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Technology creator takes top enterpprise honours

PRESS RELEASE


Creator of revolutionary technology takes top honours in Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards 2005


The winners of the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards 2005 were announced on Thursday August 25 at a sell-out Gala Dinner at Albany’s North Harbour Stadium.

The Awards, now in their eighth year, recognise and celebrate North Shore City businesses that have demonstrated outstanding performance and business excellence. Twelve category Awards were announced during the function, which culminated in the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award 2005.

Plastics packaging manufacturer, LinkPlas, took the top Award. The Takapuna company produces high-tech plastic containers for food and drink as well as for industrial, personal and health care products. Earlier in the evening, LinkPlas won the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award.

Using innovative manufacturing techniques and the latest technology barrier materials, LinkPlas created a world-first in successfully producing a PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) plastic wine bottle for use in the airline and entertainment industries. Dubbed the Pettle, the innovative bottle has the appearance, feel and characteristics of glass without the weight. It is enabling its airline clients to make significant fuel and weight savings and improves their in-flight safety and beverage service.

Since it was established in 1998, LinkPlas has steadily expanded. Today the company operates 24 hours a day six days a week with a full-time staff of 15.

Convenor of Judges, Milford lawyer Patricia Schnauer, says LinkPlas is a world leader in developing technology and is an outstanding company.

“LinkPlas has demonstrated innovation in a product that meets customer demands and gives high utilisation of production machinery. The company has an on-going commitment to research and development, has excellent systems in place and operates from a solid business strategy,” she says.

Patricia Schnauer says the Awards attracted an exciting field of innovative and committed businesses led by people who are focused on constant improvement and greater achievements.
Accolades for all entrants

Westpac General Manager Business Banking Bruce McLachlan praised all entrants in the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards 2005 for their achievements and ability to excel.

“This year more businesses than ever before took part and more businesses have benefited from putting their businesses on the line by entering our Awards. Every enterprise that takes part learns more about their own business, benchmarks against others and accesses increased network opportunities. All our finalists and winners have their achievements profiled and recognised right across the business community, which should maintain the momentum of their particular success. Westpac is proud to be part of an event that helps business thrive.”

Entrants are high achievers

Enterprise North Shore Chief Executive Terry Hoskins says the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards bring the North Shore business community together to celebrate the enormous contribution local business makes to everyone who lives and works there.

"It’s always a real thrill to see the amazing achievements of our entrants – in particular those of our finalists and winners. Many start out as small enterprises – sometimes initially operating from a back bedroom or home garage – and, through hard work and skillful leadership, develop into businesses we are proud to have in our city.

“Every business that enters the Awards has to extend itself, step out of its comfort zone and take an in-depth look at itself. The process has many benefits – it reminds business owners and managers of their significant achievments, boosts staff morale, improves business processes and helps clarify a business’ purpose and direction.”

Category winners

The Actionmail Excellence in Marketing Award was won by Nappies Direct which offers a nationwide home delivery service of premium baby products. Launched by a husband and wife team in October 2002, the company has developed a loyal customer base and an extensive New Zealand-wide ‘new mum’ database.

The judges said Nappies Direct has a well-planned marketing strategy that demonstrates an understanding of the marketing mix, its contribution to the business’ growth and the business’ target market.

It has developed a well-considered marketing programme that seeks to establish and maintain long-lasting relationships with customers. Nappies Direct is constantly looking for added-value items to ensure the business is a preferred supplier.


Allied Fastenings won the Alliance Construction Best New Start-up Business Award. The company is an importer, wholesaler and reseller of quality fastening products with customers ranging from construction businesses to power and utilities companies.

Established three years ago in a home garage, Allied Fastenings has since outgrown two warehouses and now employs staff in sales, warehousing and administration.
The Allied Construction Best New Start-up Business Award judges said Allied Fastenings demonstrates excellence in business planning, has high focus on margins and stock management, adheres to systems and operates tight internal controls.

The Smales Farm Excellence in Environmental Management Award was won by Kristin School, an independent school in Albany with 1600 students from kindergarten to year 13.

