The 2019 BIBA awards in Blackpool mark AYOM’s second appearance at the event. After being a finalist in our maiden outing, we are very hopeful of going one step further this year. The road to the final has been long and full of twists. Some obstacles overcome, some successes celebrated and some failings addressed. Here is AYOM’s road to the BIBAs 2019 final.
AYOM was purchased in August 2017. The following year saw new leadership transform the small company into a bigger, more effective operation. Investment in staff and growing departments ensured AYOM was going in the right direction. These changes brought about the company’s earliest awards from Wealth & Finance and Corporate Livewire. These awards were not as widely known as the BIBAs but pre-empted positive change.
A big culture change was implemented in Spring 2018 as the company looked to reposition in the market. The owners wanted to rid the industry of the negative stigma attached to collection of debts. Changes included:
- A new mission statement
- Redeveloped core values
- Alterations to branding
- Changes to HR policies & procedures
- Further investment in departmental growth
- Analysis of the business & marketing plan
This change wasn’t instant. Throughout Spring & Summer of 2018, the company made huge steps towards creating the desired internal culture changes. Teams were split with leaders and managers encouraged taking a more paternal approach. The office received a face lift with a fresh look. A larger emphasis was placed on HR management was introduced with more training & further education courses paid for.
It was during this culture shift that AYOM looked to develop our benchmarking activity. We had been chamber of commerce members for a year and wanted to be more involved in the North West business community. From this we first discovered the BIBAs. After a very enjoyable boot camp; it was quickly decided the BIBAs was a must do for benchmarking. Comparing ourselves to other successful North West businesses would hugely help us analyse and review our planned change.
The first year was a big success, being shortlisted for 4 awards. Our General Manager & Marketing Manager shouldered the burden of being interviewed. From there we became a finalist for “employer of the year”. Despite not winning that category, the experience of interview, the site visit and the networking on awards night opened our eyes to how important the BIBAs could be. From that evening, we planned our steps very carefully for 2019!
Completing the change
2019 has been a busy year for AYOM. We began in January by getting our first ever investors in people award. We also undertook an employee survey and restructured to help our busy Managing Director the chance to put more decision making power on the senior management team. With the company growing rapidly in a number of areas, the future has been looking excellent for AYOM. Main areas of growth include:
- Number of employees
- Average client size
- Number of clients
- Market share
With so many positive movements, the BIBAs 2019 has already eclipsed last year’s effort. Despite being shortlisted for just 2 categories this time, AYOM are finalists in both! We have been selected as finalists for medium business and growth business of the year.
With so many amazing North West businesses attending the awards as usual, we expect another excellent night of networking and benchmarking activity. AYOM’s Director spoke regarding the finals earlier this week in preparation for the big night.
“Just as last year, we are so happy to be involved in these awards. To make the finals a second year, and be a double finalist this time, is a proud moment for us. Our original plan was to take the AYOM brand and become market leaders through excellence. I think we can say with the recognition from awards like the BIBAs we are well on the road towards that goal.”
To find out what happens at the awards, keep an eye on the AYOM social media feed and our blog! Good luck to all finalists in all categories. We look forward to seeing everybody at Blackpool tower next Friday!