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  • Sicada Fire and Safety | Business In Focus Magazine
    right up to the thousand ton container freight or oil or whatever we offer marine services all over the eastern seaboard In Emerald the company also has a branch right in the middle of the Bowen Basin that focuses on the area s mining industry Sicada services fire and safety equipment for some very high profile mining companies in the region These contracts include service on heavy mobile equipment as well as other portable fire equipment and permanent fire installations This includes fire extinguishers fire hydrants sprinklers lay flat fire hoses and alarms among other products Sicada Fire and Safety equipment has a distribution agreement to supply the whole of New South Wales parts of Queensland and all of Western Australia The company also provides consulting services to businesses around Australia on an ad hoc basis We can go out and speak to those people about their fire protection equipment about what we do and whether their equipment is being maintained properly Mr Sellar explains We can also give advice on how they can reduce the cost of their fire protection equipment needs and improve the efficiency The business has about 60 staff including teams of fire suppression technicians alarm technicians and portable fire equipment technicians In Brisbane the company has an administrative staff of nine who make up the backbone of the company As well as providing maintenance the company sells a range of high end fire equipment from local suppliers with whom Sicada keeps very strong ties All of my suppliers have worked with me for a number of years I think that it s important to support your suppliers as much as they support you That s been reflected in the relationship that I ve had with them On occasion when business is difficult or something has changed they are able to provide a greater level of understanding and equally you provide to them a faithful and long standing client who is less likely to default on payments says Mr Sellar With a number of our suppliers as well we are either their number one or number two biggest client in the country Fire suppression equipment maintenance is mandated by law in Queensland therefore it needs to be maintained to a specific standard The company is responsible for around 100 000 fire extinguishers alone and each one has to be inspected at least once every six months The work can be unceasing as in between those inspections there may be calls to have other equipment repaired or replaced What sets Sicada Fire and Safety apart from the competition is that it strives to maintain a very close relationship with all of its clients In fact Mr Sellar tells us that he has had a lot of the same customers for a very long time some even since the company started in 1994 I treat my customers as if they were a business partnership and that s a pretty common expression most business probably tell you that but

    Original URL path: http://www.businessinfocus.com.au/index.php/2013/07/sicada-fire-and-safety/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Scotch College | Business In Focus Magazine
    distinction of being an International Baccalaureate IB World School The prestigious program was launched in the mid 1960s during the early days of globalisation Dr O Connell reports As people began relocating internationally their children were burdened with having to switch from one type of curriculum to another The Baccalaureate was established to give some kind of consistency on the global stage Dr O Connell explains The Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes are not a curriculum per se they provide a framework and a philosophy We still teach the Australian curriculum we still teach a lot of things which are similar to other schools but we do it through the lens of International Baccalaureate However at the Diploma level that is offered to Years 11 and 12 it is an internationally approved curriculum Scotch College s desire to build community makes the IB program an ideal fit for the school In fact Baccalaureate students are required to participate in the community action and service programs in order to earn an IB Diploma And of course as the name implies an international perspective is integral to the IB program That s why our curriculum is focused around what it means to be truly international Dr O Connell explains This goes far beyond the internationally focused special events that many schools may occasionally host Those events are very important but they are not embedded programs he points out I think internationalisation is really about a mindset and it has to be developed through the curriculum and through your service programs It s not just something you add on The IB program also promotes a special and effective style of learning It is inquiry based Dr O Connell explains One key component known as Theory of Knowledge is about really learning to learn or learning to think The program is also academically rigorous You have to study a subject from one of the six areas Dr O Connell points out You can t drop subjects or just pick the ones you prefer You have to study a language You have to write an extended 4 000 word essay And this is all in addition to logging the required service hours While the program may seem intimidating Dr O Connell insists that it is designed for all students including those who may not be as academically gifted It is rigorous but it is not just for the bright boys he says That s one of the fallacies People talk about the IB as if it is just for bright boys It is not at all It was never established for that Instead every Scotch College student can benefit from the IB program The Diploma is offered as one of three major choices at Scotch the others being the state based WACE program and the Vocational Education and Training course Top Facilities Scotch College enjoys world class facilities and learning tools Notably the school has just been named an Apple Distinguished School for its

