This article appeared in Issue 3#2 (January/February 2009) of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand
The 14th Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards
While the votes were being counted on 8th November 2008 to decide who would be the winners in the General Election, the billion-dollar franchise sector was rewarding its top performers at the 14th annual Westpac Franchise Awards.
The highly contested Supreme Franchise System of the Year award went to Paramount Franchise Services for their effective leadership and quality management systems. Paramount, the commercial cleaning company, was also awarded Business Services Franchisor of the Year.
The Supreme Franchisee of the Year went to Quest Newmarket for their ‘courage to take the organisation from being just another business to a business striving for excellence.’ For the second year running, the 48-room, four plus star hotel also won the title of best Lifestyle Franchisee of the Year.
The dinner, hosted by the New Zealand Franchise Association and featuring Frankie Stephens as the MC, showcased the outstanding performers from the past year in an industry that generates an annual turnover of more than $16 billion.
Estelle Logan, Chairman of the New Zealand Franchise Association, said this year’s awards attracted a 50% increase in entries – and that was on top of a record number of entries last year. “Businesses were judged by nationally recognised criteria and the process was ‘vigorous’”, Mrs Logan said.
She went on to say, “We can be very proud that the NZ Franchise Awards are based on the Malcolm Baldridge Criteria. The Baldridge Criteria is accepted widely, not only in the United States but by more than 25 other countries around the world, as the standard for performance excellence.”
The Criteria is designed to help organisations enhance their competitiveness by focusing primarily on the two goals of delivering ever improving value to customers and improving overall organisational performance.
She also took the opportunity to introduce the Association’s new General Manager, Graham Billings, to the assembled guests.
Head awards judge Professor Gael McDonald commented: “I think it is critical in this economic environment that we can reward people at the forefront in their industry, with the aim of improving standards and showcasing best practices in franchising.”
Professor McDonald also added that it was particularly pleasing to see a mix of new and established franchise systems entering the awards. “The new and emerging systems are evidence of a healthy, growing sector, while the established systems are proof of businesses that are sustainable.”
“Franchising is very important to the New Zealand economy”, Professor McDonald continued, “as it provides new entrants easy access into a proven and established business, with an inbuilt opportunity for mentoring, advice and guidance.”
For businesses that wanted to grow, becoming a franchisor provided a framework for documenting all the business systems and to benefit from the input of franchisees. “In effect, everybody is working on your business and the winning franchisee and franchisor of the year entries were good examples of this,” she said.
In the Special Awards categories, the Westpac Service Provider of the Year award was won by Franchize Consultants NZ Ltd. A past award winner, they regained their title as New Zealand’s premiere Service Provider to the Franchise sector. Franchize Consultants are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced management consultancy, providing specialist consulting advice and training services to prospective and existing franchising and licence networks and have been employed by many of New Zealand’s most prominent companies and franchise brands. Judges commented that this is an experienced company which only uses experienced consultants. They have a very good understanding of client needs and a well structured approach to developing customer knowledge.
The Westpac Master Franchisee of the Year award was won by Fastway Couriers of Wanganui. The judges attributed their win to an ‘outstanding’ business management and planning approach. Graham and Denise Clarke first joined Fastway Couriers as Courier Franchisees in 1993 and then capitalised on the opportunity to purchase the Wanganui Regional Franchise in 1999.
Award winners in the other categories were Paramount Franchise Services who won the Franchise System of the Year in the Business Services Category, with the Franchisee of the Year award won by the Dalton Family Trading Trust, a Paramount Services franchisee.
The Food and Beverage category saw Xpresso Delight taking the Franchise System of the Year award, with their Auckland franchisees, Allan and Kay Parker taking the Franchisee of the Year Award.
Exceed Maintenance were worthy winners of the Franchise System of the Year in the Home Services Category, with the Franchisee of the Year award going to VIP Home Services, Dannemora in Auckland.
In the Lifestyle Services Category, Home Instead Senior Care took the Franchise System of the Year with Supreme Award winner, Quest Newmarket, being the Franchisee of the Year winner.
Mr Rental NZ Ltd were the winners of the Retail Category’s Franchise System of the Year with their Hamilton-based franchisee, Waikato Appliance Rentals Ltd winning the Franchisee of the Year.