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Blogs

Check out our blogs section where Chamber representatives, members and high-profile business figures write about a range of topics. If you are a member and want to submit a blog, please click here.

Birmingham Economic Review 2018: Artificial intelligence and robotics - Greater Birmingham’s friend or foe?

By Andy Dawson | Curium Solutions

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to provide insight on the findings of the Birmingham Economic Review. The Birmingham Economic Review 2018 is produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, with contributions from the West Midlands Growth Company. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and is a high quality resource for organisations seeking to understand Birmingham to inform research, policy or investment decisions. This post is featured in the full report and report summary here. Greater Birmingham is one of the UK’s major digital hubs, with more than 6,000 tech...

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Digital engineering and transformation for buildings and infrastructure

By Nahim Iqbal | BIM Academy

BIM, GIS, IoT, Smart Cities - Industry’s Zeal Leading the Way to Something Incredible… Overview Rapid developments across the digital landscape, whilst occasionally overwhelming in terms of staying abreast with advancements, continue to fascinate and stimulate countless minds. Ultimately augmenting ways of working and achieving greater efficiency. At the forefront this is driven by pioneering and intelligent industry professionals who are the very backbone in delivering projects successfully and advancing society into the next digital age. In creating structured, accurate and information rich 3D model representations of buildings and infrastructure, these can be further extended to link basic...

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Virtual IT director versus a permanent employee

By Kevin Goosman | Baskerville Drummond Consulting

A ‘virtual’ IT Director is someone who is there for you as and when required without the need to hire someone into this position as a full-time employee with all of the associated costs. They can work for you as needed whether a few days a month, more regularly or simply on an ad-hoc basis. They could work fully on-site or sometimes remotely, whichever suits your organisation. Many organisations have IT teams that are constantly overstretched. They are in ‘fire fighting’ mode – constantly reacting to immediate tasks with no time devoted to proactive actions. The result is a lack of time spent on important issues such as the organisation’s business strategy, the long-term IT strategy and staff...

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Birmingham Economic Review 2018: Expert Comment - Professor Simon Collinson

By Professor Simon Collinson | City-REDI, University of Birmingham

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to provide insight on the findings of the Birmingham Economic Review. The Birmingham Economic Review 2018 is produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, with contributions from the West Midlands Growth Company. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and is a high quality resource for organisations seeking to understand Birmingham to inform research, policy or investment decisions. This post is featured in the full report and report summary here. Innovation is an essential – perhaps the essential – driver of firm-level competitiveness...

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Giving something back

By Penny Kay | Adventure Graphics

Here at Adventure we do love films. So it seemed pretty apt when we came across a quote by one of our heroes that really seemed to explain why we have launched our recent competition. "At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you have accomplished… it’s about who you have lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back," - Denzel Washington Of course, there are benefits to us. We would be lying if we said we weren’t hoping that more people might hear about us and possibly use us in the future, we all need to make a living, but how we choose to make our living matters to us. Our own experiences as a married couple and small business have led us...

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Is the era of the grand British department store over?

By Dawn Smiley | Workspace Technology Limited

The great British department store was once an experience to savour, with their impressive ornate buildings, elegant window displays showcasing their carefully chosen wares all finished off with a professional level of ‘are you being served?’ customer service. The question which has been raised is, will the British department store become a thing of the past due to the advent of the Internet? With global online retailers such as Amazon dominating retail purchases, coupled with time-poor consumers looking for a click and buy approach the once loved department store is fast becoming a casualty. Iconic department stores are suffering. John Lewis experienced a 77% year-on-year decrease, Debenhams’...

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Recognising the challenges of engagement

By Gina Narramore | 4 Roads

Darren Gough, Community Management Expert and Founder of Island23 Limited shares his first guest blog post of his three part series. This post recognises the challenges of engagement within membership organisations and discusses how to enhance the experience for members. Digital Transformation Membership organisations are facing a challenge. At a time when Generation X are the dominant force in the workplace, and millennials are evolving the nature of work outputs, digital transformation is needed to react to the changing needs of professionals. MemberWise’s 2017/18 Digital Excellence report captures the feedback of 275 managers and directors working within this space. The number one goal...

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Do you really love what you do

By Chadd Blunt | Millennium Cargo Services Ltd

This year was a big year for my family. My youngest daughter completed her exams and finished school. So earlier this summer we decided to make the most of being able to travel during the school term and took an early family holiday. We booked 2 weeks in Lanzarote, in a lovely resort by the sea. It had great restaurants, nice bars, beautiful scenery and a private villa with pool. Perfect! If you’ve followed me for any amount of time you’ll know that I love to travel. Whether it’s a trip to Hong Kong to speak to our partners, a hop over to Amsterdam for a conference or a family holiday in the sun. I just love it. Family holidays are the best. As my kids have grown older I have become more...

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Playing your cards right

By Alice Mackey | Brookes & Co

In the second of a series of articles, first published by DIY Week, on sales and marketing in the home improvement and DIY industry, Kate from home and garden marketing agency Brookes & Co, looks at the shopping journey and its implications for marketing tactics. Assuming you’ve done the research, you know your target customers and you know you have the right products and the right pricing, then the next thing to consider is the shopping journey for your product offering. When do customers buy your kind of goods, how often, what prompts them to be in the market in the first place, how do they research their purchase options, who are the key influencers and when does the customer interact with...

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The gender savings gap

By Prithpal Saimbi | Close Brothers Asset Management

Despite the 1970 Equal Pay Act and 2010 Equality Act, women in 2018 still earn about 10% less per hour than men. Policy is changing, driven by years of activism, enlightenment, and regulatory changes such as the April 2018 mandate on gender pay gap reporting, but it is slow. However, the pay gap is the red flag at the tip of the underlying problem which is the effect on women’s financial independence and security now and for their future. The lifetime savings challenge facing everyone in the UK is made harder for women because they earn less and, for those with families, they also have to factor in periods of no/ reduced earnings. HR departments are front and centre of the discussion and it’s...

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