Emission Control Gets Company off the Ground

Biorem is a pioneer environmental biotechnology company that designs, manufactures and distributes a comprehensive line of high-efficiency air emissions control systems used to eliminate odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).

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We offer a selection of products that can be tailored to suit application specific requirements. Biorem ensures optimized long-term performance on every application by custom-designing the solution to meet the individual needs of our clients.

With sales and manufacturing offices across the continents, dedicated research facilities, analytical and microbial laboratories, worldwide sales representative network, and a dedicated service division, Biorem has the resources available to ensure that your project is handled promptly and professionally from conception to completion.

With the largest installation base of its kind in the world, continued extensive research efforts, and over 25 years of experience, Biorem not only offers state of the art technology-based
products – but also peace of mind for municipalities, industrial companies and their surrounding communities.

Biorem offers an array of biological technologies for the removal of odors, Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Our systems can treat air flows from as little as 100 cfm to greater than 500,000 cfm and are available in many sizes and options from smaller integrated modular units to our larger custom designed field erected systems.

Complex odors associated with specific municipal wastewater treatment processes can be difficult to treat. That is why Biorem offers a robust and cost effective approach by combining our biological technologies. The first stage consists of a customizable biotrickling filter that is used as a roughing scrubber to remove elevated hydrogen sulfide concentrations, allowing the second stage biofilter to concentrate on the more difficult organic sulfides and VOCs.
Biorem has met the challenge in developing the next-generation of biological odor control systems for high profile applications.

With over 20 years of experience in the industry, our team of engineers and technicians can help tailor a solution for your needs. Whether you need to retrofit existing equipment or design a new greenfield facility, we have the resources to make your project a success.

Biorem offers a proven, cost effective line of biogas conditioning systems designed to protect your equipment from the damaging effects caused by H2S, siloxanes and VOCs typically found in biogas or landfill gas. With increased knowledge of the need for energy independence and for the development of sustainable energy sources, biogas emissions can be converted to a valuable source of alternate energy.

Biorem is the leader in developing high performance, permanent engineered media products. The heart of any biological system is the microbial immobilization matrix. Specific properties are required to address specific applications, and Biorem has developed several medias to provide tailored solutions to complex emissions problems. The first to introduce an inorganic media, Biosorbens® was launched in the 90’s and has enjoyed success for two decades.

Biorem is committed to providing top tier after sales support. Our friendly and professional field service representatives are always available to provide timely and knowledgeable assistance for any maintenance or troubleshooting concerns you may have.

Bango Enables New Payment Option for Amazon Customers in Japan

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Bango, the leading mobile payments company, announces that it has enabled a new payment method for Amazon customers in Japan. Amazon customers with a KDDI (au) or NTT DOCOMO mobile phone account can now pay for physical goods from Amazon.co.jp, by charging the cost to their mobile phone bill.

Adding carrier billing as a payment option increases choice for customers in Japan, making it easy to complete purchases. Selecting this payment method enables instant purchase completion, without needing to register card details online. Bango technology ensures reliability, security and customer success when paying with carrier billing.

Charging online payments to a phone bill is a widely-adopted payment method in Japan, where mobile usage is deeply embedded into business and culture. The Japanese market has pioneered carrier billing, offering it as a simple and secure payment method, enabling more consumers to purchase goods and services, online and in retail stores. It is a highly effective way to engage new customers and is popular with younger consumers.

The payment method opened-up to purchase goods on Amazon.co.jp at the start of June, greatly increasing the range of products that can be charged to the phone bill by KDDI and NTT DOCOMO customers, who cover around 75% of all mobile subscribers in Japan (Telecommunications Carriers Association, Japan, 2016).

“Internet usage in Japan is mobile-first, with billions of dollars in online purchases charged to Japanese consumers’ phone bills,” said Ray Anderson, Bango CEO. “The Bango Platform ensures global retailers can offer these customers the trust and transparency they want from a payment method, and can deliver this at scale.”

To use this payment option, a KDDI or NTT DOCOMO subscriber simply adds carrier billing as a payment option in their Amazon.co.jp account and then purchases can be made from any device, with the cost charged to their post-paid phone bill.

Delivering Game Changing, Technology-Driven Business Models

P&G (Procter & Gamble) is a top global consumer packaged goods company. As winner of the Most Influential IT Leader of 2017, in the Chemicals and Allied Products Category, we interviewed Rosa Maria Cruz to discover more about the firm’s rich history and the vital role IT plays in their work.

