OPTISELLER’s new barcode tech protects online retailers from FAKES

The Daily Express's Maisha Frost recently spoke with Craig MacCallum from Developing IT about its flagship product Optiseller. 

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The Stirling-based SME has joined forces with GS1UK, the world’s largest trusted source of product data, to produce an automatic check for sellers, so they and their customers know their inventory is genuine. 

Problems that could also occur as a consequence of fakes posing as real, such as conflicting details and prices, poor search rankings and product discovery especially on marketplaces, are likewise prevented.  

By tackling the unique identifiers within the billions of goods manufactured every year known as Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), the service aims to smash a large part of the world’s annual counterfeit trade worth around £460bn. 

Now it’s part of Developing IT’s flagship product Optiseller, a suite of sales and analytical tools for online businesses of all sizes.

Read the full article here: https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/970454/online-retailer-technology-protects-against-counterfeits 

Integris Communications teams up with Special Olympics Scotland to promote 40th anniversary games

We are delgihted to announce that Integris has teamed up with Special Olympics Scotland to help promote its 40th Anniversary Games taking place at Stirling University campus from 09-13 August 2018.

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The Anniversary Games will celebrate both Special Olympics GB's 40th birthday and also the 50th birthday of the worldwide Special Olympics global movement set up in 1968. The games are expected to welcome over 1,000 athletes, 400 coaches plus officials and attract over 6,000 spectators from across the UK and Europe. Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver and is recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

The games are focused on health, well-being, education and social inclusion. Events will include boccia, badminton, cycling, football, golf, table tennis, low ability swimming, and low ability athletics. There will also be a special ‘Play Unified’ event, where athletes with and without a learning (intellectual)disability will play and compete together. The opening ceremony for the Anniversary Games will take place at Forthbank Stadium, Stirling, on 09 August 2018.

Mike Reynolds, managing director of Integris, explains: “We are delighted to help Special Olympics Scotland in any way we can. It is such a worthy and inspirational cause; what Yvonne Hay and Laura Smith (Games Directors) and their team have achieved to plan and organise the 40TH Anniversary Games is hugely impressive and hopefully it is going to be a big success.”

Reynolds adds: “There is still lots to be done, and other businesses can get involved whether that’s through sponsorship or volunteering their services like us. I can promise people when they see the smiles on the athletes faces come August all the hard work will be worth it.”

Yvonne Hay, Special Olympics Games Director, adds: “This Olympic style event will celebrate the culture of joy, fun and wellbeing which can be achieved through sport. We are obviously very thankful to Integris, and to all the other contributing organisations, who give up their time free of charge to help such a worthy cause.”

For further information please visit www.specialolympicsscotland40.com.

Franchising - a look at candidate quality

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Scottish Success For Franchise Week

Scottish Franchise Week 2018 was a great success, with Integris again playing an important role in generating lots of positive PR - including interviews with STV and BBC, plus articles in the Herald, Scotsman and many local titles and websites. We are already looking forward to 2019!!!

 

SCOTTISH SUCCESS FOR FRANCHISE WEEK

 

Scottish Franchise Week 2018 has been hailed as a huge success, as yet again the UK franchise community descended on Glasgow last week to inspire and celebrate franchise success.

 

The highlight of the week was the business breakfast, where over 200 delegates gathered at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow. Keynote speaker Iain MacRitchie inspired the audience with his journey from being a very successful entrepreneur to setting up a charity to help disadvantaged children achieve their goals in life. For the past five years Iain has devoted himself to MCR Pathways which has placed a network of volunteer mentors into Scottish schools to help youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds to discover their talents.

 

The programme of events also included the launch of Franchise Opportunities which gave those new to the industry the chance to meet leading franchise companies and get expert advice under one roof. Visitors from across Scotland gathered to find out more about specific brands looking to expand in the region and to attend a series of seminars on all aspects of franchising.

 

Pip Wilkins, chief executive of the British Franchise Association, commented: “Scottish Franchise Week has been a huge success, providing the perfect mix of inspiration, business insight and good fun. Listening to Iain MacRitchie was truly inspirational, not only is he a highly successful businessman and entrepreneur, but he has used his skills and experience to establish a charity which helps disadvantaged youngsters get a better start in life.”

 

Wilkins added: “We were very happy with the response to the new Franchise Opportunities event, it was a great introduction to franchising for many budding franchisors and franchisees. For anyone looking to either start their own business, or grow an already successful business, franchising is a proven model which works.”

 

Suzie McCafferty, managing director of Platinum Wave, a leading independent franchise consultancy said: “As a main sponsor of Scottish Franchise Week and the Franchise Opportunities event we were delighted with the response from the Scottish public.  It was great to see that people are interested in finding out more about the benefits of franchising as a route to becoming your own boss. The business breakfast was very well attended as were the information sessions led by experts in all aspects of franchising which shows there is an appetite for more information and education in this sector.”

 

For more information about franchising please visit https://www.thebfa.org/.

