Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sutlet Group sponsor the inaugural New Zealand-Thailand Chamber of Commerce ESB Networking Event!

New Zealand Thai Chamber of Commerce Expands to the Eastern Seaboard.
ESB Business Networking Event
Date: 9th December 2010
Venue: Amari Orchid Hotel, Beach Road, Pattaya
Time: 18:30 - 20:30
Cost:  Baht 350

The New Zealand – Thai Chamber of Commerce has announced the expansion of its presence to the Eastern Seaboard and Pattaya areas

New elected committee member Richard Prouse (of the Sutlet Group, who opened their Pattaya branch recently), will be the local representative for the Chamber. Mr. Prouse says “This is an exciting period of growth for the New Zealand – Thai Chamber of Commerce. We are looking forward to working with local Kiwi firms and raising the awareness of what the chamber can offer to local New Zealand run businesses”. 

Now in it's 15th year, the New Zealand – Thai Chamber of Commerce has developed a reputation for it's professional approach and events, resulting in membership now totaling over 125 companies throughout Thailand.

Mr. Prouse advises that there will be a Pattaya and Eastern Seaboard networking evening on Thursday December 9th at the Amari Orchid, Beach Road, Pattaya (in the Garden Lounge 6.30pm to 8.30pm) and that all are encouraged to attend and learn how the chamber can work with you in this part of Thailand. The networking event will be the first of several meetings held in the coming months and provides an ideal opportunity for interested parties to meet some of the committee members and talk to other local businessmen and women.

Alternatively e-mail Richard Prouse at richard.prouse@nztcc.org or richard.p@sutletgroup.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sutlet Group Press Release: New Branch Office in Pattaya

The Sutlet Group are pleased to announce the expansion of their Thailand operations with the opening of a new branch office in Pattaya.

For most, Thailand is a complicated place to do business. The Sutlet Group makes it simple.

This new office will cover both Pattaya City and the Eastern Seaboard areas allowing us to offer our “Business Solutions in Thailand” to all companies in this area, probably the biggest growing business community anywhere in Thailand.

Formed in 1998, the Sutlet Group consists of hand-picked member companies that work together to simplify business for our clients. We offer professional business support services for expatriates and organisations in Thailand, serving a wide range of clients from all industries and nationalities.

Services include:
  • Accounting, auditing and payroll
  • Company registration, work permits and visa management (applications and renewals)
  • General business consulting in HR, marketing and operations.
The office will be managed by Mr Richard Prouse (recently appointed Business Development Manager) who says “This is perfect timing to bring the expertise of the Sutlet Group to the Eastern Seaboard, the area seems to be expanding in a way not seen anywhere else at present and I very much look forward to the challenges it will bring”.

With a focus on customer service, problem solving and providing clear, logical advice for real world situations, our team is well equipped to meet the needs of your business. We take great care in our processes and can assist you from start-up through to ongoing operational support and the future growth of your business.

For more details please contact us at richard.p@sutletgroup.com or 038 421 956.
Or check the web site for more information www.sutletgroup.com

Alternatively why not come in and talk to us 8.30 to 5.30 any day Monday to Fridays at 194/197 M.9, Paniad Chang Soi 11, off Paniad Klang.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sutlet Group announce the hiring of Richard Prouse as BDM Pattaya

Richard will based at the new Pattaya and Eastern Seaboard office when it opens later this month and will be responsible for managing the operation there as well as meeting with local expat businesses and developing new relationships.

"The launch of the Pattaya and Eastern Seaboard office has been a long time coming." said Managing Director Colin Bartlett, "There is clearly demand here for a professional business services organisation, and we are excited about the opportunities present".

The new office is scheduled to open in late November 2010 and in the meantime, Richard will be busy meeting and greeting current and future clients.

Welcome to Richard from the whole Sutlet Group team!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sutlet Group blog network update

Please check our newest entries on the following blogs:

Thailand HR:  Finding the best Thai staff for your SME

Siam Trading: Sugar - how sweet it isn’t!

Thailand Accounting & Finance: Thailand moves up 4 positions in Corporate Governance Asian table

Thailand Legal Services: International marriage in Thailand - blessing or bureaucratic nightmare?

Thailand Marketing: Utilising the Chambers of Commerce in Thailand

Please feel free to post a comment on any of the blogs giving feedback, insightful opinions, or constuctive!

