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Archived News

Magenta hits the marque!

December 2013

Magenta Living - the largest social housing provider in Wirral - has become the latest organisation to gain the Achievement Marque. Based in Birkenhead and formerly known as Wirral Partnership Homes, Magenta Living manages around 12,200 properties. Pete McCartney of North... Read more »

9 steps to performance success

December 2013

A long-standing awards assessor with 38 years’ experience in education and local government, Ron Matthews works for Myerscough College (pictured) which has improved its performance in recent years and whose success rates now place it in the top ten per cent of further... Read more »

School is first to achieve education marque

December 2013

Darwen Aldridge Community Community Academy (DACA) has become the first school in the country to be accredited to the North of England Excellence Education Commitment Marque. The Commitment Marque is part of the Marques of Excellence scheme. DACA successfully completed... Read more »

Water company is 2013 North of England Excellence winner

November 2013

Northumbrian Water - which provides water and sewage services for almost 3 million people – has been named as the overall winner of the North of England Excellence Awards 2013. Northumbrian Water was named Business of the Year and also won an Excellence Award. Assessors... Read more »

Two key changes in the 2013 EFQM Model

November 2013

Dave Rusk, Education and Training Director of North of England Excellence, looks at changes to two fundamental concepts which reflect today's business environment More than two decades after the EFQM Excellence Model was introduced, it continues to be relevant to the... Read more »

Housing association has best customer service in Europe!

November 2013

Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) - a Partner Member of North of England Excellence - has been named as the best business in Europe for customer service. WDH has been awarded the prize for 'Adding Value for Customers' at the EFQM Excellence Awards 2013, which recognise... Read more »

Virgin Trains tour reveals key to engaging customers

October 2013

Choosing staff with the right attitude and engaging them in the decision making process were two of the key lessons from the visit to the Virgin Trains Talent Academy, the latest in our series of Sharing Best Practice Tours. The Academy in Crewe is where Virgin Trains... Read more »

Productivity is key problem for UK, leaders agree

October 2013

Increasing workforce productivity is the major challenge for UK business, according to speakers at the 2013 Leadership Conference. Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein, former Manchester Business School dean Professor Mike Luger and Simon Nadin of... Read more »

ALPLA achieves Commitment Marque

September 2013

ALPLA, a world leader in the manufacture of plastic containers, has achieved the coveted Commitment Marque of Excellence. The award is part of the  Marques of Excellence scheme  which provides a stepped approach to self-assessment and improvement. Dave Rusk of North of... Read more »

Finalists announced for North of England Excellence Awards

September 2013

The finalists for the 2013 North of England Excellence Awards have been announced. The contenders for this year’s main awards are Northumbrian Water Limited, GlaxoSmithKline, the Estates & Facilities Department at the University of Bradford, and Trent & Dove... Read more »

Welcome to Houghton plc

September 2013

Houghton plc - a global leader in industrial fluids and fluid management – is the latest business to join North of England Excellence as a Partner Member. Houghton are part of the Hinduja Group with UK manufacturing at Trafford Park, Manchester, Houghton is one of the... Read more »

Award winners reach UK and European finals

August 2013

Two partner members of North of England Excellence have won through to the finals of the European and UK Excellence Awards Wakefield and District Housing (WDH), which won the Business of the Year title at the North of England Excellence Awards in 2008 and won the UK... Read more »

JDI (Just Do It) philosophy keeps staff switched on at hip company

July 2013

A passion for continuous improvement was evident in our recent visit to the premises of medical manufacturer JRI, which was part of the series of Sharing Best Practice Tours. Continuous improvement is very much bottom up at the Sheffield plant ? which manufactures... Read more »

Sofa so good - how BBC drives excellence at Media City

May 2013

Perhaps it was the opportunity to visit the BBC sports department, or sit on the famous BBC Breakfast red sofa (pictured), but the visit to the new northern headquarters at Media City was one of the most popular Sharing Best Practice Tours to date, with tickets sold out... Read more »

