Sunday I meet Lorna Bennett at Liverpool Airport before setting off on our trip. Lorna works for Huffkins of Burford and won the Piero Scacco Award from the Worshipful Company of Bakers. I was the winner of the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) Award. Both awards are funding our trip to the Richemont school, which has been arranged with help from Liz Davidson, president of the Richemont Club of Great Britain.On arrival in Basle, Switzerland, we meet up with some of the other people attending the course and make our way to Lucerne together. We have a slight problem on the train – we had all purchased children’s tickets – so we have to pay full fare on the train itself. On arrival in Lucerne, we make our way to the hotel and check in. The hotel and room are lovely. Then we go to a delightful Italian restaurant – most of the group eat together, which is good because we get to know each other before the course starts. Then we have a quick stroll by the lake and retire to bed.MondayWe go to the school for breakfast and meet up with everyone else. We are greeted by our demonstrators and translators. We then have a tour of the school. Wow! What an amazing place. I’m sure we are going to learn a lot. After the tour we go into the classroom. Our first lecturer talks to us about working with chocolate. I find it very interesting and I get some great ideas from it. After lunch, it is back to the classroom for the rest of the afternoon. That evening we have dinner at the Richemont Gastretto restaurant, then most of the group walk to Lucerne for a drink. It is a nice end to a really interesting day.TuesdayWe start the day by being shown how to make moulds from silicon, then get the chance to make our own. This is particularly useful because we get to take them home. In the afternoon we make a chocolate Easter line, which involves marzipan modelling, piping chocolate, piping Royal Icing and air brushing. These are all techniques that I have not had much experience in, so I learn an awful lot of new skills during the session. School finishes for the day, then it is back to Richemont Gastretto for our evening meal, before turning in early – it is tiring work learning so many new skills!WednesdayAfter breakfast we have a two-hour coach journey to Chur to visit a bakery and chocolate company called Confiserie Merz. It is absolutely amazing. The range and quality of the products is superb. The staff are really friendly and answer all our questions. They also let us take lots of photographs of the products.The bakery visit is followed by a trip to Zurich and the well-known chocolate company Lindt & Sprüngli. We look around its chocolate museum and also visit the shop. Back at the hotel, we have time to change before being picked up and taken to a Swiss restaurant. Two members of the school accompany us to the meal that evening, which is lovely. A case of great food, great company!ThursdayWe are introduced to the head pastry chef at the Richemont School. He shows us various types of bread, such as potato, leek and onion, and rye. He also encourages us to come up with new ideas for speciality breads. The president of the Richemont School then presents the group with a certificate, and thanks us all for attending. We all have a glass of champagne and say our goodbyes.I had a wonderful time and have been inspired by the quality of products that I have seen. I had the good fortune to join the course, run by the Richemont Club of Great Britain – I’m very grateful to its president, Liz Davidson, for all her help. Bakers interested in applying for the 2006 Piero Scacco and ABIM Awards, should contact the Worshipful Company of Bakers, email: [email protected] or ABIM’s Steven Birrell, tel: 0131 229 9415 or email: [email protected]
24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kirk Drake Kirk Drake is founder and CEO of Ongoing Operations, LLC, a rapidly growing CUSO that provides complete business continuity and technology solutions. With its recent acquisition of Cloudworks, Ongoing Operations … Web: www.ongoingoperations.com Details Last month, I wrote an article about when to hire a consultant. There’s no doubt that bringing on a consultant is a big decision, but knowing when to fire one can be even more important. Generally, consultants fulfill skill gaps or solve specific problems for your credit union. Unfortunately, they can tend to hang on too long and be difficult to get rid of. Just like an employee, you may become emotionally attached, causing more harm to your organization if you keep a consultant around past their point of usefulness. Here are some key indicators that it’s time to fire your consultant.No longer getting value – This is #1 for a reason. Unlike an employee who should be invested and developed to create key skills and resources for the company – I expect consultants to constantly be adding value, pushing the limits, and driving us to fully be engaged in their discipline. When all the ideas are coming from me, then it is a key sign that it is time to move on.Don’t fit with Corporate Culture – If you are like me, you may not hold a consultant