Tag Archives: Brexit

TDSi promotes British exporting excellence as ‘Export Champion’

Integrated security solutions manufacturer TDSi is supporting the UK Department for International Trade’s ‘Great’ initiative as an Export Champion, encouraging British businesses to think globally when it comes to tapping into potentially lucrative markets.

TDSi’s managing director, John Davies, who has personally been appointed as a South West Export Champion, commented: “TDSi has been actively exporting its products since 1984. Currently, exports comprise 40% of our sales. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations with the EU, there are huge opportunities in selling revered UK products and services around the globe. We’re keen to encourage and inspire other British businesses to embrace all available markets.”

The ‘Great’ scheme strives to encourage customers from around the world to engage with and buy from UK producers and expert service providers, while the latter offer advice and support (including legal, financial and networking assistance) for UK businesses looking to embrace these potential markets.

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John Davies

As an Export Champion, TDSi is offering advice and experience to support other businesses looking to expand their export reach.

South East Asia and the Middle East

In conversation with Risk Xtra, Davies continued: “In the past, France and the EU have been our biggest export market, but South East Asia and the Middle East are due to eclipse their position this year. China is also a very important market for TDSi because, despite being one of the great ‘workshops of the world’, savvy security buyers there know British manufacturers like ourselves have a well-deserved reputation for offering innovation, quality and excellent value for money.”

Exporting shapes TDSi as a business. “It keeps us on our toes to deal with the competition and ensures we listen effectively to new customers and markets, adapting our products and services to maintain and establish relevance in each territory,” stated Davies.

Exporting also offers fresh opportunities aside from those in the domestic market. Davies said: “Despite being an SME manufacturer/exporter, we can take on the big boys, in other words competitors considerably larger than we are, and beat them. We offer specialised, top-quality security solutions and are highly responsive with great service delivery. This is why we’re winning in these overseas markets.”

Project involvement

TDSi has capitalised on these advantages by working on many impressive projects, including China Petroleum’s headquarters in Beijing (where it beat a $20 billion competitor), the Shanghai Metro and other Metro systems in China along with telecom and electricity companies in Thailand, Brunei and Malaysia.

In conclusion, Davies observed: “We’re keen to share this experience and knowledge through schemes such as ‘Great’, helping other UK companies to embrace a diverse selection of potential markets and help ensure the nation remains a powerful force in the sphere of international trade and exports.”

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Axis Group hosts Institute of Customer Service Breakfast Briefing for CEOs

Axis Group hosted an Institute of Customer Service Breakfast Briefing for CEOs during October’s National Customer Service Week, with the event specifically designed to bring UK business leaders together and engage them in the importance of customer service for their organisations.

CEOs attended from sectors ranging from housing and construction through to tourism and the utilities. Themes discussed included how to develop and implement a vision for the UK as a global service leader, how organisations can connect customer service and satisfaction measures to bottom line business performance, what skills and competencies are required in the Boardroom and accountability and reporting.

Challenges faced by the UK’s service industry, such as Brexit, cyber security, Artificial Intelligence, skills shortages and the growing powers of customer review-centric websites were discussed, alongside the growing importance of trust and reputation.

Axis Group joined as a member of The Institute of Customer Service last year and is currently working towards The Institute’s ServiceMark accreditation – the national standard for measuring an organisation’s service levels and commitment to continuous improvement.

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Jo Causon, CEO at The Institute of Customer Service, explained: “A huge Thank You to the Axis Group for hosting our latest CEO Breakfast Briefing event. The debate highlighted the importance of a focus on customer-centricity at Boardroom level and the improvement in business performance this brings. At a time of even greater uncertainty, a sustained approach towards delivering an exceptional customer experience has never been more important.”

Jonathan Levine, Axis Group’s CEO, responded: “The event provided some fascinating insight. We were shown the clear and measurable benefits of investing in customer service in terms of retaining business and customer recommendations, as well as the link between an engaged workforce and excellent customer service. Customer service and focusing on our employees being our greatest asset is key to our business strategy. We must always seek to mitigate the challenges that our industry faces.”

The Institute of Customer Service is the leading independent expert setting and upholding the necessary standards to enable its customers to improve their business performance through service. By supporting members in transforming customer service and professionalism within their organisations, the organisation’s aim is for customer experience to make a positive and sustained impact on individuals, organisations and, indeed, the economic well-being of the UK.

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“Early compliance engagement is key to raising building standards” urges Bureau Veritas

With reports suggesting that the construction sector will continue to grow over the next two years, Bureau Veritas has been quick to assert that an industry shift towards earlier engagement with compliance partners is vital when it comes to raising quality and safety standards for all.

