Friday, September 19, 2008
Methven’s Luxury Turnaround Wins Architecture In Business Accolade 2008
Luxury battery and tapware manufacturer, Methven Limited, is the above champ of the Architecture in Business Accolade 2008, organised by the Designers Institute of New Zealand in affiliation with Bigger by Design.
The Architecture in Business Awards, which were presented in Auckland aftermost night (Thursday, September 18), recognise and bless New Zealand companies who accept strategically acclimated architecture to accomplish bartering success and business growth.
Highly Commended Awards were fabricated to AuCom, of Christchurch who accomplish and consign bendable starters for electric motors, and phil&teds, Wellington based designers and manufacturers of inline buggies and avant-garde nursery equipment.
Methven’s contempo accelerated advance and all-embracing success is an alarming turnaround story. Until ten years ago, the company, which began in Dunedin in 1886, was a acceptable tap and bath valving articles company. However, in 1998 the aggregation absitively to change its action to apply on analysis and development with the aim of ambience up a apple chic business with New Zealand as its architecture and engineering hub.
The company, still with address in New Zealand but additionally bases in Australia and the UK, is now a apple arch artist of comfortable proprietary baptize and activity able showerware, tapware, and valving products.
Design architect and accolade adjudicator David Walker, said he and adolescent board (Derek Lockwood, Worldwide Director of Design, Saatchi & Saatchi and Nevil Gibson, editor in arch of National Business Review) were attractive for a aggregation area architecture was congenital into the anatomy of the business and “infused in every outcome, act and operation.”
The board said that as able-bodied as a clue almanac of advance and exports, Methven was absorbing in its advice skills, its cast adventure and the affection and composure of its products. So were abounding added entrants, but there were added ambit which set Methven apart.
Said Walker: “Firstly, Methven has a charge to analysis and development as the belvedere for acceptable architecture and success. Abounding companies do accept acceptable design, articular belief and admirable business success. Fewer accept a able charge to analysis and development.
“Secondly, Methven has a charge to acceptable targets. This is abnormally acute in articles that await on baptize supply. True, there are some gestures by NZ companies appear sustainability, but they are generally superficial. Here (with Methven) we accept the absolute thing”.
While Methven had already developed bulk strategies in 1998 for abiding growth, the axis point came in 2005, afterwards the aggregation underwent a Bigger by Architecture audit, now alleged the Architecture 360 programme.
The architecture analysis recommended that if Methven was to abound its business and artefact offerings it bare a all-around architecture arch to advance the way; a stronger brand; and added business ability to barrage the company’s articles into the awful aggressive all-around marketplace. Methven anon appointed a Architecture Director, Kent Sneddon – the aggregation now has a architecture aggregation of 25, compared with two in 1992.
The Methven aggregation again formed to analyze gaps so they could advance articles for specific markets and set up a “wet lab” so that all articles could be activated from a animal perspective.
This analysis led to the development of Satinjet battery technology in 2004, with its baptize extenuative capabilities (it uses beneath than bisected the baptize of a accepted showerhead) which fabricated it ideal for the Australian market, area it is now the arch battery brand. Back 2006, the aggregation has developed Maia, the world’s aboriginal adorableness battery with a Vitamin B clarify to annihilate chlorine; the Kiri showerhead, an ultra low breeze battery aimed at the auberge market; Kiri tapware, an upmarket ambit to attempt with Italian and German manufacturers; the Tahi, a aerial end Satinjet battery system; and infusions, ameliorative and ambrosial formulae delivered through the battery system.
These proprietary technologies accept led to Methven acceptable a cardinal of architecture awards (including a GOOD DESIGN accolade for artefact acumen awarded by Chicago’s Athenaeum Museum in 2005).
Forty per cent of the company’s sales are now adopted and aftermost year the aggregation completed accretion of UK tapware firm, Deva. In its banking year until March 2008, Methven appear an afterwards tax accumulation of $9.8 million, up 37 per cent from 2007. Back it listed on the NZX in 2004 the aggregation has had an ceaseless almanac of accumulation growth.
Highly commended aggregation AuCom is additionally a accurate Kiwi technology turnaround story. Founded in 1981, Christchurch based AuCom makes bendable starters which abate the aliment for abundant machinery, decidedly in the irrigation, abyssal and forestry areas.
AuCom articles the bendable starters in Christchurch, which are awash through distributors in added than 70 countries. Sales accept consistently been solid, as 50 per cent of the world’s electricity is acclimated by electron motors, which crave bendable starters.
However, by 2005 the aggregation was at a crossroads. Their technology was sharp, but their artefact design, account commitment and business accessory were annihilation but. As all-embracing companies began to advance archetype cat articles the aggregation realised appearance and architecture were important, decidedly if it was to abide to attempt with all-embracing giants such as Siemens & Schneider, ABB and Rockwell.
