Queens Award

Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2017
Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2017

We are pleased to announce that The Smart Actuator Company Ltd (SmartAct) has been named as a winner of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – one of the highest accolades for business achievement. We have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation in Enterprise in acknowledgement of our Electric Actuation technology and growth in the last few years.

The Smart Actuator Company Team get ready to celebrate the Queens Award
The Smart Actuator Company Team get ready to celebrate the Queens Award

The Smart Actuator Company is a genuine business success story. Invented by a Malvern local resident James O’Donnell (MD) the company manufacture a truly innovative product that is revolutionising the world of Valve & Actuation. James said “We are the 6th fastest growing Engineering Manufacturing companies in the Midlands right now. The Smart Actuator Company is going from strength to strength and we are proud to be a Malvern company.”

Tony O’Donnell, CEO said “For our young company to have won one of Britain’s most coveted business awards is simply amazing. Especially so in this historic year when HM the Queen celebrates the sapphire anniversary of her reign.  The award appropriately reflects the time, commitment and effort that our people have invested in the outstanding achievement of our business. It is a standard of commercial excellence & innovation that is recognised worldwide. Our job now is to continue to build on the success so far and to maximise the benefits our innovation can bring both to customers across the globe and our UK economy.”

The timing is perfect as SmartAct join the National Apprenticeship scheme and welcome 4 new young apprentices into our team. The recognition of the Queen’s Award is a great achievement for the whole team; we have worked hard and built a robust platform from which to further grow this exciting business. We would also like to thank our local Chamber of Commerce and LEP along with The British Valve & Actuator Association and Department of International Trade support whose support has been invaluable to the success and growth of our business.

What is the Queens Award ?

The Queens Award for  Enterprise in InnovationJust in Case you don’t know what the Queens Award is – About the Queen’s Awards

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious accolades for businesses and individuals in the United Kingdom. The winners are announced each year on 21st April, Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday. The corporate awards recognise outstanding achievements by UK companies in three categories: International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. Each Award is valid for five years and winners are invited to a reception with Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Her Majesty the Queen herself actually shakes the hand of the winners and gives them their award. Usually the Company is also visited by a Queens representative. 

Oman Energy & Water Expo 2017

Oman Energy & Water Expo 2017

 

Oman Energy & Water Expo 2017
Oman Energy & Water Expo 2017
The Smart Actuator Company (SmartAct) attend the Oman Energy & Water Expo 2017
The Smart Actuator Company (SmartAct) attend the Oman Energy & Water Expo 2017

We have been invited by the Department of Trade & Industry and British Water to attend the Oman Energy & Water Expo in Muscat. It is always an honour to be invited to attend exhibitions but to be asked to attend is an exceptional honour. We intend to showcase our Subsea Actuator but will obviously take some workings samples of our small and medium Smart Electric Actuators. The Small Actuator in particular is a great product for water treatment plants or irrigation systems.

The Exhibition is held in Muscat, Oman. The continued strength of the Omani economy coupled with significant investment taking place in the water and wastewater industry, has created high opportunities for British companies. British Water is a UK Trade & Investment Challenge Partner and is working with the British Embassy in Muscat and Intec Export Intelligence.

This is a great opportunity for The Smart Actuator Company to showcase their truly Smart Electric Actuators across the range of products.

 

ISO9001 : 2015 Certification

ISO 9001:2015 Logo for The Smart Actuator Company
ISO 9001:2015 Logo for The Smart Actuator Company

 

ISO 9001:2015 Certificate for The Smart Actuator Company
ISO 9001:2015 Certificate for The Smart Actuator Company

We are pleased to announce that we received our ISO9001:2015 Certification. Quality Standards are so important for a business. We are proud to have the ISO9001 Certification upgraded to ISO9001:2015. Later this year myself and another staff member are taking part in the training to work towards the next level of certification.  Quality standards help to increases customer confidence in your organization as it shows you care for your customer business, and as in our case are committed to good quality standards of manufacturing & business practice.

Quality Standards help to improvement the credibility and image of your business – Because ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized standard, it has become the basis for creating a quality management system around the world, replacing many previously published requirements. When a company is looking for a supplier, it is often a requirement to have a QMS based on ISO 9001 in order to be considered. It is really important for us at The Smart Actuator Company to know that our customers can see we have this standard.

