FRANCHISE AWARDS 2001- FULL RESULTS
in this article:
This year's franchise awards were even more hotly-contested than ever, and attracted a host of new entrants. Our full report starts here.
New Zealand's top franchise companies for 2001 were named at the Franchise Association Business Awards dinner at the Sheraton, Auckland on 10 November. This year, two of the top three titles - for Franchise System of the Year and Franchisee of the Year - were won by first-time entrants Bakers Delight, while the Master Franchisee of the Year Award went once again to Alan Edelmann of business coaching company Action International. Bakers Delight also won the Supreme Award for the best overall entry.
The awards, which were presented by Prime Minister the Rt Hon Helen Clark, represent the peak of excellence in franchising. Now in their seventh year, the annual awards honour excellent franchise systems, master franchises and individual franchisees from throughout the country.
As well as being renamed for 2001, the FANZ Business Awards had also been re-structured to make it easier to enter while maintaining the high standards set in previous years. Rather than submit a detailed description of their business operation, entrants needed only to complete a one page form. They were then visited by a team of experienced judges who assessed their businesses according to the criteria used in previous years. Developed with the aid of the New Zealand Quality Foundation, these measure achievement in seven key areas:
- Strategic Planning
- Customer & Market Focus
- Information & Analysis
- Human Resource Focus
- Process Management
- Business Results
Once again, points were awarded in each category, with business results accounting for almost half the available total, and entry was open to all FANZ members.
The new easy-to-enter format proved hugely popular, and many companies were encouraged to submit their franchise systems and franchisees to scrutiny for the first time. The result was a much broader representation of franchising than has been the case in previous years, and several previous winners found themselves pushed down the list by the newcomers. 'This is an excellent reflection of the strength of the franchise sector,' commented John Foreman, who chairs the FANZ Awards Committee. 'Our previous winners have gone on improving, I'm sure, but this year the strength of the new entrants surprised even the judges.'
And judging convenor Professor Gael McDonald, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Professor of Business Ethics at UNITEC Institute of Technology in Auckland, agreed, saying the number and diversity of entrants in this year's awards was outstanding which made judging a difficult task. 'The quality and quantity of entrants to the Awards continues to increase, which is a reflection of the growth of franchising as a business model in New Zealand.'
This was reflected in the numbers attending the sold-out Awards Dinner, which attracted over 440 people to the Moulin Rouge themed evening - many of them in appropriate dress. Entrants wanted to be there on the night, while the presence of the Prime Minister proved to be an additional draw. 'This is the first time we have had the opportunity to present the dynamic franchise sector to our most senior government figure, and we were absolutely delighted that Helen Clark accepted our invitation,' comments FANZ Chairman Robert Fowler. 'She was well-informed about franchising, and thoroughly impressed by the commitment and positivity which everyone demonstrated on the night. To have the opportunity to talk to her first-hand about the potential contribution franchising can make not just in economic terms but also in areas such as education and training was extremely valuable.
'In her speech, the Prime Minister commended franchising for its considerable contribution to our economy. 'As ordinary citizens, we are all aware of a number of franchise brands - but generally we know little about the size of the sector in the economy or how it operates,' she said. 'I now know, thanks to the 2001 Survey of Franchising, that the sector's value in the New Zealand economy exceeds $10 billion, which makes it very significant indeed.
'She commented that 'In New Zealand, we have a rather high failure rate of start-up ventures - it's estimated that it could be as high as 80% in the first five years for independent small businesses. For franchise units in New Zealand, however, the failure rate is less than 6% over a three year period. While many people would like to be their own boss, the truth is that many don't have the skills to run their own independent business successfully from the outset. That's where a franchise offers considerable advantage.
'Ms Clark also noted the export contribution made by companies such as Napier-based Fastway Couriers (now expanding through Asia and Europe) and Lollipop's Playland (exporting to Australia and India), and mentioned the advantages for New Zealand of the presence of international franchises here which allowed NZ companies to gain access to international markets - for example, Galloways, which manufactures playgrounds for McDonald's, now supplies playgrounds for the fast food giant's operations through Asia and the Americas.The Prime Minister drew enthusiastic applause with her closing remarks. 'We are very positive about a strong future for New Zealand in the 21st century and we aspire to lift our international ranking considerably. That will be achieved if, like the winners of tonight's awards, our country as a whole aims for top quality performance. Congratulations on your achievements to all who will receive awards tonight - and thank you for your contribution to the New Zealand economy.'
This Year's Winners
First-time entrant Bakers Delight turned out big-time winners in the 2001 Awards. The popular bakery franchise not only won the top award for their system, but their Howick franchisees also took the national title of Franchisee of the Year.
