Out and About, as my individual tutor. And progress with Got to Read? We’ve been incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee with charitable objectives. The first Trustees, who have a real passion for reading and improving literacy alongside strong business skills and experience, are in place. We’ve made a first funding application, created our website and set up some social media. So you can now follow us on Facebook and Twitter if you’d like to keep up to date with our progress. Our community pilot project, which is the Got to Read Triathlon in the Gainsborough area of Ipswich, is shaping up really well. With our partners, we’ll be offering a range of reading promotions to suit all age groups and interests. Alongside the Triathlon events, we’ll be running free training sessions for local volunteers who want to be literacy champions. Our aim is to be able to provide one-to-one support for people with their personal reading goals.
The first step towards revenue creation, and therefore sustainability, is an offering of literacy awareness training which can be tailored to a business’s needs. If, for example, you’d like your employees to be able to recognise indicators of poor literacy skills, to assess the readability level of material used at work, and to understand ways to make your materials accessible, then please get in contact. So, it’s been an extraordinary year and I’d like to say a big thank-you to all at the School of Social Entrepreneurs Suffolk and to my fellow students. I’ve also enjoyed writing for Suffolk IoD magazine, and sharing the journey. It seems appropriate that the last picture for the Last Word is of Got to Read staff, Trustees and volunteers enjoying the launch celebration.
Tracy Bose Got to Read firstname.lastname@example.org www.gottoread.org.uk www.facebook.com/got_to_read Twitter @Got_to_Read M: 07528 147654
IoD suffolk | winter 2011 | 35
Christopher Johnson MANAGING DIRECTOR AND OWNER – MERITAS INTERNATIONAL AND CONSULTING
So why the third career?
What were the surprises?
Well, my entire career has been healthcare related and the first large part of it was working with blue chip FTSE 100 companies such as AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Wolters Kluwer Health in the pharmaceuticals sector. This took me all over the world and I had the fantastic opportunity to live and work in some very diverse cultures such as Japan and North Africa in a variety of director and local board-level positions.
Well, the most interesting one was being hired as managing consultant for a Czech charity whose mission was to construct a 17th century Living Townlet in Moravia!! This Townlet would offer a wealth of tourist activities, historical information, accommodation and sports facilities and my task was to put a plan together to raise funding for this project soon after the Czech Republic’s entry into the European Union in 2005.
The second career was in hospital management when, on returning to the UK in 2007, I became the hospital director of Nuffield Health Ipswich Hospital. The third career is what I am doing now. Actually it was born in 2005 and has been on ice for a number of years.
What is it?
Christopher Johnson moves on to his third career and talks about the rebirth of his interim consulting, coaching and mentoring company. Christopher is a trustee for Suffolk MIND and is a member of the Suffolk Institute of Directors’ Committee, where he acts as Sponsorship Officer and Creativity Club Co-ordinator.
In 2005 after the completion of a contract in Tokyo my Czech wife and I decided to move to Prague to establish our Company Meritas International which specialises in consulting, interim work, coaching, mentoring and counselling. I now have the opportunity to resurrect this company in the UK, based in Suffolk.
Tell us about your experiences Once we started on this venture we had no idea about the type of work we would be undertaking and there were a number of expected projects and a few surprises. One of the first assignments was to work with the BCC in Prague, restructuring the executive team and establishing their mission and goals. This was rapidly followed by an approach from a family-owned Polish pharmaceuticals company based in Warsaw who needed some strategic direction and rationalising of their R&D effort. This resulted in me commuting on a weekly basis from Prague to Warsaw on the overnight train in the depths of the worst winter central Europe had had for two decades at temperatures around -30 degrees Celsius. I had a number of other assignments such as preparing a UK launch plan for a diet food (known as neutraceuticals in the trade) for the largest food company in the Czech Republic and setting up an out-sourcing conference in Prague.
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Although these were all enjoyable and fulfilling assignments, my real passion and value offering is to generate real, operational solutions to strategic issues in the healthcare environment and at this time, with the changes in healthcare delivery from both the NHS and private sectors, these skills are in demand.
As well as consulting what else does Meritas International do? Over the past years I have been establishing the coaching and mentoring client base and am looking to expand this service in Suffolk and beyond. So far clients include two directors of small Suffolk companies. I’m also building a business plan for a client to purchase a hotel/pub in north Suffolk and am creating a funding plan for a start-up furniture business. I am also connected to the BCC mentoring programme and am a Princes Trust mentor for young business entrepreneurs.
How do you find Suffolk as a place to live and work? It is one of the UK’s best-kept secrets! It combines one of the best places to live, with a safe environment for families and a thriving business community with very active associations such as the IoD and BCC. There is an energy about it which is very pleasing, combined with an attitude to enjoy life as well as work hard.
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The premier business to business magazine in the Suffolk and North Essex region, mailed directly to key business leaders and with a high pro...
Published on Dec 20, 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...