Total Cost of Ownership (Shop Local vs. Online)

It is the time of year when people are looking for that gift for someone special. Generally, our buying practices increase substantially around now in the rush up to Christmas. In the current climate we need to ensure that we maximise the value we get for our hard earned cash.

With the increase of on-line stores, we have access to a greater choice of sellers for our products and a greater range of prices. Our High Street has become global and entered our homes through the PC. The result is that people will tend to buy on-line if they see the product they want available for a lower price than, say a local store.

Unfortunately, many people fall into a trap; they fail to consider the TOTAL COST of OWNERSHIP (TCO). The TCO takes into consideration all costs that are not included in the base price of the product you seek, but which need to be paid before you can receive the product. It includes things like Delivery Charges, Insurance, Currency Costs, Fuel Costs, etc.

We see the price of a product in our local stores and then compare it with an online price for the same product. In many cases, the price online might be lower. This drives our buying decision. But we fail to consider (or include) the fact that the product we are buying is quoted in ‘$’ or ‘£’ or another currency and there is either a conversion charge or the cost of currency is more expensive (e.g. buying in Sterling (£) from Euro (€)). We forget that there is a delivery/postal/courier charge that will be added to the price of the product. This may also be affected by a currency cost. Depending on the product you are buying, there may be an additional requirement for insurance which will also be added to the cost of your product. Once you add all of these costs up, you may find that the local price is not as expensive as you first thought.

What about traveling to another country to buy your product. In Ireland there is the huge temptation to travel across the border to Northern Ireland where products are cheaper. However, ask yourself, would you have traveled to the North if you were not looking for the product. If your answer is no, then, you should add the cost of fuel to your product as it is not money you would have spent at that time or making that trip. Again, this affects the true price you would have paid.

I am not for a second suggesting that you HAVE TO buy what you want from local suppliers. I am merely asking that you consider ALL of the costs, before making a final decision on where you should make your purchase. Forgetting to consider the TCO can result in you paying more than you expect for products and deluding yourself into thinking you have picked up a bargain (until the credit card bill arrives, that is).

Enjoy shopping, shop safe and don’t forget the TCO…

Market Ireland Business Conference

Received a good write-up in SiliconRepublic today about the SME Business Summit happening next Tuesday 29th in Kilkenny, the event is open for all business.

According to the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) there are some 230,000 companies in Ireland employing less than 50 people. We might be small in size but together we contribute over €10 billion to the Exchequer annually and employ 900,000 people. Maybe EI should concentrate on SME growth, not just exporters. Due to increased competition and the inability of companies to compete on price,Innovation and creativity is the only way we can add value to SMEs through the products, processes and services you deliver to your customers.


The SME Business Summit on the 29th November is designed to help you learn, network and market.


MA in Applied Coaching is Coming to Ireland

Innochan Solutions is collaborating  with The Performance Solution and the University of Derby Corporate to bring the MA in Applied Coaching to Ireland. 

The purpose of this programme is to provide students with the cognitive, critical and intellectual skills to become reflective coaching practitioners and to facilitate self-learning and development based on the work-based learning experiences offered by the Personal Development Plan, the practical assessments, logging of coaching hours and portfolio development within this award.

A specific aim of this programme is to provide a course of study that enables professional accreditation from the International Coach Federation. Ensuring that students are eligible for professional certified coach membership of the ICF is important if they are to meet the needs of the prospective employers and/or clients, especially those whose quality assurance processes require internationally professionally qualified and certificated coaches. It is a vital underpinning for the pan-European self-regulation of coaches which comes into play in September 2012.

This programme aims to provide students with the ability to develop a wide range of skills and competencies that will prepare them for a variety of career opportunities, including professional executive coaching in Ireland, and internationally. It will also provide a route for return to study and act as a foundation for those wishing to pursue a Coaching related Doctorate.

With this MA programme, not only will you finish the course with either a Post Graduate Certificate, Post Graduate Diploma or Masters Degree in Applied Coaching from the University of Derby, you will also earn Coaching and NLP qualifications through your studies along the way.

Course start date – February 2012, (Venue TBC around Ireland)

Topics/certifications included in the course:

Certificate in Professional Coaching Skills

Psychometric certificates:

  • iWAM: Inventory for Work Attitudes and Motivation
  • Extended DISC

Certificate Higher Professional Coaching Skills

NLP Practitioner Certificate

NLP Master Practitioner Certificate

Why not contact us to register your interest or, book your place or, for more information…

Zanita, Carlow

Completing the iWAM test and coaching sessions with InnoChan Solutions has changed my life immensely. Denis has helped me overcome obstacles that have been holding me back in my job. My confidence and entire outlook on life has changed. I would highly recommend everyone to do this; it is the best gift you could give yourself.