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P&G (Procter & Gamble) boasts a rich history of over 175 years, providing superior branded products and services that improve the lives of the world’s consumers daily. They specialise in a wide range of cleaning, personal care and hygienic products, with iconic brands such as Tide, Pampers, Crest and Olay. Their total brand portfolio includes 65+ global brands, serving almost 5 billion consumers around the world. Rosa begins the interview by enlightening us on her own role in the firm and her thoughts on P&G winning the prestigious Most Influential IT Leader of 2017 award in the Chemicals and Allied Products Category.

“I am part of the global business services business unit, where we provide more than 170 employee and business services, including Information Technology (IT) services, finance, facilities, purchasing, and employee services as well as business building solutions. Currently, I hold an IT executive position, driving disruptive innovation as part of our IT- Next Generation Services (NGS) unit, delivering exponential results at exponential speed.”

“It is both an unquestionable privilege and significant responsibility to win the Most
Influential IT Leader of 2017 award in the Chemicals and Allied Products Category. In my tenure with P&G, I have been rewarded with numerous rich experiences ranging from IT category leadership across seven different P&G business units, accountability for multimillion IT strategic programs investment. I have also enjoyed international experiences around the globe, starting in my native Mexico and all the way to P&G’s corporate headquarters in Ohio, where I have been leading IT strategic contributions for the past 12 years.

“Being now distinguished as Most Influential IT Leader of 2017 in the Chemicals and Allied Products Category, brings all these accomplishments in perspective. Additionally, it is a clear recognition not only for me personally, but for the impact P&G IT is having in the industry, specifically as it relates to driving breakthrough IT innovation that transforms the way business is conducted and creates sustainable value for our P&G business now and in the future.
Rosa goes on to elaborate on these thoughts, telling us what this award means for her and P&G.

“It is truly an acknowledgement of the value we bring to the broader business. P&G is a
very innovative company, and GBS IT has been at the forefront of innovation in recent years in areas such as analytics, information security, virtualisation and overall being considered one of the most progressive shared services organisations in the world. In particular, where NGS are concerned, we proactively seek out external capability to fully contribute to the identification and generation of the next S-curve of shared services, thus driving exponential growth in an open ecosystem where external partnerships are imperative for our long-term success.

P&G role in the IT field is an important one. At P&G, IT is where business, technology and innovation come together to create competitive advantage Rosa explains, a point which she goes on to explain before adding her views on the crucial role innovation plays in the firm’s work.

“We truly own end-to-end all aspects of the IT spectrum. From planning, design and implementation of enterprise technology systems and platforms, to the successful execution of IT projects in support of P&G’s business strategies, and the corresponding operational excellence of managing global operations of this magnitude, 24/7, in real time across the globe, in a secure and reliable way. We drive acquisition/divestiture systems redesign, and bring new business-building capabilities powered by technology to serve our P&G Categories and deliver relevant value, becoming a source of strategic advantage.

“Innovation is at the core of everything we do. In terms of NGS, innovation is our lifeblood. We only work on selected portfolio initiatives which represent our biggest challenges, and when solved, will deliver compelling shareholder value. We consciously operate different than the balance of P&G. We are an organisation at the edge, using an iterative and agile operating model, focused on identifying exponential technologies (such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, Internet of things (IoT) and cognitive technologies) that will drive disruption vs. current approach.

“Freedom to fail, small teams approach and using human capital on demand via our open partner ecosystem are some of the strategies we use to boost innovation and maximise end results. It is definitively an exciting place to contribute, collaborating with brilliant minds both inside and outside our P&G organisation where we truly encouraged every single member to develop and learn to their full potential.”

Rosa proceeds to explain three specific case studies, showcasing the contributions P&G are driving in Next Generation Services (NGS).

“This first case study has delivered significant value in the way we managed our Financial Services and Solutions. The accounts receivable organisation is embracing technology to drive shareholder value creation. Incorporating smart automation solutions such as Robotics Process Automation (RPA) has opened the door to deliver step-change productivity gains. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning is demonstrating the potential to not only drive productivity but also significantly improve overall cash flow.

“The next one is about exploring new talent management strategies. Shifting demographics are changing the way work gets done. It is predicted that within the next five years as much as 50% of the U.S. workforce will consider themselves freelancers. NGS spent the last year testing what it takes to maximise value of on demand talent. Through this test we realised that while implementing this next generation work system takes a very intentional approach to properly educate, govern and operate, the value unlocked is breakthrough; delivering work with higher quality, faster execution and a fraction of the cost vs. traditional means.

Finally, my third example is around the way we engage with our P&G Consumers and finding innovative approaches powered by technology to serve them better. We are actively exploring the power of cognitive (AI) and deep machine learning to reduce the time to serve while eliminating low value activities in our traditional systems, increase our advisors’ conversational focus and deliver an even better, consumer experience anytime, anywhere and via any channel our consumers want to engage with us.”

