Sometimes a little bit of creative thinking can go a long way. This bit of creativity though went a very long way indeed.
Creativity can add value to all types of businesses and this particular project involved technology and one of the largest sea birds.
There are 22 species of the albatross bird. With a wingspan of up to 3.5 metres, the wandering albatross species has the largest wingspan of any living flying bird. Importantly for this project though, they are also capable of flying long distances out to sea.
Illegal fishing by trawlers can seriously impact on fish levels. Organisations tasked with protecting fish levels can find it almost impossible to prevent this illegal fishing. In simple terms, the ocean is very large and the boats are pretty small so keeping track of them and what they are fishing for is very difficult.
In an innovative project led by the French National Centre for Scientific Research, 169 Albatrosses have been equipped with sensors. If the birds are in the vicinity of a boat, these sensors are able to tell whether the boat’s Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) are switched off.
Having the AIS systems switched off on a boat is common when the boat is fishing illegally.
The beauty of this project is that the albatrosses can cover huge areas and when the sensors identify boats with their AIS switched off, the enforcement boats can head to that location to investigate further.
The initiative is currently being trialled off the coast of New Zealand and over the last 6 months the birds have located 353 boats, 37% of which were not emitting the AIS signal.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/albatross_fishing.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-06-25 14:02:292020-06-25 14:02:29Flying high with creativity.
Switzerland has a reputation for being the home of some of the most prestigious watch manufacturers.
Omega, Tag Heuer and Breitling are just three if the many famous brands of Swiss watches that produce extremely high-quality timepieces.
But things are changing though and there’s a modern-day challenger to their dominance.
That modern-day challenger is Apple.
Last year Apple sold more watched than the entire Swiss watch industry.
A recent report by Strategy Analytics estimated that Apple sold 30.7 million smartwatches last year (an increase of 36% on the 2018 figure).
Estimates for the entire Swiss watch industry showed sales of 21.1 million units last year (a 13% fall on the 2018 figures).
This is a difficult time for the Swiss watch industry as they face a number of challenges.
The younger generation especially are keen on the tech side of watches and these are very much in fashion.
Although some Swiss watch brands such as Swatch and Tissot are launching their own smart watches, their competencies and skills are very much based around the mechanical engineering of watches compared to software engineering which is needed for smart watches.
Another major challenge is their distribution channels and where they are sold.
Swiss watches are typically sold in jewellery shops whereas smart watches such as the Apple watch are sold in phone shops and Apple stores.
Certainly a challenging time for the Swiss watch industry.
Will these Swiss watch brands survive?
Only time will tell…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/apple-vs-swiss-watches.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-04-26 10:29:362020-04-26 10:31:21Time up for Swiss watches?
The salary of Boris Johnson, the current UK prime minister is just over £150,000. I’m sure that most Prime Minsters don’t do the job for the money but there can be some pretty significant financial benefits when they move on from being the prime minister.
As the PM, Mr Johnson can’t do any other work whilst in his job but other MPs can. Theresa May was Boris Johnson’s predecessor but now is back to being a standard MP.
According to the government’s register of interests though she’s doing quite nicely on the financial side of things.
PwC for example paid Mrs May in January to do a speech. The total time involved including preparation and travel was 12 hours.
So, how much do you think PwC paid Mrs May for this?
Go on, have a guess.
She received approximately £96,000 for the speech.
Now, that’s not bad for 12 hours work.
As well as receiving £96,000 from PwC she also received money from other organisations for speeches delivered during the first quarter of 2020. These were:
Approximately £115,000 from Dubai Women Establishment for a speech in February (19 hours, including preparation and travel).
Approximately £115,000 from the Structured Finance Association for a speech in February (25 hours, including preparation and travel).
Approximately £115,000 from Brown University, Rhode Island, USA. (14 hours, including preparation and travel).
Approximately £115,000 from Trinity University, Texas, USA. (14 hours, including preparation and travel).
Over £500,000 for 5 speeches in 3 months.
Not bad work if you can get it.
