Posts by Rose Ryan

  • Speaker: Surviving Small II: Changing Process,

    this is music to my ears ...... so many small businesses set up systems that work at the time they are set up, but then never get revised as technology, or something else changes. It is very easy to get stuck on working in the business rather than on it.

    At the time I (re-) established my company 2 years ago, I set up all my accounting systems along the lines of the system that I had in place when the company was first set up (its original incarnation was from 1997 - 1999) - and they were clunky and time consuming. I would do them because I had to ... but I really resented the time I spent on them and was always fearful of inadvertently making a mistake This time though I wanted a "grow" a business rather than it just being me on my own. So I was quite fussy about finding an accountant that wasn't going to take a compliance based approach to my accounts, and the ones I signed up with (shall I give them a free plug too???? :-) ) recommended Xero. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made! We are not a cash- based business, so I dont have a need to do things daily, but we do have a weekly finance and admin session every Fridays to review our financial and operational position. I feel much more on top of this than I ever have in the past, even when working in large organisations with supposedly sophisticated financial monitoring systems. We have remained right up-to-date with all our tax payments and have a really good idea of what our cash flow will be for the next 6 months (even in the worst case scenario of us not getting much work this year!) We are growing slowly (the way we want it) and have some strategies in place for what we want to be doing in a years time and beyond.

    Simon - personally I think that it is great that Xero maintains a high profile for the company!! It is a great product, making fabulous use of newly available technologies. And I understand that Xero is having some success at sales in the UK and Australia. In my book that gets two big ticks - one for innovation and one of exporting. Isn't this what we want for more NZ firms and shouldn't we be celebrating their success??????

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report

  • Southerly: My First Stabbing,

    a series of vignettes like this one would be heart warming ...... and they would be wonderful in audio form too.

    A masterful piece of writing - thank you!

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report

  • Island Life: Supertooth,

    this is not a reflection on NZ service culture .... it is the result of the unintelligent transplanting of lean production techniques. Most of the business and operations processes in overseas owned hospitality chains are based on Standard Operating Procedures that have been developed in the US (or UK or France). Their staff training is as well. It is all based on the need for consistency that is part of their "brand" - I bet if you went to the Lone Star in Wellington (I think there is one!) you would get exactly the same processes and menus and prices. Marketing of these places is not based on quality of either food or service - it is on an image (and people like you and I are not the demographic that they target!)

    And of course their standardised recruitment processes mean that they employ the same type of people - primarily ones that don't challenge the ways that things are done (or if they do, they move very quickly on to workplaces that value their contribution to helping things work better).

    The answer? Buy NZ in services as well as as products. There is lots of research that shows that NZers perceptions of "good" service are based on perceived "genuineness" and authenticity - and it sounds like Palate has it in spades!

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report

  • Hard News: What I'd really like to know,

    I just happen to have the Statistics NZ Labour market stats for 2006 (latest currently available) open in front of me! At the end of March 2006, 151,2000 people worked in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing SIC while only 99,9000 worked in Accommodation Cafes and Restaurants. In addition to those directly employed in primary industries, a high proportion of those working in manufacturing (and that is another 280,100) are engaged in food processing.

    And numbers of people employed is only part of the equation. The fund is intended to facilitate innovation and the development of innovation and high value products which will in turn generate greater wealth across the economy. I'm no economist but I'd rather live in a country that has its eye to the future than the sort of cheap and nasty path that we seemed to be going down in the 1990s.

    And I may also be a died in the wool latte drinking urban dweller, but in my view the primary production sector will continue to be the engine of the NZ economy for a good while to come.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report