ACE Awards boost market credibility says Frame Group

Winning Silver and Sustainability ACE Awards had multiple positive spinoffs for Frame Group. Managing Director Jonathan Pringle tells us how the company’s success at last year’s awards helped attract new team members, created team pride and inspired them to enter further awards, and benefitted market credibility for the small, specialist business.

What was it like entering the awards? 

There was a huge amount of work involved in making the submission, so we had to make a conscious decision to invest the time. If we were going to enter, we needed to do it very, very well to have a good chance of winning an award. 

I initially talked through entering the awards at a team meeting because I needed the team’s buy-in to assist with making the submission. They needed to understand the benefits to the business and the reasons to prioritise their time on the submission, especially as we were a relatively new member of ACE at the time. I was genuinely pleased at how supportive they were of the initiative. 

We also had a video professionally made so there was some monetary investment as well as time / opportunity cost, but I believe the video was very worthwhile. 

Did winning an award affect team morale? 

The team were very excited to win two awards, and we took the time to celebrate that success once it was official. In addition, at our end-of-year team event where we discussed our strategy and direction, the awards were talked about as one of our key successes for the year. 

The team pride in winning the awards is really high. We’ve put our award certificates on our inspiration wall alongside our mission statement, values, and photos of some of our work. Winning the awards has created pride in team members and inspired them to mention other awards we could enter – they're excited about what else we could do. Pride in the business is very, very important – we want people to be proud and excited to work with us – and the awards have certainly helped with this. 

Have you had any exposure following the award? 

There was media coverage. We also put the awards on our website and in our email signatures, and we mention them for relevant jobs. 

The awards benefit our market credibility too. The majority of our client base is quite narrow – government and local government – where we already have high awareness and a strong reputation, but the awards have still been a very useful part of conversations with clients and potential clients alike. 

The awards have also helped us attract new team members, providing demonstrable evidence of our capabilities and market credentials to potential candidates. 

The media exposure was also helpful for raising public awareness and understanding of the need to protect kauri and the rationale for the hygiene protocols in place within kauri forests. The Department of Conservation (DOC) got excited by the media exposure the awards received too and used it on their intranet as a way of reminding staff within DOC about the importance of kauri protection. 

Would you enter the awards again? 

We will definitely enter again, in a year or two, highlighting a different type of project. 

ACE is very important to us as a small, specialist business because of the resources it provides, which can be difficult and expensive to obtain for a small business. ACE also helps provide us with market credibility, and we display our ACE membership on our email signatures and website. 

Would you encourage other SMEs to enter? 

Absolutely. I think it can be even more meaningful for SMEs than for some of the larger firms – people know the big guys and their credibility comes with their size and scale. We already enjoyed a very strong reputation in the market - we’ve been in business for 37 years and are recognised as being leaders in our sector - so we didn’t need the awards to build credibility. However, the awards have been a very useful tool to facilitate positive discussion with our existing and prospective team members, existing and potential clients, and other stakeholders.