Fergal Doyle (Director, Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Center)

Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Center was delighted to work with InnoChan Solutions on a CRM project. As part of the project, the senior team undertook the iWAM EQ test which helped them to a much deeper awareness of their individual Cognitive Patterns as well as how to recognise the patterns of their teams and customers. The process has enhanced the communication and management skills of the team and will have lasting effects on interaction with customers. The one to one coaching/mentoring sessions with Denis helped and challenged the team on an individual level. We would recommend Denis and InnoChan Solutions to companies of all sizes. 

A Time for Children

(Originally published in 2010 on my other website;

As we enter another period commonly known as the Festive Season, I thought it would be nice to re-publish the following blog. I believe this time of the year, and particularly in the current environment, we need to stop and take stock….Enjoy!

I recently overheard someone telling another person that while Christmas is a nice time of the year, it is really only a time for Children. I thought this was a very sad attitude.

I know that Christmas can be a very difficult time for us adult folks and that there are even people who (for one reason or another) simply do not like this time of year, and that’s fine. But what if we were to move away from the stress of Christmas for a while and become children again? Do you remember the relative simplicity of when you were a child compared to now as a stressed out, weight of the world on your shoulders, adult and/or parent?

Do you remember being wrapped up in a coat, hat, gloves and scarf, walking around town trying to take in the beauty of the lights, sounds and smells, looking at the Christmas displays in shop windows? Do you remember walking around toy stores as you tried to work out what to ask Santa for? Do you remember the aisles and aisles of toys like in an Aladdin’s cave?

Do you remember the excitement and awe as you experienced it all?

Do you remember the excitement of Christmas morning, unwrapping the presents with boxes and paper being thrown everywhere?

They were simpler times, weren’t they? As children we generally were not aware of the pressures, worries or concerns of our parents. We were oblivious to the problems in the world. In fact we created our own world through our toys.

I can remember taking model cars into the garden (not at winter!) and embarking on a magical journey as I ‘drove’ through the jungle of the lawn, stopping only to work out the best route through the ‘dense undergrowth’ or to fend off an attack by cowboys and soldiers. Hey, it was my world!!

Where did YOU go?

Many of you are familiar with the story of Peter Pan; the little boy who never grew up. Wouldn’t it be great to be like that? To go back to childhood and to forget the troubles of our world?

My big question for you is; What’s Stopping You???

We get so caught up in being straight laced adults and parents that we forget what it’s like to be the carefree child. We believe that we must always be sensible, we must face and deal with the current recession and uncertain environment. But do we have to be like that 24/7?

I say NO!!

We all need to take time out. We all need to access our inner child and ‘escape’, even for a little while each day. We need to escape our adult world and revert to a simpler time. But How?

Here’s a challenge for you (should you choose to accept it!).

Pay a visit to your local toy store and buy a toy, not for your children, your nephews, nieces, grandchildren or cousins. Buy one for YOURSELF. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just buy yourself a small toy that you will enjoy.

As you walk around, notice the feelings of excitement and expectation building within yourself as you now browse the aisles and shelves for a toy for YOU. By the way, that funny feeling you are probably experiencing on your face, is called a smile. If you let it, it might even become a laugh. Enjoy it!!

When paying for your new toy, don’t make excuses at the check-out by telling the cashier that you are buying it for someone else. Remember a time when, as a child, you accompanied your parents on a similar journey and proudly told the cashier that you were buying the toy for yourself with your own money.

You might now be feeling a little giddy. You might be dressed in your business suit and be about to head back to the office for an important meeting, but for your lunch, you became a child and bought yourself a toy. Notice the difference in how you are feeling. You feel Alive! You feel Excited! You feel Happy!

You are returning to work in a much better frame of mind with your new purchase. You can’t wait to get home, open it and begin playing with your new toy.

Once you get home, set some time aside where you can spend time playing with your new toy. You may have bought a colouring book and some crayons/markers/paints. You may have bought a construction set like Lego or Meccano. You might have bought a doll or jewelry making kit. Whatever you have bought, set time aside, turn off the phone and become a child. Let your imagination go where it wants. Turn on some cartoons on TV and escape. Forget Work, Bills and Worries. For a little while at least, all of your worries belong to someone else.

Taking time out to nurture your inner child is refreshing, rewarding and super enjoyable. It will put a smile on your face that will be noticed by those around you.

Remember to treat yourself every now and then with a visit to your favourite toy shop and pick up another small treat. I am not talking about you spending hundreds of Pounds/Euro/Dollars on the latest electronic gizmo. The toy you select should be cheap and encourage you to use your imagination. Even buying a small model car and getting down on your hands and knees (or tummy) and ‘driving’ it around the ground of your living room will take you to a new world.

You will be surprised at how you will feel after this. Go on…Try it….I Dare Ya’…