Managing their way through the recession


NALCO has won the Westpac Manukau Business of the Year Supreme Award. The award was presented to managing director Ron Holden by Prime Minister John Key and Westpac business banking general manager Ian Blair.


A record number of entries made this the largest business awards event in New Zealand.


NALCO scored an awards hat-trick by also winning the Cogita Excellence in Innovation & Strategy Award for the work it has done in the development and commercialisation of unique aluminium window and door systems for Bradnams and Nulook.


Mr Holden says NALCO has developed and released more new products in the past five years than all its competitors.


“We have superior products and designs supported by the best people in the industry. Our recently released SovereignSeries Inline bifold is but one example of product innovation at the highest level,” he says.


The judges were impressed that the company had seen opportunities rather than problems within their sector to develop new and leading edge products and services.


Despite the impact of the tough trading environment, the senior management team had the confidence to continue to invest in developing innovative solutions. Their goal is to create a strong position for the business when the market rebounds, the judges said.


NALCO’s sponsorship with Nulook in the RMBF House of the Year is all about supporting and celebrating quality, Mr Holden says.


“By witnessing the success of the RMBF awards, I was encouraged to enter these business awards to benchmark NALCO against other businesses to see how well we fared when judged.


“I never expected to win. I saw it as a learning opportunity for NALCO.”


NALCO also won the EMA Excellence in Manufacturing Award for the development and achievements at Bradnams East Tamaki, one of five NALCO-owned window fabrication businesses.


Bradnams ET has led New Zealand fabricators in the use of NALCO’s patented connection systems to significantly improve on the weathertight integrity of aluminium joinery. 


“The judges said this company uses lean manufacturing principles in their business with a high level of innovation. It has managed its way through the recession which has hit their industry hard by demonstrating strong financial management, with low debt levels, as well as quality manufacturing.”


Mr Holden says these strengths led NALCO to invest in an independent quality assurance programme for Bradnams. “We proudly hold the mantle of New Zealand’s only BRANZ Appraised aluminium joinery system. 


Company gains from the patented technology have been enormous due to the leaky homes issues that have been so prevalent in the construction industry.

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