In the last five years the school’s expansion has included buildings, sports fields, recreational spaces and car parking. To mitigate the effects of the development, the school created a storm water management system that consists of dry ponds, wetlands, fish ladders, bridges, waterways and riparian planting.

The system has upgraded the quality of the stream that flows through the school, improved the habitat of aquatic life and native birds, provided an attractive environment for adjoining neighbours and created an educational resource for students.

The judges said Kristin School demonstrated multiple levels of environmental management across all areas of the school, from the curriculum to the community - for example, it had established a tree planting project at Tiritiri-Matangi Island.


The Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award went to Berill Control Systems which is a market leader in state-of-the-art turnkey automation solutions.

A leading supplier of airport baggage handling systems in all major Australian airports, the company’s work in automation projects includes project management, conveyor technology, operations and maintenance and advanced software.

Berill Control Systems was founded 12 years ago and has its head office in Albany and has offices across Australia.

Judges for the Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award described Berill Control Systems as a highly committed, enthusiastic and dedicated organisation that is focused on an export growth strategy to make it a major international player in its industry. Strong focus on team culture and a programme that provides assistance to staff and their families when staff are overseas, is ‘an excellence model worthy of being adopted by other exporters’.


Age Concern North Shore won the North Shore Times Community Contribution Award in recognition of its role as an information and resource agency linking older people with social and recreational groups and support organisations.

The organisation is committed to raising public awareness of the needs and status of older people. Its services include advocacy, advice, information, visits, education and health promotion, abuse and neglect service, a skills bank of tradespeople and a luncheon club for frail elderly people.

Judges said Age Concern North Shore has a long-term history of dedication to older people in the North Shore community. The organisation averages more than 2500 inquiries per month, makes 8000 home visits and serves more than 2000 meals each year making Age Concern North Shore a ‘worthy recipient of this Award’.

The ACC ThinkSafe Workplace Safety Award was won by de Bruin-Judge Furniture which manufactures and installs custom-made high quality kitchens, bathroom vanities, domestic furniture, commercial fit-outs and superior shop-fittings.
The company, which won the ACC ThinkSafe Workplace Safety Award in 2003, has also won awards for expertise in cabinetmaking and business management and has achieved Enviro-Mark Gold accreditation from Landcare Research in conjunction with the North Shore City Council.
While the client base of de Bruin-Judge Furniture is largely award-winning architects and designers, the company also provides an in-house design service for individuals and businesses that approach the company directly.
The judges said de Bruin-Judge Furniture has a clear commitment to excellence in safety and its safety procedures and culture reflect this. A recent tertiary accreditation from ACC was just reward for the company’s programme of continuous improvement, they said.


Winner of the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award, LinkPlas, also won the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award.

A developer and producer of leading-edge plastic bottles, LinkPlas services domestic and international clients.

LinkPlas’ plastic wine bottle developed for the airline and entertainment industries, took more than four years of product development and testing before being launched onto the market. The company needed to ensure that the wine would have a shelf life of 12 months and that its quality would be maintained.

The judges of the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award said they were looking for a business that used technology to best advantage. They said LinkPlas is unique in that it has not only adapted and applied a new perspective for a technology, but also created that technology. The judges added that New Zealand - and the North Shore – benefit from LinkPlas’ world leadership in technology development.

The Vector Best Emerging Business Award was won by My Goodness Gift Baskets. Established in 1992 when the company’s Christmas gift baskets were assembled in a home garage, the company offers a large range of innovative gift hampers.

The company, which now has a spacious store in Albany, has a commitment to excellent design and quality products. During the past two years, annual sales growth has been 85 percent pa.

Judges of the Vector Best Emerging Business Award were impressed with My Goodness Gift Baskets’ recent growth and with the strategies and credible systems that are in place to ensure that growth is sustainable. They said the company demonstrated a strong link between its plans and actual outcomes and is seeking customer feedback on its new products.


Phonak New Zealand won the Orcon Internet Employer of Choice Award. Established in 1991 when its Swiss parent company saw opportunities in New Zealand, Phonak New Zealand now supplies more than 50 models of hearing aids.

