Dynamic Leader Drives Forward DNA Excellence

dynamic dna

Back in 2018, Corporate Vision Magazine awarded the title of CEO of the Year to Austin O’Reilly, for his outstanding service to Dynamic DNA Laboratories. Now, almost two years on from winning that prestigious title, we return to Dynamic DNA Laboratories in order to examine the continued excellence of both Mr O’Reilly and his firm.

Dynamic DNA Laboratories is a state-of-the-art genetics-focused laboratory that specializes in advanced DNA testing for a range of different services. Everybody wants to understanding themselves better, and a keen understanding of your own personal DNA can ultimately lead to lifestyles that are both happier and healthier. Whether individuals are looking to take a more personalized approach to their own fitness regimen, or trace their family history through their own DNA samples, Dynamic DNA Laboratories is the perfect partner for such an endeavour. Since being founded in 2015 by CEO Austin O’Reilly, Dynamic DNA Laboratories has evolved to offer a major range of services including family and ancestry testing, proactive health panels, and personalized medicine reporting. Having access to the genetic building blocks of life can pave the way for so many things to be enhanced, and this firm is right at the forefront of developing that potential.

Austin O’Reilly is an experienced DNA scientist and entrepreneur, with a demonstrable history of success working within the biotechnology industry. Throughout his academic and work-based careers, Mr O’Reilly has built up a considerable repertoire of skills, including DNA testing and molecular-level techniques in clinical, health, and forensic applications. His academic career began in 2003, where Mr O’Reilly undertook a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Criminal Science at Texas Christian University. Having successfully graduated from the University in 2007, Mr O’Reilly went on to study further at the University of California, Riverside, where he completed a certification in Crime Scene Investigation. However, it wasn’t until 2008 where Mr O’Reilly’s proficiency in genetics and DNA really came to the fore.

Returning to Texas Christian University, Mr O’Reilly started his master’s degree in Molecular Biology with a focus and emphasis on the study of genetics. During this time, Mr O’Reilly was able to refine his already strong biomedical research and testing techniques before taking them into the world of biotechnology following his equally successful graduation in 2010. In September of the same year, Mr O’Reilly took a job at DNA Labs International, working as a Forensic DNA Analyst. In this role, he was able to process crime scene evidence in order to identify the presence of biological material for DNA analysis, as well as quantify, amplify, and sequence the DNA, write reports and generate statistics, as well as testify in state and federal courts as an expert witness.

After spending two years working as a Forensic DNA Analyst at DNA Labs International, Mr O’Reilly hen moved on to become a Research Scientist at the Centre for Biomedical and Life Sciences for just shy of two years once again. Drawing on every ounce of his considerable knowledge, Mr O’Reilly then founded Dynamic DNA Laboratories in January of 2015. Taking on the role of CEO and Scientist, Mr O’Reilly has since lead the firm in its mission to promote positive change in people’s lives through advanced and affordable genetic testing services. Since founding the company, every service and test has been underpinned by the strong belief that knowledge is power, and that by exploring a person’s genetic code, that person can live a healthier, happier, more educated, and more productive lifestyle.
Crucially, Mr O’Reilly also understands the fundamentals of leadership as well as the fundamentals of biomedical sciences. As part of his role
as CEO, Mr O’Reilly has surrounded himself with like-minded staff, some of whom have been working with DNA for more than thirty five years in research, testing, pathology, and crime laboratories, as well as having been published in multiple scientific journals.

Based in Springfield, Missouri, Dynamic DNA Laboratories has been built by Mr O’Reilly to become a clinical and direct-to-consumer genetic testing lab that specializes in molecular, cell, and microbiology testing and research services, as well as create high-definition microscopic artwork and one-of-a-kind DNA portraits. The facility itself is CAPaccredited and CLIA-certified, ensuring that it follows the latest regulations and meets the highest quality of testing standards. Unlike its competitors, Dynamic DNA Laboratories does not outsource its services, and instead guarantees high quality services, accurate test results, faster turnaround times, and the lowest prices by performing all of its genetic testing in-house. When it comes to handling DNA and personal data, nothing less than the highest standards of care, safety, and security will do, and that is exactly what Mr O’Reilly has sought to implement throughout the firm.

dynamic dna

Testing DNA and genetics can often be used for far more than is initially thought. Exploring every opportunity that it possibly can, Dynamic DNA Laboratories offers clients and consumers a wide range of DNA testing products in a bid to enhance many different areas of a person’s life. From improving nutrition, fitness, and skin health, to uncovering ancient family secrets and hidden family relationships, to gaining personalized medicinal reports and even discovering early signs of cancer and rare diseases, DNA is deeply personal and can be used for a myriad of purposes. As part of Mr O’Reilly’s outstanding vision for what his firm could one day become, Dynamic DNA Laboratories has also begun offering partnerships with full co-branding or white-labelling options with global distributors across more than thirty five countries. Partners can include nutritionists, trainers, gyms, spas, physicians, clinics, and other DNA companies.

Drawing on the wealth of knowledge of its CEO and extensively-trained staff, Dynamic DNA Laboratories offers three distinct categories of products primarily: Genetic Testing, Artwork, and Biomedical Research. The first, Genetic Testing, is perhaps most focused on the consumer themselves, and what DNA knowledge can do for them. Ancestry testing to discover a background or heritage, pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine reporting, fitness, nutrition, cancer and disease predisposition screenings, paternity and relationship testing, unknown sample identification, and so much more is available through genetic testing.

Biomedical research services and abilities include pharmaceutical testing, disease research, product testing, gene expression analysis, DNA sequencing, Electron Microscopy, Fluorescence Microscopy, and much more. Dynamic DNA Laboratories work with non-profits, companies, and individuals to develop experimental designs that accommodate their research needs. Mr O’Reilly also strives to always have the firm engaged in its own independent research, with the ultimate goal of advancing knowledge in the biomedical field and writing about its discoveries in scientific publications.

Finally, artwork may seem an unusual choice for a DNA company, but it is something deeply personal that Mr O’Reilly has made happen for so
many individual consumers and clients. Using ultra-modern research tools, the team at Dynamic DNA Laboratories create personalized DNA art portraits of an individual or family’s unique DNA profile. Using an electron microscope that is capable of imaging at up to 1,000,000x magnification, the firm can image anything at ultra-high magnification and ultra-high resolution. If there are empty walls in a home or place of work, Dynamic DNA Laboratories can custom design artwork that is tailored to specific tastes, business interests, or products.