All these blogs are written and compiled by The Sutlet Group Co., Ltd.

Don't hesitate to contact us at info@sutletgroup.com

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sutlet Group moves to Lotus Notes 8.5

This week Sutlet Group moved it's entire office management and email system to IBM Lotus Notes 8.5, with the expert assistance of Evergreen Comware Co., Ltd.. The move was made to provide more accessibility to information, greater accountability amongst staff and, most importantly, allow us the opportunity to further enhance our relationships with customers.

All Sutlet Group team members, including those from FCA (Thailand) and PB Legal Services are now all able to access incredible funtionality with regards their email, tasks and calendars but also within new applications called ContactPower, SalesPower and PeoplePower (all developed by Evergreen Comware to work within Lotus Notes itself). Additionally, all staff are able to communicate 'live' via the internal "SameTime" chat software, facilitating the faster transition of information.

A major benefit to the move is that of security. The IBM Domino server is exceptionally secure, especially behind our CyberRoam firewall, and the Lotus Notes program itself is fair more secure than it's Microsoft-based equivalents.

All in all, management, employees and customers will benefit with this move - it's another step towards achieving our goals in Thailand and beyond.

Posted by Stuart Blott, General Manager, Sutlet Group

For more information on the Sutlet Group, please see our website. We are leading providers of business services in Thailand, including accounting, visa and work permit management, HR and marketing.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New posts within the Sutlet Group blog network

Don't forget to read the latest additions to the Sutlet Group network of blogs:

Feel free to comment on any article that interests you, and if Sutlet Group, or one of our Member Companies, can assist you with anything related to these articles, don't hesitate to contact us at info@sutletgroup.com

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thailand income tax exemptions: the importance of proper payroll

The vast majority of organisations in Thailand do not calculate income tax properly for their employees. This is an incredible oversight and one that is potentially costing organisations hundreds of thousands of Baht every year.

Employees in Thailand pay an income tax based on their earnings. This income tax is, however, subject to deductions in accordance with various factors, including whether they are married, have children, are the only working partner in a marriage, whether the children are in education, whether they pay interest on a property, and others related to investments and donations.

Take a look at the following example:
  • Mr. Smith and Mr. Johnson both earn Baht 100,000/month.
  • Mr Smith is married, his wife is a stay at home Mum, he has two children (both in education) and pays Baht 10,000/month interest on his condo.
  • Mr. Johnson is single, has no children, and rents his condo.
Over the course of 12 months, Mr. Johnson will have to pay Baht 17,760 more income tax than Mr Smith. For larger organisations with dozens or hundreds of staff, and who pay income tax on behalf of their employees, this is a substantial difference. For individuals who receive a salary after tax, this equates to a flight home every year.

These figures should all be listed and recorded in your organisations payroll system. An accurate payroll system is crucial in calculating these significant cost savings, and also provides staff with confidential documented evidence regarding their salary that can be used to obtain loans and other financial services.

If you feel that your organisation, or your employer, is not taking full advantage of potential income tax exemptions here in Thailand, or that your payroll system could be improved, ask the question - or contact one of the organisations below.

Written by Stuart Blott, General Manager, Sutlet Group Co., Ltd.
Contribution by Danaya Chinda, HR & Customer Service, PB Legal Services Co., Ltd.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

HR lessons from the LeBron decision

From the most casual of sports fans, to NBA fanatics, “The Decision” was hard to miss last week. LeBron James, perhaps the greatest basketball player of this generation, and a Cleveland native, left the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat, joining his good friend (and fellow superstar) Dwayne Wade and another star in Chris Bosh, who left the Toronto Raptors to be with the Heat. Following 2 years of deliberation amongst fans and interested parties, and a variety of potential suitors for LeBrons talents, the Heat ‘won’ and the three friends form what is potentially one of the most devastating 3-person groups ever to play together in the league.

To add further intrigue, instead of announcing his decision quietly, LeBron announced which team he was joining in a live, one hour special, billed as “The Decision”, but that has already been called “The Mistake”. Additionally, his former boss, Dan Gilbert, published an incredibly vindictive letter moments after the decision labeling James a coward, amongst other things.

The move has been commented on in every conceivable way amongst sport websites, publications, blogs and I’m sure has provided Twitter with serious need to review its current bandwidth. What has not been considered by anyone, as yet, are the incredibly interesting HR issues that this entire situation and series of events bring to the forefront. This article will discuss some of these.

