The Business Bulletin - Issue 247 - 19th May 2014


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There's no doubt that the days of the one day, set piece conference are numbered. Over the past two years, the number of such events worldwide has acquired a downward trend due in many cases to the costs of attending, tired lists of speakers and confused themes.

Attendance profiles are interesting too - very few self employed attend these events - they are focussed on other more fundemental matters such as survival.

Moreover the main benefit to delegate/participants is perceived to be a recreational one and some organisers have adopted novel conference layouts. Last month's EMC Conference in Las Vegas is a good example where all those attending can have a good lie down while listening to a speaker and sneaking a quiet kip on their king size bean bag!

But not all events are like that!

This is a free event and everyone is welcome
Reserve your place here!


Each week Nick O' Shiel, Chief Executive, Omagh Enterprise Company, blogs on issues related to enterprise, technology and the economy. This week Nick discusses the effect of machines, globalisation and technology on the economy.

The shift in the economy in recent decades from manufacturing to services represents the biggest change since the shift from agriculture in the last century. It may, in fact, represent an even bigger change as the effect on jobs is only starting to be felt.

The reasons for such change are many but three elements stand out as having the greatest influence: the widespread use of machines, the effects of globalisation, and the impact of technology.

The Widespread Use of Machines
The use of machines to reduce labour and manufacturing costs has had a long history and a significant impact on the economy and the nature of jobs.

The widespread use of machines means unskilled workers find it more difficult to get jobs, as other associated efficiencies are introduced and less people are needed to produce the same goods.

Before the introduction of machines businesses are more likely to provide training for low skilled workers as a way to help them get better paying jobs and retain staff; afterwards businesses spend less time and money on training people, as they focus on employing only those with the required knowledge.

The Effects of Globalisation
Globalisation helps to develop new markets and introduce new opportunities for businesses, previously constrained by high costs and limited markets, to access cheap labour.

Many businesses transfer low skilled jobs to overseas locations to save money and keep higher skilled jobs such as design and marketing at home to protect intellectual property rights.

As a result, fewer opportunities are available in traditional markets and, in practice, not everyone is able to retrain for the new jobs that are created.

The Impact of Technology
While the impact of new technology is often linked with the destruction and reduction of jobs, it also creates new jobs, new markets and new industries.

The problem is that the types of jobs created are often more dependent on high skilled employees and exclude those without the necessary training.

Machines, globalisation and technology will continue to cause major changes in the nature of work and the type of jobs available to those looking for work.

The challenge is not how to stop change but how to live with its effects.

So, the previous traditional model of a mixed skills economy that creates enough jobs for everyone is gone and the challenge lies in making the new model work.

What do you think?
Is the new model working?

What do you think?
Are you a good boss?

I look forward to your comments.

Nick O'Shiel,
Omagh Enterprise
Great Northern Road, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, BT78 5LU
Tel: +44 (0) 28 8224 9494  Fax: +44 (0) 28 8224 9451



Ryanair Invest In Digital to Improve Customer Loyalty
This week Paul McGarrity reviews Ryanair’s new approach to marketing and their plans for  improving customer experience through digital
Z-list celebrities, tailgating drivers and calls from spam marketers would appear high on my list of annoying things in society. Up until fairly recently I’d also have included the usability and booking experience of the Ryanair website. Clunky, awkward and slow, for many weary holiday-makers it was the Mount Everest of frustrating internet experiences.

However, Ryanair hopes the old days of its poor online customer experience will be relegated to history after making a significant investment in their new website.

The revamped site forms part of its new marketing strategy aiming to improve customer experience. Last year Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary was forced to eat an uncharacteristic slice of humble pie admitting shortcomings in the company’s customer service and outlining a series of investments in the customer web experience. “These improvements”, O’Leary said, “will be accompanied by a new Digital Marketing strategy which will see Ryanair switch a significant proportion of its marketing budget from old to new media, with a particular focus on mobile and social media platforms.”

A closer look at their new marketing strategy reveals that their investment in digital marketing is the latest move in a very smart marketing and business growth plan.
Ryanair Marketing Strategy
Over the past 20 years, Ryanair’s business strategy has been devastating effective at growing their market share and cementing their position as Europe’s leading low-cost airline. The Ryanair story stands out as a prime example of how to deliver a ‘cost leadership’ marketing strategy.

Their strategy centred on prioritising a ‘no frills’ low-price offering to budget conscious travellers compared to the traditional high cost grandees of air travel including British Airways. Ryanair also differentiated itself from other airlines by offering an incentive to save money by booking and checking-in online. In marketing terms, Ryanair’s proposition was very clear: ‘we offer significant discounts as long as you follow our rules which in turn allow us to cut expensive overheads.  

Not only was their marketing strategy very straightforward and very sound, so to was their fresh and often brilliant approach to PR. Each and every time the tabloid media cried foul over a lack of customer service with
headlines such as ‘Ryanair separate mum and tot on flight!’, Michael O’Leary used it to his advantage in interviews in which he repeated Ryanair’s price mantra over and over again. The result was that Ryanair secured free editorial coverage and reinforced the airlines unique price saving messages.
As competition in the budget airline market increased sharply in recent years there was a feeling that Ryanair needed to address their poor reputation for customer service. For years Ryanair’s attitude to customers could be described as uncaring at best and contemptuous at worst. Ryanair also needed to address their poor and outdated website experience which was increasingly embarrassing and ineffective in an era of mass internet and ecommerce usage.