Staying on these upbeat notes, Rosa shares the firm’s hopes and plans for 2017 and beyond and underlines P&G’s strong commitment to diversity.

“As part of our digitisation strategy, accelerating the business application of IT capability via technology innovation will continue to be one of the top focus areas, together with strengthening the IT skills and technical mastery of our organisation in a world where the rate of change is unprecedented.

“Finally, I would like to emphasise P&G’s strong commitment to diversity, which enables leaders like myself thrive in a global environment. P&G has been consistently recognised within the Top 10 Companies for global diversity by Diversity Inc, and amongst the Best Companies for Multicultural Women.

“For instance, in IT, our people are all diverse business leaders who apply their IT mastery to deliver game changing, technology-driven business models and capabilities. I believe it is an optimal time to join P&G, IT and NGS as the opportunities for challenging yet rewarding work experiences are abundant, while helping P&G win with consumers and shoppers all around the world.”

To learn more visit our global website at http://us.pgcareers. com/


What I Know, What I Have and What I Am

SecureKey is a leading identity and authentication provider that simplifies consumer access to online services. Following his success in reaching the Canadian CEO of the Month accolade, we interviewed Greg Wolfond to discover more about the company and how he has been successful in his current position.

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SecureKey makes it easier for consumers to prove who they are to online service providers, in order to gain access to services without creating any new, hard to remember, user IDs and passwords. Securekey works with leading banks, governments and telecommunication companies and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

CEO of the Month Greg Wolfond begins the interview by revealing the firm’s ongoing strategy, and their approach when undertaking a new client or project.

“We are in the business of authentication and online verification, with an end goal of making it easier for consumers to get things done online. Our ongoing strategy is to make online identity easy for all consumers, across all industries. We are working with partners across a multitude of industries including banking and telecommunication, healthcare and education, government, as well as the sharing economy, to ensure that consumers are safe, secure and have complete privacy in sharing information.

“It always starts with identifying a problem that needs to be solved. For some companies, that’s making it easier to get from point a to point b, or to rest comfortably when you get to point b. For us, that problem is solving many of the issues around identity fraud and simplifying online access in the digital age.

“Once we identified what we were attempting to solve, it was really about bringing together the right people and the right partners to tackle the numerous aspects of the solution itself. Being able to bring together skilled and forward-looking individuals as teammates, partners, service providers and the like, the task of successfully solving a problem becomes much more reasonable.”

He then steers us towards his reflections on achieving the Canadian CEO of the Month accolade, and how he keeps himself motivated and positive to be a successful leader.
“It’s very exciting! It’s such an honour to be recognised for this award. We have a lot of projects – one in particular launching later this year – that keeps us at SecureKey very busy. To be recognised shows that our hard work and the hard work of our partners is paying off. This award reflects on the entire team at SecureKey and our partners who have been working very hard to increase visibility of the importance of authentication and online privacy.

“My primary passion is people. I am always motivated and inspired by the people around me. I believe that success is not possible without a group of talented individuals with the same common goal. At SecureKey, our mission is to put the consumer back in the middle, giving them complete control of their digital assets, to help create a safer, frictionless digital works and help lead the world’s digital transformation. Working with the best minds in the business – both at SecureKey and working with our partners – motivates me every day, and drives me to be at my best to lead a superior team.”

For any CEO to be successful, there are always several challenges to overcome as Greg goes on to explain, before revealing his thoughts on the key attributes that make for an award-winning leader of his ilk.

“The technology industry can be tough. Major strides in privacy and security are only effective until the next major data breach or hack, when players in the technology industry are forced back to the drawing board. I founded SecureKey because I saw a fundamental lack of respect for consumers’ digital identities in the market. In fact, my cousin and close friend were both victims of identity fraud, with mortgages falsely placed on their homes.

“I’ve made it my mission to solve this issue of identity and ensure that consumers are given complete control over their identity, allowing them to decide who they share information with and when. However, solving identity fraud is not an easy task to accomplish. To overcome this, we’ve developed a broad ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries – including financial institutions, telcos, Canadian and U.S. governments, among others – to develop a product that will help consumers online.”

“I am humbled by the great people I get to work with every day. Much of the success I’ve had over my career is from being able to bring great people together to solve challenges. Whether it’s the people who work for our company, or people at major institutions like governments, banks, telcos, health services or others, I’ve found the ability to bring together different parties to try to solve problems for consumers. This is certainly the most rewarding and important part in my role as a CEO.”

Greg then turns the interview to his opinions of the state of the industry today, and why it is important that technology is used effectively within it.

