Memorial Business Award Runners Up 2017

30 June 2017

Awarua Synergy was a runner up!

In 2017, on Friday 23 June, during the Puaka Matariki KUMA hui, the Suzanne Spencer Memorial Business runner up Award was presented to Awarua Synergy


Suzanne Spencer was a mentor, advisor, supporter, advocate, and tireless supporter of numerous businesses and business people in the Māori community in Otago and Southland.  Working for Te Puni Kōkiri, Suzanne used her extensive network across the country to establish and organise what became the Māori Business Network, Te Kupeka Umaka Māori ki Araiteuru, or KUMA.  

Unexpectedly passing away in 2012, the Māori business community wanted an appropriate acknowledgement of Suzanne’s vision for Māori economic growth, and contribution to the local economy through new and growth businesses run by and with Māori innovators, entrepreneurs and caiman.  So, with the blessing of her husband Frank and her daughters Jackie and Esther, the Suzanne Spencer Memorial Business Award was launched, to be passed on to a KUMA business at each annual hui.

The previous recipients of the Award have been:

2012: Ngāi Tahu Law Commission

2013: Te Anau Holiday Park 

2014, Awarua Synergy, and 2017 runner up

2015: at the ten year commemoration of KUMA hui, there was a joint presentation to all who had been members continuously for ten years.

Runner Up Award

The award nominations were based on innovation within a business, as runner up award our application was based on our Lean Management programme and the implementation.

Our team attended a six-month Lean Management training programme with Venture Southland and Lean Management specialist Clinton Yates.  The programme has been a game-changer for our team.    Based on a Japanese concept, many world-leading companies have adopted lean principles, the core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.  Simply, Lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources.  A Lean organisation understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste.

Since implementing the programme, our business has increased productivity by at least 30%.  The area with the most improvement for our team was producing a process map.  Our industry is prone to changes from subsidy levels introduced by government, clean air rules with loan schemes, and the Landlord tenancy act changes requiring Landlords to do insulation.  These changes can create confusion within a team.  Since Lean Management, the implementation of changes to our process has been a lot easier for the team to understand resulting in good customer service.

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