Mr O’Reilly was awarded the title of CEO of the Year back in 2018, but his ongoing pursuit of perfection within the biomedical field and particularly that of DNA has seen the firm achieve even greater heights since then. Taking something so intimate and personal before transforming it into actionable knowledge or magnificent artwork is truly spectacular, and both Dynamic DNA Laboratories and Mr O’Reilly are fully deserving of every success now, and in the future.

Jobs in London Were Up 14% in June

london

Professional vacancies in the capital increased 14% month-on-month in June, indicating that London’s businesses are slowly starting to re-hire as lockdown measures continue to ease. That’s according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the trade association for the recruitment sector.

The data, provided by business intelligence specialist Vacancysoft, also showed that by the end of June the number of professional vacancies being created per day was up 54% when compared to April. While this indicates a positive move for hiring as more companies re-open offices, the number of new jobs being added each day currently sits at just half the numbers that would normally be reported in London, suggesting there is still a long way to go before the capital recovers.

Amazon bolsters the capitals hiring

Looking at top hirers in London, Amazon continues to dominate recruitment, with almost three times more vacancies added by the firm throughout June than the second most active employer, Citigroup Inc. This is perhaps unsurprising given the demand for online shopping that has grown over the course of lockdown. GSK was also listed as one of the top ten firms recruiting, making the list for the first time in three years, as the firm continues to drive research for a Covid-19 vaccine.

Accountancy and HR professionals in demand

The data also showed a 28% increase in accountancy vacancies month-on-month between May and June, indicative of more companies streamlining costs and tapping into support funds as the pandemic continues to impact profits in the capital. HR vacancies in London also noted an uptick, increasing 12% month-on-month as more employers faced juggling a variety of employment contracts, with the furlough scheme extension seemingly leading to an uptick demand for Human Resources staff.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo comments:

“June signalled significant change for the capital’s businesses. With lockdown measures gradually being eased, it’s encouraging to see hiring creep up. We are, of course, still a long way off normality, but we’re certainly heading in the right direction, with online retailers bolstering the capital’s recruitment. We don’t expect to see hiring for companies like Amazon and GSK to decline for the foreseeable future, but as more organisations continue to open their doors again, we are predicting a continuation of this upward trend in recruitment.”

“With the furlough scheme extension being used by some while other businesses are seeing staff return to work both full and part-time, it’s perhaps unsurprising to note an uptick in demand for human resources professionals to manage the array of employment contracts the many businesses currently have in place. However, this increased need for accountancy professionals suggests that despite the efforts being made to get London back up and running again, financial aid remains a top concern for company owners.”

Leading The Global Wireless Power Revolution

spark connected

Founded in 2017, Spark Connected began with a vision to transform wireless power delivery and intelligent battery charging with innovative platforms, disruptive tech, and breakthrough products enabling an enhanced user experience for everyone. In the three short years since the company was born, it has gone on to achieve massive success with key global Tier 1 brands and was featured in Corporate Vision’s 2020 Corporate Excellent Awards. As we take a closer look at the firm, discover why it has been awarded the title of Most Innovative Wireless Power Technology Company – 2020.

Backed by more than two decades of combined domain expertise and the founders’ deep roots in technology, Spark Connected takes a great deal of pride in delivering advanced end-to-end wireless power system solutions that benefit a wide variety of applications and industries. Specializing in product development and engineering solutions, Spark Connected works with clients in markets as diverse and varied as industrial and Internet of Things, to automotive, medical, telecommunications, security, and consumer markets. The firm is made up of talented and passionate individuals spread across the R&D, systems, applications, marketing, engineering, and operations departments, all equally enthusiastic about developing best-in-class and industry-leading technology in the emerging market of wireless power.

Together with its proven strategic, ecosystem, and channel partners, Spark Connected helps integrate its innovative technology into everyday customer products as well as products in Automotive and Industrial markets. In doing so, the firm is continuing to drive the global transformation of how various industries can power the world wirelessly. The world has increasingly adopted wireless powering technology in various devices since 2017, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In particular, the last eighteen months have seen phenomenal growth and innovation for Spark Connected, which can be attributed to several factors.

Firstly, the firm has been responsible for developing a scalable and unparalleled wireless power platform that is based on Spark Connected’s Pantheon™ Software. This works seamlessly with the firm’s patented system hardware designs, and the scalability allows Spark Connected to support a wide range of power levels that can address unique power delivery challenges in a variety of applications beyond just smartphones.

According to Ruwanga Dassanayake, Chief Operating Officer at Spark Connected, “Another aspect of what makes Spark Connected unique is our ability to deliver multiple types of wireless power technologies today, and still has a compelling roadmap that truly excites customers moving forwards. These solutions of the future are based on the firm’s broad patent portfolio, which continues to grow with every day. Furthermore, Spark Connected if a full member of the Wireless Power Consortium(the global wireless power standards body for Qi), and holds multiple co-chair positions in key task forces, helping innovate at the highest possible level and push the boundaries beyond charging smartphones. Lastly, Spark Connected has set an extremely high bar on the quality and level of support that is provided to customers so that they are able to focus their resources on what they do best. All of this truly sets Spark Connected apart from its competitors”.

When working with clients, Spark Connected follows a simple, yet effective, three-pronged approach. Each approach focuses on a different aspect of what the customer requires. For instance, the three approaches are engineered towards what problem is trying to be solved, whether or not the solution adds value to the customer in ways that existing market solutions cannot, and whether or not the solution is delivered in a cost-effective manner. Focusing on these three areas is key, and once they are validated, Spark Connected moves quickly with a singular focus on striving for flawless execution to meet delivery commitments.

Internally, the company culture of Spark Connected is much the same as its outward-focused mission. The company was formed on the tenets of rapid innovation and unparalleled customer support, and though the statement may seem trite, the true difference can be seen in how the employees view their job. The team is made up of people who treat a customer’s project as though it were their own. They see the importance of the role that Spark Connected plays in a customer’s success, and they see the part that they play in achieving that success. Staff have a sense of ownership that results in customer support that is far more valuable than the conventional arms-length relationship fostered by other competitors. Spark Connected has assembled a first-class team, with innovation in their DNA. Everyone is like-minded in the belief in the transformative nature of wireless power and its impact on how the connected world is powered.

