Prof. Jon Fairburn

About Prof. Jon Fairburn

Professor of Sustainable Development. EU projects have been funded under INTERREG, GRUNDTVIG, FP7, ERASMUS, TRANSVERSALS

New project: Adoption of Sustainable Accounting Practices for Reporting

A new project to help small and medium business report on their sustainability has just started.  The overall aim of the project is to provide the necessary training and tools for SMEs to adopt sustainable accounting and reporting practices in a cost-effective way.

The project is led by Dr Souad Moufty of the Business School and is funded under the EU ERASMUS Plus Strategic Partnership Programme. Dr Aisha Abuelmaati and Prof Jon Fairburn will also be working on the project.

The project will first carry out a needs analysis in the six partner countries to establish a knowledge gap framework. This consultation will launch early in 2018.

The partnership will then produce a training course, and online training tool and a trainers guide. These will be supported both by the ECVET skills framework and by an achievements recognition framework.

Project Lead

Dr Souad Moufty e: souad.moufty@staffs.ac.uk

Tel + 44 1782 294257

Partners

Staffordshire University, Business School –

Business School PAR, Croatia 

CIVIC Computing, Scotland

Eurocrea Merchant , Italy 

FGUGREM, Spain  

Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bulgaria

AKNOW, Greece

Adoption of Sustainable Accounting Practices for Reporting -Report Asap

Funded under #ERASMUS PLUS and will run until Sept 2019.

If the X is positive integer – how much should a new IPhone cost?

by Dr Andras Kenez

Several sites reported that Apple use different pricing for its different markets. While the US customers can get the new phone from $999 (£740), the UK prices starts from £999 ($1349). The new X costs only £754 in Japan, £813 in Hong Kong, £952 in China, but the customers in some countries pay even more than in the UK: it is £1027 in France, £1044 in Italy. The most expensive is Hungary with its £1073 price tag: it is cheaper to book a round trip flight to NY and pick up your new phone on your travels.

This difference in the final price is coming from the difference level of consumption taxes (VAT) mostly. The standard rate of VAT is 20% in the UK, 22% in Italy, 25% in Denmark and Sweden and world record 27% in Hungary. Some countries also have other taxes in the final price – therefore up to 25% of the price we pay will directly go to the exchequer of the country. The US prices are exclusive of sales taxes, which vary state-by-state (from 0% in Delaware to 7.25% in California). Without the taxes European prices would be about the same – around £830.

But this is still £90 more than in the US – why? The answer is the foreign exchange rates and channel distribution costs. The higher amount is the price of the exchange risk. Apple is not just calculating the Sterling (Euro etc.) cost of the product, because this value can change due to the changes in currency exchange rates. The stronger the dollar, the less Apple gets for the same price in Pounds (Euros). To avoid this risk, they must build in a buffer to the price against the exchange rate risks – otherwise they would have to amend the retail prices day by day.

Channel distribution costs means the costs of the logistics, all the costs of doing business in the country and the costs of transferring the money from an international market.

Apple Iphone Iphone X Technology Cell Phone

Apple Iphone X Technology Cell Phone

There is also a strategic element in pricing: they ask more here because they can. Companies want to maximise their profit, therefore the final price is not just a calculation of the costs. It is not just Apple – many tech companies ask more for their services in the UK from Amazon to Netflix, and the market verifies their pricing.

After explaining the difference between the prices worldwide, let’s take a look to the price itself. What is behind the $999 (£740)?

The retailers margin is also included in the price. When selling Apple products, resellers’ margin is lower than 10%, some estimate it to be 3-5% in case of the IPhones. Though some products have 40-70% margin, Apple have a pretty good bargaining power when we talk about IPhones. Do not expect price discounts from retailers.

Even if we calculate with 10%, it means that £666,  remains for Apple. Based on the previous financial reports of the company, the production costs less than a third of the phone’s price, while the profit rate is around 40%. It means that the production costs (processor, memory, touchscreen, sensors, cameras, battery, packaging and production) is around £222, the other costs (marketing, research and development, logistics, licences, software) is around £178, and profit of Apple is £266.

Could it be cheaper?

First, this is a strategic decision to keep the prices high. It is positioning: Apple price their products higher than their competition to create a so called perceived value. They want to express their exclusiveness and superior quality in the price. It differentiates the product: a meaningful difference that helps consumers justify spending more. Higher prices mean status and helps control the demand. This brand is not for everyone. You should feel the price.