Seven Steps to Superb Service

May 2013

Ted Stone, Chief Executive of Customer First, reveals his top tips for creating outstanding customer service 1. Identify your core customer groups, their needs and expectations. Although the foundation of your service delivery method should be consistent, exceptional... Read more »

Retention is now key focus for customer service

May 2013

Customers are the lifeline of any business so customer service remains a priority for many companies – but for different reasons than before. According to Customer First UK, the awarding body for national customer service standard – ‘Putting the Customer First®,... Read more »

Circular economy will keep customers coming back

May 2013

Circular economy will keep customers coming back Could rising fuel costs and commodity prices herald the end of the 'throwaway society'? According to Bradford University School of Management, businesses are under pressure to rethink their operations and there is... Read more »

Excellence model is taking off in Middle East

May 2013

Interest in the EFQM Excellence Model is growing in the Middle East, according to Dave Rusk of North of England Excellence, who has been conducting training in Abu Dhabi for managers from Etihad, the Emirates' national airline. The managers were preparing a submission... Read more »

Police Achieve High "Detection" Rates

April 2013

Lancashire Constabulary has provided 6 assessors for the 2013 North of England Excellence Awards. All were “novices” in that they had not assessed before and so underwent an intensive 2 day training course at the Police HQ at Hutton, near Preston. The NoEE Excellence... Read more »

New Partner Members

April 2013

South Yorkshire Probation Trust and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have joined the growing numbers of NoEE Partner Members. Both organisations have recently achieved internationally recognised accreditation through EFQM Levels of Excellence (R4E). David... Read more »

Fire service leads way with R4E accreditation

January 2013

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has become the first UK fire service to win accreditation to the Recognised for Excellence (R4E) standard. R4E is part of the EFQM Levels of Excellence, Europe's leading recognition programme for organisational performance. It... Read more »

Siemens and Northumbria Probation achieve R4E

December 2012

Northumbria Probation Trust and Siemens Power Transmission are the latest organisations to be accredited to the Recognised for Excellence (R4E) standard. R4E is part of the EFQM Levels of Excellence programme which is recognised throughout Europe. It allows organisations... Read more »

Business of the Year reaps benefits of awards entry

December 2012

Milliken European Airbag Products – winner of four accolades in the 2012 North of England Excellence Awards last month – believes the biggest benefits of taking part have come from implementing recommendations in the feedback report.    In addition to an Excellence... Read more »

Eastlands Homes leads the way with quality standard

December 2012

Manchester-based Eastlands Homes has become the first housing association in the UK to be accredited to the North of England Excellence Continuity Marque. The Continuity Marque is the highest of three levels in the Marques of Excellence programme and recognises... Read more »

Northern businesses celebrate UK awards success

August 2012

Two organisations from the North were amongst those celebrating success in the 2012 UK Excellence Awards. Merseyside Probation was one of the three main award winners, while St Helens & Knowsley NHS Trust took the Lean Six Sigma Award.  First TransPennine Express and... Read more »

Northern managers welcome 2013 Model

August 2012

The latest version of the EFQM Excellence Model has received a warm welcome from quality managers in the North, though they believe it remains to be seen how the changes will work in practice.  Within days of the 2013 Model being launched earlier this month, North of England... Read more »

Water company wins 5 star award

August 2012

Northumbrian Water has become the only water company in the UK to be awarded the highest level of five stars in the Recognised for Excellence (R4E) programme. R4E is part of the Levels of Excellence programme which is run by North of England Excellence in conjunction with the... Read more »

Sustainability a key focus for new MBA

August 2012

Bradford University School of Management is one of the latest organisations to join North of England Excellence.  The School will be managing the University of Bradford's world-class Sustainable Enterprise Centre , which will become a hub for research, knowledge transfer,... Read more »

7 habits of outstanding customer service businesses

August 2012

David Teale, chief executive of North of England Excellence, identifies seven factors that help ensure first-rate customer service. How does your business measure up?  Outstanding customer service businesses: Know their customer's business almost as well as the customer... Read more »