Regardless of the current global circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic, technology talent remains in high demand. Spark Connected is continuously looking to add innovative talent to its ranks as the company grows, specifically looking for individuals that have the unique combination of being innovative, passionate, keen to challenge the status quo, and the ability to think outside the box. Those staff must be on board with always thinking about how the future can be transformed further, even during difficult times. Scaling the business can sometimes be hard, but Spark Connected has grown tenfold in the last eighteen months.

Looking to the future, there is plenty of room for growth within the world of wireless technology. By 2023, more than one billion smartphones will have adopted the wireless charging technology that is already evident in various smartphone models. Along with this rapid growth in devices, comes an ecosystem rife with opportunity to support charging these devices through a ubiquitous wireless charging infrastructure in places such as hotels, apartment complexes, enterprise office spaces, public venues, and public transport.

In addition to the smartphone market, Spark Connected’s technology is uniquely positioned to support applications beyond smartphones, such as medical, high power industrial, and factory automation, lighting, IoT, security, and telecommunications infrastructure. Beyond the smartphone space is very much an emerging market at present, but one that Spark Connected is more excited than ever to be a part of. Untapped potential and opportunity await, with incredibly attractive annual growth rates in the next decade.

The future of wireless technology is incredibly exciting, and with Spark Connected at the forefront of the industry innovation, it is only set to become more integrated into society. As these innovations and developments keep coming, Spark Connected looks forward to spearheading and supporting the wireless power industry to become the next ubiquitous charging standard.

Should I Invest in Peer-to-Peer Lending?

Daniel Tannenbaum, Tudor Lodge Consultants
Expert Opinion Piece by Daniel Tannenbaum, Tudor Lodge Consultants

Peer-to-peer lending is a form of borrowing and investing that has grown in immense popularity in recent years, with an estimated transactional value of £6 billion per year in the UK.

P2P companies or platforms act as middlemen between borrowers looking for loans and individual investors looking to earn a healthy return.

Whilst sticking with your ISA can be a safe option, the interest rates of 1% to 2% per annum are not overly attractive – and this has given way to a more technology driven peer-to-peer industry where annual returns range from 3% to 15% per annum.

Similar to ISAs, you will maximise your returns by keeping your money locked in for as long as possible and avoid making any instant or early withdrawals.

What are your investing in?

With peer-to-peer lending, you are investing in a pool of other anonymous people who are looking for loans and who are applying online using the P2P platform provided.

The majority of peer-to-peer lenders offer unsecured loans of just a few hundred or thousand pounds (Zopa, Ratesetter, Fund Ourselves). Some providers extend their proposition to lending through business loans, against property assets, corporate debentures and personal guarantees.

Your potential return is based on your level of risk that you accept, with good credit or safer customers offering a lower return on investment. If you wish to maximise your return, you can opt for riskier borrowers who may have bad credit. The typical option is to diversify your investments, using the tools provided by the lender.

What are the advantages?

The main advantage of investing in peer-to-peer is that the potential returns are some of the highest around when it comes to investment products.

Market-leader Zopa offers rates of up to 6% per annum, significantly higher than your average ISA or bond – and other new lenders such as Fund Ourselves offer as much as 15% per annum.

As a borrower you can choose your level of risk, by potentially investing in people with bad credit to yield the highest returns.

The peer-to-peer lending industry is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and this ensures measures are in place to protect both investors and borrowers – meanwhile investing in something like cryptocurrency comes with no centralised banking system, regulation or any form of protection.


What are the risks?

Your investments through peer-to-peer are not covered by the financial services compensation scheme, meaning that you cannot recover any losses up to £85,000 immediately. There may be some compensation in place if bad advice has been given, but this may not be applicable to each provider.

There are chances that some of your loans are not fully repaid and you could earn less than expected. Certainly if you wish to take out your money early or make a withdrawal, this will lower your expected return.

However, the lender will typically have procedures in place to recover any potential losses, with customer service teams to chase bad debt and provision funds in place.Even in the event of the company going under or into administration, by law, they will take measures to reimburse investors. In the case of Lendy who ceased trading last year, they continue to follow up on any bad or outstanding debts from customers so they can continue to pay back any investors.

 

The Rise in Robo Advisory Services During Covid-19

The coronavirus and its associated pandemic have sent the whole world into a frenzy. It is affecting global economies, stock markets, small and large businesses, and the entire human race negatively. However, it is essential to note that during the pandemic, the robo-advisory industry has experienced a massive surge. While the coronavirus pandemic has closed down many borders, slowed down economies, and beaten down the global markets, it has allowed the robo-advisory industry to prove its worth among the tumultuous times.

The signups for robo-advisory services have surged like never before. The account numbers soared to an all-time high in the first quarter of 2020, with an average rise of 3.1% across all providers and platforms. Individually, Vanguard reported a 14% growth in assets and 35% surge in customer numbers while PensionBee also saw an increase of 14%. AJ Bell Youinvest and Hargreaves Lansdown were not far behind with growth in assets of 13% and 7.4%, respectively.

The reasons for the surge can be many; however, analysts speculate that the sudden rise can be due to the large number of millennials taking advantage of the buying opportunity in the bear market. Such investors have a longer time horizon and have a higher tolerance for economic damage. Amidst the crashing equity markets, the do-it-yourself investors are relying more on the advice of the automated robots than their shaken knowledge and experience.

Benefits of Robo Advisors During the Pandemic

The digital advice or robo-advisory platforms collect financial information from their clients online, analyse the data, offer advice, and invest automatically. They offer several advantages over the traditional modes of investment and advisory.