And customers also pay the price premium for the brand. Customers values the quality, the credibility, the innovation, the social responsibility – and willing to pay for it. Brands can burnish the buyer’s reputation, increase confidence, and can form communities based on the attachment to a product. To build a strong brand is expensive – therefore you can see this not just in the profit rate but also in the marketing costs. So, no, I am afraid it could not be cheaper.

And why is it £999? The 99 ending is psychological pricing: the perception of the customers is different if they see the 9s at the end of the price. It creates the illusion that the phone is cheaper than it really is.

 

Sources: Apple, European Commission, Telegraph, Quora, Guardian, CNN, Business Insider, Digital Trends

Graduating with an award and a digital marketing business

By Andrew Dobson

My MSc in Digital Marketing Management at Staffordshire University includes the module ‘Managing a Digital Marketing Project’. This normally involves working with a company to create and implement a digital marketing strategy. I asked to take a different approach to the project and decided to create my own digital marketing agency: Track Digital Marketing. This, I reasoned, would allow me to develop my marketing and web design skills and gain an income by working with small businesses in Staffordshire.

Although I had not previously studied marketing, I felt optimistic that the skills I learned on the course and my previous experience in teaching English would provide me with the background needed to excel at digital marketing. However, the business management side of the project was something that I found more daunting.

Fortunately, Be Inspired at Staffordshire University offered business support in the way of training, a business grant and a mentor. I’ll be honest, when interviewed for the scheme I was sceptical about how much help they would actually provide (apart from the business grant). However, the combination of business training from Be Inspired, project management assistance from Professor Jon Fairburn, and business startup and digital marketing advice from my mentor Matt Clayton (owner of Build A UK Business) has been hugely beneficial.

After the initial setup of Track Digital Marketing I was ready for small businesses to queue up and bombard my email address with pleads for me to help them market themselves online. However, it only just occurred to me that my competition was vastly experienced at online marketing and probably had teams of experts in every digital marketing field. Whilst my knowledge and practical experience gleaned from the course made me an all-round professional marketer, I could not compete with huge established companies for the top Google searches. This left me with targeting a particular niche (small businesses in Staffordshire) and old-fashioned networking.

Luckily, I found that business owners (now including myself) love nothing more than telling everyone within a half-mile radius about their business. This is how Brereton Timber and I found each other: a good ol’ chin wag over a garden fence. To be more specific, a fence panel supplied and fitted by Edward Taylor from Brereton Timber.

A happy customer

A happy customer

Edward and business partner Craig Wardle had an expanding fence supplying and fitting business –  amongst a variety of other services. However, their old website did not reflect their current success, and their marketing consisted mainly of a 13ft wooden bear with ‘Brereton Timber’ plastered on it.

After discussing Craig and Edward’s digital marketing options and painstakingly explaining ‘long-tail keywords’, we agreed to complete the following:

  • An internal digital marketing and website audit.
  • Competitive research into the marketing activities of their main competitors, both regional and national.
  • Customer research and marketing preferences.
  • A comprehensive search engine and mobile optimised e-commerce website.
  • Keyword research and content marketing to bring customers in and guide them towards sales.

Although we are still in the process of designing the website and creating content, since we started working Brereton Timber’s online sales for July are higher than the rest of the year combined. The new website has a professional image befitting their professional work, has improved search engine rankings, and perhaps most importantly is customer-friendly.

Craig and Edward have expressed their gratitude in their own way (by promising me a free Christmas Tree in December) and had this to say: “Honestly, we can’t believe the change Track Digital Marketing has made to our business. Customers are always saying how good the website looks and we know that Andy is available anytime we have a query or want to change something on our website.” Despite their online success, Brereton Timber refuses to capture the Brereton Bear who continues to terrorise locals on the A50 between Holmes Chapel and Brereton.

Andrew Dobson

Business School accounts on twitter

Main School accounts

Business School @BusinessStaffs several staff and students have access to this account, the main users are Prof Jon Fairburn and Angela Lawrence. Ranked No 1 by Edurank for Business Schools

Tourism and Events – @tourismsu Prof Jon Fairburn and students

Management Team

Dr Peter Jones @pgwjones_dr Dean and ‘selfie king’

Rachel Gowers @rggowers   Associate Dean Recruitment and e-sports

Alison Maguire @AMAG45   Head of Department- Accounting, Finance and Economics

Dr Vish  Maheshwari @DrVish_M Head of Business, Management and Marketing

Academics

Tony Bickley – @tonybickley    Accounting  and #parlez-vous digital

Prof Rune By @Prof_RuneTBy Organisational Behaviour & Change Leadership

Isabel Clarke @theisabelclarke Events management

Dr Nurdilek Dalziel @NurdilekDalziel Digital marketing

Paul Dobson @PaulDobsonuk Digital marketing, entrepreneurship, SMEs, social enterprises