According to a statement by Mrs May in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, these payments “are made to the Office of Theresa May Limited and used to pay employees, maintain my ongoing involvement in public life and support my charitable work.”
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/theresa-may.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-04-18 14:20:172020-04-18 14:21:22How much for a speech?
KPMG in the UK has been fined by the Financial Reporting Council for what only can be described as pretty poor auditing.
The situation behind the fine involves professional scepticism, or to be more precise, a lack of professional scepticism.
Professional standards define professional scepticism as “an attitude that includes a questioning mind, being alert to conditions that may indicate possible misstatement due to fraud or error, and a critical assessment of audit evidence.”
Or to put into simple words, to question and challenge what the client is saying and not to simply accept what they are saying at face value.
KPMG were fined £700,000 (which was reduced to £455,000 for early settlement) and reprimanded former senior partner for Manchester, Nicola Quayle for a “failure to apply sufficient professional scepticism”. Nicola was also fined £45,000 (reduced to £29,250 for early settlement).
The reason for the fine was because the FRC held that KPMG had failed to obtain and document sufficient audit evidence in relation to supplier-funded rebates.
These were “complex supplier arrangements” and KPMG should have been on alert to pay particular attention to “these types of complex supplier arrangements.”
Claudia Mortimore, deputy executive counsel to the FRC, said: “This is a measured and proportionate package of sanctions, which balances on the one hand the limited nature of the breaches, which did not call into question the truth or fairness of the financial statements, with the fact that auditors should have been on alert to pay particular attention to these types of complex supplier arrangements. Professional scepticism remains at the core of an auditor’s duty and the FRC will take appropriate action where it has been lacking, as in this case.”
This event took place back in the 2015/16 financial year and KPMG in the UK released a statement saying:
“We regret that specific aspects of our audit of this company for the 2015/2016 financial year did not meet the required standards.
As the FRC makes clear, there is no question as to the truth and fairness of the financial statements. Audit quality is of paramount importance to our firm and we have updated our audit processes and procedures to address the areas of concern.”
Deloitte has stated that Manchester United are better than Liverpool.
Now before anyone starts getting concerned that Deloitte are moving away from finance and becoming football pundits, I should stress that I’m referring to the Deloitte Football Money League.
Deloitte has been compiling the Football Money League since 1996/97 and the League lists the top 20 clubs in the world for revenue in a football season. They have recently released the figures relating to the 2018/19 season and a few records were broken.
The combined revenue for the 20 richest clubs in the world grew by 11% and reached a new high of €9.3bn (£8.2bn).
It’s a Spanish top two for the second consecutive year. This time though the positions are reversed with Barcelona taking top spot and Real Madrid dropping to second place.
In terms of the fortunes of the eight English Premier League clubs in the table, Manchester United remains in third with revenue of €712m.
United’s closest Premier League rivals, Manchester City and Liverpool, generated revenues of €611m and €605m respectively.
The Deloitte Football Money League measures a club’s earnings from match day revenue, broadcast rights and commercial sources, and ranks them on that basis. The study doesn’t include player transfer fees though.
More details on the report can be found here and the top 10 in the league are:
1 Barcelona €841m
2 Real Madrid €757m
3 Manchester United €712m
4 Bayern Munich €660m
5 Paris Saint-Germain €636m
6 Manchester City €611m
7 Liverpool €605m
8 Tottenham Hotspur €521m
9 Chelsea €513m
10 Juventus €460m
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/football-report.jpg476847Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-03-20 00:24:002020-03-20 12:09:43Manchester Utd and Deloitte
Joe Lycett is a British comedian. In fact, I should say that Joe Lycett used to be a comedian because although the person still exists his name doesn’t.
This sounds all very confusing and also, what has it got to do with the leading fashion house, Hugo Boss?
Like most large companies around the world, Hugo Boss defends it’s name when it feels other businesses are using similar names which could cause confusion in the eyes of the consumer.
If for example you decided to set up a clothing brand called “Hugo Bass” I’m pretty sure Hugo Boss would take legal action against you.
