Irish Aerospace Companies Achieve SC21 Award!

Two Irish aerospace companies successfully achieve SC21 Bronze Award!

This fantastic achievement of driving performance through excellence as part of the ADS SC21 programme has been achieved by Bellurgan Precision Engineering Ltd of Bellurgan Point, Dundalk, and Eire Composites Ltd of Galway.

Both companies received the news of achieving Bronze recognition on March 7, 2016  and will formally receive their certificates at the ADS/Enterprise Ireland Task Force event in Dublin on March 16, 2016. This is a fantastic achievement for both companies. The bronze level is the first of three levels, the companies now going onto Silver, and then ultimately, to Gold.

Stephen Hogg, CEO Bellurgan Precision, said – “We are delighted to be recognised at achieving SC21 Bronze from ADS in the UK. It is very much our hope to be awarded AS 9100 this summer as part of our focus on supplying the Aero-Space sector. We are very grateful for all the support we have received from Dr Adrian Gundy of the Centre for Competitiveness and look forward to working with him in the future”.
These two companies, are part of a cluster of around 30 Irish ADS logo generalcompanies, that we are working with, assisting them to develop their competitiveness and capability
to thrive in the UK, European and International aerospace supply chain, earning export euros and creating and sustaining Irish  jobs.


NI Company Wins Gold for Service Excellence

Northern Ireland company A F Davison Ltd are celebrating after recently becoming the first haulage company in Ireland to win a prestigious EFQM Gold Star for Service Excellence.

AF Davison_1

Representatives from the company were invited to attend a special reception at Banbridge District Council Civic Building on Tuesday 16 September where they were honoured by Council Chairman, Councillor Marie Hamilton in recognition of their of achievement.

The EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) Gold Star Excellence programme was a joint business improvement initiative between Banbridge District Council and the Centre for Competitiveness. The programme was designed to aid local companies in implementing effective international customer service practices, thereby benefitting the companies both at home and abroad.

A F Davison Ltd enrolled in the programme in early 2013 and were awarded the Gold Star in June 2014. The company was established over 40 years ago and have proven record in placing a high value on providing the best level of service possible, a fact highlighted by their motto, ‘Dedicated to Service’.

Speaking of their award, Allan Davison, Managing Director of A F Davison commented: ‘‘Here at A F Davison Ltd we pride ourselves on delivering the highest level of service. We really appreciated the support from Banbridge District Council and the Centre for Competitiveness giving us the opportunity to enrol in and complete the EFQM Gold Star Service Excellence programme. Achieving the Gold Star Award is fantastic external recognition of the work we do and the level of service we strive to achieve.  In today’s competitive market it is more important than ever to put your customers first, meeting their needs and more, and so A F Davison Ltd motto continues to be implemented and displayed with pride – Dedicated to Service”.

Translink Project wins CIPD “Change Programme of the Year 2013” Award


The “Translink Project” is an major organisational development initiative that won the CIPD”Change Project of the Year” Award at the CIPD Northern Ireland Awards 2013. It embraces on-going change, reform and continuous improvement of the business within backdrop of reduced public funding and a challenging economic environment for customers. The “Translink Project” was designed, deployed and managed by Dr Adrian Gundy, from Centre for Competitiveness, to deliver outputs and benefits aligned to the corporate plan, to increase competitiveness and develop business performance through the continuous “pursuit of excellence”. Translink logo

The project aimed to develop “Best in Class” people management practices through the establishment of cross functional project teams to carry out research from world class organizations and use this learning to design and build bespoke solutions to be implemented within Translink. What marks Translink’s approach from others is that it required HR to work with top leaders within the organization to create and implement a Continuous Improvement culture and the climate for high performance. This involved engaging the organization’s Senior Executive Team to sponsor the Project, seconding a senior operations manager into a full time project management role and the deployment of senior business managers as project team leaders.

To maximize the collective contribution of the projects on organization performance, they were organized into four key work streams:

· Performance management

· Leadership and Change

– Employee Engagement and Internal Communications

· Strategic Learning and Development


The key objectives of the project were:

– Establish an appropriate management framework to embed excellence within the organisation.