Dr Jana Fiserova @DrJanaFiserova Economics, DBA and European partnerships

Dr Andy Hanks @ajhanks_dr  HRM, CIPD, trade unions

Dr Andy Hirst @AndyHirst1956 International Business, Supply Chain Management, Risk Mgt Project Mgt, Strategy and Leadership

Dr Mehtap Hisarciklilar @MHisarciklilar  Economics, PhD enquiries

Dr John Hudson @brucie_rooster  Employee well being

Dr Andras Kenez @Andras_Kenez  Marketing

Angela Lawrence @IteroAnge  Apprenticeships and marketing

Dr Tolu Olarewaju @ToluOlarewaju Economics

Karl McCormack –  @KMcCormackSU Accounting

Bharati Singh @BharatiCSingh Strategy and banking

Carol Southall @cdesouthall  Tourism and Events Management

Hazel Squires – @HazelSquire Under-graduate Business Management Award Leader, Small Business Charter and Silverworkers project

Mark Wordley @markwordleyUK Accounting and finance, work placements and SMEs

Courses

MSc Digital Marketing Management  @MScDigStaffs

Projects

EU project @Silverworkers 

EU project  EUFORIA @XKeuforia

Webinar: Practical Training For Sustainable Tourism: Hints and Tips – SMARTOUR

21th Sept Tuesday, 2:00 pm (GMT)

Registration form:
http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=ED51D782834839 

The 2017 International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development is a call for action for all the stakeholders of the tourism value chain.

The “Practical Training for Sustainable Tourism” webinar will provide practical knowledge and tools to implement sustainable actions at business level and will support professionals and SMEs in defining a sustainable operational model.

The webinar will introduce 10 training modules that the SMARTOUR Project has designed  on key sustainable topics: Accessibility, Sustainable Supply Chains, Sustainable Food and drink tourism, Social media and marketing, Seasonality, Quality, Training, EU Quality Principles, Energy Controls, Interpreting Energy Bills, Indoor Air Quality.

A particular focus will be given to the module: Sustainable Food and drink tourism.

We suggest to register to the SMARTOUR platform before attending the webinar: smartour.dcnet.eu  

Duration: 40 min presentation, 20 min debate

Speaker: Jon Fairburn, Professor of Sustainable Development, Staffordshire University Business School

Facilitator: Silvia Barbone, Sustainable Tourism International Expert and PM4SD Author

Registration form:
http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=ED51D782834839    

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page -Sustainable Tourism in Europe https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject 

SMARTOUR logo

Free online training tourism tool now available – SMARTOUR

Thinking about going into the tourism industry ? Or maybe you work there already but have never had training?

We have a free online tool to help you develop. It was developed by and with the tourism industry – here is the list of topics available:

  • Accessibility – what is the scope and potential of this growing market for those with access needs?
  • Sustainable Supply Chains – what are the actions needed to get the most from your local supply chain?
  • Sustainable Food and drink tourism – how important is food and drink for the tourist offer? and what simple low cost actions can you take
  • Social media and marketing – developing your markets and guidance on social media
  • Seasonality – developing a plan for seasonality
  • Quality – what is service quality and how does it link to the visitor experience?
  • Training – planning and thinking about training for staff
  • EU Quality Principles – a simple and practical guide to EU Quality principles
  • Energy Controls – why you need to control energy
  • Interpreting Energy Bills – looking at energy bills and saving money
  • Indoor Air Quality – what affects customer comfort in rooms?

Each unit last between 30 mins and 1 hour – a simple test is available at the end of each module.

The tool can be found here smartour.dcnet.eu

and here is some guidance on the registration process to get started. Fill this out correctly and the tool will generate a certificate you can print out (depending on your results).

SMARTOUR Online Training Tool ppt 

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page -Sustainable Tourism in Europe https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject 

SMARTOUR logo

19 great events for Autumn 2017

There’s always lots going on in the region, music, comedy, food and drink festivals. Here’s my personal pick

September

October

November

December

Keep up to date with events by following our twitter feed @tourismsu

You might like our guide to Key visitor information and recommended markets

Details of our Tourism and Events courses are here 

jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk  01782 294094

 

Key visitor information and recommended markets

If you are studying or living in Stoke on Trent  here are the key information sources for whats on and where to visit

Our twitter feed for all things tourism and events @tourismsu 

Visit Stoke and on twitter @VisitStoke

Visit Newcastle under Lyme on twitter @NewcastleTC they also have an app

Enjoy Staffordshire on twitter @EnjoyStaffs

Visit Peak District on twitter @Visit Peak District and has an app available

Visit Cheshire on twitter @Visit Cheshire 

There’s lots of farmers and artisan markets in the region – here’s four of the best

Stone – first Saturday of every month – very popular and great food, plus great places in the town to eat as well . You can get the train from Stoke in 5 mins or cycle/walk along the canal there.

