Jane Moon

Dear Steve

I just wanted to add my thanks to those given to you today for an excellent piece of organisation and logistic planning. The Awayday went smoothly and the table groups remained focused and engaged. You managed the event calmly and we covered a lot of ground. Thank you and best wishes.
– Jane, LBN Deputy Director Education & Skills CYPS – Strategic Commissioning.

Skills Crisis in the UK Digital Economy

The UK has the opportunity to develop the infrastructure and solutions to keep it at the forefront of the worldwide drive towards the digital economy. To achieve this the skills gap needs to be addressed.

Key Areas and the Skills Gaps:

Data Analytics
Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
Digital Exclusion
Education and Training across all age ranges
Cyber Security
Data Security
Gender Imbalance
Women in Technology
ICT and Digital Business Technologies


Emerging Technologies 2017 – 2020:

Business Technologies Market Value ($)
Internet of Things (asset communication) 7.3 tn
Wearables (embedded technology) 70 bn
Big Data (Analytics and intelligence) 32.4 bn
Wireless 5G (increased communications functionality)
Robotics (in all areas of business) 29 bn
Automated vehicles 28 bn
Advanced Manufacturing 49.5 bn


Development Opportunities for Business (Going Digital):

  • Find new ways to enhance the customer journey.
Identify new ways to use the emerging technologies and planning for changes that may disrupt existing ways of doing things.
Gain (365*24*7, low cost, reputable) access to development opportunities that address the skills gaps within your business.

Dumisani Papaya

Steve Thanks once again for the effort you are putting in this project. There are some pleasing and encouraging improvements to the documents’ structure and content how ever there are still some touched urgently needed that if effected in my opinion it will be a working document. Mission statement part 2 is superb.
– Dumisani Papaya (BSc, MSc) Project Director Skills Enhancement and Utilisation Project (Seup)

Terry Harrison

I write to say a big thank you to all of you for such a successful AGM. Everyone appreciated your hard work and above all the professional way in which it was organised. It was clear from the audience that your presentation Steve was well received and judging from the comments from the floor endorsed that such a presentation as long overdue. Once again well done all of you.
– Terry Harrison, Chair

Scanning The Business Environment

Staying Competitive

Businesses do not exist in a vacuum but exist in an environment that provides resources (i.e. people, customers, products, services, national economy). The business environment is changing all the time and there are several factors that affect and cause these changes which include costs of products and services, demographics of the workforce, competitors alongside key drivers economic, government and legal influences. If you want to generate ideas to help your business stay ahead of the game, below are some simple models that can be used to scan the external business environment with purpose.

Businesswoman standing on a ladder looking through binoculars --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Informed Decision Making (Analysis models)

  • Reducing internal costs

The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is an extremely useful and versatile model for understanding the business.

  • Improving customer satisfaction

STEP (Social/Cultural, Technological, Economic, Political/Regulatory) analysis can be useful for understanding external interrelationships and the forces/issues affecting customers.

  • Improving profit margins/bottom line

PEST (Political Economic, Social, Technological) analysis is a useful model for understanding market growth or decline, and as such the position, potential and direction for a business.

  • Strategic positioning

Porters Five Forces (New entrants, Substitute products/services, Customers/buyers, Suppliers, Industry rivalry) model is useful for understanding or making an evaluation of the business’s position in a market.

  • Future proofing

STEEPV (Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political, Values) analyses are future-oriented, and consider possible future factors of change.

Generating Ideas from the Models.

  1. Decide the topic of interest then List headings from the relevant analysis model.
  2. Using multiple sources research current topics, information, references that fit with the headings.
  3. When the research has been exhausted, review the model and make adjustments to the entries.
  4. Glean insights and look for dependencies from the entries.
  5. Identify actions from the insights and dependencies that address the topic of interest.

Why SMEs Need To Change

Why Change ?

Disruptions in technology, changes in market conditions, more flexible and agile product/service delivery models, and world’s economic trends are forcing businesses to either reinvent themselves to succeed or fade away.

Major considerations that usually revolve around any transformation process studies suggest, are that business owners are always sensitive to two key factors, Staying in business and Remaining profitable.

Nordic countries are reaping the benefits of new ways of working as has been seen in the television series screened during July 2015 on channel 4 about theLEGO group who challenge conventional business models and are transforming their business.


The Benefits of Business Transformation

Business transformation must add VALUE to the business and this is achieved by improving the longevity of the business. In the digital economy businesses must manage three key elements “people, process, and technology “ even more effectively. Business Transformation seeks to create improved capabilities for the business by aligning these elements with radically changed business visions and strategies, operational processes, working patterns and cultures, information and how it is used, to meet long term objectives i.e. the products or services that will make the business more competitive.

Competitiveness manifests itself through one or more improved capabilities:

  1. Enable the business to harness collaboration and higher levels of ownership to spur innovation, enhance growth, and drive dramatic improvements in productivity that increase revenues, reduce time to market and lead to better and faster development of products and services.
  2. Provide customers with radically improved products and service standards increasing their levels of satisfaction, loyalty and faith in the business.
  3. Reduce costs and improve processes, adapt faster, develop greater flexibility/agility resulting in a slimmer fitter business ready for up and coming opportunities and challenges both foreseen and unexpected.

MSDUK Supplier Diversity Day @ The King Power Stadium

The Conference.

The premier business conference for Ethnic Minority businesses was held at the home of Leicester City FC, The King Power stadium, where we mingled with Senior Managers and Directors/CEOs from major corporate organisations including KPMG, Delphi, Enterprise Rent a Car, Cummins, Crown Commercial Service, Johnson and Johnson, IBM, Accenture and many more. The day was filled with useful discussions, hints and tips from successfully bidding for public and private sector contracts to breaking into britain’s growing multi-cultural, multi-ethnic market.

MSDUK blog image

Conference Areas.

Main Conference, Supplier Roundtables, Exhibition, Buyers Zone.

Keynote Speakers during panel discussions.

  • Mayank Shah opened the conference.
  • Arnab Dutt and Edward Green on bidding for public and private sector contracts.
  • Saad Saraf, Manish Tiwari and Anas Kasak on breaking into multi-cultural and ethnic markets.
  • Byron Dixon, Sukhi Ghuman and Ian Harrison on navigating business networks to achieve growth.

Supplier Roundtables.

We attended two insightful and engaging round table discussions. Hiten Bhatt discussed the importance of taking time out and personal development and Ragesh Sejpal spoke about alternative business financing models for SMEs.

Closing Remarks.

  • The business landscape in the UK is made up of 99.9% SMEs.
  • Manage the shop window.
  • Government targets indicate many more opportunities for SME contracts.
  • Importance of understanding how your USP translates into a Value Proposition.
  • Become export savvy and use new schemes for SMEs like the package for first time exporters.