– Define and create the Translink Leaderships Behavioural Framework to underpin corporate vision and values

– Formulate an appropriate employee engagement and internal communications strategy

– Create systems to drive a high performance culture.

– Create a learning and development strategy linked to organizational business requirements

Project Objectives

The “Translink Project” was designed for helping to embed customer focused growth, service improvements, enhanced commercialisation of services and developing an employer brand which attracts, motivates and retains the best people.

A well-defined project plan was the outcome for a structured planning activity that lasted 4 months (Start up June-Sep 2010) as well as the development of Project Management Translink Project project planskills for the team members.


The most important Stages of the project were:

Stage 1:-  Diagnosing the Change (oct 2010-march 2011). The project teams conducted desk research and benchmarking activity as well as reviewing the “As Is” state within Translink in relation to their work stream area.

Stage 2- : Creating Alignment and Options (march 2011-nov 2011). The project team developed solutions to improve Translink’s people practices in relation to their specific work stream.

Stage 3:-  Making it Happen (nov 2011-march 2013). Communication of project findings and final recommendations to the wider business through a series of road show presentations and briefing sessions followed by a phased implementation of project outputs.

The project governance structure involved:

– Executive Sponsorship and Steering Group: They provided guidance, comment and stage based challenge on the output of each project.

– Project Manager (2 year secondment): The Project Manager was responsible for the delivery of planned milestones on time and to budget.

– Project Team Leaders: The main task of the four project team leaders was that the work stream areas were effectively defined and managed throughout the project lifecycle and that their respective project achieved agreed outcomes.

The execution of this project was supported by the External Support of:

-The Centre for Competitiveness (CforC) provided development, coaching and facilitation throughout the projectCforC logo New

Penna and CforC worked with Group HR to develop an OD strategy and terms of reference for the programme

Ipsos MORI was commissioned to facilitate the Translink employee engagement survey: Your Company – Your Voice

 The main Key barriers to the successful execution of the project were identified and corrective actions designed and implemented: 

– Lack of Awareness and knowledge. Executive updates, lunch and learn workshops, regular team briefs and a dedicated webpage on the company intranet site were used to alert stakeholders after each key project milestone was achieved.

– Lack of Motivation. Project support/compliance was built into the performance objectives of each divisional executive and senior manager.

– Scepticism. Cross-functional teams were formed in which participants from throughout the business developed recommendations based on their own research and benchmarking activity.

– Skills. All project participants attended training on change management. Site visits to EFQM award winning organizations across UK and Ireland took place along with bespoke workshops delivered at Aston Business school. Each project team received on-going coaching support from the Centre for Competitiveness.


Launch of leadership Competency Framework. The framework was used as part of a new Group-wide talent and succession planning process and formed the basis for leadership development centres aimed at assessing the leadership competence of Translink senior managers.

Targeted Learning and Development. A structured leadership and management development curriculum aimed at developing leadership, professional and business skills has been implemented. The launch of a learning and development calendar, targeted strategic development programmes at team leader and supervisory level, the establishment of a strategic partnership with the Ulster Business School and the creation of a female leadership forum have all taken place in 2012.

Implementation of Employee Engagement Survey. This was followed by divisional focus groups and the formation of local action planning teams to drive improvements arising from survey feedback at a local level. A new Group-wide briefing process, ‘Team Talk’, has been implemented.

Implementation of new Performance Management System. An updated system incorporating the three key themes of performance improvement, development, and managing behaviour has been implemented. A training programme supported this for all managers engaged in appraisals.

Key Results.

The project was initiated to improve the change readiness of the organization before progression towards the establishment a Continuous Improvement culture to embed excellence within Translink.

Since the implementation of work stream recommendations the organization has undergone an assessment against the EFQM Excellence Model in which it attained a European Recognized for Excellence Four Stars award.

In addition, Group Human Resources attained an IiP Gold Standard-the most recognized accolade in the UK for business improvement through people. By achieving Gold it is now part of the top 1% of UK organization recognized by IiP.