Business and Industry in Glasgow

As the major ‘heavy’ industries in the city collapsed during the 20th century, Glasgow suffered the ignobility of reputedly being a city of high unemployment and social depravation. However, by the 1990s the city had reversed its fortunes and Glasgow City Council was attracting inward investment in the burgeoning finance, ‘hi-tech’ and tourism tertiary sectors of employment; the boom in the tourist trade mainly arising after the city became ‘European City of Culture’ in 1990.

Between the 1950s and 1990s the number of jobs in the city was reduced by almost one third, from around 560,000 jobs in total, as the ‘old’ industries saw their work disappear abroad to cheaper Far Eastern competition. From that economic low, with the aid of UK and European grants, the city made a staggering recovery. Using its economic development strategy Glasgow now supports over 430,000 jobs that create an economic output in excess of £13.5 billion a year. In the past decade alone, the economic growth has been so rapid that nearly 80,000 jobs were created, helping to get nearly 40,000 Glaswegians into full-time employment. As with most UK cities a lot of the growth in the employment market came from the service sector. Whilst the single largest employment sector in the city is Public Services, the second largest group is now in Financial and Banking services. A total of 105,000 employees now work in this sector, making Glasgow a serious contender to Edinburgh for being known as the financial capital of Scotland. Sadly the number of manufacturing jobs in Glasgow is continuing to fall by about 5% a year and currently stands at 23,000 – compared to over 200,000 in the middle of the 20th century. However and perhaps alarmingly, Glasgow remains the fourth largest city for employment in manufacturing industries in the UK.

The days of shipyards like Harland and Wolff, at Govan in Glasgow, employing tens of thousands of men are gone. However, shipbuilding and what are classed as heavy engineering industries are still important to the city’s employment profile. Recently, British Aerospace completed the first of the Royal Navy’s fleet of new Type 45 Destroyers, HMS Daring, at its Glasgow BAe Systems Naval Ship building works at Govan, on the river Clyde. As well as shipbuilding Glasgow has a long tradition of involvement in railway engineering. The engineering company Babcock International has its First Engineering division at the Hamilton International Park, in Blantyre – Glasgow. The company is one of several in the Glasgow area that provides solutions in all aspects of modern railways from track to signalling and power units.

The financial district of Glasgow is to the west of the city centre and is now the third largest in the UK, behind London and Edinburgh, it is also the sixteenth largest in Europe. Eight of the ten largest insurance companies in the UK have their head offices in Glasgow, which also has major offices of all the UK’s leading banks.

The development of the Glasgow tourist industry is one of almost unparalleled success. Although rarely seen today the renaissance of Glasgow began when the city came up with the slogan “Glasgow’s miles better”, which featured a graphic that was a cross between a ‘Mr Men’ character and a ‘smiley’ face. The city then started to bid for and attract awards; in 1988 it started its own Garden Festival, which was followed in 1990 with the award of European City of Culture. The city continued bidding for events that would bring tourists to the city and in 1999 became the UK City of Architecture and recently the city won its bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. About 30,000 people are employed in the tourism industry in Glasgow and the industry is worth about three quarters of a billion pounds to the city annually. With a newly built conference centre Glasgow is 25th on the international list of conference destinations. An industry that today works in tandem with the tourist one is the drinks industry. Glasgow has a reputation as being a ‘drinker’ city and it certainly has the companies there to keep the bars, clubs and supermarket shelves full. Many famous brands of alcoholic drinks are produced in the city including: Whyte & MacKay’s and William Grant & Sons whiskey, Tennent’s beers and lagers and interestingly Pernod Ricard, which is now the owner of Ballantine’s whiskey. Sadly one of the best known names in Scotch whiskey – Johnnie Walker Whiskey – is also now owned by a foreign company, the Diageo Corporation.

Tertiary sector developments include companies working in the Bio-Science, Telecommunications and Creative industries choosing to locate themselves in Glasgow. Recent growth in these sectors has led to Glasgow being included in what is known as the western end of the Silicon Glen. Companies working in the ‘hi-tech’ end of the tertiary sector include house-hold names like ICI and lesser well known ones like beCogent who, although only established in 1999, is now one of the top 10 contact service providers to companies in the UK and employs nearly 1000 people at its Glasgow headquarters.

Cabinetry Businesses Innovating Industry After Economic Slump

Has the economic recovery slammed the door shut on the remodeling industry decline? Apparently so, but experts say that it must innovate in order to survive moving forward and move past the economic downturn.