Despite a momentary downtime, largely the result of a post-Brexit slump in confidence and weakening pound, the consensus is that commercial construction will regain pace in the coming months. According to the latest Construction Products Association report, UK construction output will increase by 2.3% in 2019, primarily due to major infrastructure projects.

Concern focuses on the fact that an increased pressure on commercial and residential developers to build more properties, despite a declining workforce, presents a risk to ‘deliverability’ and quality control. A recent study, for example, estimated that over half of all new build properties have ‘major faults.’

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Andy Lowe, director for building control at Bureau Veritas, commented: “Amid incredibly tight construction deadlines, cost pressures and a raft of legislation, it’s understandable that the modern builder and developer has a lot to come to terms with. That’s why we always advocate early engagement with a certification specialist. Without the ability to influence the wider project, it can be incredibly difficult to optimise quality control procedures and enhance safety measures, while at the same time enabling developers to achieve stated targets.”

Lowe continued: “In some cases, it can even help streamline proceedings and improve efficiencies, and particularly so when it comes to ensuring that the design aspect correlates with the compliance requirements. Without the approver’s early input, for example, any decisions made by a design team could be borderline in terms of interpretation and, upon review, it may be that items such as the fire strategy or the number of staircases are questionable, thus affecting the design as a whole and even resulting in the need for a redesign.”

In conclusion, Lowe stated: “In this way, we believe an industry shift towards earlier engagement is core to not only increasing quality and safety standards, but also optimising efficiencies on current major projects going forward.”

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“New Government must help deliver productivity boost” urges ADS

Defence and security sector Trade Association ADS Group has stated that the UK’s future economic success will depend on the new Government working with industry to achieve a major boost in productivity.

Launching ADS’ five-point ‘General Election Manifesto’, CEO Paul Everitt said the spotlight would be on the new Government’s commitment to putting in place the foundations for substantial gains in productivity by attracting investment, supporting innovation and delivering a Brexit deal designed to sustain UK competitiveness.

“The UK needs a step change in productivity to fully achieve our potential and put vital sectors of our economy on the right footing to compete around the world,” stressed Everitt. “The Government elected on Thursday 8 June will face economic challenges that it must work in partnership with industry to address if we’re to achieve sustainable and long-term economic growth. Any failure to prioritise productivity gains would put at risk the UK’s future ability to generate high value jobs and maximise the economic potential of our ingenuity.”

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Paul Everitt: CEO at the ADS Group

Everitt continued: “We need to see the development of an ambitious industrial strategy with full political and financial backing, support for SME investment in technologies and the latest advanced manufacturing processes, and prioritisation of innovation to make sure the UK benefits from the jobs, exports and growth that flow from new ideas.”

The five election priorities set out by ADS are as follows:

(1) Develop an ambitious Industrial Strategy that attracts global investment

The Government must build on successful sector strategies with long-term political and financial backing for an ambitious industrial strategy

(2) Prioritise productivity by investing in supply chains

Given the UK’s long-term productivity challenge, the UK must support SMEs in their ability to invest in new technologies, develop world-class skills and adopt the latest manufacturing processes

(3) Invest in industrial innovation

Prioritising and focusing funding on industrial innovation, as well as scientific research, would ensure that the UK benefits from the jobs, exports and growth that flow from our innovative ideas

(4) Enhance national security by investing in UK capability

The next Government should ensure its value for money analysis recognises and reflects the benefits of equipping a UK supply chain with the capabilities, technologies and engineering services necessary for our long-term national security

(5) Deliver a Brexit deal that sustains our global competitiveness

Our sectors’ ability to compete globally depends on a stable transition to a new deal with the EU that delivers what might best be termed ‘frictionless’ trade and access to regulators, R&D programmes and skills

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BeCyberSure launches specialist EU GDPR Risk Assessment service

Information security specialist BeCyberSure has announced the launch of the “most comprehensive GDPR Risk Assessment available”. Conducted by security, risk and compliance specialists, the audit provides organisations with a definitive evaluation of their EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) readiness, as well as what needs to be done to ensure compliance ahead of the 25 May 2018 deadline.

The GDPR supersedes the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 and applies to every company that collects, processes or stores an EU citizen’s data, regardless of sector, size and geographical location. Enforcement of the GDPR is unaffected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

The BeCyberSure GDPR Risk Assessment is said to provide the most rigorous audit process available. The assessment is conducted on and off site by a GDPR specialist, beginning with a detailed review of company policies and governance, procedures and processes, an assessment of physical aspects (such as access to buildings and the storage of paper documents, etc.) and, if deemed necessary, an extensive digital vulnerability test. The audit also involves formal and informal (ie covert) interviews with employees as well as heads of department.

EUGDPRWeb

Carolyn Harrison, marketing director at BeCyberSure, explained that the GDPR is a company-wide issue and should not sit solely with IT.

