Data is King: our latest profile …
Brian Horisk was born in Northern Ireland and studied at University in Edinburgh. Apart from three years spent in New Zealand – intentions to travel interrupted by a job in Christchurch – he has been in Scotland ever since. Brian moved to Fife in 2006 – his home is near Kedlock Feus with his wife, daughter and “too many animals“. He runs Horisk Leslie Development and is also the current President of Fife Chamber of Commerce. We caught up with Brian – virtually – to discover more for our latest business profile …
Horisk Leslie Development is a web and database development business. Brian explains: “We work with a wide-range of clients in all sectors, specializing in e-commerce, websites and online systems. Our larger clients include the Scottish SPCA, Scottish Government and the London School of Economics … but we also work with many small businesses and charities.”
The business started in 2001 – “working at home“. He adds: “I was part of the ’80s bedroom programming generation!” Brian won a computer programming competition when he was 12 and then went on to study Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University. During his time at Uni – and after graduating – he worked for a start-up publishing company. “I left in 1997, worked in New Zealand for a few years in database development, and then moved into web development.” When he returned to Scotland at the end of 2000, he started as a freelancer and gradually built up the business with his partner, Iain Leslie.
From little seeds …
They opened an office in Cupar in 2012 and, five years later, moved into their current premises – at The Granary. Today, they have a team of six. Brian says: “Flexibility sets us apart. We build systems to suit our customers’ business, rather than forcing them to work the way our software does. And we are comfortable working with both very technical and non-technical customers – we don’t believe you should have to be technical to benefit from technology.”
Since he was a young boy, he has been intrigued by computers. “I’ve always enjoyed solving problems with computers – and then I found I enjoyed it even more if I was able to solve problems for other people.” He describes Horisk Leslie Development as “a small company with some very big customers“. Those customers trust Brian and his team to develop business-critical, user-friendly system. He adds: “It all about the support we can offer – support that is delivered over the long-term as organisations grow and requirements change.”
As part of the company, they also operate a joint venture that provides software to Universities for managing student accommodation. We asked what is his greatest achievement: “Starting a business from scratch that is trusted by large and small organisations to manage business critical processes and deliver millions of pounds worth of revenue.”
Brian has been in correspondence with CuparNow regarding how businesses might make better use of digital – not least of all in the current Covid-19 lockdown. He says: “We’re currently working on LocalToYourDoor.co.uk, a free site which we have set-up in response to the Covid-19 crisis which we hope will help Fife’s local businesses connect with new customers.” The premise of the site is to enable businesses to showcase the areas covered by delivery services. Brian says: “The idea was sown when relatives in St Andrews told me they were struggling to find information on businesses running deliveries. We could see the information being shared through CuparNow and thought a platform covering those delivering across the whole of Fife would be useful.”
The basic platform has been created and some businesses across Fife have already registered to show ordering and delivery information – searchable by the user’s postcode. We hope to be able to share more soon on this initiative being developed by Brian’s company – and a possible demonstration project that could benefit Cupar’s businesses. If you run a business or organisation in town and would be interested to know more, then please get in touch.
And finally …
As with all our business profiles, we ask what they’d recommend to somene visiting Cupar for the first time … or for the first time in a long time. Putting the Covid-19 lockdown to one side – and looking ahead to better times – Brian says: “Breakfast from Jacs, lunch at Milly’s and dinner at Ostler’s Close. In between? Take a stroll along the Eden!”
You can get in touch with Brian’s company using any of the following:
The Granary, Coal Road, Cupar, Fife KY15 5YQ
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