to the same corporate culture standards as you do other employees. This can work out fine, but it can turn into a real issue if a consultant completely violates your cultural principals. When your employees or teammates see you allowing team members (consultant or not) to violate key values, it can implicitly devalue the core tenants of your business and erode trust and morale among the team. So, if your consultant blatantly goes against what you and your company believe, it’s time to cut bait.Disruptive to other goals or team – Sometimes consultants need to be disruptive. They can often provide key momentum builders, energy and excitement around ideas and concepts. At the same time, they can hog resources and stifle other priorities. It is essential to monitor employees stress and the impact of consultants to make sure they aren’t being overly disruptive to the broader goals of the credit union.You have developed in-house expertise – One of the key goals before and during the consulting engagement should be for the consultant (i.e. the expert) to pass on knowledge, frameworks, resources and other skills to key employees. Always have a deliberate plan to create playbooks, tools and trainings so that when the consultant leaves, you haven’t lost the expertise. Once you establish the proper documentation and processes AND have in-house employees dedicated to fulfilling the tasks originally assigned to the consultant, you have successfully absorbed all you needed from the engagement and are likely ready to part ways. Breaching security – We are all in the business of protecting member data. Consultants that don’t get that and don’t interact with our data and our teams with the same confidentiality level we expect from our employees should be dismissed. Feedback is ignored – Giving feedback to consultants can be challenging on both sides. Often you have hired a consultant for a specific expertise. Sometimes their guidance is tough to digest and implement and sometimes it just will not work as prescribed. In those cases, having a frank and honest dialogue with the consultant is critical. If that still doesn’t change or improve the situation, then it may be time to go a different direction.Of course there are lots of other reasons to fire a consultant. If after reading this you think it is time, I might suggest the following ways to approach the situation.First, arrange for a time to sit down with your consultant and be direct. Then use one of the following approaches:Contract Timing – The contract has ended and it is time to go in a different direction. It’s us not you. In Sourcing – We have decided to bring on a full-time person. Your work has been amazing – but we just think we need a permanent member of our team.Performance – Unfortunately you have missed a number of key deliverables, consequently we think it’s time to try something else.Financial – Our budget priorities have changed and we know longer have the budget for this initiative. It can be uncomfortable to fire a consultant, but using the markers mentioned above and assessing the situation independently from your feelings will help you do what is best for your credit union. After all, consultants aren’t meant to work with you forever.
Israeli shipping company Zim Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM) has further expanded its strategic cooperation with the members of the 2M Alliance – Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).Specifically, ZIM has now decided to boost ties with 2M on the Asia-US Gulf trade.The new agreement includes two new strings — ZGC – ZIM US Gulf Central China Xpress and ZGX – ZIM US Gulf South China Xpress.A total of ten 6,500 TEU vessels will be deployed in the first service, with the following rotation: Ningbo, Shanghai, Busan (Panama Canal Transit), Houston, Mobile, Miami, Freeport, (Panama Canal Transit), Araijan, Busan.The first sailing is scheduled from Ningbo on August 18, subject to regulatory approval.Another ten 4,500 TEU boxships will be deployed in the second abovementioned service which will have the following rotation: Xiamen, Yantian, Busan (Panama Canal Transit), Houston, Mobile, Tampa, Manzanillo, (Panama Canal Transit), Balboa, Busan.The first sailing is planned from Xiamen on August 16.As explained, the new services, catering for both Central and South China and South Korea offer direct connections to major ports in Asia and the US Gulf.“This is the third phase of our tightening cooperation with the 2M Alliance, now extending to four major trades,” Eli Glickman, ZIM President and CEO, commented.“We are very pleased to further strengthen our portfolio and enhance our strategic cooperation with the 2M Alliance on this important trade, in which ZIM will be a vessel operator. The two new lines offer better port coverage in the growing US Gulf market, excellent transit time both for imports and exports,” Nissim Yochai, ZIM EVP Pacific Trade, said.The new cooperation follows previous agreements on Asia – US East Coast, operating since September 2018, and on Asia – Pacific North West and Asia – Mediterranean trades, operating since March 2019.