    Original URL path: http://www.businessinfocus.com.au/index.php/2013/07/scotch-college/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Punt Road Wines | Business In Focus Magazine
    economies of scale If it s a sea level café in Melbourne that can only sell Pinot Noir at seven dollars a glass we like to be able to cover that base but Punt Road doesn t cover it as a label You either turn your back on that market or you find a way to achieve it in this case via the Airlie Bank label instead Punt Road Wines output is well known around Australia and is now travelling well too with nearly 20 per cent of its output exported Jon credits some outstanding and proactive distributors in countries as far apart as Singapore and in the US where Chemin in particular has made a startling impact in a very short time and appeared on the lists of a number of extremely chic New York eateries They want individual wines varieties they may not have seen before styles they didn t think Australia produced or was capable of Suddenly we are in twelve restaurants in New York and we wonder how we did it we are the only Australian wine on the list by the glass This not only helps the bank balance but also has a halo effect back home where domestic restaurants and hotels are sitting up and taking notice of this sudden acceptance in the Big Apple Wine Australia has played a huge part in this success Mr Baxter says The message a decade or more ago was that Australia offered consistent and good value wines at a modest price point but that got us into a heap of trouble he says because that was also the characteristic of most other producing nations Only when Australian production was characterised as being more individual and by its great varieties did it start to become truly successful around the world This plays to the strengths of a winery such as Punt Road which can offer consistently high quality but also consistently new and surprising products to an audience thirsty for novelty within a set style range We end up with brand enhancement that we would not have had otherwise Mr Baxter is keen to set the company as far as possible from what might be termed critter ranges all those indifferent wines that feature Australian animals on the label perhaps the grossest example being a box wine available in southeast Asia branded Kiss My Kangaroo The high Aussie dollar had a depressive effect on export markets for a while but Mr Baxter says they got used to it people started saying that if they want these wines on their lists that s what it costs China especially is becoming less price sensitive and more attuned to quality Five or ten years ago in China you had people calling constantly asking what we have for a dollar a bottle that was the market that was all they were used to paying in China Now the middle class is moving up travelling more and they are not happy with what

    Original URL path: http://www.businessinfocus.com.au/index.php/2013/07/punt-road-wines/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Long Range Systems (LRS) | Business In Focus Magazine
    attraction is that they are washable In terms of their anti bacterial properties the plastics of the pagers are infused with silver that inhibits the spread of microbial activity Although hospitality remains the largest single segment of LRS business over the last few years we have been doing a lot more in health which now makes up a substantial part of our customer base Indeed patient paging is catching on fast This system could spell the end for waiting room tables full of out of date print magazines as visitors to a health centre will no longer need to sit in a waiting room patiently biding time before their turn with a doctor The new system can help health centres save precious space and by extension money if those designing the health centre consider the matter early enough a paging system can mean a much smaller or even non existent waiting room enabling the space to be used for more cost effective purposes at the same time as providing patients with an improved customer service experience The same goes for hospital outpatient centres Mr Lewy explains You can even retro fit around the space available A program called Netpage can even queue patients and enable doctors to see what the current wait list is and whether anyone needs to be prioritised summoning the patient at the click of a mouse or sending a message as required via the pager s screen telling the patient where they need to go Range can also be extended with the use of extra transmitters and repeaters to suit almost any application and topography Academic institutions are taking advantage of pagers as well to reduce long lines in libraries and for registration financial aid or student counselling Campus wide pagers can also be used to eliminate class interruptions and track down faculty to deliver messages or to page staff from any computer on the institution s network to deliver complete text Another new LRS speciality is the Table Tracker for restaurants The traditional pager designed for this setting has the customer getting up to order and collecting the meal when it is ready but with the Table Tracker the customer is given the pager when ordering puts it on the table when he or she sits down and the tracker gives the kitchen and the server the information on the location so the meal can be delivered promptly and piping hot The Sydney Opera House recently instituted use of such pagers to great customer reviews The LRS patented system helps runners deliver food orders faster The device wirelessly senses the exact table number each order should be delivered to so runners no longer have to search the restaurant while the customer s food gets cold Table Tracker is about the size of a CD and less than half an inch thick It doesn t take up any valuable table space because it uses RFID tags installed under the table In fact the sensors aren t