Founded in 1980 in Australia, Bakers Delight came to New Zealand in 1995. The franchise has 450 stores in Australia and 30 in New Zealand, but is still expanding fast. Grant Stapleton, general manager in New Zealand, said Bakers Delight serves about 1.8 million customers per week and is opening 123 new stores in Australasia this year.
The company operates an innovative 'business lease' scheme which allows suitable people to lease stores while they save up for their own franchise. This highly developed scheme has been a cornerstone of the company's growth strategy in New Zealand.
The judges commented that Bakers Delight is an example of best practice in franchising in every facet of its business system operations. 'Strong leadership is evident in the corporate governance structure and make-up of the board of directors, and this is supported by robust information management and communication practices that flow throughout the organisation.
'Bakers Delight has an excellent understanding of how the franchise system operates with very good review, monitoring and improvement procedures in place coupled with very good documentation. 'The end result of leadership, excellent process management and planned people development is a franchise organisation which produces high levels of both customer and franchisee satisfaction. This is backed up by strong business results in the form of financial returns for franchisees, growth in annual sales revenues of 25% and growing numbers of franchised outlets in NZ.'
1st Runner-Up in the Franchise System of the Year category went to another first-time entrant, Hire A Hubby. Previous winners Green Acres took the 2nd Runner-Up spot.
Business coaching franchise Action International won the Master Franchisee of the Year Award for the second year running - and the team was there in force to celebrate. As winner of two awards in 2000, Action were hoping to succeed again this year, so they scheduled their bi-annual conference in Auckland to coincide with the Awards Dinner and really got into the spirit of the evening. Over 60 Action franchisees and partners were on hand to see a top-hatted Alan collect the Award from the Prime Minister.
Action International focuses on teaching people who own small businesses how to systemise, measure and improve various aspects of their businesses. Last year the judges commented that Alan Edelmann and his team clearly 'walk the talk', and have further improved this year to retain the top title against stiff new competition from all quarters. Action International also won the category award for Excellence in Franchise Management Systems - another feather in Alan's top hat.
The runners-up in the Master Franchisee of the Year category were: 1st Runner-Up - Fastway Couriers, Auckland; 2nd Runner-Up - Green Acres Home Cleaning, Canterbury
Phil & Gill West
Bakers Delight, Howick
Phil & Gill West added to the Bakers Delight tally when their Howick, Auckland, franchise won the Franchisee of the Year title. Although neither knew anything about baking or retail before buying their franchise (Phil was an accountant and Gill a marketing manager), they have managed to build an award-winning bakery together while simultaneously raising a young family.
Judges commented that the Wests are an excellent example of what happens when you follow a franchise system which works, while adding value to the system with improvements along the way. Bakers Delight, Howick, is consistently amongst the top three franchisees for the Bakers Delight franchise system in terms of sales, growth and profitability.
Last year's Franchisees of the Year, Brent & Jo Williamson of Robert Harris Cafï¿½ in Timaru were 1st Runner-Up this year, while Tony & Paula Armstrong of Stirling Sports, Nelson, took the 2nd Runner-Up place.
In addition to the overall titles, this year the Awards recognised excellence in individual areas of franchise management. These Awards were presented to franchisees, master franchisees or franchisors who demonstrated outstanding skills in certain categories.
Leadership Award - Miranda Caird, Mortgage Choice NZ
Miranda Caird, Principal of Dunedin-based Mortgage Choice New Zealand, won the Leadership Award. With 28 franchisees located from Invercargill to Auckland, the company specialises in offering independent and impartial mortgage advice to customers. According to the judges, 'Miranda is a visionary leader who ensures all who work in her franchise system share her vision and contribute to it in a positive way. Miranda is passionate about her business and has been very successful in a male-dominated industry.
'This is the second major award for Miranda Caird, who won the South Island Businesswoman Of The Year title earlier this year.
Team Excellence Award - David & Nicola Shanks, Brumby's, Hornby
Team Excellence Award - Bruce & Christine Heron, Elizabeth & David Matuschka, Pete's Post, Tauranga
Two awards were presented in the Team Excellence category and the winners were both franchisees: Brumby's in Hornby, Christchurch and Pete's Post, Tauranga. The judges defined 'team excellence' as team cohesion, decision-making and enjoyment.
Brumby's are a familiar name in the Awards, having won franchisee titles for the past four years. David and Nichola Shanks were first-time entrants, though, and proved to the judges they were made of the right stuff: 'Brumby's Hornby exhibited the right combination of professionalism, excitement, and fun while operating in a very competitive franchise system.
'Pete's Post is a private postal network expanding throughout the Lower North Island, and already has 13 franchisees. Pete's Post, Tauranga, is operated by two couples and it obviously works because Bruce & Christine Heron and Elizabeth & David Matuschka were praised by judges for their team approach to decision-making and working well with each other in a consultative and supportive fashion.