Anyone who has followed the remodeling industry, specifically the cabinetry market, will realize that it has gone through a slump since the collapse of the housing bubble from 2006 to 2008. Although industry reports show cabinetry sales are on the rise again, the recession still hurt business overall.

Take for instance the case of Cardell Cabinetry, once considered one of the biggest manufacturing businesses in San Antonio for the past 10-plus years. It was reported that the three-decade-old company shut down its manufacturing facility in early September and laid off more than 900 employees.

Despite the difficult times for some businesses, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association monthly Trend of Business Survey discovered cabinet sales for June of this year grew 16.2 percent, stock cabinet sales jumped 21.3 percent, semi-custom sales increased 11 percent and custom sales received a boost of nearly 20 percent.
As a response to the positive trends, some cabinetry enterprises are establishing new locations and creating jobs. In September, Smart Cabinetry confirmed it is relocating to a new location in Michiana and generating about 90 new jobs. It plans to construct a 200,000 square-foot building to service approximately 400 distributors across the United States.

Other companies are innovating their services; an aspect that sector professionals say is a must. Woodworking Network profiled Leedo Cabinetry’s introduction of industry-leading technology that will certainly enhance customer service.

Last month, it launched a new program that provides real-time updates in the field. The custom software program was created by the company’s IT department. As the workers on the job utilize tablets to insert the updates, customers located anywhere in the country can track the updates about their project(s).

“Five years ago, we realized that the same need exists from an installation standpoint. We recognized that the information deficit between field conditions and manufacturing was causing serious delays in job completions. It became a corporate priority to improve communication between installation services and project administration,” reports Darryl Preen, Chief Information Officer of Leedo Cabinetry.

“The tablet we chose had to bring together the ease of use of our paper system and the intersection of the design systems with the order and manufacturing systems we use. We had many paper hand offs and data translations; building a platform that allows us to capture the data and distribute it throughout our business has had a measurable impact on our efficiency.”

Preen noted that Leedo is projected to install 50,000 units, or close to 600,000 cabinets, this year and using the latest technology can allow the company to focus on the projects and their customers’ needs rather than having their attention on administrative elements.

“Now that the data is instantly uploaded to our servers, we can monitor the install status of any given job on any given day and effectively engage all Leedo departments in getting units to a completed state; which is ultimately why we are all in this business,” the Leedo CIO added.

The U.S. cabinetry market is now valued at nearly $7 billion. Can it keep up that momentum? If it can continue its competitive and innovative actions and the economy remains relatively healthy then most analysts say it can.

Pencil and Crayons – Back to the Future in the Food Service Industry

What happened to the fundamentals in food operations? I may be dating myself but when I was just counter high and working in my Grandfather’s deli, sprinkling sawdust on the floor, and straightened out cans on the shelves, I remember that the business never required a formal meeting, a computer, or for that matter a calculator. I remember my uncles behind the deli, my grandmother behind the register, and my grandfather making basket cheese and mozzarella in the back kitchen. Were those the days and there was no doubt that everyone worked hard, and by the end of the day, the staff was exhausted. The difference was the staff loved his or her jobs and had fun doing it.

Thinking back about the design of the store, which was relatively small but had any food item that you could possibly need within the stores simple design. When walking into the store, to your left and right were the canned goods and fresh pasta. The pasta was fresh and placed in bins and served by the pound. The right wall had all the refrigeration and freezers, the left side of the store has a long deli counter where customers could purchase hot or cold items, cakes, coffee. If a customer knew my grandfather, they were offered a little Sambvca in the coffee, at no charge.

These old times had many challenges with the recession and people making pennies a week but I need to ask these questions, what are the differences today?
The main difference is the love of job followed by the passion and camaraderie of the staff and the relationships with vendors and customers. The food business is about the people and the food and if anyone thinks differently, he or she does not understand the food business. There are certain basic expectations when a customer walks into a food establishment and that is, it needs to be clean, organized, have good displays, and friendly smiling faces, which is the most important ingredient of a successful operation.

Maintaining the excitement and passion in food service requires strategies on how to develop people and stressing the importance of hospitality, which is the most challenging because the industry has become overly complicated.

Take the meaning of fresh food as our first example. The meaning of fresh food to some establishments is finishing the item on premise, which is taking the food items out of a box and placing it in the oven. Some think fresh food must be organic whereas others have no clue about the difference between fresh or frozen.