  • Unaffected by emotions: The most significant benefit of robo advisors is that they are unfazed by emotions. The decisions made by robo-advisory platforms are based on real-time statistics and not short-term occurrences, black swan events, or any biases. Furthermore, the digital advice platforms put together the portfolio of investors based on their investment horizon, risk tolerance, financial goals, and balance sheet. Thus, the impact of illogical behaviour, poor decision making, and spontaneous buy or sell decisions is eliminated, which is critical during the current times of uncertainty.
  • Invest in variable risk profiles and stable companies: Another benefit is that most of the robo-advisory platforms offer products catering to varying risk levels. The investments created in high, medium or low-risk products all depend on the risk appetite of the investors. Also, most of the digital advice platforms invest in blue-chip companies like Apple, GlaxoSmithKline, and HSBC, that are not heavily impacted by the current pandemic.
  • Long-term investment horizon: A noteworthy benefit of robo-advisory during the pandemic is its long-term horizon. Most of the investments made through the digital advisory platforms are for a long duration. It is important to consider that the pandemic has caused temporary downturns in the economy; however, the long-term horizon remains secured. The long-term investments made through robo-advisory platforms will again gain momentum after the pandemic is over. The unnerving news is that the Dow Jones dropped 6.7% in ten days during the pandemic, the S&P 500 lost 8.1%, crude oil hit the negative numbers for the first time in history, and the Nasdaq fell by 12.3%. However, the long-term view offers a ray of hope wherein the Dow Jones remains at a gain of 181% over the last ten years.
  • Re-evaluations: It is necessary to know that the evaluations done by the robo-advisory platforms are not permanent. The portfolios are reevaluated and rebalanced with the changing economic and market conditions. The effect of volatility on the investments is mitigated through tactical interventions by the digital portfolio managers who add the human touch to robo-advisory. Thus, robo-advisory is not completely devoid of a holistic approach and does not entirely depend on numbers.
  • Low Fees: The robo-advisory platforms are also beneficial during the pandemic because of their low-cost fees, usually from 0.25% per year, compared to the conventional stockbrokers and other alternatives. During the times of financial instability and uncertainty, investors prefer to pay low fees and require low opening balances.

According to reports, the robo-advisors with unique strategies, holdings, and asset allocations performed well during the first quarter of 2020. The traditional portfolios suffered a setback and reported negative returns in the same period. For instance, for March 2020, robo Titan Invest generated a positive return of 8.02%, while the S&P 500 was at a negative 13.79% for the same duration.

Thus, the robo-advisory portfolios with more high-quality corporate bonds and Treasury bonds performed better than those holding high-yield and emerging market bonds, and so did the portfolios with a neutral growth/value spectrum. During the pandemic, the robo-advisory portfolios hedged with a short position in the overall equity market performed better, besides the portfolios holding all individual equities that benefitted from tactical trades into the ETFs, shorting the S&P 500.

The portfolios that performed better than others also included socially responsible investing portfolios and the ones with a higher allocation to domestic equities by using total stock market ETFs that favour large-cap technology stocks and other high-flying stocks.

Research and reports show that despite the crashing markets, investors’ appetite remains high. The trading activity remains vigorous across the DIY investment platforms and robo-advisory platforms, and the numbers are expected to grow further into the second quarter of 2020. The robo-advisory industry will hit $1.4 trillion in assets under management in 2020, reporting a 47% gain year-over-year. Financial analysts expect the number to jump to $2.5 trillion by 2023.

The industry has historically gained during any financial crisis and should do the same during the current pandemic and economic crisis. In terms of the number of users, the robo-advisory industry has 70.5 million users, equivalent to the 3.1% gain in the first quarter of 2020, majorly owing to the pandemic. Analysts expect the number of users to grow to 123.5 million by 2022 and 147 million by 2023.The current coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that the robo-advisory industry is also not immune to market volatility. However, the surge in signups, asset under management, and the number of customers indicate the industry will continue to evolve as the future belongs to digital. The market adversity has taught many robo-advisory platforms to learn from their mistakes and apply the lessons in their future. This will only lead to more balanced millennials and more mature and stable robo-advisory platforms in the future.

UK Vape Industry Set To Change?

The vape industry has grown into a massive industry since its introduction and now the global vape market is worth an estimated £15.5bn. The biggest markets are the United Kingdom, United States, France and Germany. It may now be growing at a slightly slower rate than when it first started but the industry is still expected to grow, particularly as specialised vape products become more readily available and with the recent ban of menthol cigarettes. 

Are Vape Shops Becoming Saturated? 

In the UK, whichever high street you decide to visit, you are guaranteed to come across at least one vape shop. Most of the bigger shopping centre owners also now allow vape shops to operate within them. This is great for vapers because they can easily access their vape items and never have to worry about being without them. This has also made it cheaper to vape. As the competition has increased, prices have fallen and a lot of vape shops are now happy to operate with smaller margins. For example, you can now get 100ml e-liquid bottles for as cheap as £5.00 with brands such as Six Licks 50/50 being low price, high quality options. This is a natural process that always occurs when a market becomes saturated and its great for consumers but not necessarily for vape shops and businesses. 

When a market is saturated, business owners operating within it must decide whether to drop their prices or hold their margins. The same applies to vape shops. Although every vape shop will have its own unique expenses, the long term survival of these shops will be determined by if they can sustain high margins whilst maintaining competitive prices. Customers still need to see they are getting good value money. Individual vape shops will never be as busy as the likes of Tesco or Sainsburys. This is what makes margin even more important. They need to take all their costs and expenses into consideration and then apply a margin that covers all them on a quieter day with a bit left over. Vape shops that operate on smaller margins may survive in the shorter term but not in the longer term. 

What’s Next? 

The general high street downturn, the Brexit crisis and the government imposed COVID-19 lock down would have taken a toll on some vape shops, particularity those that solely rely on their B&M shops as a source of revenue. The likelihood now is that you will see some of them close down and cease operations. The shops that have an online presence and that have expanded their operations outside of their shops will more than likely continue to see growth. However, this growth will see bumps and downward pressure at times as the UK economy is about to enter one of the biggest recessions on record. Whilst users of e-cigarettes are addicted to the nicotine within e-liquids, some can and will economise when times get financially tough. 

The Online Retail Vape Market 

It is no secret that the high street in the UK is losing a battle against online retailers. Online retailers have lower fixed costs and people in the UK like the convenience of shopping online. For vape businesses, the online vape market is just as saturated as the shops on the high street. However, the number of people shopping online has increased and you can reach customers nationally and internationally. The same applies to most retail businesses. However, to be successful online, you need to spend thousands to increase your presence and to ensure your website is optimised. This can potentially take years and therefore it’s not as easy as it appears. There is far more to it than just simply packing parcels and dispatching them. 

