Waikato Business News has for a quarter of a century been the voice of the region’s business community, a business community with a very real commitment to innovation and an ethos of co-operation.
8 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS February/March 2018 From the editor Welcome to another busy Waikato Business News as the economy picks up a gear after a laid back, sunny January. Two construction-related stories feature on our front page this month: Livingstone NZ’s long-standing director David Livingstone has retired, making way for a new chief executive Myles Whitcher while we celebrate the design and construction of Hamilton’s superb new Victoria on the River city park. We also feature another iconic Waikato construction company, Foster Group, which has launched Foster Engineering, a mechanical engineering service that specialises in architectural design and finishing. A special mention this month goes to the New Zealand National Fieldays Society which launched its 50 year celebrations in style with a function at Te Rapa Racecourse where the iconic Fieldays began life back in 1969. We also catch up with the residential real estate experts who have detected a significant increase in first home buyer activity in the Hamilton market. Waikato Business News’ columnists are in fine form as employment lawyer Erin Burke advises on the best approach to recoup overpayments of staff while our other law columnist Karin Thomas continues her analysis of Family Trusts. Two columnists –Diane Halifax and Heather Claycomb – home in on that buzz word “engagement” to see what it really means for a business. Vicki Jones of Dugmore Jones tackles the tricky subject of deciding what to charge while our technical experts handle everything from Big Data to use of AdWords to the spectre of technological meltdown. A new year brings new features and in the next few months you’ll see a couple of fresh elements in Waikato Business News. There’s a lot happening in this region and much to talk about – even to argue about. We’d like to get a few more of these semi-contentious issues out in the open in a constructive fashion and hear what the business community has to say. Watch this space. In the meantime there’s so much positive news out there. I look forward to another year of telling success stories. Geoff Taylor Editor MONTHLY POLL Vote and win Sponsored by the Helm Bar and Kitchen This month’s poll The Gallagher Chiefs 2018 Super Rugby season is under-way and they bring in a new coach, Colin Cooper and a new mix of players. Gone are their most successful coach ever, Dave Rennie as well as players like Aaron Cruden and Tawera Kerr-Barlow. Then again, there’s still plenty of talent and leadership through the likes of Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane and Damian McKenzie and old campaigner Liam Messam. What are their chances of topping the New Zealand Conference? Where do you think they will finish? Vote on the WBN website (www.wbn.co.nz) and fill in the entry form to be in to win a meal voucher for two at The Helm Bar & Kitchen. Voting closes Wednesday February 21. Last month’s results Should Hamilton City Council support plans to redevelop Garden Place? Leave Garden Place alone appears to be the feeling among most Waikato Business News readers. Asked if Hamilton City Council should support a private plan to redevelop Garden Place 60 percent weren’t in favour. A proposal for the council to put $3 million into Matt Stark and Steve McLennan’s plan to introduce parking and traffic and a destination playground into Garden Place goes out for public consultation in coming weeks. The council makes a decision in June. 40% 60% 60% 40% Where will The Chiefs finish in the New Zealand Super Rugby conference? A. Top B. Average C. No show Cast your vote at: www.wbn.co.nz WINNER OF THE HELM DINNER VOUCHER IS: Michael Peters No, leave it alone Yes, something needs to be done OPEN DAY Friday 9 March, 2018 Personalised Tours 10am-4pm, Years 0-8, Day and Boarding 200 Peachgrove Road, Claudelands, Hamilton 3214 | Ph 07 855 2089 www.southwell.school.nz
WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS February/March 2018 9 Turn business problems into opportunities Company-X deals with business problems using software. Software development always starts with a problem. “Some businesses have big problems but don’t realise that the answer is a software solution,” says Company-X director David Hallett. The Hamilton-based software specialist company has been designing, developing, testing and releasing software solutions for local and international clients since its inception in 2012. Every job has started with the prospective client speaking up about a problem of some kind. Company-X’s reputation for doing what it said it would do, on time and without a fuss, leads to many approaches from potential clients. “Many businesses, both here in New Zealand and overseas, come to us with brand new, recently discovered, business problems that they need to solve and ask if we can build a software solution that will make the problem go away,” David says. “They know that Company-X is the first place to come and explore their options.” The majority of Company-X projects start with this sort of conversation with either David or his fellow director Jeremy Hughes. Often both of them are in on the initial conversation. It can help, the directors say, if the prospective client has already defined the goal that the software solution will achieve in a clear and concise paragraph or two before they reach out to Company-X. A clear and concise outcome is easy to measure and is a good place to begin the conversation. The outcome may be an increase of profit margin, efficiency improvements, a bigger market share, better customer service, improved employee training or reduced carbon emissions. Not every conversation between Company-X and prospective clients starts the same way. “Sometimes prospective clients already know the solution to their problem, right down to the software specifications and user requirements, but don’t have the software development power that they need to make it fly,” Jeremy says. “Or they already have LISTENERS: Company-X directors David Hallett and Jeremy Hughes love hearing about business problems from prospective clients. custom software which is no longer supported by the developer that they need to update with new functionality in line with the changing business environment that their company is operating in.” Whatever the case, prospective clients can expect lots of questions when they start talking to Company-X. The software specialists need to hear a good description of the problem, understand the workflow at the business, and the different types of users who will be using the software solution. What is the problem this project needs to solve, the question it needs to answer, or the opportunity it needs to grab? “Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein once said ‘If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it’,” David says. “Only once the problem is fully defined can the problem be effectively resolved.” The next step is for David and Jeremy to put together a team headed by Company-X professional services manager Michael Hamid, a project manager, a business analyst, and a solutions architect to continue a more in-depth conversation. This whole initial phase can take up to the equivalent of a full day, and Company-X starts billing clients once the project gets underway. Company-X’s reputation for doing what it said it would do, on time and without a fuss, leads to many approaches from potential clients. Company-X is a multiaward winning, fast growing, software specialist with clients in both the small and medium enterprise space as well as multinationals like Cisco Systems Inc in Silicon Valley, California. Company-X ranked on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific 2017 index, listed at number 330 of the 500 fastest growing technology companies in the Asia Pacific region. Software can solve your biggest problems and deliver on your brightest ideas. We can update, improve, add functionality to, or fix your existing software investment. Our software experts can join your team to help get your job or project done.