“The technology industry is constantly changing. We’re advancing in our approaches to online security and privacy – all while hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks to exploit our identities for their own gain. Regardless of an organisation’s size, we’ve come to realise that the threat of a mass data breach is very real and polarising in today’s digital age, impacting both the companies that are attacked, but especially (and most concerning) their customers.

“Technology is a very important part of our industry. Authentication and identity verification used to be straight forward in person, but the bad guys are active there now as well.

“Online, the problem is much harder. Data breaches give criminals access to knowledgebased data that helps them impersonate with ease. Identity verification processes take too much time and are fraught with weaknesses. To ensure a better process, we are working on developing a platform that puts consumers in the middle, with complete control of their private information – empowering digital consumers to take back their rights to digital assets.”

Greg concludes this in-depth interview by sharing his future aspirations for the firm.
“Later this year, we’ll be launching a new identity network designed to provide consumers with complete control of their digital identity, to combat identity fraud and the complicated, lengthy and costly validation process that it results in, and to remove much of the friction consumers face today in trying to get things done.

“The new service which recently won grants for its architecture and approach from both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate and the Canadian Government, which will allow consumers to use their smartphone to verify that they are who they say they are, when they want to get things done online, in person or over the phone. Using trusted sources to verify the three core elements of identity – ‘What I Know, What I Have and What I Am’ – the new service puts privacy first while making it easier and more secure to open or access accounts and services, gain access to and update personal information, control who has access to what records and when, and communicate and share information with trusted destinations and services right from a smartphone when they need to verify their identity.

“It’s safe, secure, and completely under their control, and supported by an ecosystem of trusted companies – including BMO, CIBC, Desjardins, RBC, Scotiabank and TD – committed to providing a better, safer digital ID experience for users.”

Company: SecureKey Technologies
Name: Greg Wolfond
Web Address: securekey.com

An Amazing Journey

JCI Jones Chemicals is a leading international manufacturer and distributor of inorganic chemicals. JCI is the largest re-packager of chlorine, and one of the largest manufacturers of high strength chlorine bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite).

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Jeffrey W. Jones, Chief Executive Officer. Chairman tells us more about the company’s work, following his success in winning the 2017 US Small Cap CEO of the Year award, as part of the 2017 Small Cap CEO Awards.

JCI was founded by Mr. J.W. Jones in 1930. ‘J.W.’ started the company by making high strength bleach in a bath-tub, in his rural upper New York State garage. Since that beginning during the Great Depression, ‘J. W’s’ son Robert was his successor as CEO, his Grandson Jeffrey is now the CEO and his two great grandsons are co-presidents of the company.

JCI is a Privately held family corporation, with 11 facilities in the United States with its corporate headquarters located in Sarasota, Florida. JCI’s accounts range from Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and (16) other ‘foreign’ countries, with an estimated 60% of the United States chlorine market. JCI’s primary products liquid chlorine, bleach and liquid caustic soda which are vital as the disinfectant in municipal drinking and waste water treatment plants throughout the world. Jeffrey begins the interview by providing some fascinating background to the firm’s success during its rich 87-year history and something of his own background too.

“In its 87-year history, JCI continues to receive numerous safety awards and certifications from the industry, municipalities and regulatory agencies. JCI is fully compliant with all domestic and related governmental regulatory agency criteria. With JCI’s vast experience, and proven reliability, I believe that the company can service virtually any entity and anywhere using its products.

“I attended Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I graduated from The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. I have worked my life-time at the company, beginning full-time in January 1976. I became JCI’s President in 1989 and Chairman and CEO in 1993.
“Mr. J.W. Jones passed away in 1986. His son Mr. Robert Jones passed away in 1993.

Upon their passing, I was the sole remaining member of a large family active in the company. Several of the remaining family shareholders decided they wanted to have their shares sold or purchased by the company. Unable to do so, the pressure was placed on me to sell the company. I refused, which resulted in litigation filed in Manhattan Superior Court in New York City, lasting for five years. The matter was resolved in 1998, wherein I agreed to a settlement, personally guaranteeing JCI repurchasing all the outstanding shares from all other shareholders for $51 million. The payments would be made in 80 quarterly payments over a 20-year period.”

This debt caused JCI serious financial concerns Jeffrey underlines. The existing bank called their credit line, and marketing efforts with new banks were extremely difficult due to this large debt. After considerable efforts, JCI settled in with an asset based loan facility, which was fine, yet did not allow JCI to have any cash reserves to grow. Yet, in February of 2017 the final payment was made, and JCI is now engaged in a tremendous growth strategy.