An acknowledged technology leader in its field, the New Zealand operation has one of the highest market shares of any Phonak company in the world outside Switzerland. The company, which has introduced innovative methods of breaking down barriers to hearing aid use, sees its staff as its most important asset and is acknowledged for its positive culture and contributions to the community.

Judges for the Orcon Internet Employer of Choice Award said Phonak New Zealand goes the extra mile to meet staff needs. In particular, it is willing to recognise changes in the family circumstances of staff and adjust its work patterns to accommodate these. This, along with in-depth training and on-going staff support across all areas of the workplace, makes the company a worthy winner.


The North Shore City Council Excellence in Tourism Award went to The Spencer on Byron Hotel, as it did last year and in 2003, the inaugural year of this category.

Since opening in July 2001, The Spencer on Byron Hotel has played an important role in North Shore City. A sophisticated ‘city style’ hotel by the sea, it has 72 studio rooms, 177 suites and extensive leisure facilities. The hotel has a four-star plus Qualmark rating and a loyal customer base,

The judges in the North Shore City Council Excellence in Tourism Award said The Spencer on Byron Hotel and the category’s other finalist – McLaren Brown Publishing - were both strong contenders for this Award given that both make significant contributions to tourism on the North Shore.

They said The Spencer on Byron Hotel has overcome a number of difficulties to significantly improve its market share, and has nurtured relationships with tourism agencies and businesses. As well, the hotel continues to work towards a goal of sustainable tourism for North Shore.

The Clearlite Excellence in Service Delivery Award was won by Trade-Tech New Zealand which imports and distributes electronic components for the electronic repair and servicing industry. It also supplies electronic components in bulk to high-tech manufacturers throughout New Zealand.

Established 18 years ago, the company employs a total of 24 staff in Mairangi Bay and Christchurch.

Judges were impressed with Trade-Tech New Zealand for its commitment to service across staff and management. The company has documented service criteria, holds weekly meetings with staff, undertakes same-day dispatch of orders, and operates formal market research, customer feedback and daily reporting systems.


The 3M Excellence in Innovation Award went to CHS Parking Systems which specialises in high-tech parking meters and vending and cash handling systems.

The company has designed and manufactured the only meter currently capable of remote communications via a GPRS modem and, as a result, has brought to the market an extremely secure form of credit card payment for a self-service parking device.

CHS Parking Systems has also introduced a Txt-a-Park meter that enables people to pay for parking via their mobile telephone - the take-up rate of this new product has surpassed expectations.

Judges for the 3M Excellence in Innovation Award said CHS Parking Systems is a pioneer in the area of cash payments for car-parking handling, having adopted and improved overseas technology to make it suitable for local conditions. The company is exporting its systems and, in Australia, is a market leader. Judges were impressed that the business is now looking further afield to maximise its success to date.

About Enterprise North Shore
Established in 1993 by North Shore City Council, Enterprise North Shore Trust is North Shore City’s economic development agency. It serves as North Shore City's advocate for sustainable economic development. Enterprise North Shore supports, promotes and encourages business growth, investment and employment in the City.

For more information, visit www.ens.org.nz.

See below for a full list of winners.

ENDS

AWARD WINNERS – WESTPAC ENTERPRISE NORTH SHORE BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2005


Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award 2005
LinkPlas Ltd


3M Excellence in Innovation Award
CHS Parking Systems

Alliance Construction Best New Start-up Business Award
Allied Fastenings Ltd

North Shore Times Community Contribution Award
Age Concern North Shore

Actionmail Excellence in Marketing Award
Nappies Direct

Massey University Excellence in Technology Award
LinkPlas Ltd

ACC ThinkSafe Workplace Safety Award
de Bruin-Judge Furniture Ltd

Vector Best Emerging Business Award
My Goodness Gift Baskets

North Shore City Council Excellence in Tourism Award
The Spencer on Byron Hotel

Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award
Berill Control Systems

Clearlite Excellence in Service Delivery Award
Trade-Tech New Zealand Ltd

Smales Farm Excellence in Environmental Management Award
Kristin School

Orcon Internet Employer of Choice Award
Phonak New Zealand Ltd

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