We want to improve our customer satisfaction – One of the quality management principles that are the foundation of the ISO 9001 requirements is to improve customer satisfaction by planning for and striving to meet customer requirements. Happy customers are exactly what we want.

Improve your evidence for decision making – We all make gut decisions in life but in business we need to work towards making more evidence based decisions. This is a professional process that is good for any business. Monitoring our internal processes means we can work towards constantly improving our use of resources and look at cost savings throughout the business.

Create a continual improvement culture – Continual improvement is a third quality management principle of ISO 9001. By adopting this culture to improve your processes and organizational output, you will find efficiencies and cost savings, including the use of systematic processes when problems occur in order to reduce the impact of the problem and increase the speed of recovery. By making this continual, improving year after year, the company can see continuing benefits from this.

Engagement of employees – Employees who are involved in the improvements of the processes they work with are happier and more engaged employees. Who better than the people working on the process to best identify the areas that need improvement, and to help to test and advance these improvements when they are implemented? Engaged employees are more productive and will help the company better improve and save, especially when they understand how the quality of the process depends on them.

Mindlands Engine Trade Summit

Mindlands Engine Trade Summit

Tony O'Donnell Marketing Director of The Smart Actuator Company
Tony O’Donnell Marketing Director of The Smart Actuator Company

The Smart Actuator company will be attending the Midlands Engine Trade Summit on Thursday 9th March. Looking at our opportunities in International is really important to us. We work closely with our contacts at the Department for International Trade. Linda Smith, Director of International Trade at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce has given us a lot of support over recent years to help us go Global. In fact we hit the press this week when our Marketing Director Tonya O’Donnell was featured in the Hereford & Worcester Chamber of Commerce Business Direction Magazine in an article all about Global trade and our work with DIT.

Hopefully we will see some interesting speakers at the event on Thursday 9th.

The Smart Actuator Company in the press

The Smart Actuator Company in the press
Tony O'Donnell Marketing Director of The Smart Actuator Company
Tony O’Donnell Marketing Director of The Smart Actuator Company

The Smart Actuator Company hit the press this week when our Marketing Director Tonya O’Donnell was featured in the Hereford & Worcester Chamber of Commerce Business Direction Magazine in an article all about Global trade and our work with DIT. Headed ‘Smart Technology going global after DIT support’ the article was about our work with The Department of International Trade towards Internationalisation of our products and brand.

 

H&W Chamber Business Expo

H&W Chamber Business Expo
Hereford & Worcester Chamber of Commerce Business Expo
Hereford & Worcester Chamber of Commerce Business Expo

The Business Expo is a great chance to: Network
Promote your company
Find new suppliers
Generate sales leads
Increase your product and service profile
Make new business contacts

Over 1000 visitors will attend the Business Expo

With over 120 exhibitors from lots of business sectors, a dedicated Network Zone with free tea and coffee – don’t miss the chance to raise your profile with others in the Herefordshire & Worcestershire business community.

The Smart Actuator never miss a chance for good local networking within the business community. The benefits of good networking speak for themselves. We are proud members of our local Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce.

BVAA Regional Dinner & Supplier Day

BVAA Regional Dinner & Supplier Day

BVAA British Valve & Actuator AssociationBVAA British Valve & Actuator AssociationWe are attending the BVAA Regional Dinner & Supplier Day. The BVAA are hosting a Dinner preceding a Supplier Meeting event. 1-2-1 meetings are the main focus of this event which is an opportunity for Valve & Actuator Manufacturers to meet new potential customers and catch up with existing ones. The Dinner gives an opportunity to network and also listen to an Industry Speaker. Meetings can be pre-booked & The Smart Actuator Company plan to utilise this opportunity to meet companies & also showcase our own products.

There is no ‘I’ in team – building a great team for success !

There is no ‘I’ in team – building a great team for success !

Team – Together Everyone Achieves More

To make a business successful you need some key things. You need a great idea, you need to take advantage of technology, continue to innovate, put your customers at the heart of what you do, get organized, keep good records, analyse your market and … here comes the important bit; create a strong team.