Jeffrey Jones, JCI’s CEO then told us his thoughts on winning the 2017 US Small Cap CEO of the Year award, his largest accomplishment this year and his source of encouragement on the exciting journey of life he has taken so far.

“I am indeed very pleased and humbled with this award. When I began my work at JCI Jones Chemicals, I did not do so for any rewards. My reward remains seeing all the past and present efforts by so many devoted individuals enjoying the security and their own rewards by their efforts at JCI. I am particularly proud of JCI’s success – as evident in our excellent safety record and our customer and employee satisfaction – as well as recognition from the many regulatory agencies charged with setting compliance standards.

“Paying of the large exshareholder debt this year, has perhaps been my largest accomplishment. It provides for my sons and all current and future family and JCI employees a great ‘re-birth’ of our company. We will continue to maintain our market share in the United States water treatment industry while expanding aggressively in the Southern Hemisphere where many countries are in desperate need of clean potable water and waste water treatment. It is my hope that this award and reference to JCI Jones Chemicals to those in need of our products, will bring notice and allow us the privilege to serve you your needs.

“I also give thanks to my Saviour Jesus Christ, who told me back in 1998 to take that ‘leap of faith’ with Him. And to my sons and my dear wife who always have given me the encouragement and have been my moral and ethical ‘compass’ along this amazing journey.”

Company: JCI Jones Chemicals, Inc.
Name: Jeffrey W. Jones, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman
Email: [email protected]
Web Address: www.jcichem.com

Longevity Speaks Volumes

President & CEO of Comfort Dynamics, INC. Tony DeMeo was delighted to have achieved the status of US CEO of the Month in the Manufacturing category earlier this year. We took the chance to profile his own work as a CEO and the firm he heads up.

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Tony DeMeo has been the President & CEO of Comfort Dynamics since 1999, so there is no doubt that he is a highly seasoned professional with many years of leadership experience under his belt. Located in San Leandro, California the company provides service, maintenance, installation and design /build work in the commercial/industrial HVAC industry. They specialise in design/build work requiring the knowledge and abilities all three areas of hydronics, airflow, and direct digital controls to meet the demands of the systems and clients they serve.

Comfort Dynamics has the skills and experience to handle the complete spectrum of mechanical services from design, project management and installation through service, maintenance, controls and energy management monitoring.

Their mission is to deliver the most responsive service, expertise and guidance available in their industry. With ‘any system – any size’ in mind, their focus is always on customer comfort and satisfaction.

Comfort Dynamics strives to provide their customers the best of both worlds, that is a responsive service and cost effectiveness of a small organisation and the proficiency and the know-how of a large company.

Drawing on over 100+ years of combined HVAC experience, their clear objective is to deliver to their clients the highest level of competency, service, and technology available. The firm’s in-house services include HVAC design, installation, diagnostics, repairs, digital controls, energy management and maintenance programs.

Case studies Jones Lang Lasalle – 600 California Street, San Francisco, CA The building is 20 stories of high end professional office space in the heart of the SF financial district. The 20-yearold Building Automation System was starting to have erratic electrical problems for no specific reason. A fully occupied building in need of an entirely new BAS. To complicate the project requirements further, the central plant cooling system utilises a thermal energy storage system based on freezing and thawing 4,800 ton hours of ice capacity daily. The conversion to a new system needed to be flawless, or tenant would complain to management and rents could be withheld if serious disruption to comfort levels was compromised.

The renovation of the system was recently completed and the tenants were not even aware the project was undertaken. Building management and ownership were very pleased with the smooth transition to the new control system and are grateful for your dedication and perfect execution of the project plan. The new system is operating the building better than the previous and is helping the engineering staff to manage the HVAC needs for the tenants with less time and trouble daily than the original system.

BioRad BioRad is a legacy client. Comfort Dynamics began providing maintenance and HVAC service for their corporate building first in August of 1999, which including the systems for their Global Data Center. Since that time, Comfort Dynamics has been involved in most their facility improvement projects in over 11 sites.

They have contracted with us for central plant modernisation, Design/build work for labs remodels, air handler, cooling tower, and boiler replacements. Comfort Dynamics have converted one of their largest manufacturing facilities to RELIABLE CONTROLS, replaced two air handling until which serve manufacturing and lab areas, both with high air quality standards for those environments.

Additionally, Comfort Dynamics are just completing the second modernisation to the data center they began working in almost 18 years ago. Since this relationship began, Bio Rad management has turned to Comfort Dynamics to play a major role in the expansion and modernisation of their mechanical systems to support their business goals. In short, longevity speaks volumes in business relationships like Comfort Dynamics.