Conclusion Just like every other industry, the vape market is following the natural trends and processes that most other retail industries follow. The likelihood going forward is that you’ll see the overall industry grow in the UK with fewer of the shops around as the market attempts to level itself out. However, fewer shops doesn’t necessarily mean it will be any less convenient for vapers. They may find one vape shop on a high street rather than two or three with another one within 2-3 miles.   

Business Security at its Best

Based in Hampshire, Dacha Security Solutions Ltd are a leading provider of security systems to the leisure and commercial industries across the UK. Following on from their success in the Corporate Excellence Awards 2020, we got in touch with Tim Edmonds to find out more.

As a family-run business, Dacha Security Solutions Ltd have been offering bespoke security systems and ‘off the shelf’ solutions to suit the requirements of their clients since 2009. To start, Tim offers more insight into the firm’s specialisms and its existing client base.

“The team at Dacha are specialists in protecting and enhancing our customers businesses and operations. As recognised experts in the installation and maintenance of CCTV, access control, visitor

management, meeting room management, car park management and intruder systems, we are well equipped to handle most things that are thrown at us. In addition, with our innovative approach to integration and linking these systems alongside other BIM systems, we are able to give customers useful data and information at their fingertips.”

“Traditionally, we have worked within the leisure sector, but the last few years has seen us take a chunk of the logistics and public sectors as well. Our approach to new business is driven by our leadership team, who are fastidious about looking in to serving a new industry. Collectively, we need to know and understand the companies, their challenges and their opportunities to be able to offer them our unique service. Only when we are confident in our knowledge in that sector can we even think about approaching clients.”

Since forming in 2009, Dacha’s approach to their clients has always been to treat each one individually, assessing what kind of security system they would gain most from. Tim added “While some companies can get stuck in a rut pushing out the same system time and time again, we understand that each one of our customers has a completely different set of threats and opportunities and by taking these into account, we can help them drive their businesses forward. It is truly our passion and innovation that makes us stand clear of others.”

Although the firm have endured success delivering security systems to their clients, in the early days this wasn’t the case across Europe, particularly in relation to the leisure sector as Tim goes on to explain. “The firm’s biggest challenge is one that has shaped the way we approach new business. Our unique and vast knowledge of the leisure industry meant we were the experts in Europe for a reason. However, this was a challenge to our growth plans as we felt it would be difficult to replicate how we work with our customers in other industries. The decision was made to focus our efforts on a single new vertical at a time and to really learn it before we took on new customers. How we have overcome this challenge has certainly helped define our growth strategy.”

As a business, Dacha aim to deliver a quality service to their customers, with every member of staff collaborating to achieve one goal. As Tim goes on to explain, by going that extra mile, the firm deliver what they have promised “We’re a team of self-starting, mission-driven individuals with a passion for purposeful innovation and going that extra mile. Throughout the team, we are lucky to have an over-riding principle that we all believe in – which is to deliver quality unrivalled service at a fair price for our customers.”

Like many others, the staff at Dacha have an integral role to play in the success of the business and as Tim points out without their staff’s contributions, they wouldn’t be the renowned firm they are today in the security industry. “Our staff are key to every decision we make, every job we do and every customer interaction we have. In addition, keeping our staff well trained and happy is further integral to achieving Dacha’s goal, and something we continually do and strive to improve upon.”

In regard to recruitment, staff retention is clearly something the firm feel quite strongly about and as Tim goes on to explain, a candidate’s career aspirations must be considered prior to offering any kind of position. “We take a leading approach to growing our team. Rather than looking at a candidate and just their experience we try to get to understand the individual who wants to become a part of our journey. As a firm we place a heavy emphasis on career development, so we need to be the right fit for them and vice versa.”

Finally, Tim commented on the future of the firm and the plans that are in place for the coming year and beyond. “Going forward, whilst we have been great at delivering our solutions and services, we haven’t been great at shouting about it. With a recent restructure we have a new sales strategy with a clear message about what we do and why, to bring new customers into our excellent fold. As we continue to grow rapidly, we will be on the lookout for innovators and disruptors to join us on our journey!”

Company Name: Dacha Security Solutions Ltd

Contact Name: Tim Edmonds

Telephone Number: 0333 344 5526

Address: 6 Pedlars Walk, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 1EZ

Web Address: www.dacha-uk.com

Finding New Solutions

A market leader in deep and dark web cyber threat intelligence, Sixgill helps Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, governments and law enforcement agencies to address a wide range of cybersecurity challenges. Recently recognized by Corporate Vision as 2020’s Best Automated CTI Platform Provider, we profiled the company to discover more about the award-winning firm.

Since their inception, Sixgill has been providing one of the broadest coverages of exclusive-access deep and dark web sources, as well as relevant surface web sources by using an agile and automatic collection methodology. The firm was originally founded with the objective of automating the threat intelligence cycle in order to help prevent cyberattacks or mitigate their damage, whilst significantly reducing the time analysts and investigators spend in trying to decipher and protect against these attacks. Today, these objectives Sixgill was founded on are still relevant to the firm.

Based in both Israel and the United States, Sixgill utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production cycle of cyber intelligence, focusing specifically on any relevant threats operating in underground sources. Additionally, the firm’s cyber threat solution focuses more on the organization’s intelligence needs, helping them to mitigate risk.

Working primarily with large financial organizations, such as banks and insurance companies, Sixgill also works alongside MSSPs who service smaller companies. The majority of the larger financial organizations have been the early adapters, and are well equipped with threat intelligence analysts for whom the Sixgill platform is designed.

Offering both the platform itself, which is tailored for the needs of analysts and investigators, Sixgill also provides actionable alerts that have been geared for a second tier of analysts that are more interested in having the intelligence provided to them in terms of alerts from which they can decide to investigate further if required.

Working within an industry which is always growing and developing due to advancements in technology is a constant challenge every company within the sector faces. For instance, threat intelligence is a subset of cybersecurity, but one that is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. As for how Sixgill overcomes these changes whilst remaining ahead of the competition, is by focusing on threat intelligence that is emanating from exclusive dark and deep web sources and in that regard, has the most robust and comprehensive coverage of dark web sources.

In addition to this, the talented team at Sixgill also uniquely analyzes the dark web as a social network and provides a threat intelligence picture based on the activities and connections of the threat actors. If this wasn’t enough to stand out amongst their competitors, Sixgill is also one of the only companies to collect and analyze images that are being posted on these exclusive sites.

