Bruce Robinson, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, last night presented Allied Bakeries and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive with the top awards for excellence at the Centre for Competitiveness gala dinner.
The organisations were among 19 receiving awards at the event, organised by the Centre for Competitiveness sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, BT NI, OFMDFM, FG Wilson and Viridian.The awards recognise public and private sector organisations that have demonstrated excellence in their business performance.
Congratulating the winners, Mr Robinson said: “Companies which show a commitment to building capability and achieving excellence through continuous improvement consistently outperform others in terms of growth and competitiveness.
“Quality is central to achieving the ambition of the draft Economic Vision to make Northern Ireland a highly skilled, innovative and enterprising economy. Local companies must continue to focus onproducing high quality products and services to compete successfully in the global economy.
“This approach isn’t limited to the private sector. The Steps to Excellence programme is a graduated approach to improved service delivery and is a major tool in achieving better public services in Northern Ireland.”
All organisations that take part in the Centre for Competitiveness quality awards benefit from an in depth review of their operations to find out how good their business is when measured against Europe’s most widely used management framework, the EFQM model. This offers a measure of international competitiveness.
The Northern Ireland regional award provides a route to further recognition at national and European level.
Mr Robinson concluded: “Northern Ireland businesses have enjoyed phenomenal Quality Awards success over the past ten years. Six NI regional winners have gone on to secure national recognition, and three have triumphed at European level, with Antrim-based SAM Mouldings becoming the first NI small business to win the top award at all three levels – an outstanding achievement. The Centre for Competitiveness is to be congratulated for ten years of great success in guiding local organisations to European excellence.”