    Original URL path: http://www.businessinfocus.com.au/index.php/2013/07/long-range-systems-lrs/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Helly Hansen | Business In Focus Magazine
    thermals and base layers today The company s 3 Layer System has culminated in the most recent Helly Hansen innovation the H2 Flow Jacket The lightweight garment provides outdoor enthusiasts with both insulation and ventilation It s about making a jacket that is lighter cooler and warmer even though those last two words are opposites Mr Ryan explains It captures your body heat in the mid layer and then releases that heat when you don t need it The team s decades of ground breaking innovation have won the company a large base of loyal customers What people like about Helly Hansen is its authenticity and credibility Mr Ryan insists It doesn t have to pretend It s earned so much credibility over the last hundred years Many customers are also drawn to Helly Hansen s European sophistication Helly has a point of difference in that it is a European brand with a distinctive Scandinavian style a European style Mr Ryan says They tend to make products that fit a little slimmer and are a little more stylish Helly Hansen s leading edge styles are available in Australia and New Zealand exclusively through Blue Rock a subsidiary of Texas Peak The group operates four brand stores and one outlet store in Sydney and Melbourne as well as offering Helly Hansen products online and wholesaling to select retailers It is just such an authentic fun brand to work with Mr Ryan remarks I have been in the game a long time and I really enjoy working with Helly Hansen Consumers agree and the brand is taking off across the continent Here in Australia and New Zealand we have been achieving like for like growth in the low teens over the past four years Mr Ryan reports Globally Helly Hansen has been on a similar growth curve since 2009 which is a great achievement in this field of business post the GFC Helly Hansen is recognised as one of the faster moving outdoor brands around at the moment The team plans to continue driving the brand s growth in Australia and New Zealand The aim is to have 50 per cent sales come from their own retail and 50 per cent through wholesale Blue Rock only wholesales to a limited number of stockists including leading snow and outdoor speciality stores and marine nautical specialty stores Notably the company has just inked a deal with David Jones and Helly Hansen is making its debut in around nine David Jones stores this winter A hefty portion of Blue Rock s retail efforts go into online sales However Mr Ryan says that the majority of Helly Hansen customers still prefer to visit a bricks and mortar store before committing to a purchase With a brand like Helly Hansen a lot of people like to do their research online but will still go into the stores to touch and feel and try on Australian consumers are finding a wider variety of Helly Hansen products both online

    Original URL path: http://www.businessinfocus.com.au/index.php/2013/07/helly-hansen/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Hale School | Business In Focus Magazine
    too small to accommodate the current number of students The new aquatic centre features two pools and its heated water will provide an opportunity for water polo lap swimming swimming lessons and recreation year round Innovative Programs A number of leading edge programs also make Hale School stand out We do have a number of programs that are quite innovative Mr Meade reports One particularly notable program is a new leadership initiative designed to mould every Hale student into a strong leader The school has recently appointed a Director of Leadership who will be responsible for carrying out the goals of the program The core concept of the initiative is the idea that leadership is everybody s business Because we believe that it s not just about giving the student a badge or a tie or a title but that there are leadership characteristics that all people staff and students should be aware of and should be able to tap into A combination of programs under this banner will target three separate but closely related groups the Hale School students the Hale School staff and the wider Hale community The Hale home program is another new initiative that is quickly gaining traction The program is designed to help students from rural areas make the transition from living at home to boarding at Hale As boarders come to the school that transition from very small country towns into Hale can be daunting Mr Meade explains Hale home is an interactive online learning opportunity that gives future students a chance to interact with peers and teachers before they actually begin living at the Wembley Downs campus The online sessions are held for an hour once a week during Year 7 for boys planning to begin Year 8 at Hale School The three main things are to connect to engage and then to progress We re not just sending them worksheets for marking they are doing it all together in synchronised sessions They get an understanding of who their classmates will be next year and they are engaging with teachers whom they need to know and they are also getting an understanding of the academic work that they will be doing here Faculty and staff also benefit from a variety of Hale School programs We look to develop staff in various areas that they have an interest Mr Meade reports Professional development is significant This commitment includes sending staff to regional national and international conferences to enhance their abilities to provide engaging and challenging programs in the classroom In fact supporting the faculty and staff is key to the Hale School philosophy We certainly want to be an employer of choice Mr Meade insists We want to be able to provide a very positive and effective working environment for our teachers and also for our non teaching staff In return faculty and staff are expected to foster mutual respect within the classroom and support each student in his effort to excel The staff