High growth boss tells how 'quality first' strategy paid off

August 2012

3P Logistics is a leading provider of ecommerce and order fulfillment services for online retailers. Here its managing director Ian Walker explains how quality has helped to drive growth within his company and why he's glad he didn't listen to his advisers. When I... Read more »

Northern businesses in UK and European award finals

July 2012

Wakefield and District Housing has reached the finals of the EFQM Awards 2012, while three other northern companies are in the finals of the UK Excellence Awards. Wakefield is the only UK finalist in the European awards and is one of 13 finalists which include Bosch’s... Read more »

£1 spent on quality provides £6 return, says report

July 2012

Quality management provides a sixfold return on investment on average and results in a 16-fold cost saving, according to a new report. For every £1 spent on quality, revenues can be increased by £6 and costs reduced by £16, according to the research by the Centre for... Read more »

Esther wins 2012 leisure graduate award

July 2012

Customer service is paramount in tourism and leisure.  In recognition of this, each year North of England Excellence awards a prize to the graduate at the University of Central Lancashire's School of Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors who gains the highest marks in the managing... Read more »

New version of Excellence Model for 2013

July 2012

A new version of the EFQM Excellence Model is to be launched later this year.  The 2013 version aims to ensure that the model stays in tune with the evolving needs of organisations - particularly with respect to sustainability, the development of future talent and a more... Read more »

How to deal with customer rage

May 2012

Customer rage is on the increase, fuelled in part by the prevalence of social media. Customers who have had their complaints ignored – or perhaps spent hours trying in vain to resolve matters through the company’s call centre – can now take their revenge by posting details... Read more »

Overcoming the fear factor in innovation

May 2012

Innovation has become a hot topic in the current climate as businesses seek new ways to achieve growth against a challenging economic backdrop.  However, according to new findings from the consultancy firm liveinnovation, the risk of failure is the key factor holding... Read more »

Milestone for Pete as he trains 200th assessor

May 2012

As training of assessors for the North of England Excellence Awards gets underway, a search through the archives has highlighted the key role they play. During the 18 years of awards, no fewer than 785 assessors have been involved.  The statistics were uncovered by our... Read more »

Linked in with Charlotte Gilbert, Head of Corporate Services, Eastlands Homes

May 2012

The first paid work was a Saturday job in a florists in my home town of Leeds. I loved working with flowers and I learned a lot about people - florists see customers at some of their happiest and some of their saddest times. The owner taught me how to arrange flowers properly... Read more »

Removing the barriers to new business

April 2012

Why do so few companies excel in customer service? And why do some companies do well when others fail?  Customer service expert Professor John Murphy of Manchester Business School, one factor is that often too few people within an organisation take responsibility for the... Read more »

Linked in with Steve Willson MBE, Performance Manager at SABIC

March 2012

What was your first job? In 1985 after leaving school/at the age of 17, I joined the army as a vehicle mechanic. During my 22 years in the forces I worked in locations around the World. I worked in a variety of roles ranging from commando forces to career management but... Read more »

John joins board after 18-year connection

March 2012

Former industrialist and headhunter John Marsh has joined the board of North of England Excellence - 18 years after his wife helped to found the organisation.  John, who was managing director of headhunters Robinson Keane until his recent retirement, previously spent 24... Read more »

Students learn the secrets of improving performance

March 2012

It's never too early to introduce budding business people to the principles of quality management. A group of A-level business studies students spent a day with specialist cable manufacturer Brand-Rex, one of the winners of the 2009 North of England Excellence Awards.  The... Read more »

Children's charity steps up a level

March 2012

A Hull charity which works with children, young people and families has been awarded three stars in the Recognised for Excellence (R4E) programme.  Child Dynamix runs a range of services for children and young adults, including day nurseries, children's centres and after... Read more »

New member company has lots of bottle

March 2012

One of the UK's largest manufacturers of bottles for the consumer goods industry, has joined North of England Excellence as a Partner Member.  ALPLA UK (Port Sunlight) employs 98 people at its plant in Port Sunlight, Wirral, manufacturing bottles to for laundry liquids and... Read more »

