The Centralian advocate Tue 15 Apr 2008
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
v. 61 no. 93
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
12 Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, April 15, 2008 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 1 5 -A P R -2 0 0 8 P A G E : 1 2 C O L O R : C M Y K BUSINESS & FINANCE Cut business costs R I S I N G i n t e r e s t rates and increasing economic uncertainty has made managing business costs all the more important. Seven important steps to cut business costs are: 1: Develop a culture of effective cost management. As the leader of your business, if you are complacent about financial performance, there is little chance that cost saving projects will succeed. Business owners and managers must take an interest in reviewing expenses and reducing costs. 2: Understand needs. Determine and document your product and service requirements. Do not end up buying unnecessary extras that do not improve the financial performance of your business. 3: Centralise purchasing. You may be buying the same goods from different suppliers. Condensing your suppliers and purchasing more from them can maximise discounts through bulk purchasing power. 4: Avoid arrogance. To assume you know more about the market than your suppliers is unwise at best, and never assume that they are providing you with the best deal possible. Ask yourself: Do I know what my competitors are paying for the same products?. Look at data from benchmarking services. A word of warning, data is useless unless it is interpreted correctly. 5: Foster strong relationships. Building good relationships with suppliers can result in cost reductions. Ask them how to improve the way in which you work together. 6: Call in a negotiator. To reduce emotion in the process of negotiation, do not allow the people who are in daily contact with suppliers to participate. This will ensure you achieve the best possible price. 7: Continually test your suppliers. Businesses that buy the same product and quantities year in, year out can become complacent. Tell your suppliers that you are reviewing your costs, and then do just that. This article is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as specific professional advice. Sean Loader is the business manager of Horwath Alice Springs, chartered accountants and business advisers. Awards time TERRITORIAN engineers have until next Friday to nominate for the national Engineeri n g E x c e l l e n c e Awards. Centralian engineer Grant Behrendorff took out Engineering Technologist of the Year award in the 2007 awards. The awards acknowledge: The professionalism and pursuit of exc e l l e n c e b y t h e e n g i n e e r i n g t e a m throughout the country. The awards also recognise single projects, sole engineers and more. Download the 2008 g u i d e l i n e s f r o m : www.engineersaustralia.org.au/ and follow the links or contact the NT office for a copy on 8981 4137. Mining DUAL-LISTED ur anium miner Paladin Energy Ltd believes a surge in the trading of its shares may be due to speculation surrounding Lift Capital Partners Pty Ltd being put into administration. Meanwhile, Sino Gold Ltd has downgraded the production forecast for its Jinfeng gold mine in China following power supply disruptions during January and February. Expo aimed at finding indigenous youth jobs Daniel Burdon INDIGENOUS youth will be the focus of a careers expo coordinated by the Tangentyere Job Shop on Friday. Tangentyere Job Shop staff Renee Heynes, Rod Miller and Renecia Maneveldt are ready for the indigenous youth expo on Friday. Picture: CRISTINA SMITH The event will gather a number of local and national organisations in a bid to expose youth to the world of employment. Operations manager at the employment service provider Donna Lemon said: This is the first time weve done something like this. Some people seem to think were not still here since we lost the town contract last year. We are still here, but were now focussing on people in remote communities and town youth employment programs. Ms Lemon said she expected several government agencies, the Central Land Council and other local community organisations to take part in the expo. There will also be a visit from 60 Minutes reporter Geoff McMullin and indigenous singer Kerrianne Cox. Ms Lemon said: Theyre icons but they will really be there to share in their leadership journeys. I took part in a leadership program which this event has come out of. We had to produce a community event that had good benefits for everybody. I focussed on the youth, and trying to attract them to an expo. This town needs young people who are willing to take action and become leaders, and thats what Im trying to do. The 31-year-old local woman said she wanted more young people to stand up and do the right thing for the community. The expo will run from 10am until 2pm at the Desert Lantern Rest aurant in the Charles Darwin University campus. Ms Lemon would like all indigenous young people to come and have a look, while several local school groups will attend. Time is needed to work on ways to fix skills shortage Christopher O'Leary Nick Snow, 16, and Sam Mattock, 15, do hands-on work under the watchful eye of Andrew Armistead at Outback Automotive. Picture: JUSTIN BRIERTY SKILLS shortages in Alice Springs were highlighted in this years NT occupation shortage list. The recently-released list showed 44 trades across the Territory were in short supply of man-power. Tracey Clark from the Department of Employment Education and Training said some trades, such as motor mechanics, have faced shortages even before the list began in 2005. In Alice Springs carpenters are in such high demand they have serious bargaining power. Probuild operations manager Mick Betteridge said he had to employ an English chippie because he could not find an Australian for one job. He said: Six years ago the going rate for carpenters was $25 an hour, but now its $40. A lot of them know theyre almost indispensable. He said building costs have increased because of the shortage. Deputy Chief Minister Marion Scrymgour said the government was aware the skills shortage was being felt by all Territorians. She attended the Group Training Association Qld/NT conference in Alice Springs, and said while the government would continue to promote training there was no magic wand to fix the shortage. In the field of mechanics, workers to train are hard to find and hard to keep. Automotive electrician Ray Tebeck said staff moved to and from companies, while Outback Automotive business owner Michelle Armistead said a mechanics shortage was stopping her business from growing. Mrs Armistead said: Usually we employ people who are trained but just wander in from the streets, or friends of people coming into town. They also never stop training because there are always new technologies. You need computers for everything. So she and husband Andrew have tried to counter the short age by developing secondary school students interests in cars. They have students working weekends as part of the Federal Governments structured workplace learning program. Nick Snow, 16, and Sam Mattock, 15, do more than sweep floors at Outback Automotive. They tinker with engines and help staff reassemble cars. Sam said: Its very hands-on, and you can spend a whole day working on cars.