As Denroy look forward to the new challenges, developments and plans for 2020, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the year gone by and thank all of our employees, customers, suppliers and sponsors for helping us achieve so much, in 12 short months.
The year started well with a focus on maintaining our hard-earned SC21 Gold standard, achieved in 2018. There was a strong emphasis on Staff Training and Advancement, Research and Development and seeking Opportunities for New Business. We are grateful to Invest Northern Ireland and the Department for International Trade for their continued support and investment, enabling us to focus on R&D to find innovative solutions for creating lightweight structural and non-structural products. We have also found that by developing partnerships with Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering, Queen’s University and Ulster University, we have opened up more opportunities to evaluate our processes and advance with the changing technology and markets.
We congratulate our Setter Bill Lynn on achieving his Bachelor of Engineering in Polymer Processing, along with David McCullough who achieved his Degree in Mechanical Engineering, securing a job here at Denroy after starting out on Work Experience and Quality Team Leader Jim Cummings achieving his Internal Auditor Training qualification. We also welcomed Thomas Whittaker from the Queen’s Leadership Programme and David Thompson from NIACE to the team.
March saw our recognition by Deloitte as Best Managed Company with a Gold Award and throughout the year, we have strived to maintain our strong leadership team, whilst developing and empowering the workforce, to reduce staff turnover and improve working relationships.
Denman have also gone from strength to strength, starting the year with a successful exhibition at Cosmoprof Bologna in March and the launch of new 4 piece display stands and the colourful Tangle Tamer Gentle Range in April. The D38 Power Paddle was then launched later in the year and due to expansion, some production has now moved back to our Clandeboye site for the first time in over 10 years.
The second Quarter began with the news that Dr John Rainey was stepping down from day to day operational duties and we welcomed Kevin McNamee as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Denroy Group. John remains the Group Chairperson, continuing to support the business with his wealth of knowledge and experience, as an integral cornerstone of Denroy and we thank him immensely for his foresight, passion and encouragement throughout the years. We now look forward to the next chapter with Kevin at the helm and wish him every success as CEO, as we progress into 2020.
There were celebrations in July as we received the news that the hard work had paid off and we were re-awarded our SC21 Gold title for 2019, for following the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space Operational Excellence model framework. This confirmed that at least 99.5% of our deliveries were On Time and In Full and 99.9% Quality Standards were achieved for the second year running. We are very proud of this achievement and thankful to all employees who have helped to maintain this esteemed gold standard.
Our commitment to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) continued with our investments in continued Research & Development, participation in the STEM Village in the August Airwaves Event in Portrush, the Wing of Tomorrow Programme, Build A Plane collaboration and the requisition of an industrial 3D printer. This has increased our capabilities in 3D modelling and allowed us to provide customers with a 3D mock up of their required items prior to Tooling investment for new products, which is an exciting progression in the Concept and Design phase.
We are excited to be involved in the Wing of Tomorrow Programme; a 2 year collaborative agreement, through which we are supporting Airbus in the development of innovative new designs for revolutionary carbon wings. The overall aim is to improve the eco-efficiency of the Airbus Aircraft, which would be an investment into future business for Denroy.
We are also encouraging the younger generations to take an interest in Engineering and all things Aeronautical, through our involvement in the Schools Build A Plane Project. This will see young people from shared education partnerships throughout Northern Ireland, learn and develop the skills required to build a plane from scratch with the opportunity to fly in it and witness its flight at the Farnborough Airshow in 2022.
Kevin McNamee made Denroy history in September, as he presented the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, with personalised Denman hairbrushes, during a visit to 10 Downing Street for the Northern Ireland Business Reception. In addition, Kevin and John Irwin both attended the House of Commons Trade NI launch, with a view to helping promote a clear economic strategy in the Northern Ireland Manufacturing sector.
In October, we were honoured to receive the Bronze Diversity Charter Mark, recognising our commitment to building a positive and inclusive culture for all employees and welcoming equality in the representation of all genders and cultures. We now have membership to the Women in Business NI Network, which has provided some training programmes and development opportunities to employees, with a view to empowering females within, what has previously been a predominantly male, engineering environment.
Salon International was a huge success for Denman held in ExCel London with Josh Woodman being crowned our Denman Stage Star 2019. The stand looked stunning and it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our new lines and meet the industry’s leading hairstylists and professionals at such a prestigious event.
The Denman Inc office doubled in size this year with the appointment of two new members of staff towards the end of the year. We are delighted to welcome Lynda Sarno in her Supporting Admin Role and Shane Patton who has joined the Sales team.
In 2019 Denman Inc. went from strength to strength, exhibiting at the 3 usual Trade Shows – IBS New York, ABS Chicago and CPNA Las Vegas. However, we have made the decision not to participate in any of the US shows in 2020 on a trial basis, due to concerns over attendance, Sales, validity of shows and 2020 show dates. Instead, we aim to invest in advertising across the country and focus on Customer support. This will allow us to see if we can find a more effective way to grow the business, so there are exciting times ahead on both sides of the pond.
John Rainey had further cause for celebration in October, as he was commended for his Commitment to Business at the Bangor Business Awards. Having cofounded the Denroy Group in 1972 with his late father Mr Max Rainey OBE, John has led both Denman and Denroy to market leading status in their individual fields. His dedication to keeping the business local, relevant and competitive is the reason we are here today and for that we are all so grateful.
Celebrations then continued as our Business Development Manager, Gareth Deering was deservingly awarded the title of AIB Young Businessperson of the Year. Gareth started his role with Denroy back in July 2017 and has been working hard to secure new opportunities, particularly within the Aerospace sector.
One such opportunity came to fruition in the final quarter of 2019, as we were confirmed as a Qualified Supplier for multinational corporation Boeing. The process of achieving the high standards required for this title fell to representatives from all departments within Denroy, therefore we are very grateful to the continued dedication of our teams.
We are also proud to have been declared an “enduring success story” in the 2019 Parliamentary Review, with Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett congratulating us on our ability to “forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones” through our Parliamentary Review Article.
We have come a long way over the years and 2019 has been no exception, but we now look forward to continued development and success throughout 2020.