Helping companies get out from under an avalanche of spreadsheets

Christopher Ronak of software developer 4castplus caters to a growing need for project cost management help

Helping companies get out from under an avalanche of spreadsheetsChristopher Ronak is CEO of 4castplus. Calgary’s Business: What is 4castplus and the story behind its founding? Ronak: 4castplus is construction project cost management software designed to provide organizations with a centralized platform to run all their major projects and programs, including infrastructure, pipeline, construction, mining and oil and gas. Users gain deep visibility, analytics and…

Banking on intangible assets to build your business

Recognizing and capitalizing intangibles is the key to opening new financing opportunities for SMEs

Banking on intangible assets to build your businessIt’s commonly accepted that banks can’t finance small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) these days. Many SMEs lack the traditional collateral grade assets and/or reliable cash flow that banks need to write a commercial loan or extend a working line of credit. Regrettably, lack of bank financing forces many emerging companies to turn to alternative capital…

The ecological upside to job automation

How future changes in the structure of business and the nature of work could impact the environment

The ecological upside to job automationReplacing humans with robots clearly has a dystopian flavour. But could the successive waves of artificial intelligence (AI) and other exponentially developing technologies displacing jobs, ranging from banker to construction worker, have potential positives for the environment? According to a 2016 McKinsey automation study, about a third of most job activities, affecting 49 per cent…

Quality sound for a modest price

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers offer functionality and high-fidelity in a retro package

Quality sound for a modest priceSpeakers come in all shapes and sizes. And you don’t need to look far to find some pretty far-out designs. But if you’re in the market for a new high-fidelity pair with a retro flair, the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers would be a good bet. The R1280T keeps with the traditional bookshelf design: a…

How Facebook failed its users and its shareholders

Corporate reputations are valuable assets that, in the socially-connected world, need serious risk management strategies

How Facebook failed its users and its shareholdersNothing in modern business history illustrates the importance of relational capital – or the vulnerability of corporate reputations generally – as the recent collapse in the Facebook share price. In a single day, Facebook (FB) lost nearly US$120 billion of market capitalization. This represents the biggest one-day fall of a major public company in history.…

‘Action doesn’t magically happen. You have to plan for it’

Derek Blair of Insights Matter talks about how quality research can result in real operational change in businesses

‘Action doesn’t magically happen. You have to plan for it’Derek Blair is president of Insights Matter. Calgary’s Business: What is Insights Matter? Blair: We are a consumer research and market insights company. We help companies and organizations that are looking to solve marketing-related challenges and questions like: “What do our consumers and clients want?” or “Why do they buy and how do they make…

Learning to adapt to the growing gig economy

The labour market is changing. creating opportunity and putting pressure on business and government to adapt

Learning to adapt to the growing gig economyThe rise of the gig or sharing economy is one of the most visible trends shaping the contemporary labour market. Most gig jobs fall into the category of contingent work. Such work can be contrasted with a traditional job, in which a person has a durable and structured employment relationship with a specific employer. Today,…

Online grocery stampede changing the food retail landscape

The Amazon-Whole Foods buyout shocked the grocery world and is now leading to death by a thousand cuts for the food industry

Online grocery stampede changing the food retail landscapeOne after the other, grocers are going online. All of them, at some point over the last 12 months, have announced some sort of commitment to an e-commerce strategy. Costco launched its home delivery pilot in Ontario, while Maxi, Loblaws’ discount stores in Quebec, jumped on the virtual bandwagon with their Click and Collect program.…

How human capital is turning our economic system on its head

The rise of the intangible economy has upset the industrial applecart, rendering many basic assumptions redundant

How human capital is turning our economic system on its headA recent New York Times article (6 Reasons That Pay Has Lagged Behind U.S. Job Growth) highlights a great mystery: persistent wage stagnation. As the U.S. job market tightens, economic theory suggests wages should rise – it's all about supply and demand. Problem is, wages in the U.S. have largely been flat for decades. Many…

Need help tapping into the marketing power of digital platforms?

Crystal DeCnodder of Full Blast Creative talks about how to put social media to work building your business

Need help tapping into the marketing power of digital platforms?Crystal DeCnodder is partner and vice-president of digital marketing for Full Blast Creative. Calgary’s Business: Why is it important for businesses today to adopt social media and social media advertising into their operations? DeCnodder: Social media marketing has come a long way since 2011 when I started my social media company. When the industry first…