Column by Julie White, president of IACDS

19/12/2018

It will soon be awards season in the world of entertainment with the glitz and the glamour of ceremonies such as the Oscars all set to capture headlines around the globe.

Something I’ve asked myself over many years is why we always put stars of sport, film, and music and other forms of art and entertainment on such a pedestal and yet the heroes of business very often go uncelebrated.

We will go out of our way to honor singers, actors and sports stars – but where is the love for our finest businesses especially those specialist contractors like all of ours who come up with amazing solutions to difficult problems every single day of the year.

A few years ago I decided to change that in my business and the effect has been very positive for us and I am here, now, making a plea to the rest of you in the industry: DON’T BE SHY!

There’s often a feeling among companies – particularly in our industry – that putting yourself up for an award is somehow being flashy or seeking the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

When there are contracts to win, staff to manage, train and pay, and all of the other day-to-day trials of running a business, why would anyone take time out to start putting themselves forward for awards?

And that is, ultimately, the question – why do it? What value is there in putting yourself forward? What if you don’t win?

Since I took over at D-Drill, our first major award win was a Diamond Award in 2011 which acknowledged an amazing piece of wire-sawing at a hospital in the UK to save some ceramic artwork that would have been lost without the innovation of our team.

Can I hand on heart say we went on to win a stream of orders because of that win? Of course not. But the morale boost it gave to the team for the fact that they had been recognized internationally for their work was amazing.

Added to that, it was a great addition to our marketing and sales pitches – that we were international award winners. It certainly adds credibility to everything you say about your own business.

We also won a Specialist Award at an event run by the largest construction trade magazine in the UK, which was great PR for us in front of our peers and potential clients.

Not long afterward, I put myself forward for the title of Businesswoman of the Year in the UK and I won it.

Again, my reason for applying for the award was not to gain personal glory – I said all along that it had to be good for my business and not be about blowing my own trumpet.

Of course, anyone who knows me will know that I enjoyed the whole experience and it has led to national media appearances – including being on the premier political debate programme in the UK – and, again, raised the profile of our industry.

How else could I have coined the phrase ‘concrete cutting is sexy’ on national TV?! I even won a lifetime achievement award recently and I certainly don’t feel old…or dead for that matter!

So what were the tangible benefits? I’ll give you one very solid example. I’d desperately been trying to speak to a major contractor who we were keen to work with but it was proving tough.

However, when I attended an event where the company’s CEO was speaking, it was he that made a beeline for me during the coffee break having seen me on TV and it was a chance for me to tell him all about my business and what we could do for him.

That wouldn’t have happened if I’d have hidden my light under a bushel or said we were too busy to be entering awards.

You have to also remember that this was at a time when we were just emerging from recession and it might have been seen as frivolous to be going for awards. However, I saw it as the chance to celebrate everything that’s good about our industry at a time when businesses had been struggling.

Also, if we want to recruit the next generation of people, don’t we have a duty to say what a fantastic industry we work in – that you too can be celebrated just like a sportsperson or entertainer?

So it is with that I would encourage you to enter The Diamond Awards, which is an internationally recognized competition for concrete sawing and drilling companies that have the chance to demonstrate their professionalism.

It is organized by the International Association of Concrete Drillers & Sawers (IACDS) and is a great opportunity, on the one hand, for contractors because they can showcase their expertise and, on the other hand, for suppliers because they can gain visibility worldwide.

Its goals are recognizing the work of concrete sawing and drilling companies internationally, promoting the expertise of concrete sawing and drilling professionals and spreading the techniques and equipment used in concrete sawing and drilling contracts.

We celebrate the Diamond Awards every three years and in 2019 the awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 11, during the celebration of the annual event of the IACDS, at BAUMA 2019, which will be held from April 8 to April 14, in Munich, Germany.

The construction press will be invited, and the winners will be announced and honored with the recognition of the Diamond Award.

If you want to find more information or to find out how to enter, you can visit the website: https://www.iacds.org/diamondaward/diamond-award-2019

All entries must be in before the end of January 2019 – good luck!