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CN Specialists Awards winners hail special effects

As the CN Specialists Awards 2013 open for entries, Katie Barker discovers how past winners have benefited from the widespread recognition and enhanced reputations that their successes have brought

This week CN is launching its Specialists Awards 2013, which aim to recognise the brilliant and invaluable work specialists do within the industry every day.

The awards celebrate businesses of all sizes that excel across the 18 categories, which include sector-specific awards on everything from demolition to fire protection, while also taking in health and safety, low carbon and training.

For an SME, the benefits of winning are well established in terms of raising your profile and gaining recognition but, as Alumet’s marketing director Dean Walton explains, awards can extend even further for specialists in the construction industry.

“Winning a Construction News Specialists Award raises your profile, but it also helps with PQQs,” says Mr Walton.

“There is always a section about industry accreditations and awards and there it’s great to be able to say we won a CN Specialists Award – it speaks volumes.”

Alumet has won the award in the Building Envelope category for the past three years.

For Cantillon, winner of the Health and Safety award in 2012, the accolade not only reaffirms the company’s commitment to its health and safety practices but also helps when tendering for new business.

“Almost certainly it will have a major impact on whether we get new business or not; prospective new clients can see that we have taken health and safety to the next level and show that by involving employees you can achieve a remarkable work ethic,” says Cantillon safety, health, environmental and quality manager John Rimmer.

For many of those who win a CN Specialists Award, the fact that they are being recognised on a national level for the work they do every day is why winning means so much.

“Being recognised by such an established magazine like Construction News for the work that we do on a daily basis is a huge honour,” says Fire Design Solutions managing director Nick Waterfield, who company scooped the 2012 Fire Protection award.

“I believe by winning the award, clients can see we are recognised by the industry for the outstanding work we do and that we are committed to keeping high professional standards within the construction industry,” he says.

For others, the boost comes from winning a group where all the companies on the shortlist were very impressive. “Bourne Construction Engineering is very proud to have won the 2012 Specialists Award for steelwork for the design and delivery of the Farringdon station project,” says Bourne Construction Engineering development director Terry Wood.

“Winning the award helped cement our position as a leading specialist steel contractor and we’re immensely proud the judges recognised this, especially against strong competition.”

For Alumet, the longer-term benefits of being an award-winning company are evident. “If we look back 10 years to before we started entering the awards and raising our profile, many of our competitors from that era no longer exist, but we are still going strong,” says Mr Walton. “Last year was our best turnover yet at £30 million, built from nothing 20 years ago.”

Other winners at the 2012 awards feel that the recognition is a good way of setting their company apart during what are challenging economic times. “We were absolutely delighted to win in the Roofing category at the 2012 Specialists Awards,” says Briggs Amasco managing director Dave Maginns.

“Up against top companies from the industry, it is also a clear statement of intent to prospective clients that we are a roofing company that aims to deliver the highest standards for years to come.”

While for McGee Group, which won the award for concrete, client feedback has been instant and positive.

“Following the win, a number of clients contacted us to congratulate the team that worked on the project in Newcastle, which raised the profile of our capabilities,” says McGee Group director John McGee.

As a seasoned winner, Mr Walton has some advice for those considering entering next year’s awards. “If you do something good it’s worth shouting about it; you can’t blag these awards, you need to have the credentials to back it up and winning a Specialists Award shows you have those,” he says.

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