Franchise Performance Award - Green Acres Franchise Group
Green Acres Franchise Group won the award for Franchise Performance, which is defined as the best overall performance in areas such as financial management, human resources management, customer satisfaction and market exposure. Green Acres, NZ's largest franchise, has recently floated its new commercial division publicly on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, which is exceptional within franchising in New Zealand. The judges commented that they had a very professional approach to their expansion strategy.
'The award is recognition of Green Acres' high quality financial and human resources management, but also acknowledges our franchisees' dedication and hard workin achieving excellent all round customer satisfaction,' says Logan Sears, the Group's Executive Director.
Excellence in Customer Service - Hire A Hubby , National Franchise
Excellence in Customer Service - Tony & Paula Armstrong, Stirling Sports, Nelson
Two awards were made in this category: one for franchise systems and one for franchisees. The judges were looking for demonstrations of customer loyalty, complaint management, customer feedback and database management.
The franchise system award went to Hire A Hubby. The judges commended Hire A Hubby for their exceptional growth, which they said was driven in large part by the excellence of their customer service. 'The Hire A Hubby franchise system won the award because of the franchise system's inherent focus upon the satisfaction of the end-customer. This is evidenced in the franchise system training and documentation, and is reflected in the attitude of the franchisees.
'The franchisee award was won by Tony & Paula Armstrong of Stirling Sports, Nelson, who were also 2nd Runners-Up in the Franchisee of the Year category.'To come third in this extremely competitive class in their first year of entry is an excellent result,' said the judges. 'Tony and Paula have taken a struggling franchise and, largely driven by their own energy, have turned it into an extremely successful business.
'But their point of difference is that they have gone much further with the franchise. Among a host of initiatives is their own loyalty programme. Although in its infancy, this is already returning excellent dividends.'
Another innovation this year was the introduction of regional awards which recognised that franchise excellence exists all over the country. Regional awards were presented to the best entry from each region regardless of whether the entrant was franchisor, franchisee or master franchisee.
Auckland - Bakers Delight
Bakers Delight managing director Grant Stapleton and his team celebrated being the best in Auckland early in the evening. By the end, they had been named winners of the Supreme Award too.
Tauranga - David & Susan Blomquist,, Brumby's Tauranga
David and Susan, who opened their store two years ago, were praised for maximising the Brumby's system to its fullest potential, taking any opportunity to develop new ideas. 'They are passionate about what they are doing. They work well as a team, they have good back-up systems and they have a good staff development bonus scheme,' reported the judges. The couple commented that 'we are still learning all the time.'
Christchurch - Mike Pero Mortgages
Former motorcycling champion Mike Pero took time out from his V8 Supercar debut at Pukekohe to attend the Awards, and was rewarded with the Christchurch regional title. The familiar Mike Pero Mortgages name has been around since 1990, and there are now 30 franchisees offering the independent mortgage broker service nationwide.
'A big part of the success of Mike Pero Mortgages is the emphasis Mike places onthe importance of branding, strongly underpinned by sophisticated systems and marketing. He goes out of his way to make sure that all of his customers, whether internal or external, are prospering and satisfied, which is the essence of an excellent franchise operation.
Hawkes Bay - PORSE Nanny Childcare Network
PORSE gained recognition first time out for the quality of their one-to-one nanny childcare education system. 'Owners Adrienne Pierce and Jenny Yule demonstrated a strong team approach, a commitment to their business and an impressive management team that allocates responsibility in a very focussed way.
'PORSE have put a tremendous amount of work into building an infrastructure and systems in support of what they are planning will be a nationwide network in years to come.' And judge Maurice Mehlhopt added that he was impressed with PORSE as a successful franchise business, and is sure that they have a good future.
Dunedin - Mortgage Choice
Miranda Caird was back on stage to accept the regional award for Mortgage Choice. Mainlanders' reputations for being careful with their money were reinforced by both South Island awards going to financial advisors.
Appropriately for a regional award, the judges singled out Mortgage Choice for the way it has used technology to remove any geographical barriers to building a national business from a regional base. 'Miranda has invested heavily in technology to develop a sophisticated customer management system. She can enjoy the benefits of living in Dunedin while building a nationwide operation.'
Waikato - Ron White, Window Maintenance Company
Ron White, who bought his franchise after 27 years in the Fire Service, impressed the judges with his vision and his commitment to his business.
'It is very easy for any business person to get caught up in the day to day demands of running a business and fail to plan and be strategic about goals and growth. It is particularly hard if you are a sole practitioner to work on your business as well as in your business, and this was a strength of Ron's entry.'
Wellington - Chris & Margaret Hewitt, BB's Coffee & Bake, Tawa
Wellington - Darren & Bonnie Hutchinson, Hire A Hubby, Masterton
The judges found it too close to call in the Wellington region and made two awards, both to franchisees.