Scottish Franchise Week - 24-25 April 2018

SCOTTISH FRANCHISE SECTOR ON TARGET TO BE WORTH £1BN BY 2020

bfa announces dates for Scottish Franchise Week, incorporating Franchise Opportunities Scotland, in April 2018

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Scottish franchising will be worth an estimated £1bn by 2020.  That’s the prediction made by the British Franchise Association (bfa) as it announces its plans for its annual Scottish Franchise Week, which takes place 24-25 April 2018.

The sector is booming in Scotland, with the latest bfa NatWest survey (2015 survey published January 2016) showing that the implied annual turnover of the sector had increased to £0.8 bn, a 14% increase from the last survey in 2010.  According to the survey some 43% of all franchise systems operating across the UK are currently active in Scotland.

A highlight of the week is the eagerly anticipated Scottish Business Breakfast that attracts hundreds of delegates from both the franchise and broader business worlds.   This will take place at The Grand Central Hotel on 25 April and feature keynote speaker, Iain MacRitchie.  Iain is a Glasgow-born serial entrepreneur and philanthropist.  His career has taken him across the globe, having led the turnaround and transformation of 18 companies as chairman or CEO and as a trusted advisor to 100 others.  Instrumental in leading change in organisations with 50 to 5,000 employees and also having led three start-ups, Iain has an amazing track record in helping develop successful teams and individuals to realise their full potential.   

More recently Iain has turned his skills to social enterprise, setting up a charitable foundation in Glasgow in 2006. He has dedicated five years as a full-time volunteer to lead and develop the transformational MCR Pathways mentoring and talent development programme. He has worked with over 700 disadvantaged young people in Glasgow to help them overcome challenging circumstances.  Iain’s business and charity journey promises to be both entertaining and inspirational.  A panel discussion will follow featuring franchisors and franchisees that will explore the benefits and challenges of franchising.

2018 will see the launch of Franchise Opportunities Scotland, taking place immediately after the Business Breakfast. This unique networking event, organised in association with the bfa, will offer budding entrepreneurs the chance to discover some of the most exciting franchise brands in Scotland.

Attendees will be able to meet with a wide range of bfa-accredited franchises to gain an in depth understanding of the opportunities available in this booming industry. A series of expert-led presentations will shine a light on what to consider when investing in a franchise, and advisers will also be on hand to offer a wealth of free impartial advice to help visitors make franchising their future. More information and free tickets are available now at ScottishFranchise.co.uk.

Two educational seminars will be running during the week. On Tuesday 24 April a prospective franchisee seminar will take place at Wright Johnston & Mackenzie in Glasgow, where the public can find out more about what franchising involves with impartial information and advice.  For those businesses thinking about starting their own franchise, a seminar at Harper Macleod in Glasgow will feature a panel of experts who will offer a comprehensive overview of what factors to consider when starting a franchise.  The seminars are free to attend, for more details please visit www.thebfa.org/events/public-awareness-events

Pip Wilkins, chief executive of the bfa said: “The franchise sector in Scotland is thriving, with a mix of home-grown businesses as well as the big-name international brands. The sector creates thousands of new jobs every year and is a major contributor to the Scottish economy. Many people dream of starting their own business but don’t know where to start.  They may not have a business idea or don’t have the confidence to go it alone but burn with the ambition to be their own boss.  Ethical franchisors offer the proven business idea and support infrastructure to make it possible to achieve their dreams.”

She added: “Scotland has a superb and very proactive support network for franchising including specialist lawyers, accountants, consultants and bankers who are there to help franchisees and franchisors succeed.  Many of these experts will be on hand at our free events and I would urge the public to tap into this wealth of advice and knowledge.  Franchising in Scotland is on an upward trend and I believe the growth in the next few years will see the sector achieving £1bn or more in value.”

Main sponsors of Scottish Franchise Week this year are HSBC UK and Platinum Wave, a leading independent bfa-affiliated franchise consultancy.

Andrew Brattesani, UK Head of Franchising at HSBC UK said: “Scottish Franchise Week is becoming an exciting fixture in the franchise calendar and the team at HSBC is pleased to again support the social element of this fixture. David Kerrigan will lead the team in my absence this year in Glasgow”        

Suzie McCafferty, managing director of Platinum Wave and 2018 chairperson of the Scottish Franchise Forum said: “I love this industry and what it can do for people. Once upon a time I had a shop in Edinburgh selling refillable ink cartridges. Thanks to franchising, and the wonderful support and advice of some of the very people who make Scottish Franchise Week such an incredible success, my business grew to 70 franchised stores across 6 countries. Attending these events could be the key to you finding out if your own business can and should be franchised, or if you should perhaps invest in a franchise yourself. We are very proud to be a long-standing sponsor of Scottish Franchise Week and would encourage anyone who wants to learn more about this fantastic industry right here in Scotland to book onto some (or all) of the events with the bfa!”

For more information about Scottish Franchise Week 2018 or to book places on the business breakfast or free seminars please check out our website: www.thebfa.org/events/public-awareness-events, or call us directly.

For free tickets to Franchise Opportunities Scotland please visit www.ScottishFranchise.co.uk