    Original URL path: http://www.businessinfocus.com.au/index.php/2013/07/hale-school/ (2016-02-10)
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  • APC Group | Business In Focus Magazine
    that most of them still lack the advanced expertise that comes from decades of experience APC on the other hand has been leading the industry for over forty years Indeed APC refuses to cut corners in order to offer a lower priced product Maintaining quality is too important Mr Gordon insists We cannot try to be a low cost producer and bid jobs at the lowest price because the numbers don t stack up Rock bottom prices therefore are not the goal In the long run higher quality always pays off Mr Gordon says Rather than looking at the price on day one look at what it has cost you over the ten year period since you have bought the product Lower quality products require more money down the road for maintenance and repair costs they will also need to be replaced sooner Ultimately we will give you better value for money Superior customer service is also a hallmark of the company APC isn t an anonymous overseas company exporting into Australia Instead the team enjoys long term relationships with its customers We have a very good track record of maintaining customers because we look after them Mr Gordon explains They are happy to keep coming back to us because of the level of service that we provide and ultimately the product that we re supplying them with In fact the company s reputation for excellent customer service has led to a number of lucrative business deals with overseas companies These partner companies know that APC will be there to service customers wherever they are Mr Gordon explains As a result APC s market has expanded to include New Zealand the Middle East Africa Europe and Asia We really enjoy doing export work because of the fact that it is bringing outside money into the country Mr Gordon adds It helps stem the tide of the imports coming in APC s reputation for customer service and for being an industry expert has made the company a leading provider of rack inspection services In fact the team is so committed to safety and quality that they are members of the Seismic Focus Group an organization dedicated to reviewing racking designs in New Zealand after the damaged caused by the Christchurch earthquake APC performs rack inspections throughout all of Australia even in remote areas that can only be accessed by a charter flight At any given time the team is likely performing 20 to 30 rack inspections anywhere in the country for a wide variety of clients including Australia s largest and best known retailers Clearly APC s long term business strategies have worked extremely well As a result the team plans to keep the company on its current track Many of APC s competitors on the other hand are starting to step beyond the racking industry to offer a more comprehensive solution While this might seem like a winning strategy on the surface Mr Gordon believes the approach could have more

    Original URL path: http://www.businessinfocus.com.au/index.php/2013/05/apc-group/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Maribyrnong City Council | Business In Focus Magazine
    number of developments in the form of residential towers up to thirty storeys and there has also been a lot of state government investment including a seventeen storey office building in the heart of Footscray which will house a lot of government and private sector business when it is finished As to transportation the railway station is being completely transformed as part of a 4 4 billion project the largest rail project in Australia at present to revamp the line between Melbourne and the west of the state while there is also talk of an underground station to link to Melbourne s Tullamarine airport This is one of the most transport connected transformation locations in Victoria probably in the nation says Nigel A new road link the federally funded East West link which current opposition leader Tony Abbott has promised would go ahead if he is elected between the CBD and the outer suburbs is being examined and this would use a long tunnel and hopefully avoid the fiscal pitfalls that have beset a similar project in Brisbane the mooted second Melbourne airport at Avalon is just a bit further west and as Nigel points out the transport links are completed with the knowledge that the city is just five minutes from Melbourne s port Plans are in place to knit that infrastructure into a liveable city Of course it is also a challenge to ensure that the city does not descend into becoming a building site for the next twenty years or into feeling like a new town Certainly there is a lot of infrastructure already in place such as the Highpoint shopping centre which in 2011 began a two year 300 million two stage redevelopment that added one hundred new stores It is Australia s third largest centre the second largest Chadstone is on Melbourne s east side assuring Melbournians of the champion shopper tag The demographic nature of Maribyrnong is changing and the age profile is getting lower unlike the national trend A lot of community infrastructure is underway and we are planning a lot more explains Nigel The council is committed to renewal and projects are aimed at delivering a lot more people and placing a lot more jobs in Footscray There is something of a baby boom here so we have a lot of young families Nigel says now is the time for the council to prepare its prospectus selling the advantages of the renewal to parties who may want to invest in Footscray We are about to step up our efforts to bring the area to the attention of more people in the development industry and the property sector We want to do that this year One interesting aspect of the overall plan is to redesign the relationship between Maribyrnong and the University of Victoria which has two campuses in the city The aim says Nigel is to break away from the traditional and rather stilted approach and integrate the university more effectively into

    Original URL path: http://www.businessinfocus.com.au/index.php/2013/05/maribyrnong-city-council/ (2016-02-10)
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