Even admitting the aggregation engineers were awful sceptical, the administration aggregation absitively to advance in accessory a Bigger by Architecture conference. They were so afflicted that afterwards they absitively to “give this affair alleged architecture a go” by ability a Bigger by Architecture 360 programme.
Since again the aggregation hasn’t looked back. It has appointed a Director of Design, Craig Tufnell, and architecture has been alien at every akin of the company, and included a rebranding activity and advancing “usability” studies involving designers, engineers and customers.
Since 2005, sales accept added about 60 per cent. The aggregation has had an all-embracing affiliation with Danish Company, Danfoss, back 2001, but cast ally now accommodate Toshiba (Japan) and Electronica Santerno (Italy). At the end of 2008, AuCom will alpha accomplishment a new artefact ambit for Danfoss, as able-bodied as artefact ranges for a new accomplice CTLS (Emerson).
The new articles for CTLS will be almsman articles for absolute bendable starters currently actuality bogus and awash globally for CTLS. CTLS accept called to retire their own architecture in favour of articles fabricated by AuCom.
Also awful commended were phil&teds, addition alum of the Bigger by Architecture Architecture 360 programme. While phil&teds already had an avant-garde artefact – the bazaar arch inline buggy – and a acknowledged company, they had ambitions of accretion their business.
The Architecture 360 appraisal challenged the company’s cerebration and showed if they capital to accomplish all-around success, they bare to abode added accent on application architecture throughout their business.
So phil&teds accomplished a two allotment strategy: the aboriginal involving a complete rebranding, and the second, a above amplification of its automated architecture capabilities.
Since adopting their new accession based about the apriorism that nursery articles should be aimed at allowance parents administer their day, alive their called affairs and absorb their faculty of cocky – alike with kids in tow – the company’s beyond sales accept added tenfold.
The abutting step, which came a year after in 2006, complex accretion its architecture aggregation to eight, led by Phil Brace, automated architecture adept and co-designer of the allegorical Fisher & Paykel dishdrawer.
Differentiated products, such as their inline buggies which ‘adapt’ to booty two kids, are key to phil&teds success. As able-bodied as inline buggies, the aggregation now offers biking cots (including one which is lighter than a baby), car seats and aerial chairs.
phil&teds has accomplished massive advance back all-embracing design. They now do business in over 45 countries with a attendance in added than 2,000 retail outlets. Exports accomplish up 95 per cent of their business and abounding time advisers accept developed from 12 to 47 in aloof three years.
Eighty per cent of sales appear from articles they accept created aural the accomplished three years. In 2007 phil&teds launched ten new products, and they intend to barrage the aforementioned bulk this year.
The aggregation is authoritative all-embracing ripples, with UK’s top nursery brand, Mothercare International, allotment phil&teds as their aboriginal ‘brand of choice’, advertisement that of the key brands alien aftermost year, phil&teds outperformed all of them in agreement of sales and profits.
Other finalists in this year’s accolade were Amie Architecture Group, the makers of merino sleepwear for infants; Xero, an online accounting programme for baby businesses; Sonar6, an online clear based HR administration tool; and Winegrowers of Ara, a Marlborough winery advised from a bare canvas of 1600 abandoned hectares to (one day) become a all-around wine business.
This year, for the aboriginal time, a Architecture in Business Outstanding Individual Accolade was presented to Rick Wells, administrator of Formway Furniture, for his vision, administration addition and accomplishment in the acreage of architecture in business in New Zealand. He and a accomplice bought Formway Furniture as a small, locally focussed aggregation in 1981 and angry it into a all-around exporting business with added than 200 agents by authoritative architecture axial to their business approach.
Previous winners of the Architecture in Business Accolade accommodate Formway Furniture; Icebreaker; Furnware; OBO, and 2006 winners, Mokum Textiles, a ancestors based aggregation that designs and exports its own fabrics.
Cathy Veninga, Arch Executive Officer of the Designers Institute of New Zealand, says that the Institute was captivated with the accepted and array of entrants in this year’s Architecture in Business Awards.
“It shows that added and added companies are adopting a architecture led admission to advance added internationally aggressive products. The Designers Institute accept this admission has never been added important in an added aggressive all-around marketplace.
“We accept that businesses who are application architecture to advance added internationally aggressive articles are bigger able to acclimate to burden and added airy and in the end, added successful.”Judith Thompson, Director of Bigger by Design, said that added New Zealand consign businesses were recognising able-bodied design-led processes as the key to affairs articles and casework for a exceptional to all-around markets.
“Growth focused companies apperceive that aggressive targets cannot be accomplished through a business as accepted approach. Architecture is the capital additive in the development of advance articles and casework and accomplishing continued appellation success. We are added seeing companies who are bearing bigger after-effects and greater all-around appulse because they accept activated architecture attempt beyond their business. It’s time to recognise and bless this success.”
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