The Cavaliers could not retain LeBron James, despite being able to offer him MORE money that their competitors. Despite 7 years of employment, not only did LeBron leave them, but hurt them in the worse possible way by announcing his decision on live TV. In Cleveland, fans burned his jersey and openly wept as the decision was shown on live TV. The bottom line though is that Cleveland did not do enough to retain LeBron James.

This demonstrates a serious issue in today’s workplace. Retaining key staff has never been more important, and it does not come down purely to money.

In Cleveland’s case, they lost LeBron because they did not build a contender around him, and provided only an average level supporting cast that could not carry the load when LeBron was ‘off’. In organisations, the provision of a ‘supporting cast’ can be applied to the provision of Employee Benefits.

Without a unique, creative and valuable Employee Benefits Program (EMP), employees feel less valuable and are provided less ‘ties’ to the organisation. An EBP cannot just include cash bonuses, pensions schemes etc, it must be more creative. Why not plan for team building events, off-site training to address specific needs, consider support for dependents of employees, provide staff loans at reasonable rates, plan staff events that will build unity and trust. It should be a holistic approach that takes in to account personal needs, not just financial needs.

Long term planning
The Cavaliers had 7 years to build a team around LeBron, but instead of applying a long term mentality to their moves (trades, acquisitions), they always went for the ‘home run’ summer whereby the team could win a championship immediately. If, 6-7 years ago the team had started to put the pieces in place around LeBron slowly, allowing a young team to grow together, the Cavaliers would have most likely become a championship-caliber team.

The short-termism of the Cleveland management team hurt them in the long run.

In HR, the same applies. At all times, senior management must be considering the needs if it’s team, and the growth of the team, not just this year but 3-5 years from now. Only then will employees feel a since of progression and be able to visualize the way the company is moving forward.

As much as Cleveland lost LeBron, Miami won by recruiting him… and recruiting him hard. Led by superstar in waiting Wade, a Miami hero for the past half decade, and Team President Pat Riley, regarded as perhaps the smartest and most creative executives in the sport, LeBron received the pitch from Miami, as well as 4-5 other teams, and eventually selected them.

Now, we don’t know what the pitch contained exactly, but it highlights the importance of having a strong recruitment policy, and ‘pitch’ for prospective employees.

In any interview, it is well known now that both parties are being interviewed. The employee needs to be impressed by the organisation as much as the organisation needs to be impressed by the employee. But how many organisations actually act upon this?

Every organisation needs to look at itself from the perspective of a prospective employee and ask itself honestly:
1.     Why would I want to work for this company?
2.     What would stop me working for this company?
3.     How does this company compare, as an employer, to its competitors?

The answers to these questions are important. Even if you are a (on the surface) relatively boring organisation managing accounting services for clients, this doesn’t mean you have to be a boring employer. Why would an employee choose you over your competitors? What are the benefits that might sway their decision? Can you effectively communicate the benefits of being employed at your organisation to a prospect? Consider your benefits program, corporate culture, emphasis on HR planning, plans and growth of the company, the interesting and fun teams, exciting elements of the work, responsibilities, opportunities for creativity and investing ideas. Do your pitch to the prospect during the interview.

Have Miami done something brilliant or ridiculous? Every organisation has a budget that they wish to stick to. In the NBA, this is made more formal via the application of a salary cap. Teams cannot spend more on salaries than the salary cap figure, un less it is resigning current players, and even them they are to pay what is called a luxury tax. In today’s climate, most teams are working very hard to keep spending below the salary cap.

For Miami, to sign these three top players has taken the vast majority of their available ‘cap space’ or budget. Given that a team MUST have 15 players under contract, the Heat are left with the problem of filling the gaps and not having much money to do it with.

Time will tell whether 3 superstars can win a championship with 12 low cost role players and rookies, and it will be interesting to see the results from an HR perspective. For SME’s especially, there is always the temptation to break the bank and hire a superstar General Manager to manage the business, and trust that this one person can carry the load of the Managing Director, and handle marketing, operations, HR and sales. Sure, maybe they can, but if that budget was instead spent on hiring 4-5 lower cost managers in each department, would this provide more stability and a better structure. What happens when your superstar decides to leave (or for the Heat, gets injured)?