Hugo Boss was involved in a high-profile case involving a brewery in Wales called Boss Brewing and in particular two of the beers that it made called Boss Boss and Boss Black.
Hugo Boss took legal action against Boss Brewery but it was held that there was no need for the Brewery to change it’s name.
That was all very well for the Brewery but it cost them a significant amount of money in legal fees to defend the issue in court and for a small business that was challenging.
Joe Lycett wasn’t happy about this and decided to legally change his name as a protest.
His new name is… yes, you guessed it… Hugo Boss.
He tweeted a picture of the official confirmation of his name change and wrote
“So @HUGOBOSS (who turnover approx $2.7 billion a year) have sent cease & desist letters to a number of small businesses & charities who use the word ‘BOSS’ or similar, including a small brewery in Swansea costing them thousands in legal fees and rebranding.
It’s clear that @HUGOBOSS HATES people using their name.
Unfortunately for them this week I legally changed my name by deed poll and I am now officially known as Hugo Boss.
All future statements from me are not from Joe Lycett but from Hugo Boss. Enjoy.”
In what could have been a bit of bad PR for Hugo Boss (the company), they responded well to the new Hugo Boss (formerly Joe Lycett).
They released a statement saying: “We welcome the comedian formerly known as Joe Lycett as a member of the HUGO BOSS family.
As he will know, as a ‘well-known’ trademark (as opposed to a ‘regular’ trademark) HUGO BOSS enjoys increased protection not only against trademarks for similar goods, but also for dissimilar goods across all product categories for our brands and trademarks BOSS and BOSS Black and their associated visual appearance.
Following the application by Boss Brewing to register a trademark similar to our ‘well-known’ trademark, we approached them to prevent potential misunderstanding regarding the brands BOSS and BOSS Black, which were being used to market beer and items of clothing.
Both parties worked constructively to find a solution, which allows Boss Brewing the continued use of its name and all of its products, other than two beers (BOSS BLACK and BOSS BOSS) where a slight change of the name was agreed upon.
As an open-minded company we would like to clarify that we do not oppose the free use of language in any way and we accept the generic term ‘boss’ and its various and frequent uses in different languages.”
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Bossbrewery.png6411141Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-03-08 13:39:002020-03-11 14:13:11Would the real Hugo Boss please stand up?
Over 1 billion consumers are forecast to use cashless payment methods in 2020. Contactless cards and smartphone payments can make payments very easy for an individual and for the retailer it avoids security issues dealing with cash.
A number of shops are moving to “cashless” shops where all the payments have to be made by contactless cards or smartphone apps such as Apple Pay.
Not everyone is happy though as to make a cashless payment you need one important thing.
Namely, a bank account.
Globally, 1.7 billion adults do not have a bank account and whilst you may be thinking that these people without bank accounts are in the emerging markets around the world, that’s not always the case.
New York City, is one of the most famous cities in the world.
According to a recent report by the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), 354,100 households (11.2 percent) have no bank account (unbanked) and another 689,000 households (21.8 percent) have a bank account but use alternative financial products for some banking needs (underbanked).
In other words, 33% of the New York City households are either unbanked or underbanked.
That’s a pretty big proportion and as a result, the New York City Council has voted to require shops and restaurants to accept cash for payments of USD 20 or less.
The law is expected to be in place by the end of 2020.
New York won’t be the first city in the States to ban cashless stores as last year Philadelphia and San Francisco banned them.
Whilst several retail organisations have appeared to be championing cashless shops it’s looking like it won’t be possible in a number of locations around the world.
These organisations may be initially frustrated at being prevented from being cashless but in reality, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As well as the ethical debate about refusing to accept people who can only pay in cash, if they did go cashless they would be missing out on a significant part of the population who want to spend their cash, albeit “cash” and not “cashless cash”.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/cashless-shopping.png506900Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-02-07 17:44:432020-02-07 17:44:44Cashless or cash?
Here’s a question for you – what do you think the average age is of somebody who buys a new Rolls-Royce?
Perhaps surprisingly the average age has dropped significantly over the last decade.