At this time, let us think through the operational design process. We have our equipment companies, designer, architects, marketing people, menu design group, financial people, sometimes a third party who has a food idea, and so on. The concerns are, do the “professionals” understand the vision and expectations of the business.

What about food purchasing and the purchasing groups where the focus is on drop size, volume discounts, commodities, givebacks but none of these incentives address quality of food and building consistence in menu.

Thinking back to my grandfather’s deli, there was always a sense of pride with the quality of served food, and there was entrepreneurial spirit that lived in each person who worked in the deli. How I do miss those days.

Nevertheless, today generates new opportunities with new challengers. The missing link is the proverbial owner. People understand that “the owner” in many businesses do not reside at the business location but in some corporate office but is this an excuse to not deliver a clear message by the organization to his or her managers about caring about the customers and staff. Leadership’s role is to lead by example, by training and communicating the importance of the goals and expectations.

Pencil and crayons is a term that refers to, going back to basics, and simplicity, of design, menu, service, atmosphere, and a culture. Unfortunately, many of food service concepts are cookie cutter concepts. However, what drives success is leadership and leadership realizing a cookie cutter design may work, but there are, no cookie cutter approaches in dealing with people.

Whether one is introducing a room service of point of service programs, designing a cafeteria, upgrading or opening a retail food operation there needs to be a plan for the intangibles. A good design will lend itself to operational ease and a good marketing looking but in the business plan there needs to be reference to the “owner’s perspective” and ensuring this person has the skills to work with people and deliver success.

As with any business, the day-to-day operators are the most important individual in the operation and operators require the support, resources, and a clear vision allowing the operator to make good decisions. With today’s opportunity “sustainability may have been the buzzword of the decade, but it too reflects a back-to- basics mindset of careful resource usage and judicious budget spending” (Fassl, 1, 2010).

The food business although simplistic in theory is complicated and operators need to learn to “dance the dance” and be able to operator after all the support and the proverbial “expert matter” professions go home. Lessons learned is learning from my grandfather where each day the focus was on good food and friendly service within a winning design and not the other way around.

Computer Repair Service Industry

Atlanta, the city that is ultra urban and makes up 66% of Georgia’s economy. The city boasts of being one of America’s top cyber cities with a high profile of tech related jobs and services. One such blooming technical industry is Atlanta computer repair services. This is an industry that actually saves people from facing technical difficulties in regards to their computers. If it weren’t for computer repair services there would havoc every time a computer would crash or would get attacked by a virus. With the continuous growth of computer dependent work, computer repair business is blooming considerably.

Atlanta computer repair services are there to help you out with your computing issues and problems. Services are provided to everyone; a student, a home based worker, an office or even a large company. Banks, institutions, businesses, enterprises that rely heavily on computers and technology, also rely heavily on these repair services for fixing of computing problems.

Most of the time computers are reported to have a hardware failure, a software corruption, data loss or virus attacks. Atlanta computer repairs provide hardware upgrading services, installation of software, data recovery options and eliminating virus attacks along with providing you optimal security and protection to prevent further attacks. Not only does the company provides excellent repair services they also have a great customer service. Anytime a customer calls they analyze problems, determine if the customer needs an on the spot fixing or will have to get it done off site; sometimes they also provide customers with solutions online or on the phone. Great customer services are what make Atlanta repair services so reliable and recommended by everyone.

Repair services seemingly cover every problem that you face with computing devices. Power jack repair, laptop repair, hardware upgrade, network troubleshooting, network establishment, configuration, computer maintenance, website maintenance, keyboard replacement, mouse fixing, LCD repairs, monitor repairs, operating system installation, printer problems, cabling/wiring, server problems, server installations, server maintenance and the list goes on! One of the primary specializations of Atlanta repair services is network installation, device setup and network maintenance. Companies mostly hire Atlanta computer repair companies for installing and setting up fire walls, anti intrusion, cable installation, WAN, LAN setups, VoIP, internal databases etc.

Rest assured that you will be provided with excellent services from professionals and experts of the industry. These people are network engineers, system engineers, computer mechanics, computer geeks, IT gurus, server administrators; therefore you can feel safe with your devices in their hands. If you happen to be an expert in any of the computing fields, you too can provide part time services to these companies and earn some extra income. You can work on project basis and earn a good amount of cash for each device and each problem that you fix and solve. This industry has been a source of livelihood for thousands of people. You can easily form your own group of computer repair services and offer services in your local area thus gaining fame as well as cash; because this industry is booming and will never stop growing.