AECOM AECOM is a global engineering and energy services company. Through Comfort Dynamics relationships in Northern California, they have been partner on several facility energy efficiency projects with them, as their mechanical and DDC controls partner. Comfort Dynamics has worked with them on campus modernisation project at college campuses in the SF Bay Area, tackling complex projects with schedule sensitive requirements.

These include boiler replacements, exhaust system modernisation, and redesign, piping system redesign for chilled and hot water, compressed air, and natural gas systems. All undertaken and completed with little or no impact to the occupied and operating facilities in which they are working. San Francisco State, Cal State East Bay, UCSF, Cal Maritime Academy in Vallejo, CA, just to mention a few.

Oakland Marriott & Convention Center – Hospitality & Convention Facility This is one of Comfort Dynamics largest single projects to date in their 18-year company history. Marriott ownership was referred to us Comfort Dynamics by the engineering firm they hired to develop a RFP for a complete replacement of the aging control system for both the hotel and convention center. They are essentially a single building with single chilled and hot water plant, which must be managed to serve the needs of both entities.

Comfort Dynamics successfully upgraded the control systems, replaced an 800-ton cooling tower in phases over a weekend without and impact to the hotel guests. Comfort Dynamics identified additional upgrades to the HVAC systems which were approved over and above the original contract value. The engineering department is very happy with the control system and mechanical improvements, plus Comfort Dynamics continue to provide maintenance and service work in addition to ongoing small mechanical projects.

Company: Comfort Dynamics
Name: Tony DeMeo
Email: [email protected]
Web Address: www.comfortdynamics.com

Artificial Intelligence Is the Next Frontier

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A new report from Navigant Research examines the role of artificial intelligence (AI) across the commercial buildings value chain, analyzing the outlook for six key types of AI and providing an analysis of the use cases, opportunities, and barriers associated with AI in intelligent buildings.

AI has the potential to redefine how technology automates equipment operations and enhances the occupant experience in commercial buildings. It will be a tool in the building automation toolbox and will change how commercial buildings are designed, constructed, operated, and tuned to the environment and tenants. Click to tweet: According to a new report from @NavigantRSRCH, AI represents the next frontier in sophisticated technology solutions for the intelligent building.

“The business of owning and managing commercial facilities has been transformed by intelligent building technologies,” says Casey Talon, principal research analyst at Navigant Research. “AI is the next frontier for the market, enhancing the automated and ongoing systems improvements to generate new revenue streams and optimize the occupant experience.”

For some key industry segments, such as automation and controls, intelligent building solutions have proved disruptive by altering the competitive landscape and threatening the market position of legacy leaders. In other segments, such as the design, build, renovate segment, key industry players are just now exploring how they can innovate and evolve. According to the report, this range in impact is expected to be amplified as AI solutions enter the market.

The report, AI for Intelligent Buildings, explores the role of AI across the commercial buildings value chain, the types and applications that are best positioned to permeate the market, and the outlook for adoption across key business activities. Navigant Research analyzes the outlook for six key types of AI in the commercial buildings industry: machine learning, speech recognition, video content recognition, computer vision, virtual personal assistants, and robotics. The study provides an analysis of the market issues, including use cases, opportunities, and barriers, associated with AI in intelligent buildings. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

Food for Thought

Procal Dairies commenced business in 2003 and is a leading Australian and family owned dairy manufacturing and distribution business producing and selling milk, cream and yoghurt products. As a proud winner of the Australian CFO Top 25 – 2017’s Leading Beverage Manufacturing CFO award.

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The business has been built largely upon a team of owner driver distributors who deliver daily to over 4,000 cafes, restaurants, food service outlets, catering companies and food manufacturers located in Australia’s two largest metropolitan markets – Melbourne and Sydney. It is the largest independent dairy supplier in these two markets. The company has a small but growing presence in both the local retail and export markets with the supply of more niche styled dairy products.

This award means a great deal for both Procal Dairies and myself and it is in no small part a recognition of all the hard work the company and its staff and distributors have put in where the business was established with just $150,000 in shareholder capital with turnover growing from zero to $65m over 14 years employing 120 staff and 45 distributors with a factory capable of producing 120 million litres annually.

In its first 6 years of existence, Procal Dairies operated solely as a distributor of dairy products which were manufactured by third parties. It did not commence manufacturing its own products until 2009 when brand new purpose built factory premises in the northern outskirts of Melbourne were completed. Funding for this investment was exclusively procured through the banks during the lead up to and in the aftermath of the GFC where the shareholders/directors were not required to pledge private assets as collateral.

The key for Procal in obtaining funding on favourable terms during that time was the experience of the directors and senior management team in being able to construct a robust business case and clearly present a fundamentally sound medium to long term P & L projection and cash flow model.