As a growing company with 35 individuals employed, each team member at Sixgill is a major player in the success of the business. Whilst there is a corporate hierarchy, everyone has access to everyone, including the CEO, all voices are heard and ideas and initiative are promoted.

As for what the rest of 2020 holds for the firm, Sixgill is a expanding company with plans in the pipeline to grow later this year. The company just completed its second round of funding of $15 million. Currently, the firm are in recruiting mode – aiming to attract the very best talent in the industry to join the dynamic business and be part of something truly unique.

Although the majority of Sixgill’s employees are based at the firm’s Israeli headquarters, the company does have a growing office in the United States. Which is why, growing forward, the plans are to continue to growing their team in all of their offices and to expand on their offerings. Ultimately, Sixgill continues to stand out in terms of being recognized as a leader in the industry – something they will continue to build upon in the years to come.

Contact: Laurie Ben-Haim

Address: Derech Menachem Begin 132, Azrieli Tower, Triangle Building, 42nd Floor, Tel Aviv, 6701101 , Israel

Telephone: +972527831911

Web Address: www.cybersixgill.com

Old Grazing Systems Put Out to Pasture

Founded by Ollie Roberts, a dairy farmer by trade, Pasture.io is a pasture management platform designed to allow fellow farmers within the Australian dairy industry a place to fully utilise their pasture measuring data for making the best grazing decisions. Following their recent success in Corporate Vision’s 2020 Corporate Excellence Awards, we profiled the unique platform to discover more about one of the most innovative pasture management solutions.

There is a huge lost opportunity in livestock grazing systems due to farmers making decisions of where to graze their livestock without known information. Pasture.io is a revolutionary platform which provides this information automatically using satellites and local weather information. By using this, farmers can best manage their pastures and do a better job in looking after their animals. Being able to fully utilise the data that the farmers have at their disposal means that they are able to increase their productivity and profitability.

Pasture’s values haven’t changed since they were established. They hold strong principles in their goals of doing business. Ultimately, they want their customers to succeed and this is  driven by their personal connections to the land and their broader quest in feeding the world in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.

Pasture’s successes are down to the pragmatic and fun way they tackle the issues that their customers deal with daily. They are also very experienced in dealing with these issues first-hand. The problem of pasture management first arose on their Founder and CEO’s own family dairy farm. They use these direct experiences in order to know exactly what their customers want and how to approach any issues that they encounter.

Their client base is predominantly made up of farmers with livestock that graze pasture. They also have broader distribution channels which are up of consultants, service providers, and large corporate farming entities. In 2014, the company has able to increase their customer base by converting their program into a web- based one, and four years later were able

to further widen their net by being able to overcome the limitations of satellite imagery. This meant that they were able to deliver their results automatically.

Employees at Pasture.io all remotely and rarely see each other face to face. This has proven to be a successful model for the business as it allows them the freedom to work autonomously, take responsibility, use initiative and to find a good work-life balance. Their company culture is relaxed and fun and this leads to everybody getting stuck in to any unexpected or urgent problems arise. Pasture.io take great pride in the way they approach their work and challenge themselves. Throughout the years, Pasture.io have been able to foster a free and empathetic workplace culture, which has been crucial in the success of the company.

Each staff member plays a significant role in the success of the company. Mostly, the roles consist of customer success and a long-term focus on developing and fostering strategic relationships. There is a lot of overlap between many of the different divisions of the company. This is a very positive thing because it enables everyone to develop an understanding of what every aspect of the business does. As the business continues to grow, this understanding helps the staff to prioritise their tasks.

Currently, Pasture.io does a lot of outsourcing. By doing things this way, the business can headhunt the best people who they fit with and importantly it gives new recruits the opportunity to fit work out if they fit with them. They source recruitments worldwide, and in essence, they believe this is how they can scale their workforce with highly skilled, capable and friendly people.

The market that Pasture’s target audience operates in has had a very tough time of late. However, the silver lining of this is that they can use Pasture.io’s services for a multiple of 40 on their return on investment with them. The tough side for Pasture.io is that cost-cutting measures can sometimes be pushed harder than profit drivers in tight terms. Recently however, the tide has started to turn. The price of goods is up and the customer base is optimistic for the future.

Pasture.io have some big developments that they have coming up. One of these is the release of a Version 2.0 service. They are saying goodbye to their legacy problem and are moving on to the most advanced user experience in the field for their services.

Contact: Ollie Roberts

Company: Pasture.io Pty Ltd

Web Address: https://pasture.io

Brilliance in Hotel Booking

Organising corporate travel is no easy task, requiring the highest quality, often at short notice. Bringing a clarity to complex systems, ehotel AG has been a pioneer when it comes to keeping business travellers on track. It’s no surprise that this hardworking team has won the award for Germany’s Best Hotel Booking Platform for Business Travellers – 2020 in this year’s Corporate Excellence awards. We take a closer look in this month’s issue of Corporate Vision to find out more.

For the last nineteen years, ehotel has been a one-stop-shop for all business travellers. Directly targeted at corporate users, it’s no surprise that they have become increasingly adept at handling the varied and specific requests that these travellers make of their bookers. Their continued success, however, demonstrates clearly how the  approach that the team has taken is paying off.

At the heart of ehotel is something more potent than its rivals. Not   content with targeting the business user, the team make use of sophisticated meta search technology in order to deliver the widest range of accommodation possible, combined with impressive rates. There are almost seven million offers available on the site, with six hundred reservation systems, processed and presented through ehotel in a clear and understandable way. Finding a service that is able to present this much information with such ease is truly exceptional and the reason why using ehotel is not just a sure-fire way to discover a great night’s sleep, but it’s a way in which costs can be reduced and employee satisfaction increased.

The company’s commitment to innovation does not end there, with the proprietary central payment and billing solution making the challenges of invoicing easy. All the systems at ehotel are designed to work together, meaning that the best rates, manage payment and correct VAT invoicing can all be found in one place. Needless to say, the automation    of this process has delighted accounts teams across the world, saving them time and improving the adoption rate of company internal booking procedures and travel policy.

Of course, the perpetual challenge for business users is that of VAT – ehotel has worked tirelessly to improve and integrate the problems of reclaiming this into its billing solution. Currently,  corporate  customers are able to get an invoice with separate VAT in 22 European countries, and this can be reclaimed by ehotel on behalf of their clients. The next phase of this project will see the same principles being applied to the USA, with plans already afoot for this endeavour.