Chris and Margaret Hewitt impressed as a couple taking franchising seriously, who are always looking for ways to do things better. 'Taking good franchise systems and always looking for improvement and innovation is the mark of a good franchisee, and this husband and wife team are doing this very well. They also stood out for their excellent customer service, and have been recognised within BB's as the Best Merchandised Store of 2000.Darren and Bonnie Hutchinson demonstrated professionalism in running their franchise.
'All aspects of the business are analysed in detail, with the franchisees themselves undertaking market research, customer research and staff research, with all the results being followed through and acted upon. They also have a strong vision for the future growth of their franchise.' The judges also commented that this was one of the few franchisees visited who are effectively practising database marketing.
Merit Award - Franchise System
KB's Bakery, Christchurch
KB's Bakery is a South Island chain of 19 bakeries which is just about to hit the North Island. Their Merit Award amounts to a 'Watch This Space' notice as, according to the judges, the company has been making tremendous strides in its operations but doesn't yet have the results to qualify it for the overall Awards.'KB's are deploying some very good systems management aligned to their new store format. They have the right focus and are embracing all the right things to make business easier - and more profitable - for franchisees.
Merit Award - Franchise System
Private postal service Pete's Post was founded in 1999 and has expanded rapidly throughout the Lower North Island. Although the judges found the basic concept very simple, they were impressed by the amount of detailed planning that has gone into the system. High support levels for the franchisees are backed up with a royalty system that sees everyone including the actual postie incentivised for generating new business.
The relative newness of Pete's Post kept them from winning one of the main Awards, but the judges picked this as another franchise system to watch.
Merit Award - Franchise System
Window Maintenance Company, Tauranga
Window Maintenance Company provides repair and replacement services for door and window fittings, and is an excellent example of a franchise finding success through developing a niche market. 'Everyone involved is highly enthusiastic, and the company has developed good systems and good cohesion throughout the system.
'The franchisors are very receptive to input from a number of sources - franchisees, clients and other franchise colleagues - and welcome new ideas which challenge them. Training and development are a strong part of the Window Maintenance Company culture, as is customer service. Their attention to detail in the latter area includes providing special yellow boots for franchisees to wear when inside, thus avoiding marking carpets.'
Merit Award - Franchisee
Steve & Cathy Wilson,
Brumby's Barringtons, Christchurch
Steve & Cathy have previously won both the Retail Franchisee and Supreme Franchisee of the Year titles, and were back for more this year. The judges commented that although the couple are not bakers by trade, they have maximised an excellent site by ensuring that they have extremely detailed measures of their success which allow them year on year to lift the bar to new levels of turnover, customer care and profitability.
'A shining example of a husband and wife team.'
Merit Award - Franchisee
Paul Kelly, Window Maintenance Company, New Plymouth
Paul Kelly impressed the judges particularly with his professional approach to gaining new business and his very high levels of customer service. 'Paul analyses where every job comes from - eg, Yellow Pages, newspapers, referrals, etc. He also tracks his average sale level, and measures his additional sales through upselling. All this is done in some detail, and has provided the basis for a very detailed business plan which sets goals on a monthly basis and measures his performance. Not surprisingly, his growth graphs look pretty spectacular.
'The judges also commented that service levels seem to be very important to Paul, and there are a number of thoughtful little touches which are very impressive.
Merit Award - Franchisee
Karen & Robert McVeigh
Hire A Hubby, Henderson/Glendene
Despite the advice of their bank, Karen & Robert McVeigh bought an existing Hire A Hubby business which had been less than successful. They then turned it round completely and are now achieving exponential growth.
'Part of the reason for this is their dedication to customer service - they are totally dedicated to going the extra mile for their customers,' said the judges. 'The other key factor is passion. Karen and Robert are totally passionate about their business and the Hire A Hubby system, and wear their Hire A Hubby clothing everywhere - even going out to dinner.' And of course, on Awards night Karen and Robert were wearing the dramatic pink Hire A Hubby outfits along with the rest of the team
The winner of the Franchise Association of New Zealand Media Award was Jon Stephenson, reporter for The Independent business weekly. The judges said he has demonstrated a commitment to reporting on franchising issues over the whole year, with good investigative journalism on local and overseas franchising issues. 'His reporting has been balanced, informative, and contributed to a greater understanding of franchising in New Zealand.
'Runner-Up in this category was Simon Hendery of the New Zealand Herald
The Franchise Association Business Awards 2001 were organised by the Franchise Association of New Zealand and sponsored by ANZ Bank, Sunday Star Times, WestpacTrust, Action International, Brebner Print, Diners Club International, Fastway Couriers, Franchise New Zealand magazine & website, Franchize Consultants (NZ) Ltd, GS McLauchlan, Telecom, and Urlich McNab Kilpatrick
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