Starting off by supplying the food service and route business in Melbourne and Sydney, one of Procal’s critical success factors has been not to have an over reliance with any one customer with no one customer ever occupying more than 5 – 7% of the company’s total turnover. This is one of the reasons why the business has not had a major focus in grocery where, in Australia’s concentrated grocery market, the two largest supermarket chains account for over 70% of total grocery turnover.

Apart from having a deep understanding of the business’s figures, the main attributes of a CFO are to participate and contribute to the development of a business strategy as well as to manage the process and measure its progress against pre-determined milestones. Being a major contributor in maintaining strong relationships with key business stakeholders whether they be banks, suppliers, customers, distributors or shareholders is also extremely important. It is also about building a strong and committed administration and finance team who have a strong work ethic and are willing to learn and improve their skills.

Through the commitment, dedication and hard work of our people, Procal has won several prestigious industry awards in the past 12 months including the 2017 Victorian Manufacturer of the Year Award in the Food and Fibre category. In just the past week, Procal products were awarded the highest scoring winner in the both the Cultured Dairy Products and the Stirred Yoghurt categories in the 2017 Dairy Industry Australia Awards. This in addition to numerous highest scoring and gold medal winner awards over the past 5 years with our fresh milk, cream as well as the natural, smooth and Greek yoghurt products.

For me as CFO in the past 12 months, a significant personal achievement has centred around a role in cementing key supplier relationships in a clearly difficult Australian Dairy Industry, where overall national milk volume has diminished by between 10 – 15 % over the past twelve months following the collapse of questionable milk pricing practices by Australia’s two leading milk processors. This has led to severe shortages of not just milk, but also of cream and butter, with the entire industry having been affected. So far, we have managed this situation quite well and look forward to seeing improved industry conditions later in the year.

My early working life started with the Australian associate of BDO Chartered Accountants firstly in audit and then later in Business Services working as Senior Manager for 5 years. In 1989 I transferred to BDO’s London office in its Corporate Finance department where I was involved with the high-profile Sock Shop administration in 1990 as well doing numerous due diligence and investigating accountant’s reports for clients operating in the travel, textile and manufacturing industries.

In 1992, following my return to Australia, I joined The Original Juice Co. as its Finance Manager and Company Secretary. The Original Juice grew to be Australia’s biggest fresh juice manufacturer prior to its acquisition by Golden Circle in 2002 where I was appointed as Group Manager of Finance and Operations.

Deciding to focus on other projects, in 2004 I went out on my own and set up an Accounting Practice as well consult to smaller niche type fruit juice manufacturers. Prior to this I had already obtained both my Registered Company Auditor and Registered Tax Agent licences. Also during this time, I was fulfilling the external accountant’s role with Procal Dairies and was heavily involved with procuring bank finance for the factory construction. I joined the company as its CFO in mid 2010.

Being CFO allows you to play a significant role in setting business strategy, identifying
goals and milestone objectives and measuring and being accountable for its progress throughout the journey. You must be able to work closely with all departments in establishing business investment cases and ensuring that they strictly adhere to strong financial disciplines which must be clearly communicated and understood by everyone concerned.
Where possible, I believe it is vitally important for the CFO to join with other senior staff in developing relationships we have with our key suppliers, customers and distributors as this is the key to enduring business success.

Having been Procal’s CFO for 7 years now, the company has certainly had its fair share of significant challenges growing its turnover from $36m when I first joined in 2010 to $65m today in a highly competitive market.

As far as the remainder of 2017 is concerned, it is a matter of concentrating on the basics and our critical strengths and competencies within an industry which has, for the reasons outlined above, recently endured a great deal of turmoil.

In 2018, the company plans to expand into export markets, particularly South East Asia, with its range of yoghurt products and a proposed investment in new processing and packaging equipment capable of packing milk in either UHT or ESL (extended shelf life) formats. The company always remains on the lookout for other new product opportunities including alternative packaging formats and plant based beverages. With the key advantage of having an efficient and motivated distribution system servicing 4,000 customers, there are many other beverage styled products that can be introduced to complement Procal’s existing product range.