The company has just reported their sales for 2019. Despite the majority of the global car market facing falling sales, Rolls-Royce have bucked the trend.
They have reported their best ever sales with a 25% increase in cars sold compared to the previous year.
In terms of Michael Porter’s generic strategy model, their strategy is a clear differentiation approach. In the words of chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos, the brand is “rare and exclusive”.
They have also made a concerted effort to appeal to younger drivers (it’s fair to say that these are younger extremely wealthy drivers with their bestselling model the Cullinan starting at £264,000).
The Cullinan was launched in 2018 and it was a radical change for the company. Rolls-Royce had a history of luxury saloon models and the Cullinan was their first SUV 4×4 off-road car.
Mr Muller-Otvos said the increase in sales was in part down to the introduction of “black badge” versions of its cars, where the car was black inside and out.
He was quoted as saying
“This is a cooler, darker, more menacing, edgy proposition, [aimed] especially towards younger clients.”
“Many smart kids around the world building platforms or whatever making a fortune early in their life are coming to us to start investing in a Rolls-Royce”
In total Rolls-Royce sold 5,125 new cars in 2019 of which the Cullinan amounted to 40% (nearly 2,000 cars).
Oh, and in case you are interested the average age of a Rolls-Royce buyer is now 43.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/rollsroyce-cullinan.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-01-16 22:01:452020-01-17 11:08:14Rolling in it…
A lot of you may have been on business trips but I bet your trip wasn’t as exciting (and tragic) as this gentlemen’s trip was.
What was also surprising was that his employer was found liable for his death as it was classified as an industrial accident.
The exact cause of death was a cardiac arrest whilst he was having sex with a stranger he had met on the business trip.
Now, whilst having a heart attack during sex with a stranger probably wouldn’t meet most people’s definition of an “industrial accident” a French court found otherwise. The court stated that the employer was responsible for any accident occurring during a business trip and ruled that his family were entitled to compensation.
The man who died on the job, named as Xavier X, was working as an engineer for TSO, a railway services company based near Paris and his employer had perhaps quite reasonably argued that he was not carrying out professional duties when he got into an extra marital relationship with a total stranger in his hotel room.
This opinion though wasn’t accepted by the court and they upheld the view that sexual activity was normal, “like taking a shower or a meal”.
As a result of it being classified as a normal activity on a business trip, the death was considered to be an industrial accident and under French law, partners or children of industrial accident victims receive up to 80 per cent of their salary until what would have been the person’s retirement age, with pension contributions paid from then on.
Picture the scene. You’re one of the largest supermarket chains in the Netherlands employing more than 100,000 people. You’re planning on introducing a new staff uniform. Do you ask people what size uniform they are or do you ask them to upload semi-naked photographs of themselves to an app so that it can work out the sizes?
Yep, you guessed it. The supermarket chain, Albert Heijn asked staff at their Nijmegen branch to upload photos of themselves in their underwear or tight-fitting sports gear.
It was supposed to be a trial to see how it worked before rolling it out to the whole organisation.
Apparently, the idea behind it was that it would be more efficient to load up 100,000 images to an app to analyse the sizes rather than receive 100,000 emails.
Whoever came up with the idea failed to appreciate that not everyone would be keen to load up a half-naked photo to an app run by their employer.
It was not only the staff that thought this was a bit strange as the Dutch Data Protection Authority described it as bizarre saying the company had “no grounds whatsoever to require its staff to do this”.
The news was first reported by the Dutch newspaper NRC who highlighted that a poster had appeared in the staff canteen at the Nijmegen supermarket saying “Wear underwear or tight-fitting sportswear so the contours of your body can be measured as accurately as possible. And ask someone to help you take the photos”.
Now, whilst the person that came up with the idea probably thought this would be an efficient way of getting the sizes, it does remind everyone to always take a step back and ask yourself “is this ok?”
A spokesman for the company said “We have cancelled the pilot and apologised to all involved”.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/photos-to-office.jpg9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2019-12-17 22:58:052019-12-17 23:00:13Would you send a photo?
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