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Orcon Internet Wins North Shore Business Awards

Internet service provider takes top honours in Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards 2004

The winners of the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards 2004 were announced on Thursday August 26 at a glittering Gala Dinner at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna.


Orcon Internet Managing Director Seeby Woodhouse (centre) with Westpac CEO Ann Sherry (left) and Enterprise North Shore Chairman Maurice Boland (right).


The Awards, now in their seventh year, recognise and honour North Shore City businesses that have demonstrated outstanding performance and business excellence. Twelve category awards were announced during the function, which culminated in the announcement of the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award 2004.

Internet service provider (ISP) Orcon Internet took the ultimate honour – the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award 2004. Earlier in the evening, the company, which provides wholesale internet and business connections, won the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award and the Vector Best Emerging Business Award.

Previously a finalist in the 2001 Business Awards, Orcon Internet won the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award in 2002 and the 3M Excellence in Innovation Award last year.

Orcon Internet director Seeby Woodhouse says Orcon has developed a distinctive marketing campaign aimed at the residential market and is ‘poised to become a household name in New Zealand’.

Since it was established in 1995, Orcon has sustained a high level of growth to become the country’s fourth largest ISP and the largest wholly New Zealand-owned-and-operated ISP, he says.

Seeby Woodhouse, 27, launched Orcon Internet while he was at university. The company now employs 30 staff members.

Convenor of Judges Gordon Lamont says Orcon Internet is an outstanding company and thoroughly deserved to win.

“Orcon Internet is a tremendous example for other companies on the North Shore to follow. It is innovative and creative, has excellent business plans and projections, has grown in a solid manner and is providing an increasing number of employment opportunities for people in our city. Overall this is an excellent business.”

Westpac General Manager Business Banking Bruce McLachlan says all entrants deserve accolades as they have demonstrated outstanding achievements and the ability to excel.

“Every year we receive fantastic feedback from entrants who have put themselves on the line by entering our Awards. They all receive value out of the experience in a raft of ways – from learning more about their business to the networking opportunities the Awards offer. Westpac is proud to be part of an event that recognises achievement and celebrates excellence.”

Entrants high achievers

The Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards attract entries from high achievers who make a significant contribution to North Shore City’s booming economy.

Enterprise North Shore Chief Executive Terry Hoskins says the Awards provide an excellent platform to showcase the shining lights of North Shore’s business community.

"Enterprise North Shore actively encourages excellence in business and for the past seven years the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards has been a celebration of that,” Mr Hoskins says.

“By honouring the winners we are also recognising every entrant. Every business that takes part steps out of their comfort zone to put their entry together and, as a result, they motivate their staff, improve their processes and set themselves on a clearer path.”

Convener of Judges Gordon Lamont says the Awards draw exciting, innovative and committed people who are focused on constantly improving their business. “Orcon Internet and other Award winners this year have been entering for several successive years. Many often start out achieving finalist status in their first or second year and then go on to win a category or two in the following year or so. Then, a few of them - such as Orcon Internet – receive the ultimate honour of the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award.”

Category winners

The 3M Excellence in Innovation Award and the Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award went to Creative Business Systems which develops engineering tools for the water and wastewater industry.

Established in 1994 and trading as CleanFlow Systems, the company recently graduated from the prestigious technology business incubator, Massey University’s e-centre.

CleanFlow Systems provides tools for gathering and analysing data on local authorities’ wastewater pipes and manholes. Over time the business has developed an innovative product for accurately measuring defects in pipelines. The company’s export markets include USA, Italy, Germany, China, Turkey and Russia.

Judges for the Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award described Creative Business Systems as a committed exporter with a significant global marketing future. The 3M Excellence in Innovation Award judges said the company is ‘founded on innovation’. Its innovative tools had trumped the competitors in New Zealand and overseas and would lead to other uses of laser images and associated software. Warehouse Stationery won the ACC ThinkSafe Workplace Safety Award and the Veritas Employer of Choice Award. Last year the company won the North Shore Times Community Contribution Award and the Hudson Global Resources Employer of Choice Award.

Warehouse Stationery’s staff of 200 supports 42 retail stores, an expanding business-to-business (B2B) service and a new distribution centre. Over the past year, the company has added three stores to its network, and expanded two retail outlets to become ‘mega’ stores. Its B2B business is currently growing at a rate of about 25 per cent a month.

Judges for the Veritas Employer of Choice Award were impressed by the unique and rewarding environment at Warehouse Stationery. Not only is there a fun atmosphere and culture, they commented, but the company supports team members in times of need and has systems and structures for training, development and appraisal.

The Actionmail & Alliance Construction Excellence in Marketing Award was won by Hillside Building Supplies. Previously the business won the A.C. Blackmore Excellence in Service Delivery Award in 2003 and, in 2002, won the Local Directories Best Emerging Business Award.

Hillside Building Supplies provides a comprehensive range of quality building materials primarily to residential builders. The company also sells to light commercial construction companies, building sub-trades and serious do-it-yourself customers.

The judges said that while all finalists demonstrated the value of knowing their customers, Hillside Building Supplies had raised the bar. It demonstrated marketing is not necessarily about glossy advertising, but focuses on attention to detail and never losing sight of what matters to the customer. Hillside Building Supplies’ spread of marketing activities differentiates them from competitors while developing strong customer loyalty.

The Clearlite Excellence in Service Delivery Award was won by Comworth Group a distributor of leading-brand technology and telecommunications equipment and solutions. Established in 1983 as a two-person family business, Comworth Group now employs 130 people who focus on delivering service with a personal touch.

The judges were impressed that Comworth Group realised from the outset that service delivery was a key point of difference for its business. The group’s significant growth can largely be attributed to its quality service which has been implemented through formal systems and processes.

