April / May 2019 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.
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NEWS NDMA Manufacturing Awards The 2019 NDMA Awards are now open for entries with the aims of identifying and celebrating the expertise, technical specialisation, innovation, growth or other success of manufacturers and schools within North Devon. The 10 categories are: ➤➤Manufacturer of the Year ➤➤Team of the Year ➤➤Apprentice of the Year ➤➤Trainee of the Year ➤➤Environmental Project of the Year ➤➤Innovation of the Year ➤➤Transformation of the Year ➤➤Business Engagement in STEM and Schools Ofwat has delivered its verdict on water companies’ plans for its 2019 price review (PR19) submitted last September. It has been critical of many suppliers, who have been told to do more, but South West Water (SWW) has been held up as a shining light and an example to others. Setting a new standard SWW engaged Turquoise Thinking and several other agencies to deliver the research and customer insights to help formulate its PR19 proposal. Turquoise Thinking offers its market research services nationally and has its headquarters in Barnstaple. Ofwat commended SWW’s plan and the insights Turquoise provided, going so far as to say that these “set a new standard” for the water sector. While Severn Trent and United Utilities were also singled out for praise, and can join SWW in implementing their PR19 without further ado in Ofwat’s ‘fast track’ category, Ofwat has told the other 14 water companies they need to revise their plans, following the model of the benchmark suppliers. Understanding the market Every one of the water companies conducted market research in formulating its ➤➤Exporter of the Year ➤➤Product of the Year Free to enter Any manufacturing business in the area can enter, both North Devon Manufacturers Association members and nonmembers, and the awards are free to enter. They are open to companies of any size – awards are judged on criteria relative to the individual organisation. The judging panel consists of individuals who support and promote manufacturing excellence across the South West of England. Deadline 26 April The deadline for entries is Friday 26 April and the awards plan, but what did South West Water get so right compared with the other suppliers? Part of the answer lies with its long business relationship with its market researchers. Turquoise has 30 years’ experience in utilities market research and has been working alongside South West Water since the 1980s. Few, if any, market research firms have will be presented at an evening function at the Barnstaple Hotel, Barnstaple on Thursday 16 May. The event will be attended by entrants, members of NDMA, guests and the media, providing the opportunity for employers to reward their staff for their hard work and to network and share their expertise with others. Student awards Entries are also open for the NDMA’s North Devon Technology Awards – for students 13-19 years – which aim to encourage the manufacturers of the future. These awards enable school and college students to showcase their technology projects Market research agency helps water company on to Ofwat fast track that level of knowledge and experience, and the ability to ask the right questions in the right way is what ultimately makes the difference. Turquoise dug into the qualitative side of the research by using a variety of tools. These included in-depth interviews, focus groups and co-creation groups. Other specific measures included: to win an industry award. There is also a £100 cash prize. Winners will receive their awards at the NDMA Awards event on Thursday 16 May. Entries are welcome from students independently, or through their school, college or institution. The deadline for student entries is 4pm on Wednesday 8 May. Students can submit excerpts from current projects that they are working on for their GCSE, A level, BTEC or similar courses. Please contact the NDMA to arrange for a STEM Ambassador to visit your school/college to discuss how current projects can be used and/or tailored for entry. ■■Enter at ndma.org.uk ➤➤Future customer research ➤➤Regional investment research ➤➤Retailer research ➤➤Priority Services Register research ➤➤Priorities and measures research ➤➤OPM scoping research Challenges ahead PR19 was always going to be a tough challenge. Rachel Fletcher, Ofwat chief executive, put it that the regulator has essentially demanded that water companies “deliver more for less” over the next five years. In any industry, that is going to be a big ask, and to come up with a plan that will deliver demands full colour market insights. Fletcher praised South West Water along with the other fast-tracked suppliers for delivering plans that will improve efficiency, ensure they meet their statutory obligations and deliver “more of what matters” to the communities that they serve over the coming five years. She said that the gauntlet has now been thrown down to the other water companies in England and Wales to meet this same high standard. ■■Details 01271 337100 or thinkturquoise.com 2 business action | April / May2019 | business-action.co.uk
