In Your Shoes - Brian HoriskAll members Prev: Lynn Warren Next: Brook Marshall
Brian Horisk is co-owner of Horisk Leslie Development, a bespoke website and database development company based in Cupar, Fife. They work with clients large and small in the public, private and third sectors. Although he used to be focused more on the technical side of the business, nowadays Brian is just as likely to be out meeting clients or writing proposals.
A day in the officeMonday 21 January 2019
Monday was a full day in the office, which gave me a chance to catch up on some development and admin tasks.
At our daily team meeting, we discussed progress on all our current projects. We picked up a new website client last week, so I got one of the team started on that, and we discussed a few support issues for other clients.
I spent the rest of the morning working through a minor change for one of our clients, the Scottish SPCA. We’ve worked with them for over ten years, developing and supporting a number of their internal systems – for managing members and fundraising, animals, Helpline calls and educational visits.
I spent the rest of the afternoon (and unfortunately a chunk of the evening!) on a public sector tender – this has become a much more significant part of our work in recent years, and January is a busy time for tenders.
Meetings by bike in EdinburghTuesday 22 January 2019
I had two meetings arranged in Edinburgh, so got the train in from Leuchars – submitting that tender en-route. I’ve recently started using bike hire schemes to get around town, so picked one up from Haymarket – not realising it was about to snow!
My first meeting was in the city centre with a new potential public sector client who were considering engaging us through the Scottish Government Application Design and Development Services (ADDS) framework, which we’ve been on since 2016. The project involves setting up a new database – there’s a lot of existing data and quite a few unknowns - just the sort of thing that we like!
After lunch, I cycled down towards the Forth for my second meeting which was to find about a potential new website project for a mid-sized charity. This would include some functionality for booking courses, so again, an interesting project for us.
After that, back on the bike and up the hill into town to get the train home.
A wee trip to PerthWednesday 23 January 2019
I had a bit of time in the morning to get caught up on emails and start on the proposals from yesterday’s meetings.
Then at lunchtime, I had a lovely scenic drive over to Perth to meet another potential new website client. This meeting was at second-stage, following a tender with our design partners, Resolve Creative. They bring branding and extra design experience to add to our technical skills, so we often work with them on this type of project.
Ian from Resolve and I went into the meeting expecting to meet a few people for a casual chat and instead were faced by a panel of seven who gave us a fairly thorough examination. It seemed to go well though - we’ll find out soon enough if they like what we’re proposing.
Catching up dayThursday 24 January 2019
A full day in the office – so I got the chance to spend some time with the rest of the team to see how all their projects are going.
I did some testing on an e-commerce payments system we were about to hand over to a client in the tourism business, and then started on a piece of work for London School of Economics. The LSE are another client we’ve worked with for a long time, in this case on a system which manages all of their student accommodation. Today’s job was to do some data manipulation to help them get set up before students start applying for accommodation in the next academic year.
I did manage to sneak out for a quiet lunch in a local café by myself rather than eating at my desk – something I try to do every couple of weeks.
A day out in Fife to end the weekFriday 25 January 2019
Today I was wearing my other hat as Vice President of Fife Chamber of Commerce, so I got to have a fun day visiting businesses all over Fife in my role as a judge for the 2019 Fife Business Awards. We’ve seen an astonishing range of finalists this year, from long-established big corporations to small start-ups, industrial, high-tech, and very low-tech businesses, charities and public sector organisations.
Too many highlights today to mention them all, but the day included going straight from Paywizard, a big company doing some clever stuff with big data and machine learning, to pulling a borrowed pair of boots over my suit to see what the Ecology Centre are doing in the woods with local school kids. Finished our tour with one of the smallest businesses, Willow & Plum Soap who literally operate out of a garden shed, but have some big plans and the drive to follow them through.
Stopped off for a coffee on the way home to find a purchase order from that database meeting on Tuesday sitting in my email inbox – a great way to end the week.