Improve your skills by becoming an awards assessor

March 2012

Managers and consultants have a unique opportunity to improve their performance management skills by becoming an assessor for this year's North of England Excellence Awards.  We are currently seeking volunteers to help assess applications. Assessors undergo training, then are... Read more »

Free events show how to create a winning business

March 2012

How do you create a truly excellent business? How do you cut costs, increase revenues and improve quality? A new series of events from North of England Excellence will bring together northern business leaders to answer that question. The half-day seminars will take place in... Read more »

Why companies still spend time on unnecessary tasks

March 2012

'Doing more with less' has become a mantra for business in the current climate. It could be argued that organisations which have survived the biggest economic downturn in living memory have already made great strides in cutting costs and improving efficiency.  However... Read more »

Why customer satisfaction is not enough

March 2012

Jennifer Walmsley reveals the latest thinking on customer service Keeping the customers happy has always been seen as the key to a successful business. But according to customer service expert Jennifer Walmsley, amongst businesses which aspire to be leaders in their field,... Read more »

Toolkit sets the standard for care sector

March 2012

Disclosures about patient abuse and the financial problems facing the Southern Cross group have cast a cloud over the care homes sector recently. So it's good to know that many care providers are passionate about quality and use the Excellence Model to improve their... Read more »

YPO gains Commitment Marque

March 2012

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO), the public sector buying organisation, is the latest body to be awarded the Commitment Marque of Excellence. The award is part of the Marques of Excellence scheme which provides a stepped approach to self-assessment and improvement.... Read more »

Helping businesses to 'pinch with pride'

March 2012

Linked in with Ian May: Business Excellence Consultant, Siemens What was your first job? Having trained as a physicist, I got a job as a Research Engineer with GEC in Lincoln, developing radar systems for aeroplanes.  How did you get your current role? I held a... Read more »

February Newsletter

March 2012

Launch of the Care Sector Excellence Toolkit The Excellence Toolkit for the Care Sector has been successfully launched following a pilot with NoEE members, Community Integrated Care (C-i-C).  Following the success of the generic Toolkit, with the help of C-i-C we... Read more »

Values shine through behind the scenes at Virgin

February 2012

Values are behind the success of Virgin Trains and nowhere are those values more in evidence that at the Virgin Trains Talent Academy in Crewe. North of England Excellence members were given an inside view of the academy at the latest in our series of Sharing Best... Read more »

Masterclass 5 – Using Excellence to Create High Growth

February 2012

Thursday 23rd Februaury 2012, Flexible Meetings Contemporary Space (situated between J21 & J1a of the M6 motorway and near the M62 J11, 8.00am-11.00am. This 'How To' masterclass will be delivered by Dave Rusk from North of England Excellence (NoEE). NoEE is a... Read more »

Secret of overcoming resistance to change

February 2012

Have you ever heard a new initiative announced and thought, ‘that will never work here’? Or been frustrated because staff won’t adopt new ways of working and new ideas? Then you are not alone. Over 50 per cent of change initiatives fail, according to consultant David... Read more »

Duo in world's top 30

January 2012

Two North of England Excellence team members have been approved as EFQM Licensed Advisors. Dave Rusk and Pete Macartney are amongst only seven EFQM Licensed Advisors in the UK and fewer than 30 in the world. According to the EFQM, Licensed Advisors are experts in... Read more »

School provides a lesson in lean

January 2012

A primary school has reduced admin time by 25 per cent through the use of lean methodologies. Llywelyn Community Primary School in Rhyl is believed to be one of the first schools in the UK to have implemented lean techniques. It is now continuing to use lean and process... Read more »

Awards for the North's outstanding businesses

January 2012

Companies that can demonstrate excellence in all areas of their business are being invited to apply for the 2012 North of England Excellence Awards. The Excellence Award is one of the highest accolades any business can achieve and is awarded to those which can demonstrate... Read more »

Benefits of becoming a partner member

January 2012

2012 sees the introduction of a new North of England Excellence membership category, that of Partner Member, and enhanced benefits for members at all levels. Joint membership of North of England Excellence and the British Quality Foundation starts at just £275 plus VAT for... Read more »

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