Winner of the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award, Orcon Internet, also won the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award and the Vector Best Emerging Business Award. Last year the company won the 3M Excellence in Innovation Award and, in 2002, the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award.

One of the country’s largest internet wholesalers, the company provides a range of internet-based products and services from standard dial-up accounts to high value Internet services. Orcon also licenses an Internet billing software product for ISPs. The judges of the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award said Orcon Internet showed how technology can create a sustainable advantage, leading to excellence in operations and major growth potential. The company’s business excellence, they noted, was achieved on the basis of a solid vision, strong industry knowledge, superior service and excellence in technology. The North Shore City Council Excellence in Tourism Award went to The Spencer on Byron Hotel, as it did in 2003 in the inaugural year of this category.

In a notable move by the judges, the performance of fellow finalist McLaren Brown Publishing was acknowledged with a Highly Commended Award in the North Shore City Council Excellence in Tourism category. The judges were impressed by The Spencer on Byron Hotel and McLaren Brown and commented that though The Spencer on Byron was the winner, both businesses make a huge contribution to tourism on the North Shore and the Auckland region. The calibre of both finalists’ entries made this a very difficult category to judge.

Since opening in July 2001, The Spencer on Byron Hotel has played an important role in North Shore City. The hotel, which has 72 studio rooms and 177 suites, has nurtured relationships with tourism agencies and businesses and continues to work towards a goal of sustainable tourism for the North Shore. It has a four-star Qualmark rating and a loyal customer base.

McLaren Brown Publishing is a leading publisher of tourism publications – its total circulation is approximately 850,000. The company has published several New Zealand firsts which include a North Shore Visitor Guide, the New Zealand visitor guide for travellers with restricted mobility, the Auckland Shopping Guide and numerous foreign language guides which are exported worldwide. McLaren Brown recently opened 37 new offshore distribution outlets and in 2003 was recognised with a Tourism New Zealand Award.

Albany Real Estate won the North Shore Times Community Contribution Award in recognition for the active role it plays in the community.

Established in 1991, Albany Real Estate – which is part of The Professionals real estate group – today, has three offices and a staff of 47. The company’s community involvement ranges from sponsoring garden tours and school galas to a Christmas lights spectacular, a classic car show and the annual Town versus Gown Lucas Creek Kayak Race. The company donates a portion of each sale to the Child Cancer Foundation. Judges said Albany Real Estate was outstanding because the owners of the business had a genuine community spirit. Rather than making community spiritedness simply a part of its marketing strategy, Albany Real Estate demonstrated a genuine desire to make its own community a better place and to assist wherever it could. Judges commented that Frith Daniels, who owns the business with her husband, Havard, is the driving force behind the community work and deserves a special mention.

The Smales Farm Excellence in Environmental Management Award was won by Lowery Supa Cutters. The business is involved in many facets of the concrete-cutting and drilling industry and specialises in complex, concrete-removal projects, and is a member of North Shore City’s BusinessCare Enviro-Mark programme that measures sustainable business practices.

Established in 1998, Lowery Supa Cutters recently moved into concrete-removal services and technologies as well environmental protection services.

The judges were delighted with the high quality of the entries in this category and said that Lowery Supa Cutters, in particular, demonstrated its commitment to environmental protection. The company has integrated its environmental practices into its business plan. Judges said companies such as Lowery Supa Cutters reflect the growing awareness of environmental issues in North Shore City.

Terrabyte Screenprint won the Local Directories Best New Start-up Business Award. Last year, the company was a finalist in the Local Directories Best Emerging Business Award.

Terrabyte Screenprint has developed a specialised four-colour screenprinting process founded on leading-edge technology. Founded in early 2002, Terrabyte uses a screenprinting technology developed by its directors that provides top-end garment printing. The company, which employs 11 staff, has recently won three gold medals and was highly commended in another three categories as well as being a finalist for the supreme award at the prestigious New Zealand Pride in Print Awards 2004.

The Local Directories Best New Start-up Business Award judges said they took into account how businesses started and looked at significant achievements in the development of the business and how the company sought advice and funding. The judges said Terrabyte Screenprint understood the business market and its associated issues and risks and mitigated that risk. The company had business and marketing plans in place, effective internal systems and strategies for long-term sustainability.

Enterprise North Shore – North Shore’s economic development agency Enterprise North Shore is the economic development agency for North Shore City. Established in 1993, Enterprise North Shore serves as North Shore City’s primary engine for sustainable economic development and supports the development of local and regional strategies for the creation of a vibrant and buoyant economy.
For more information on the Awards, visit www.enterprisens.org.nz.
See next page for a full list of winners.


AWARD WINNERS - WESTPAC ENTERPRISE NORTH SHORE BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2004

Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award 2004
Orcon Internet Ltd

3M Excellence in Innovation Award Creative Business Systems Ltd (CleanFlow Systems Ltd)

ACC ThinkSafe Workplace Safety Award Warehouse Stationery Ltd
Actionmail & Alliance Construction Excellence in Marketing Award Hillside Building Supplies Ltd

Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award
Creative Business Systems Ltd
Clearlite Excellence in Service Delivery Award Comworth Group

Massey University Excellence in Technology Award
Orcon Internet Ltd

North Shore City Council Excellence in Tourism Award The Spencer on Byron Hotel – winner McLaren Brown Publishing Ltd – highly commended

North Shore Times Community Contribution Award Albany Real Estate Ltd
Smales Farm Excellence in Environmental Management Award Lowery Supa Cutters Ltd

Local Directories Best New Start-up Business Award
Terrabyte Screenprint Ltd

Vector Best Emerging Business Award Orcon Internet Ltd

Veritas Employer of Choice Award Warehouse Stationery Ltd

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