June / July 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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PEOPLE On the March: (from left) Heather Mock and Lorraine Irwin receive their award from Active Devon Two employees from Golden Coast at Roundswell claimed the top spot in Active Devon’s Big Devon March — a monthlong campaign to encourage the county’s workers to become more active on a daily basis. More than 1,000 people took part this year and it was Lorraine Irwin and Heather Mock from Golden Coast — the UK’s largest independent distributor of products for the swimming pool, hot tub, spa and sauna industry — who topped the leaderboard. Jamie Adams, managing director of Golden Coast, said: “It’s brilliant to see Team GC win big at this year’s Big Devon March. We employ 33 people at the company, who all love being active — everything from scuba diving to marathon running to boxing.” Lorraine and Heather recorded the highest average number of steps for the 2019 Big Devon March — clocking up more than a million between them, and walking more than 200 miles in the last two weeks of the challenge. Heather, administration team leader, said: “It’s fantastic to place first, but it felt just as rewarding to have explored our beautiful region. I walked part of the Tarka Trail across North Devon and explored some of the pathways along the Tiverton to Taunton canal, as well as my daily morning and lunchtime walks.” Company accountant Lorraine added: “It was fun taking part in a team event and becoming more active. The challenge inspired me to take walks during my lunch breaks. “We both certainly feel the benefits of walking a lot more and feel both physically and mentally healthier.” Sean Mackney has been appointed principal and CEO of Petroc from 1 August 2019. Sean will take over from Diane Dimond, who is leaving the college in the summer as part of her retirement plan. Sean joins Petroc from Buckinghamshire New University, where he has served as pro vice-chancellor Research, Enterprise and External Relations and pro vice-chancellor Education. Kevin Finan, chairman of Petroc Governors, commented: “We are absolutely delighted with the appointment of Sean, who comes to us at a really exciting, if challenging time. We are confident that he will take up the mantle from Diane who has led us so effectively for the past few years and under her leadership we have achieved so much including becoming NicDex No:1 College in 2018. Sean has extensive experience in the FE and HE sectors as well as developing strategic partnerships with the business community and this will be invaluable for us in our next stage of development, ensuring we provide a high quality and relevant provision for our community.” Sean has more than 25 years’ experience in the education sector. In his most recent role Sean has been responsible for Buckinghamshire New University’s partnership provision, with 5,000 learners in partner FE colleges in the UK and internationally. “I am passionate about working in partnership to improve learning and teaching, something I have done throughout my career with individual students, students unions and the NUS,” said Sean, “and I relish the opportunity to do this back in my home area of Devon, ensuring we provide the best possible opportunities for our community.” Sean’s previous roles include director of Student Education and Engagement at the University of Exeter, senior deputy chief executive at the Higher Education Academy, head of Learning and Teaching at HEFCE and head of the HE Regional Development Association – South West. Sean, who was born in Devon, holds a postgraduate qualification in education from the University of Manchester and is currently completing his doctorate with the University of Bath. Mark Speck has joined Barum & Dewar’s UK sales team as a regional sales manager with responsibility for developing business growth in the South West. His appointment underlines Barum & Dewar’s continued commitment to further improving client engagement. Mark brings with him extensive experience of the UK specialist packaging sector. Barum & Dewar are a market leader in the design, manufacture and supply of protective cases with a reputation for delivering innovative packaging solutions of the highest quality. Barum & Dewar managing director David Frame said: “Our business is all about building trusted relationships with our clients. Mark joins a highly motivated and expanding team at Barum & Dewar and brings not only professional integrity but enthusiasm and a desire to make a real difference.” 14 business action | June / July2019 | business-action.co.uk
DIGITAL AGENCY’S ACHIEVEMENTS A digital agency established in a one-bedroom flat in Exeter recently celebrated its fifth year in business and the acquisition of its 300th client. MiHi Digital, started by director Mark Worden in 2013 and now based in Broadwoodwidger, supports businesses throughout Devon and Cornwall in strengthening their online presence through web design, social media, search engine optimisation and strategic consultancy. In the past twelve months, the business has broken its own records by winning a total of 69 new clients, launching 39 web sites, and achieving growth of more than 30% for a fifth consecutive year. Mihi has achieved significant growth across all of its core service areas, with social media management and training both growing by more than 400% in revenue compared with the previous year. There was also strong growth in search engine optimisation, PPC management and web site design, which continues to be the agency’s leading service. Mark, who previously worked at a law firm, attributes part of this year’s expansion to even more recommendations from existing clients. “We are delighted to have had yet another busy and successful year at MiHi, seeing results which have surpassed all of our expectations,” says Mark. “We’ve launched a large number of new web sites and gained a lot of work through word of mouth and personal recommendations, passed on by our happy clients.” Now in its sixth year, Mihi continues to build its reputation, especially in the wedding and tourism industries, as well as developing a niche within film and television production. It also supports the Devon business community by sponsoring the Glamping Business and Alternative Accommodation of the Year category in the Devon Tourism Awards. “The glamping category is one that’s close to our hearts at MiHi,” adds Mark. “We’ve worked with more than 100 hospitality businesses in recent years, many of whom have gone on to win national acclaim, so we’re looking forward to handing over the awards to those that really are at the top of their game.” ■■Details 01566 232323 or mihidigital.co.uk DIGITAL Intelligence in Business A review of purchases made by businesses represented at Applegate’s ‘Intelligence in Business’ event identified combined potential cost savings of £35,000. As a technology business, Applegate offers a free, cloud-based eProcurement tool for buyers to help them find what they need. It is also working, in partnership with the Institute of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Exeter, to develop machine learning systems – continually enhancing that tool – with the mission of saving businesses time, money and hassle in the purchasing process. Intelligence in Business explored what organisations are doing to develop the digital landscape across Devon, the ways in which businesses can recruit for the long term, the role of AI for business, and how procurement can often mean sourcing smarter. In line with the ethos of saving businesses time, hassle and money, Applegate reviewed a number of purchases by attendees, placing requests on its system to identify potential cost savings, which identified the £35,000 of cost savings. “All organisations are looking to achieve savings across their business,” said Stephen Roberts, chief executive of North Devon Hospice. “As a local charity, we have to ensure that every penny counts and can be used to support our care for patients. Through Applegate you are able to achieve efficiencies both in terms of time and costs across all aspects of your procurement activities.” In addition to keynote presentations spanning intelligence in apprenticeships, digital, Artificial Intelligence and procurement from Jack Richards (Applegate), Paula Byers (DigitalND) and Stuart Brocklehurst (Applegate), the event concluded with a Question and Answer session. The event at the Queen Anne’s Café in Barnstaple, was attended by organisations including North Devon Hospice, TDK-Lambda, Beran Instruments and Children’s Hospice South West. Stuart Brocklehurst, chief executive at Applegate, commented: “We are very pleased to have saved money for every organisation who raised a request for quotation. This event has proved highly successful for us in spreading the message of the importance of sourcing smartly and we hope that attendees found the afternoon useful.” ■■Details 0345 600 7177 or applegate.co.uk Celebrating five years in business working with 300 clients: Mark Worden, director of Mihi Digital @businessactionm | June / July2019 | business action 15