New Zealand’s top business entrepreneurs donned their finest and gathered for a black tie soiree at the overall Westpac Auckland Business Awards last week. In attendance, a who’s who of established industry leaders, who qualified by winning their regional business awards, and now vying for top honours at one of the most celebrated business awards events in the country.
A-Ward having won the ‘Supreme Business Excellence Award’ (overall winner for West region) late last year is thrilled to announce their triumph in furthering their success by being awarded the ‘Best of the Best in Innovation’, which recognises the New Zealand’s Overall Innovator of the year.
A-Ward’s Simon Ward (centre), Deborah Ward and Professor Ted Zorn of Massey University
A-Ward CEO Simon Ward says “This award is special because our business fundamentally thrives on the thrill of innovation for continuous improvement of operations and is testament to A-Wards team of loyal, committed and hardworking employees. Our philosophy is FIRST, FAST and FUTURE. First in quality, fast in performance and to lead the field in cutting edge future innovations”.
A-Wards ability to innovate and adapt quickly to find solutions on a global scale saves organisations time and money with products such as their game changing container tilter, enabling faster and more efficient container loading and unloading in bulk handling industries globally.
When asked what set A-Ward apart from the others vying for the ‘Best of the Best’ innovator award, Simon Ward responds “We never stop to admire the view or wait and see what the competition are doing. Every part of our business screams innovation, from the office layout, to snap compulsory five minute meetings to open discussions around a new idea. My wife, and business partner Deborah brings a strong strategic management skillset to the business, whilst I offer the often deemed ‘crazy’ innovation and design skills. Couple this with a diverse advisory board, exceptional staff and our ability to innovate and adapt quickly and we have a thoroughly potent strategic business mix”.
Having just celebrated their 15th anniversary, A-Ward is cementing itself as a world leader in providing total solutions for the scrap processing, demolition and bulk material handling industries. Exporting to 49 different countries and having cemented themselves firmly in the United Kingdom as the industry leader, their focus has been keeping up with the rapid demand being generated in the South American market by the booming Brazilian and Chilean economies. “Some of our largest export sales have been to Brazil, Chile, Canada, United States, France, Kazakhstan, Russia, Japan and Thailand,” explains Simon Ward. “In the past six months alone our confirmed orders have almost doubled and pipeline orders pending have almost tripled”.
A-Ward have transformed business performance for thousands of companies across the globe, having supplied their state of the art equipment to Coca Cola in the USA, Toyota in Japan, a Heineken brewery in Congo a fully customised unit locally at Heinz Watties in Hastings, New Zealand, and recently a customised rubbish pre- compaction unit for instant trailer transfer of a 25 tonne load of waste in the UK, and a container unloading unit in an incinerator in France. “We have recently employed an International Sales Manager to deal with increasing international demand and we are currently in the throes of recruitment for another senior role as an operations executive as our production grows” explains Deborah Ward.
When asked about exciting future projects in the pipeline, Simon Ward explains “We’ve been working on a new development in innovation in association with a New Zealand wildlife charity – Project Jonah. When whales strand we wanted to come up with a way of more easily transporting them back into the water – a whale lifting device. The design elements took 12 months and we started building our first prototype in November last year. We hope to complete the proto type and do our first trial at the end of this month”.
This latest win adds to the number of national and international business and exporting accolades A-Ward has received including the ‘Deloitte’s Fast 50’, ‘NZTE Excellence’, ‘Lloyd’s List Australian Shipping’, ‘Export NZ’ and ‘American Chamber’ for its growth, enterprise, leadership and innovation. A-Ward also attained the coveted Swedish Steel Prize in 2012, were winners of the Westpac Auckland Business Awards/WEST – Excellence in Exporting, Excellence in Innovation and Supreme Business Excellence Award (Overall for West region) in 2014 and now claim the ‘Top Innovator’ Title as the Best of the Best in the Auckland Westpac Business Awards 2015.