Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster addressed 140 delegates and presented the prestigious SC21 awards to seven NI companies, on behalf of ADS, the trade body representing Aerospace, Defence and Security companies.
Arlene Foster (pictured with Stephen Cowan and Leslie Orr) said: “The SC21 initiative provides an opportunity for Northern Ireland companies to demonstrate their capabilities and competence on a national scale. To date, Northern Ireland companies participating in the SC21 programme have seen a 50 per cent increase in sales. More importantly what SC21 has delivered is a structured approach to improvement, and a focus on an open and honest relationship between customer and supplier which is creating the necessary conditions for further growth in the sector.”
The event, held on the 20th and 21st November at the Titanic Belfast, was the culmination of two years of sponsorship and funding by Invest Northern Ireland, mentoring by Bombardier Aerospace together with benchmarking and coaching by Sigma in quality, business & project performance and relationship improvements. Stephen Cowan, General Manager, Supply Chain, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast said: “These awards today demonstrate the commitment of local suppliers to improving their competitiveness through the SC21 programme, and we want to build on this success. There is no doubt that suppliers who are active on SC21 are gaining more ‘air time’ within our organisation. These are the suppliers with whom we want to work and who are positioning themselves to develop their capabilities alongside us”
The seven award winners were JW Kane Precision Engineering Ltd, who received silver: the bronze awards went to: All Metal Services Ltd; Denroy Plastics; DHL Global Forwarding Ltd; New Breed Logistics Ltd; Vulcanium Metals International Ltd; Dontaur Engineering Ltd. All the winners thanked Sigma and Mike Harrison, Sigma Senior Consultant, in particular, who Damian McArdle GM of JW Kane jokingly called Socrates for his persistent and enquiring questioning style.
Leslie Orr, ADS NI Manager, said: “I am delighted for the silver and bronze award winners who are setting the benchmark on business excellence in our local Aerospace sector. The engineering expertise in Northern Ireland is outstanding and we look forward to more companies attaining these awards.” Sigma hopes to support a gold winner next year.