Whilst we may look at HR as an internal issue, it should be remembered that there are greater stakeholders in the mix too. Look at Cleveland fans, who cried and shouted and screamed and were silent after hearing the decision. Yes, in sports this is more relevant, but organisations also need to consider the effect on other stakeholders when managing their HR function.

As an organisation, hiring and firing effects employees yes, but also families, competitors, customers, suppliers and more. Consider the relationships you have in place with these stakeholders, and how a staff addition or replacement might affect these groups. In the end, the best business decision needs to be made, but sometimes the best business decision is also one that takes in to account factors not directly related to business itself.

Greater good
What the Miami Heat have done especially well is create a team spirit already. Their two superstars, and star, have all accepted LESS money than other teams could have paid them in order to ensure they could play together and build something special. This seems like an alien concept in today’s “I want” economy. Accepting less for yourself, in order to achieve the greater good for the team.

This can come down to corporate culture. The best organisations can retain their employees without having to break the bank. By creating an interesting corporate culture where success is recognised and rewarded, politics are minimised, hard work is prevalent and fun is had by the team, employees WILL stay longer for less money. Looking back at Employee Benefits Programs, these should enhance benefits for employees over time, thus keeping the employee looking forward… “just 2 more years until my bonus plan doubles”… “wow, in 6 months my department gets free tax planning training”.

The HR issues that come from “The Decision” are interesting and provide a slightly different view on the entire event.

Written by Stuart Blott, General Manager, Sutlet Group Co., Ltd

Sutlet Group is Thailand’s leading provider of business services and solutions, including accounting, visa and work permit management, HR, legal services and marketing solutions. See www.sutletgroup.com for more information on how to start up, development, support, management and grow your business in Thailand. All the HR issues outlined above can be addressed by the Sutlet Group.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sutlet Group continues its support for the Gift of Happiness Foundation

Sutlet Group, who have for years supported the Gift of Happiness Foundation, today announced that this support would continue throughout 2010 and 2011. 

Over the past few years, Sutlet Group have sponsored dozens of Gift of Happiness events all over Thailand. These events bring laughter and joy to children and schools, many of whom need to enjoy themselves for a day.
The Gift of Happiness Foundation, led by the famous Clown Eckie (Mr. Eddie Harworth, a British National) is a non-profit initiative that involved entertaining clown shows and other events for children. 

His most recent Sutlet Group sponsored event was the ANZAC day performance in Kanchanaburi, in association with the Australia Chamber of Commerce Thailand.

For more information on the Gift of Happiness Foundation, see www.gohappiness.org.

For more information on the Sutlet Group, Thailand's leading provider of business services and solutions, including accounting, financial services, legal support, HR and marketing, see www.sutletgroup.com

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sutlet Group sponsor the Euro Chambers Board Directors Networking Reception

Sutlet Group were proud sponsors of last nights Euro Chambers event, attended by Board Directors from all the major European Chambers of Commerce in Thailand.

The event (held on Tuesday 29th June) at the Landmark Hotel on Sukhumvit was well attended, and provided excellent exposure for the Sutlet Group. Chairman of the Sutlet Group, Chris Thatcher, was present in both his capacity with Sutlet Group and in his role as a member of the British Chamber Board of Directors.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sutlet Group partner with Bangkok Bank

Sutlet Group and Bangkok Bank have launched a new initiative to serve individuals and businesses who are interested in starting a business in Thailand. The initiative will involve Sutlet Group posting a series of monthly articles on the Bangkok Bank website, provided a wide variety of advice, information, hints and tips about operating a business in Thailand.

The first article was published last week and was entitled "Starting a business in Thailand". It provided an outline of some of the key areas that must be considered when launching a business in Thailand, including company registration, work permit and visa requirements, shareholding structure, recruiting staff, managing an office and others.

Sutlet Group is proud to be a part of this partnership, and looks forward to a long and successful relationship with Bangkok Bank.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Press release: Sutlet Group have acquired the Thailand HR Suite

The Sutlet Group, Thailand's leading provider of business services and solutions, have announced that they have acquired the Thailand HR Suite.

Stuart Blott, General Manager, said "this acquisition signals our intent for 2010, and is just the first of several significant expansion plans. Human Resource solutions are a natural fit for our operation, and will be promoted heavily in the coming year".

The Thailand HR Suite offers it's clients a series of branded HR and operational templates that have been specifically created for SME's in Thailand, and are based on Thai Labour Law. All templates provide a legal framework and structural backbone for organisations, and are provided in English and Thai language. Templates include a Company Handbook, Employee Contract, IT Policies, and 18 other professional documents.

