Bierce ready to defend Business Awards crown
THE seeds of Bierce Technical Services crowning as Business of the Year in 2009 were sown when the company was named as a finalist the previous year. After coming so close in the New Business Award in 2008, Bierce trained its sights on winning the Small
THE seeds of Bierce Technical Services' crowning as Business of the Year in 2009 were sown when the company was named as a finalist the previous year.
After coming so close in the New Business Award in 2008, Bierce trained its sights on winning the Small Business of the Year gong last year, before landing the overall 2009 title.
Success for the three-year-old heating and energy efficiency company came after it saw the benefits that even a place on the shortlist had brought to business.
The firm's marketing manager Thomas Birch said the company had refined its approach to entering the business awards from previous years.
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"Having been finalists in 2008, we were really keen to go one better. We went away and analysed how we could improve ourselves and our entry, and when we won last year, it was that much better for everyone.
"What was particularly important for us was that the win brought us all together. We have people based all over the country, but on the night we won the award, there were messages between us all, congratulating each other. It was something we could all celebrate together.
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"We then started to get messages from clients and suppliers, who all recognised the award too."
In the past year, Bierce has secured prestigious contracts with City of Edinburgh Council, the Energy Savings Trust and Scottish Gas.
Mr Birch said the award had also proved an attraction for potential employees during the company's recent recruitment. Since winning last year's awards, Bierce has added four new members of staff, taking its workforce to 21.
"The award is something that you can point to as a sign of your company's achievement, something that backs up your reputation.
"We've had a number of people join us, which is a good sign that the business is evolving and growing."
As well as expanding to offer new services since last year, including domestic and non-domestic energy performance certificates and air conditioning certification, the company has been focused on efficiency savings.
Maximising the use of electronic data capture units, handheld units which allow the near-instant transfer on information from inspections, has already begun to deliver savings.
"Previously, clients could have been waiting four or five days for that information to arrive by post," said Mr Birch.
"With the new units, the inspection is carried out in the morning, the data is relayed back to the office, and the report can be with the client by the afternoon. It's a huge efficiency saving."
The bespoke system has required a significant investment, but is already paying its way in efficiency savings.
"We got there first with this system, and though our competitors have brought it in since, we've shown that we're leading in the right direction."
Another major change at Bierce has been the appointment of operations manager Matt Elliott in February, allowing directors Leigh Holden and Stephen Birch to concentrate on the long-term strategy and acquisitions for the company.