Hotels are able to feel the benefit of ehotel’s exciting approach to the industry. For those accommodations looking to secure additional sales and a higher occupancy rate, ehotel is well equipped to recommend and put in place systems that will keep business travellers coming back for more.

ehotel also find ways in which these hotels can better serve the needs of business travellers. This is just another way in which the travellers and the hotel are able to benefit from the considerable experience that ehotel has to offer. A reduced ehotel corporate rate allows hotels to access flexible booking conditions, as well as free extra services. Making use of all of the opportunities that ehotel presents couldn’t be simpler,  with independent hotels having direct and easy access to its ehotel extranet, thus enabling them to control their own data and availability. For those organisations that boast a GDS connection such as DHISCO, Pegasus UltraDirect or Amadeus, it is incredibly easy to make a property visible on ehotel at the touch of a button.

Serving the business traveller means that the team at ehotel must find and uphold the highest data security standards possible. The team has adapted quickly to ensure that each of their clients is not only safe and comfortable, but feels it too. This process has been the same since the beginning of the company, when ehotel  used  traditional  methods to communicate with customers and hotels. Nowadays, the business boasts a unique and certified security mechanism, PCI-DSS certification in order to guarantee the ultimate in data security. Trust has always been paramount to the success of ehotel, and the team has worked hard to ensure that it continues to have an impressive level of goodwill.

At the heart of the ehotel model is the ability to provide hotel bookings and related services in its totality for business customers, and this comes right back to the formidable amount of experience that its talented team possesses. The once-innovative WAP technology of 2000 saw the beginning of the company, transforming into the business’s integrated payment and settlement solution in 2006. Constantly looking forward to the next big development is just one of the factors that has guided the company into new and exciting territory. This continual drive is how the business has been not only able to innovate, but to grow into the world’s largest hotel content holder. The corporate culture encourages the innovative and entrepreneurial activities of its employees, which benefits the company and its users in equal measure.

For those who work at ehotel, the importance of an entrepreneurial attitude has given the company an impressive amount of flexibility in the way that it operates. There are always opportunities available for those who have ideas that can be implemented to the betterment of the company. New innovations and suggestions from the team are treated with equal importance, assessed by risk management and ultimately all will play a part in influencing the decision-making process. Success can be found when a new project is positively introduced.

Currently, ehotel has its eyes on the future, with its growth causing constant work to ensure that its systems are operating at peak efficiency. The need to close the last system gaps for companies in travel booking in order to offer a complete digital cycle has become ever more pressing and is a priority for the coming months. Similarly, the team has generated exciting plans that will ehotel take its place as an aggregator in hotel distribution. This will create considerable savings potential for companies who use the new ehotel digital processes, especially when it comes to travel expense accounting and hotel services.

In all, it’s no surprise that the team at ehotel have managed to achieve great things. The commitment to entrepreneurial innovation is to their credit and has allowed them to advance swiftly in changing times. Secure, safe and carefully targeted at the business traveller who wants something done easily, swiftly and effectively, the reasons behind ehotel’s success are clear. This award is just another amazing achievement for an amazing company.

Contact: Christoph Metz

Website: www.ehotelag.com

First Class Supply Chain

Supply chain specialist, Titan Solutions, structures and delivers bespoke programmes that are tailored to clients’ specific needs. We speak to Director of Services, Julian Carroll, in the wake of the company being awarded the prestigious accolade of Ireland’s Most Innovative Supply Chain Technology Firm – 2020.

Originally established as a single point of contact between shipping providers and businesses, Titan Solutions’ dedicated network of partners not only ensures that clients’ supply chain solutions that are structured and organised, but it has also evolved to include programmes and technologies to unite the entire supply chain from start to finish. Julian tells us more.

“We work with clients all around the world to provide simple solutions to complex supply chain issues and equip their businesses with the processes they need for future growth,” he begins.

“With our deep industry knowledge and operations expertise we provide targeted outsourced programmes that pinpoint and correct supply chain weaknesses, thus releasing trapped business value through better margins, reduced capital and improved service performance.

“At Titan Solutions, we serve a wide range of customers spanning hi-technology, medical devices, retail and industrial sectors with consulting and managed outsourced programs. We employ consultative engagement whereby we educate our customers in supply chain performance measurement, analysis and improvement relative to their industry peers, before identifying performance gaps for Titan improvement programs. In addition to this, we target all areas of supply chain that contribute to free cash flow and business value.”

Julian describes the company’s ethos and what it strives to offer its clients to ensure customer satisfaction each and every time.

“Our value proposition is that we leverage our deep industry and supply chain expertise, as well as innovative technology and partners to improve customers supply chains and deliver company-wide value.

“Our mission is to elevate customer supply chain performance to the upper quartile of their industry peers, delivering tangible business value in the process for customers and Titan stakeholders.

“Our key values are our honesty and professionalism along with our uncompromising focus on customer service.”

Industry statistics continue to highlight the widening gap between those leading companies that excel at supply chain management and the laggards, those companies that are under performing their industry peers on a number of critical performance measures. Titan analysts are available without obligation to help decipher the numbers and plot a route to improved supply chain performance. Julian touches on just what sets the firm apart from competitors in the same industry space.

“We employ cutting edge technology platforms to transform how customers operate their supply chains today. The way we connect these various technology platform ensure complete end to end system connectivity from store front to last mile delivery, and returns and support manufacturing and distribution services, including e-commerce.

“Our technology platforms include: Titan Design (Network Design and Optimisation); Titan Inventory (Inventory Optimisation); Titan Transport (connected multi-carrier TMS ecosystem); Titan Warehouse (scalable cloud-based WMS); and Titan Analytics (integrated BI analytical functionality).

“Depending upon the particular requirements of our customer, these platforms may be employed separately or as an integrated solution set providing complete end to end supply chain visibility and control.”

It’s not all about the technology, however, and Julian is quick to sing the praises of the dedicated and hard-working staff members who serve Titan Solutions.

“We recognise and value the contribution of our staff and ensure they share in the continuing success of our business through competitive and flexible employment contracts, work life balance, and progressive reward systems. In addition we are mindful of issues that are important to our employees, their local communities and our customers and actively promote environmentally friendly supply chain practices at every opportunity.