The Sutlet Group will now promote these HR templates under the Sutlet Group corporate framework.

For more information, contact the Sutlet Group.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sutlet Group launches new websites for members FCA Thailand and PB Legal Services

The Sutlet Group is pleased to announce the launch of two new websites for two of our original Members, FCA Thailand and PB Legal Services

Both sites have been designed consistency as Members of the Sutlet Group, and navigation has been planned to provide the easiest possible route through the site, and to allow users to find information quickly and easily.

Already, enquiries have been generated through these websites and we have received excellent feedback on their look and feel. In the coming weeks, additional edits and changes will be made, so keep a close eye.

Next up will be the main Sutlet Group website - coming soon!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sutlet Group and the Chambers of Commerce

The Sutlet Group has long been a supporter of the Chambers of Commerce in Thailand. It is our belief that they serve a vital role in the local business community, and provide a professional and responsible approach to coordinating and assisting foreign-businesses in Thailand.

We back up this statement by being active members of no less than four of the main Chambers of Commerce, including:
  • The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT)
  • The Australian Chamber of Commerce Thailand
  • The American Chamber of Commerce Thailand
  • The Thai-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce 
All of the Chambers above provide excellent opportunities for business and networking, and have all been exceptional communication channels for the Sutlet Group. 

Additional Chamber activities

Our longest Chamber relationship is with the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand, with our membership stretching back many years. Our strong support of the BCCT is demonstrated as follows:

1. Importantly, the Sutlet Group is one of just 5 Annual Corporate Sponsors of the BCCT, alongside the likes of KPMG, Standard Chartered and HSBC.

2. Our Chairman, Chris Thatcher, has been elected to the BCCT Board of Directors.

3. Mr. Thatcher also Chairs the BCCT SME Committee, providing support and ideas for small businesses operating in Thailand. This has included giving presentations at organised events.

4. In addition to this, Mr. Thatcher also participates on a half dozen more British Chamber Committees, lending his insight and experience.

5. Later in 2010, the Sutlet Group will be sponsoring a monthly networking evening for the BCCT, providing prizes, information packs and more.

The Sutlet Group supports the CEOP

The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) recently signed an MoU with the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to promote the International Child Protection Network.

Sutlet Group were one of the first to sign up to this and attended the inaugural SE Asian conference.

Child protection is an issue for all of us and by joining this initiative Sutlet Group hope to contribute to raising awareness both with its own employees and customers and to a wider group through the charity work we undertake.

As many will already know, the internet presents new and dangerous opportunities for those wishing to abuse children to make contact with them. Knowing how to counter this is an important element of the work of CEOP.

Child abuse comes in may forms and again, awareness raising is important. Even more it is crucial to help people to understand what to do if they encounter any form of child abuse or exploitation.

Sutlet Group are proud to be able to play their part in this crucial work.

If you would like further information on the work of CEOP and how you can support it, please contact our Chairman, Chris Thatcher, by email (chris@sutletgroup.com) or through our office.

Welcome to the Sutlet Group Blog

The Sutlet Group is Thailand's leading provider of business solutions and services. Since 1998, the Group has been serving its clients here with professionalism and honesty, generating a reputation for finding solutions and really 'helping' our clients.

Consisting of various business divisions and group members, the Sutlet Group aims to provide it's customers with everything they need to do business in Thailand. Our services, over the years, have therefore expanded to include:

Accounting services - book-keeping, management accounting, auditing
Financial services - tax advice, planning, consulting
Legal services - company registration, work permit and visa management, Board of Investment promotion, business licenses, legal advice
HR - HR templates, payroll
Marketing - branding, websites, communications
Infrastructure - office space, IT
Moving services - relocation
Insurance - corporate and personal
Training - team training and team building
Consulting - for all industries

Our team of foreign-national and Thai-national senior managers are well supported by a knowledgeable, customer service driven team of coordinators and administrators, ensuring that we provide our customers with the best possible service on every occasion.

This blog will provide periodical updates on the Sutlet Group, including the launch of new products and services, websites, marketing initiatives, promotions, the hiring of new staff, various achievements, partnership news and anything else that we feel is worth sharing.

Feel free to comment on our blog at any time. For more information on the Sutlet Group, see our website