Pinnacle Award offers £3,000 prize to young people The 2019 Pinnacle Award, organised by the Exmoor Society, is now open to young people aged 18 to 27 years who live, work or study in the Greater Exmoor area. The award offers up to £3,000 to an individual or group who have an idea for a business venture based on Exmoor, for example, in agriculture, forestry, food and drink, conservation, horticulture, craft, tourism, or any outdoor land-based activity. Now in its eighth year, the award was established to help young entrepreneurs live and work on Exmoor. As a conservation body, the society fully recognises the importance of providing opportunities for young people to continue to live in the area by encouraging entrepreneurial activity. The award also helps to promote the idea that beautiful landscapes and livelihoods in a National Park do go together. Previous applications have come from people making cider and developing a herd of pedigree cattle. So far the award has helped fund young people either setting up or developing businesses such as agricultural contracting, country clothing and woodland management. There were three successful applicants in 2018: Polly Goodman, Philip Stephens and Camilla Waterer, who were developing respectively goat meat from local herds, vehicle canopies from lightweight material and horse-drawn carriage rides over the moor for celebrations and special picnics. All three applicants impressed the judges so much that trustees decided to offer the full award to each one. Public unaware of how to recycle scrap metal Members of the public prefer to take their metal waste to a local council recycling centre instead of a metal recycling company, according to a recent survey by YouGov for a leading UK metal recycler. 65% prefer this option, not realising that regulated recyclers not only genuinely recycle scrap metal, but will pay to receive it. Only 32% said they would sell to a scrap metal company, and a ‘worrying’ 1% said they would fly-tip it. The remainder would pay someone externally to take it away directly from their home. “If the results coming out of the survey are to be believed, it is very worrying,” says Martin Mogford, managing director of SWM. “As the region’s leading metal recycler, we strongly believe that promoting the need to recycle all metal is a fundamental part of what we do. “SWM want the general public to be aware that we welcome their business, and are investing to make our yards more welcoming. The public could be missing out so we want them to know that now it is easier than ever to sell waste metal to SWM. Not only do you get the peace of mind knowing that your metal is recycled efficiently, but you also get paid for it.” As part of a global recycling programme, SWM has also launched an initiative which gives back to local charities and organisations who support scrap metal recycling through their metal recycling yards. For every tonne of waste metal purchased, SWM will donate a percentage to a nominated charity or organisation. During March it supported North Devon Hospice. As a family business, SWM is proud to support an initiative recognising that businesses can make a difference to Winner Polly Goodman is developing goat meat from local herds local communities and to the environment. It believes the metals recycling industry, while being a driver of the circular economy, faces many challenges. This includes scrap yards who pay cash for scrap metal, which is illegal. It is also illegal to receive cash for scrap. Yards such as SWM, which is a Metal Recycling Association member, ensure they are environmentally compliant, pay close attention to the health and safety and welfare of their employees, and support the local community. Anyone can take scrap metal to one of SWM’s yards in Barnstaple, Bideford or South Molton and receive payment in addition to raising funds for worthy local causes. ■■Details 01769 572184 or swmrecycling.co.uk Got a North Devon business news story? BusinessAction wants your business news. Whether you’re a new start-up, a sole trader or an established company, we want to hear from you and can even visit your business to interview you. Contact us now on 07971 176044 or email@example.com Exmoor Society chairman Rachel Thomas, said: “There is a great deal of concern that young people have to leave Exmoor because of the lack of employment. By providing seed core money through the Pinnacle Award, the society hopes to enable them to stay in the area and keep the moor alive and thriving.” The society aims to attract even more entries this year before the closing date of 30 June 2019. Entry is via a simple form with a reference from a mentor or sponsor. ■■Enter at exmoorsociety.com NEWS IN BRIEF Power plant factory installs solar panels TDK Corporation has installed solar panels at its power supply manufacturing facility in Ilfracombe to help power the whole factory, including its recently opened EMC test facility. The company anticipates a return on investment in the 92kWh solar array in five years. “The west facing roof of ‘Factory 2’ is the ideal place to install solar panels as it gets maximum exposure to the sun, while being obscured from general view,” explains Geoff Wilby, joint managing director, TDK-Lambda UK. “From day one, the solar panels will significantly reduce expenditure on energy, whilst showing local residents and our customers our continued commitment to improving the environment.” The solar panels, combined with an upgrade of the lighting system to LED technology, aim to minimise the whole facility’s grid power requirements. ■■Details uk.tdk-lambda.com @businessactionm | April / May2019 | business action 3