Call me an old romantic (well, 'old' then!), but this is my favourite time of year. Past the traumas brought about by planning change and emerging from the winter months, springtime is such a joy. And then we have the General Election to think about; life is seldom perfect!
An article caught my eye this weekend regarding the use of the Internet and how our lives are suddenly changing. Only five years ago, many heralded the end of the Internet with the '.com crash'. Now with some 30% of households connected to broadband services, 'The Sunday Times' is reporting a very different story. New search engines offering 'pay per call' facilities are forecast to 'revolutionise' the way small business (including for instance, the building trades) solicit business. With Visa reporting a 56% year-on-year increase in consumer spending, the marketplace appears ripe for the predicted change. The question is how will this be managed and legislated over?
As a provider of CDM and Asbestos Management Services, we need to keep our options open too. Do we believe that this shift in the predominately retail market will move into the professional services sector including local authorities? If it does, what will be the impact on our services and how should they be developed to meet the changed emphasis on how customers want to trade with us? We are interested in developing these thoughts and invite your feedback please.
The revisions to the CDM regulations are now at the consultative stage as we have previously reported. The APS and others are running a series of workshops to help facilitate the feedback required by the HSE. However, learning from our major accounts reviews, a key issue for large organisations is the need to gain an appropriate level of visibility for the management of regulations, from the bottom to the top of organisations. Collaboration, between different levels in organisations, can become the defining issue in terms of the quality of approach taken, irrespective of the regulatory requirements.
With this in mind, we have approached a number of organisations including the HSE to find out what interest there is out there in holding a Collaborative Seminar, using the CDM revisions as a base, to explore how regulations are managed in organisations. If you are interested in taking part in this debate, then please contact us by 12 May 2005.
Our next Major Accounts Review Meeting will be hosted by Transport for London on 16 June 2005 in London. The recent meetings have been very helpful in establishing contact with and feedback between our key customer base.
The June meeting will include a discussion about a 'Wish List' for the onward development of our software. This will form part of our ongoing development schedule and we are inviting input from all our users - not just the invited attendees. If you have issues that you would like considered in the discussion, please let us have them before the end of May.
The review meetings have an ongoing agenda which includes;
We are keen to get senior managers in the London Boroughs to take part in the meetings. If you would like to be invited to take part, please contact us.
Our next Partners Meeting is due on 9 May 2005 in Leighton Buzzard. The meetings are currently aimed at customers offering an asbestos survey service, or management services for the CAWR 2002 - Duty to Manage Asbestos In the Workplace. Attendees are exploring better ways to gather asbestos data, input it into management systems and to deal with the onward management of the information for use by their own staff, their customers and their customer's suppliers. This is an ongoing and in many respects tantalising task. The route to goal is strewn with abandoned solutions including many handheld devices and so called software solutions.
The predominance of paper based solutions is a salutary reminder that IT has not yet found all the answers. At Ai Solutions, we like to think that we have done better than most and look forward to reporting our successes to you as the Partners Meetings progress.