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The night is bright, the night is orange

Renishaw wins national business award 2011
Posted 11th Nov 2011 by Chris in engineering, manufacturing, apprenticeships, graduates, orange, grant thornton, national business awards

It was perhaps appropriate that at a business awards event sponsored by the telecoms brand Orange, that Renishaw, with its main corporate colour of orange (pantone 151 if you’re interested), should win one of the night’s key accolades.

Thus it was on 8th November that we were really pleased to be given the accolade of being the UK’s Mid-Cap Business of the Year, an award that was sponsored by Grant Thornton, one of the UK’s leading financial and business advisory organisations. What for us was very special, was to be judged ahead of some very high performing short-listed companies including SuperGroup (manufacturer of the internationally renowned Superdry clothing), Majestic Wine (a leading wine retailer and personal favourite of this blog’s author), Moneysupermarket (owner of the UK’s most popular price comparison website), Rightmove (the UK’s largest residential property website), and the Cineworld Group (the number one UK cinema operator).

It is also an interesting award because it is open by nomination only to publicly listed companies or mutuals with a turnover of between £25 million and £500 million. For Renishaw it is also a bit special, because whilst we have been fortunate over the years to win many awards for achievement in engineering technology and innovation, this accolade takes a holistic view of a business, rating financial returns, growth and innovation strategies, and market sector prominence.

According to Grant Thornton’s blog, it was a very close-fought contest with all four judges (David Freeman of Huthwaite International, Martin Gardner of Grant Thornton, Clare Parsons of Lansons Communications, and Jane Tozer of ITNEA) ranking Cineworld, Majestic Wine and Renishaw in their top three. However, apparently we edged the contest for our ‘exceptional innovation and export growth over the year’ and we were also seen as strong on staff engagement and ‘won kudos for creating a campus culture attracting more graduates into engineering and providing a breeding ground for continued innovation.’

The comprehensive entry form that we had to complete covered topics such as business innovation, management style, customer service strategy, staff motivation, and business ethics. However, the last question was interesting as it asked what winning the award would mean for both Renishaw and the industry (in our case manufacturing), and here is what we said in response to the latter:

“The manufacturing sector generally has a poor public perception in the UK, with the belief often expressed that ‘the UK doesn’t make stuff anymore’ and generally has the image of grimy, oily environments, dominated by 50+ year old men operating manual machinery. This does nothing to help successful engineering companies like our own to attract bright young people, when influencers in schools and families have such negative impressions. The Government speaks often about rebalancing, but the national media generally doesn’t understand the sector and positive stories are rare.

Therefore to win this award would help the industry by publicising that manufacturing is alive and well, that it does make a positive contribution to the wealth of the UK economy, and that it does offer rewarding careers, developing and making products that are making a real difference to people’s lives in, for example, the fields of healthcare and green energy products.

The Grant Thornton award would also signal to the international community that the UK has chosen to recognise a UK manufacturer as representing the best of British Business, which would also be a very positive message for the sector.”

We’re very proud of being named The Grant Thornton Mid-Cap Business of the Year, and really hope that along with many other excellent companies in the manufacturing industry that we can continue to gain such recognition from outside the sector, and especially highlight the great opportunities for young people, both with modern forward looking apprenticeships and excellent graduate positions.