So their new marketing strategy aims to utilise digital technology to help the company achieve the  objectives of mass product promotion, boosting customer loyalty and improving customer service. To that end, Ryanair appointed a new Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs, and for the first time in 25 years the airline has invested in TV advertising to communicate the new customer-friendly site.

However Ryanair’s commitment to utilising digital media and marketing aims to go well beyond their website. The company will use digital advertising, email marketing and social media to reach target audiences across different stages of the customer lifecycle. Effective use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will also be critical for encouraging repeat custom and the company is investing heavily in developing systems that make it easier to sell more to current customers. 

Investment has also begun in using social media,  and next month will see the launch of a mobile-friendly website and free boarding–pass app.
Airlines and Digital Marketing
There’s no doubt the global travel market has been transformed massively by the twin forces of deregulation and consumer power online. But while some companies have viewed the developments as threats, other more forward-thinking airlines have been fast to realise the potential opportunities.

Jet Blue, the US regional airline, is a case in point. The company has grown significantly in the past five years by placing a very strong emphasis on customer experience including the use of social media sites such as Twitter and You Tube to speak to customers directly and promote the brand in an interesting, fun and friendly way.

If there’s one company that can has a lot of potential to improve its customer experience reputation it’s Ryanair. Up to now, the company has been highly adept at marketing its service on price. The next hurdle is to deliver on their plans for improved customer experience and exploit the massive rise in consumer use of digital – from mobile to social media. If they can achieve that, then they’ll certainly have a lot to trumpet about.
Paul McGarrity is Director of Octave Digital, a digital marketing agency helping business to benefit from online marketing


For Northern Ireland specific contracts, there are a number of sources of information specifically for contracts within Northern Ireland. The Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) handles contracts for a number of government departments. You can find a list of current tender opportunities on the 
CPD website. Again, there is no email alert facility that we can find which makes the content difficult to adapt to the Bulletin format.

Please see for the current list of Northern Ireland opportunities.

Domestic Waste Collection, Recycling and Disposal Services
GB-Telford & Wrekin: Domiciliary Care Services
AQP for Ambulatory 24hr Blood Pressure Monitoring Service (North West Surrey CCG)
Communicator Guide Service
GB-Stevenage: Small Roadworks Framework
Patient Handling items
Ashfield District Council - Kirkby Town Centre Public Realm Improvements
NHS Bradford City CCG and NHS Bradford Districts CCG AQP for Diagnostic Endoscopy
CEH Wallingford Heating Refurbishment
GB-Colchester: Carpet Supply & Fit for University Library
GB-Liverpool: Ultra High Vacuum Scanning Tunnelling Microscope
GB-Bath: Wessex House Level 3 Corridors - Asbestos Removal
PP0094 Redecorations and Minor Repairs to Ornamental Cast Iron and Steel Gates and Railings
An investigation into the aquatic vegetation communities of Thompson Water, Carr and Common SSSI
PP0006c The Albert Memorial Maintenance
GB-Stockton: Proposed Bed Store ex Catering Dept
Reclamation works at AMH Serpentine, Aston, Birmingham
Educational Qualifications Check.
GB-Hemel Hempstead: Boundary wall repairs & stabilisation works
United Kingdom-London: Health and safety services
United Kingdom-Borehamwood: Financial information systems
United Kingdom-Salford: Software package and information systems
United Kingdom-Newport: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
United Kingdom-Leeds: Internet services
United Kingdom-Nottingham: Computer-related services
United Kingdom-London: Engineering design services for mechanical and electrical installations for buildings
United Kingdom-Winsford: Internet and intranet software package
United Kingdom-Norwich: Computer equipment and supplies
United Kingdom-Winchester: Repair, maintenance and associated services related to personal computers, office equipment, telecommunications and audio-visual equipment
United Kingdom-Stafford: General management consultancy services
United Kingdom-Edinburgh: Networks
United Kingdom-Dorchester: Financial consultancy, financial transaction processing and clearing-house services
United Kingdom-London: Surveillance system
United Kingdom-Leeds: Local area network services
United Kingdom-Liverpool: Wide area network
United Kingdom-Wolverhampton: Laboratory, optical and precision equipments (excl. glasses)
United Kingdom-Poole: Storage and retrieval services
United Kingdom-Newport: Software package and information systems
United Kingdom-Edinburgh: Building and facilities management services
Poland-Warszawa: Environmental improvement works
Sweden-Sundbyberg: Power distribution cables
United Kingdom-London: Shelters
United Kingdom-Sheffield: Lift-maintenance services
Malta-Blata l-Bajda: Hardware
United Kingdom-Birmingham: Building construction work
GB-Stevenage: Small Roadworks Framework
Norway-Bergen: Nursing home construction work
United Kingdom-Irvine: Buildings of particular historical or architectural interest
United Kingdom-Dukinfield: Refuse skips
United Kingdom-London: Exterior cleaning work for buildings
United Kingdom-London: Engineering design services for mechanical and electrical installations for buildings
United Kingdom-London: Quantity surveying services
United Kingdom-Edinburgh: Bathroom furniture
United Kingdom-Manchester: Furniture (incl. office furniture), furnishings, domestic appliances (excl. lighting) and cleaning products
United Kingdom-Belfast: Construction work
Ireland-Galway: Works for complete or part construction and civil engineering work
United Kingdom-Rotherham: Works for complete or part construction and civil engineering work
GB-Bath: Wessex House Level 3 Corridors - Asbestos Removal

Belfast City Council Tenders are available at

First Edition Publications, The Technology Centre,
Townsend Enterprise Park, Townsend St., BELFAST BT13 2ES 

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