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23 March 2017

How can I help you? The power of personal connections

By Sue Rissbrook Here’s the thing: when it comes to retail, it’s the connection between the customer and the retailer that makes the ultimate difference. It’s the game-changer that converts lukewarm interest into sales, and occasional purchases into a lifetime of loyalty. So how can retailers build this precious connection...

08 March 2017

Managing cyber risk in retail: A winning strategy

Information is power. As retailers, you have an enviable volume of data at your fingertips. By analysing this data you can make strategic decisions to enhance the customer experience, from personalised offers and recommendation engines to the development of new products. Customers no longer get excited about personalisation, they expect...

02 March 2017

The Guru, The Problem Solver, The Seller, The Slogger, The Personal Shopper? What is the role of the future store assistant?

By Stephanie Bloor The PwC 2017 #TotalRetail Survey identified that the most valued attribute for a good in-store experience is store advisors who have deep product knowledge. It got me thinking - with so much change happening within the retail landscape and in particular the good old fashioned "shop"- what...

14 February 2017

How to keep control of an R&D megaproject

By Andrew Kidd I have been following the progress of the Hyperloop project with interest and, to be honest, a little excitement. It is a bold, ambitious project, driven by an inspired vision, which promises to deliver on-demand intercity transport: airline speeds at bus fare prices via capsules zipping through...

08 February 2017

Innovation: the curiosity project

By Andrew Kidd Very early in my working life, I saw the following notice pinned to my manager’s desk. “The ambition of any civil engineer is to retire without being blamed for a major disaster.” I can still remember the sinking feeling I had because of what this said to...

06 February 2017

Minimum wage demands maximum care - Why complying with National Minimum Wage rules may not be as simple as it seems

By Kerry-Ann Newton and John Harding In recent months, high-profile examples of businesses paying their staff less than the National Minimum Wage (NMW) have focused renewed attention on the issue of fair pay. Employers who fail to meet this standard are likely to be in for a rough ride. The...

Not on your payroll, not your problem? New public sector tax rules mean you need to think again

By Paula Letorey From 6 April 2017, new provisions come into force relating to payments made to off-payroll workers via Personal Service Companies (PSCs), that might be used in the delivery of public sector projects (this includes all bodies covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000). As PSCs are...

31 January 2017

A new view of project data

By Alan Lavery The words ‘data’ and ‘analytics’ have been hot topics across industry for some time now. Financial services, retail, advertising and healthcare businesses (to name a few) are all massively improving the way they function; benefiting from the data we have produced for decades, now predicting our daily...

17 January 2017

Tomorrow’s Law Firm

By David Snell Back in the mid 1800’s, many people in Western Europe were resistant to the introduction of the combustion engine driven vehicle. Their insistence that it would never replace the horse and cart partly contributed to the United States economy accelerating at a much faster pace in the...

The UK housing market – the affordability challenge

By Richard McCole and Robert Walker It is widely accepted that there is a significant demand / supply imbalance in the UK housing market, with strong demand for home ownership but low build rates by historical standards. By some estimates, we are currently building around 60% of the houses required...

16 January 2017

Housing: Out with 2016 and in with 2017

By Lee Wilkinson It has been a somewhat uncertain few months for UK house prices – but the good news is that according to Nationwide, property value growth in 2016 has been “stable”, at a rise of 4.5% over. Though 2017 is looking slightly lower with both Nationwide and Halifax...

10 January 2017

Digital in Manufacturing - Collaboration realized

Today, digital technologies are creating new ways for manufacturers to deliver value. Those able to leverage ubiquitous data in meaningful ways across product development, sales and operations; across devices; and with customers are developing new models of collaboration. Whether you refer to this as Industry 4.0, the possibilities are endless....

22 December 2016

Is your supply chain Brexit-ready?

By Tom Woodham New research has shown that the volume of UK retail sales will drop 1.8% year-on-year in 2017, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (Consumer Goods and Retail 2017 report). As Brexit concerns continue to hit the value of the pound, this would put the UK among the...

21 December 2016

Our Lives in Data vlog: analysing transport data

By Ben Whittingham and David Doyle Transport generates multiple sources of data, and it’s often being used real time. In the third vlog in our series from the 'Our Lives in Data' exhibition at the Science Museum, we've focused on the transport section which displays the inside of an Oyster...

How quickly should they answer my call? Keeping on top of KPIs in Facilities Management

By Derrick Tate Effectively managing the performance of facilities management suppliers is a challenge for many organisations. Practically how do you monitor and track performance in a meaningful way? What should you do if performance is below par? Payment on delivery I get frustrated when I see poor performance management...

What does Brexit mean for the fashion industry?

By Sue Rissbrook The past few months following the EU Referendum decision have signalled a period of political, economic and social change. As the dust settles and we look towards the future, uncertainty is still the buzzword of the morning news. This is the second in a series of blogs...

SSRO: A fair and reasonable profit?

By Andrew Godfrey The profit suppliers can include in the price of single source contracts has changed since the introduction of the new single source regime. The new methodology used by the Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO) has reduced substantially the baseline rate recommend to the SofS, and the statutory...

16 December 2016

Industry 4.0: a CEO's perspective

Industry 4.0: what does it mean to your business? We asked a leading CEO As part of filming for this year's upcoming CEO survey, we asked Nigel Stein, CEO of GKN his thoughts on Industry 4.0. Look out for more CEO survey films on 16 January 2017.'

09 December 2016

Industry 4.0 and British Manufacturing: Our opportunity to innovate

By Cara Haffey Industry 4.0, otherwise known as the 4th industrial revolution, previously thought to be coming, is now well underway! We've seen other industrial revolutions, but the speed of change in this one is phenomenal. Staying ahead of rapid change and staying innovative will be key for UK businesses...

Building for the future - trends the real estate sector should be watching closely

By Gareth Lewis We recently launched our Emerging Trends in Real Estate®: Europe 2017 report in conjunction with the Urban Land Institute, which gathers the views of almost 800 senior real estate leaders from across the sector. In the survey interviews this year this, this particular quote hit home for...