Nantwich – last Saturday of every month in the town square – again good produce, nice independent shops in the town

Leek – Sunday supplement in the town centre– arts and crafts and food, first Sunday of every month

Rode Hall – first Saturday of every month

Details of our Tourism and Events courses here

Erasmus International Staff Week – 13th to 17th Nov 2017- Employability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

For the week of  13th to 17th November 2017 Staffordshire University cordially invites, to our Stoke-on-Trent Campus, academic/teaching and professional staff from our International Partners with special interests in the following:

  • career services and entrepreneurship in Higher Education with emphasis on employability skills for students,
  • how Erasmus+ mobility impacts on employability and
  • professional development for staff gaining new perspectives on supporting students in the job market.

This year our international week will coincide with Staffordshire University’s CareersFest and Global Enterprise Week #GEW2017 – an annual, week long careers, employability and entrepreneurial festival, designed to ensure our students are future fit for their chosen career.

During this period the campus is transformed into a career-focussed festival, buzzing with jobs fairs, seminars, networking events and workshops.

We hope you can join us at this time, to engage with the activities, network and form alliances with colleagues, share best practices, judge competitions, run workshops, and see what Staffordshire University can offer.

Please register by completing the form on this link Erasmus Training Programme Application Form (004)

The accepted participants can book their accommodation in any hotel of their choice located close by. More detailed information of special rates and recommendations will be given directly to the participants via email.

NB! Do not book hotels or flights before your participation has been confirmed!

The participants are expected to cover their travel, accommodation and daily allowance expenses independently from their own funds, e.g. Erasmus+ staff mobility or other funds.

Organisers Wendy Pollard and Prof Jon Fairburn

Wendy Pollard – Erasmus Coordinator

Institute for Research and Knowledge Exchange

+44 (0) 1785 353404

erasmus@staffs.ac.uk 

Prof Jon Fairburn, Business School

+44 (0) 1782 294094

jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk 

Funded by the ERASMUS + PROGRAMME

Training and the hospitality industry – don’t get left on the platform !

The UK hospitality industry contributed an estimated £57 billion to UK GDP in 2014’ (BHA 2015) and still, in my opinion, we can’t seem to be able to train our employees. Is training too expensive, does it take too much time or is it due to our industry’s high staff turnover. When an employee is recruited and gets their ticket isn’t that a guarantee to training?

I was working behind a bar once and I asked an employee to cut a lemon (I was making a gin and tonic). The employee came back and had literally cut the lemon in half! Lesson learnt – communicate precisely and don’t assume that they know what you know! Just because someone is on the train it doesn’t mean they know where they’re going. All employees need training; it makes them feel part valued and part of a team and in turn we’re getting the best out of them. Investing in someone could mean a simple five minute lesson on till procedures or a full day of health and safety.

I often compare the hospitality industry to the music industry. Many people think they can sing- but how many can actually sell records? Many people think they can work in our industry but how many people can be motivated and passionate about their customers and team during the first hour and the 13th hour of a shift? Employees are predominately practical people and this is why on the job training works. Training should be a continuous activity throughout an employee’s journey. Training on the job is about observing others and doing, it doesn’t always have to be formal and structured.

Our service industries are essential; not only to the economy but also to communities, commercial business and relationships! We create opportunities for people to dress up, meet up, relax and enjoy whether it’s latte or lobster! Each service is unique and our employees create that uniqueness to achieve a stand-alone experience that someone will keep coming back for. But we can’t create those experiences without truly investing in our people.

Training is just like being on a busy train – once you have your ticket you have to fight your way to the front to get trained and a seat. You know the journey is going to be long- so let’s make it comfortable. It doesn’t matter if your train isn’t on the fastest or direct route what matters is that you’re heading for the right destination!

train picture

By Tonia Barrett

UPDATE – The SMARTOUR Tool is now online and covers this topic if you want to learn more 

If you are interested in training issues as a manager or want some training yourself then sign up to our FREE half day event on 17th May at Staffordshire University

Reference -The British Hospitality Association (2015) The Economic contribution of the UK hospitality industry. A report prepared by Oxford Economics for the British Hospitality Association. [Online]

Useful links

Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/

Twitter @tourismsu   #SMARTOUR

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject/

SMARTOUR logo

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.