Triple awards triumph for Chamber companies
THREE northern Lincolnshire firms have triumphed in the regional heats of the prestigious Chamber Awards 2012.
Ramsden International, a highly-decorated grocery exporter, has been named Business of the Year for Yorkshire and Humber, as well as putting the Achievement in International Business in the basket at the Grimsby headquarters.
It completed the same double in 2010, and has enjoyed previous success at the national awards that now follow for the winners.
The town's shopping centre, Freshney Place, outstripped competition from across the region to win Marketing Campaign of the Year, for Dress For Success – a Women's Aid fundraiser that saw wardrobes spring cleaned, and was first conceived in a joint venture between the 100-shop outlet and the Grimsby Telegraph.
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Scunthorpe IT giant HBP Systems completes the successful hat-trick with the Commitment to People Development Award.
Ramsden, which counts the Queen's Award among the many accolades for business excellence picked up, employs 48 people in Adam Smith Street, Grimsby, and continues to enjoy massive year-on-year growth. It is on target to hit the £50-million mark in 2012.
The company's expansion has come from its commitment to customer service, investment in staff and a focus on exploiting key markets. It now supplies a 23,000-strong range of British groceries to more than 700 outlets in 120 countries, with its multi-lingual team able to speak fluently in 14 different languages.
The most recent Telegraph-backed Dress For Success campaign was a six-week initiative that invited women to swap their unwanted workwear for a 10 per cent off voucher to spend at some of the centre's leading fashion retailers.
More than 800 people took part and all the clothes received were donated to the chosen charity.
The campaign helped contribute to a 3.35 per cent increase in footfall at a time when national retail figures were down.
Amanda Austin, Freshney Place's centre director, said: "All the staff involved in the Dress For Success campaign are thrilled by this prestigious award, given to the company able to best demonstrate that a marketing campaign has had a positive effect on their business.
"Dress for Success was designed not only to generate positive news coverage, but to encourage customers into the centre to donate clothes. We had several celebrity donors, which was greatly appreciated, and helped increase visitor numbers and sales during what is notoriously a quiet time. The campaign attained national coverage promoting both Freshney Place and Grimsby."
HBP Systems, based in Woodhouse Road, impressed judges with its unique approach to training and skills.
The company, which has over 20 years experience in providing business management and accounting software, has launched a dedicated apprenticeship scheme, with six apprentices now employed, as reported in Business Telegraph.
Phil Denham, marketing manager at the business software specialist, said: "We have been doing a lot of work on the apprenticeship scheme and it is nice to shout about something good that you do.
"Another key theme is the continual training of existing staff, which is led by them identifying needs, which in turn helps us to offer more products and services through our partners. We are delighted to win and incredibly proud."
Turnover is up 12 per cent so far in 2012, and the company is also looking forward to an event it hosts which was no doubt part of the consideration. Educate, on November 16, brings together leading speakers for seminars offering advice on vital elements of every modern business, from regional opportunities to accounting tips.
Anne Tate, northern Lincolnshire manager for Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, of which all three winners are members, said: "I'm thrilled to hear we have three companies nominated. It just goes to show the quality of the companies we have locally and I and everyone else at the Hull and Humber Chamber will be keeping fingers crossed that they scoop the national prize in their nominated categories."
The national final of the British Chambers of Commerce Chamber Awards 2012 takes place at London's Guildhall, on November 29.