“Ours is a ‘can do’ culture employing professional well educated multidisciplinary teams that know and understand how to plan customer engagements and deliver change. We continue to draw seasoned professionals to us with the lure of our exciting customer programs, fantastic technology and career development and support programs.

“Like everyone else we recognise the importance of recruitment to our continuing business success. As we continue to gain international brand recognition, we are seeing considerable interest in our company as reflected in the volumes of traffic to our web site and on LinkedIn. Also, we employ recruitment companies to assist on an ongoing basis.”

With the current COVID-19 outbreak taking its toll on a number of business and professions, the pandemic illustrates the essential role of supply chain. During this time of great stress and uncertainty, innovators, such as Titan, facilitate the flow of essential medical, food and other essential supplies, despite the unprecedented logistical challenges posed by the virus and efforts to contain its spread.

With regards to the future, Julian foresees challenges along the way, ultimately culminating in continued success. He concludes:

“While there is great excitement about the technologies coming our way, there are still some time off from broad based industry application. Meanwhile, there are ample opportunities to help customers reduce costs, reduce inventory levels, scale foot prints to match their revenue profiles and of course address the continuing problem of too much inventory. Our technology platforms play a crucial role here with attractive paybacks and the means to take advantage of the digital supply chain into the future.

“Our immediate focus right now is our continuing roll-out of integrated BI Analytics which is completely revolutionizing how we communicate supply chain and business performance to our customers. Our integrated analytics, coupled with end to end supply chain visibility and control tower support has propelled us to our top supply chain innovation ranking.”

Contact Details

Company: Titan Solutions

Web Address: www.titansolutions.ie

Supply Chain Technology at its Best

In a rapidly globalised world, the importance of supply chains has become increasing obvious. Ensuring that perishable goods and time sensitive freights get to their destinations is imperative. Offering a solution to these logistical challenges are the team at MPO, the world’s only natively unified cloud platform for multi-party supply chain orchestration. Having earned the title of Most Influential Leader in Supply Chain Technology 2020 – USA in Corporate Vision’s Corporate Excellence Awards, we look more closely at the company to find out more.

Founded by Martin Verwijmeren and Paul Van Dongen, MPO started with a strong background in the supply chain industry. Both men had worked for impressive qualifications; Martin has a PhD in Distributed Systems for Integral Inventory Management and Paul holds a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Science and specializes in system architecture and software design.

The simple aim of MPO (a SaaS platform for Supply Chain Orchestration) was to allow businesses to better manage the needs of modern industry pressures and challenges, but the result has grown into a phenomenon all its own. Hundreds of manufacturers, distributors, retailers and logistics service providers now leverage this SaaS platform to offer their global customers greater service options, faster delivery, reliable performance, and lower costs.

With the rapid growth of the internet, Martin and Paul quickly realized the market landscape and supply chain were undergoing significant changes. As businesses expanded their markets internationally to meet growing customer demands, they also began outsourcing specialized services like manufacturing, distribution, and logistics. To stay competitive, businesses were forced to produce high-quality, diverse products at a lower cost and with faster and more delivery options. The technology of the time was far too rigid to meet these customer demands profitably, so businesses often had to choose between better customer service and lower operational costs.

The answer, as Martin and Paul saw it, was in the cloud. MPO is a cloud- based SaaS platform and an innovative technology that gives businesses the tools they need to rise to the challenge, and better manage their global multi-enterprise business networks. Instead of having to compromise on either customer service or operational costs, the MPO platform allows businesses to have it both ways and consistently deliver on the perfect order.

MPO has since become the backbone of support to some of the world’s leading brands. The platform empowers businesses to innovate and consistently deliver an outstanding customer experience, while maximizing operational excellence. It manages this effortlessly, with a focus on flexibility of operation and an infinitely configurable approach. There are no practical volume limits, which opens many opportunities for business development.

What the platform also offers is its own unique array of capabilities. Multi-Level Order Management, Multi-Leg Transportation Management, and Multi-Tier Inventory Management are just some of the options available to clients using the software. One of the more impressive features is the ability of MPO to optimize every customer order through   any stage of its lifecycle – from sourcing to fulfilment. Working under the title of “Customer Chain Control” this real-time, continuous optimization is based on each customer’s exact requirements, meaning that every customer order effectively gets its own “Micro Supply Chain”. This way, businesses can dynamically control costs and service level execution with unmatched precision and granularity.

Another area in which MPO excels is in its ability to provide supply chain visibility and control into all flows – inbound, outbound, reverse, and aftermarket – all on a single cloud platform. In short, this means
that businesses are able to more clearly see contextual insight into how decisions affect one another within the greater supply chain and allows them to be more strategic as a result.

Many businesses have begun to digitize. But ERPs and WMSs only offer partial supply chain visibility and do not allow businesses to master supply chain orchestration. The problem with this approach is that these efforts tend to lack the data model, dynamic business rules, and systems integration necessary for end-to-end visibility, collaboration, and optimization – the three essential components for multi-party supply chain orchestration.

The ability to provide such wide-ranging capabilities is one of MPO’s greatest strengths the platform’s ability to provide support with a Digital Control Tower and Supply Chain Visibility for multi-enterprise
networks, as well as order management, transportation management, reverse logistics and spare parts management all in one equation 
is what really sets this solution apart, elevating it to the next
level. The MPO platform remains the only one of its kind to use smart business rules and algorithms to process such broad considerations and constraints on a single platform. The platform also acts instantly, in the moment, and upon the latest network data.

In one of the most complex, demanding times the world has ever known, MPO ensures its customers remain competitive, innovative, and able to take advantage of any opportunity. MPO’s platform retains enough flexibility to optimize complex flows at every stage of fulfilment, under any condition. Leveraging the MPO platform, customers with complex, global supply chains have improved customer service, reduced costs, and achieved faster and more efficient supply chains.

Far from being merely a background function, the importance of supply chain management plays a pivotal role in defining the customer experience. It’s a consideration often ignored, but an opportunity not to be missed by businesses. Instead of focusing on the challenges, the team at MPO have created ways to work with the huge potential offered by globalization and networking. It’s a move that will not only benefit the customer, but the consumer and businesses as well. It’s this forward thinking that has ensured MPO has become an incredible success.

 

Company: MPO

Contact email: [email protected]

Website: www.mpo.com