“Our assessment begins with people, policies and processes to reveal any possible vulnerabilities that would result in non-compliance,” urged Harrison. “We then deep-dive, looking at what data the organisation is capturing, how it’s processed, what consent has been given, where it’s stored and how to dispose of all information that’s not required.” Harrison added: “The best technology in the world can be rendered useless if an open door, whether physical or digital, creates the opportunity to access to data.”

Following the audit, the host organisation is presented with a confidential Advisory Report stating what action (if any) is required to ensure GDPR compliance.

On that note, Harrison stated: “This report is invaluable in terms of benchmarking where an organisation is today, where they need to get to and the best course of action to get there. They can then choose to implement the programme of work themselves, collaborate with BeCyberSure or outsource the entire project to us.”

BeCyberSure has a senior team of GDPR auditors who have a wealth of experience with backgrounds in risk management and compliance, cyber security, policing, intelligence services and the military.

Harrison concluded: “There’s a lot of scaremongering going on about the GDPR and, while it’s true that the potential fines are eye-watering and the threat of personal liability daunting, if organisations act now, then they still have time to put the necessary safeguards in place to be GDPR-compliant. Undertaking a Risk Assessment is the first step in the due diligence process and means that organisations are not spending unnecessarily on their route to compliance.”

*For further information access www.becybersure.com

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TDSi’s md John Davies recognised by BSIA for Contribution to Exporting

John Davies, the managing director of integrated security manufacturer TDSi, has been awarded the 2016 BSIA Chairman’s Award for Contribution to Exporting during the BSIA’s Annual Luncheon, which was held at the London Hilton on Park Lane. The award recognises Davies’ significant contribution to promoting UK export initiatives within the security sector as chairman of the BSIA’s Export Council.

Commenting on the award, Davies told Risk UK: “I’m highly honoured to receive this special award from the BSIA. As the head of the Trade Association’s Export Council, my key task is to ensure that the British security industry understands the benefits and opportunities involved when it comes to engaging with markets around the world. Given the current political situation in the UK surrounding Brexit, it has never been more important for businesses here to understand and work with markets internationally.”

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John Davies (left) receives the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Contribution to Exporting

Daren Wood, membership and export services manager for the BSIA, stated: “John Davies has been a driving force and a keen supporter of the BSIA’s Export Council, serving twice as its chairman. First elected vice-chairman of the Export Council back in 2008, John has worked very closely with the Association to provide advice and guidance to other security companies who were less experienced exporters.”

Wood continued: “John then took over as chairman of the Export Council in 2010, becoming a strong figurehead for the industry. Around the same time, he served on the UKTI DSO’s Security Sector Advisory Group, assisting the Government in identifying security export opportunities. John started his second tenure as chairman of the Export Council last year and continues to be a strong voice for exporting in the industry. He now serves concurrently on the Home Office’s Security Resilience and Growth Partnership as an authoritative voice on exporting in the security sector.”

Vital role to play

Davies believes the UK security industry has a vital role to play in markets as far afield as North America and Asia. “What has struck me, having worked with the BSIA [and TDSi on a commercial level], is how well respected UK providers and products are around the world. For instance, TDSi produces all of its products in the UK, but we have a very healthy sales pipeline into China, which fully recognises the quality and insight that features so heavily in our offer. Although China has a huge manufacturing base of its own, customers there are extremely shrewd and like to buy the best solutions on the market. They harbour a huge respect for UK suppliers.”

TDSi has a strong presence in many security markets around the world. For example, Davies has lead the company to considerable commercial success in the People’s Republic of China, including a deal signed last year for a five-year strategic co-operation agreement with China Rail Chen Bang Technology Ltd. This will see TDSi’s technology used on rail and metro projects throughout China, and will eventually include 20,000 stations on the China Railway network.

TDSi’s sales in China and Asia increased by 33% last year, and the company has a strong presence in markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. The business also has ongoing growth in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, and is keenly looking to expand into other African territories.

The company’s French office, which is based near Paris, also provides access to the considerable French-speaking regions of North Africa and the Middle East, as well as being a hub within Europe. The business is also looking to expand its technical and commercial expertise further into the North American market in the very near future.

Huge scope for progress

Davies added: “The British and European markets are steadily expanding, but there’s huge scope in many other markets around the world. In my role at the BSIA, I’m very keen to ensure British security businesses fully understand the opportunities on offer and don’t let perceived language and cultural barriers get in the way of the exciting sales opportunities on offer.”

In conclusion, Davies informed Risk UK: “The UK has some of the best scientific and technological minds in the world, with a great reputation for quality and innovation. It’s a privilege to chair the BSIA’s Export Council. I’m passionate about its aims.”

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