10 KEYS TO A CFO’S SUCCESS
1. Strategy – Be involved in understanding, setting and implementing key business strategies.
2. Business Relationships – Get to know your key stakeholders, suppliers, customers and distributors very well. Always work to improve these relationships.
3. Staff – Build a strong administration and finance team to support you. Engender enthusiastic performance and encourage them to improve their skill sets.
4. Corporate Risk – Understand the business’s critical risk profile and work to manage and improve it. Establish implementable disaster recovery plans.
5. Rolling Financial Forecasts – Without diminishing the importance of budgets, the trouble is that they can become quickly out of date. Focus equally or give more time to prepare rolling quarterly P & L forecasts out over the next 18 months to take account of updated business conditions at the end of every quarter.
6. Key Performance Indicators – Prepare yourself to be able to quote key daily, weekly and monthly performance indicators spontanteously.
7. Cash Generation – Understand how business performance and beneath the surface subtleties impacts on cash flow. Higher profits do not always translate to cash in the bank. Update your cash projections regularly.
8. EBITDA & EBIT – Understand your EBITDA performance and how new (and indeed existing business) and investment opportunities may or may not improve EBITDA by sale $ or by unit of production. Aim to grow EBIT at a faster rate than the rate of investment in Net Operating Assets year on year.
9. Power of One Sensitivity – Determine what impact a 1% change in price, volume, cost of sales and overheads has as well as a reduction of one day in debtor collections and stock turnover and one day increase in creditor payments.
10. Know your Limitations – Both business and yourself personally. 

Company: Procal Dairies Pty Ltd
Name: Craig Pound
Email: [email protected]
Web Address: www.procal.com.au

The Island of Luxury Development

For almost 20 years, Deon & Associates Limited has been developing both highend and affordable houses on the island of Nevis.
In 1995, Mr. Deon Daniel, the company’s Manager began building homes in Paradise Estate for clients needing a quiet and peaceful home to relax. Valued in price from between US$150,000.00 to US$250,000.00,

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these two and three bedroom villas fully furnished and complete with pools were the start of Deon & Associates journey to success. With nearly 30 homes completed, it was time to move on to higher heights.

To keep up with the growing market and the need for more upscale property, Deon & Associates Ltd embarked on the Fern Hill Estate Villa Development, which comprises over 50 luxurious villas all in range of two, three and four bedrooms, each complete with its own pool. Developed in three phases, the Fern Hill Estate Villas are designed to provide elegant spaces in which you can live, entertain, and relax.

These spacious villas provide from 1800 to 2500 square feet of living space and include great rooms, fully equipped kitchens, air conditioning is included. The designs take advantage of the magnificent views, and natural beauty of the site where one can enjoy romantic sunsets over the Caribbean Sea from the front veranda, or for a change of scenery, have breakfast on the back veranda with a mountain view. The villas include lush landscaping with tropical trees and flowers. Competitively priced packages include land, and the finished house. See more of Fern Hill Estate Development at www.deondaniel.com.

While constructing homes at the Fern Hill Estate Villa Development, an opportunity arose and Deon & Associates Ltd seized this opportunity to begin constructing the first condominiums on the island of Nevis. With 24 condominium units in two and three bedroom configurations, the beach front condominiums, now known as the Nelson Spring Beach Villas & Spa also include a spa, fitness center, tennis court, office building, pool and beach bar. Each condominium unit is complete with Egyptian marble tiles throughout, Italian kitchens and, stainless steel appliances. The 3 acres of beachfront property was also landscaped by world-renowned Julie Toll.

By lavishly draping the Hamilton Beach Villas & Spa with the finest amenities like plasma screen televisions, tennis court, 2 swimming pools, restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center, spa and 24-hour security staff, these condominiums are likely to be among the most exclusive and finely crafted residences in the illustrious career of Deon & Associates Ltd. The Hamilton Beach Villas & Spa is the second condominium development to be undertaken by the Developers.

Positioned on almost 6 acres of land, the 79-unit development is built in one, two, three and four bedroom modifications. Travertine tiled floors and bathroom walls, granite kitchens, modern stainless appliances, wall-to-wall sliding glass doors, air conditioning and roof top terraces all make the development one of a kind. Having recently completed the first phase of this development, Deon & Associates Limited is presently seeking to have the second phase completed by June 2013.

Depending on the level of investment, clients may qualify for the Economic Citizenship Program offered by the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, a process which is facilitated by the developer. For clients who require a passport, purchases and building contracts should be
in place with construction to be finalized within 6 months.

Deon & Associates Ltd provides a comprehensive suite of After Sales Services designed to help you realize your dream of owning a perfect Caribbean Vacation Villa. These include Housekeeping, Gardening and Pool Maintenance.

Over the years, countless buyers have realized that Deon & Associates Ltd provide more than just a second home to their customers; they provide the peace and relaxation inherent to the Caribbean. Whether the client wants a vacation or retirement home, these villas are a great investment with excellent rental demand and lucrative property appreciation.

Other developments by Deon & Associates Limited include the Shaw’s Road Villas, an affordable homes development and Busch Hill Garden Villas. Deon & Associates Ltd is currently reviewing 2 new development opportunities both of which are to become reality soon.