A strong #creative team typically outperforms the gifted creative individual. There are of course exceptions & every team sometimes needs those gifted individuals and should allow for them to sometimes shine as stars. But even they need someone to make the tea or order the stationary !

Creating a strong team isn’t easy. It’s about good communication, clear vision, good organisation and effective leadership.

A great team will have a mix of skills, it needs a blend of temperaments: some that are happiest in the thick of things, others that are relatively impervious to the collective mindset. A team needs people who can turn the tide as well as those who ride the wave but they all need to be working towards the same goal. In work they need to be working towards the success and vision of your business.

A good team working well to it’s different strengths but with the same goal in mind will achieve greatness.

The Smart Actuator Company Team take part in a 2 day team skills workshop
The Smart Actuator Company Team take part in a 2 day team skills workshop

One thing you can do to help a team work better together and understand their strengths is to invest in training. This week we took part in a team Skills workshop. Unfortunately there were no marshmallow tower building but we did spend 2 days learning all about what makes a good team, good communication & how to deal with change. All in all a great 2 days.

We learnt a lot about our collective skills and it was really interesting to see that as a collective team we have a broad range of skills. We had a lot of Implementers which thankfully means lot’s of hard workers with loyalty towards the business. Across the rest of the skill set we had some strong managers & co-ordinators (interestingly family featured high in these categories) and some great team workers with lots of high score in the completer-finisher category. Which means we are motivated to work towards our common goal and complete the task!

I think everyone enjoyed the sweets & toys. It was especially interesting to learn that fiddling with a gadget or toy rather than being distracting actually opens up the creative side of your mind and allows for greater learning.

Lots to take in but sometimes you need to go away and digest new information. You often find that afterwards things come back to you that help further down the line. Continuing to grow and develop as a person can only add to your success in life and work.

At the Smart Actuator Company we are already a rapidly growing business going through a period of change and developing an ethos that we will invest in knowledge and the skills to continue to succeed is a great thing.

Thank you to HR Champions and to Cathy in particular who was our trainer and facilitator for the two days.

Looking forward to more success with a great team in place.

 

 

Brand Finance Global Forum

Brand Finance Global Forum
Brand Finance Global List
Brand Finance Global List

Branding

Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for big names. Ironically some big brands work to try to look more like small firms in order to appeal to consumers that prefer to support independent brands. A brand is a promise. You know what you will get with a well established brand.

A brand is not just a logo or how a business is perceived externally. Branding at the heart of the business. So much so that in many ways you could almost substitute the word brand for business.

Branding is a way of defining your business to yourself, your team and your external audiences. It could be called the business’ “identity”, but only on the understanding that it embodies the core of what the business is and its values, not just what it looks and sounds like. Customers of all sorts of businesses are so savvy today that they can see through most attempts by companies to gloss, spin or charm their way to sales.

The benefits that a strategically defined brand can bring are the same as when people fall in love with each other. When customers connect emotively — because they share the same values and beliefs of a brand — it leads to higher sales and better brand differentiation. It also leads to loyalty, advocacy and can even protect your price in times when competitors rely on promotional discounts to drive sales. It can also give you the ideal platform from which to extend your offering or range.

Tony O'Donnell CEO The Smart Actuator Company & Chris O'Donnell at the Brand Finance Global Forum in London.
Tony O’Donnell CEO The Smart Actuator Company & Chris O’Donnell at the Brand Finance Global Forum in London.
Lego hit no 1 as most powerful Global Brand.
Lego hit no 1 as most powerful Global Brand.

Brand Finance Global Forum 2017

Last week Brand Finance released the 2017 Global Lists of top and most successful Brand. Our Chairman Tony O’Donnell & his wife Chris O’Donnell were invited to attend the prestigious Global Forum Event at the Mansion House in London. We would love to eventually see our Brand both RIFT Technology (the power inside SmartAct) and SmartAct appear on those lists. Brand Finance actually value our Brand for us and do predict good things for the company & the brands.

The VIP event was held at the Mansion House in London and was sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services & Novagraaf. A welcome address was given by Alderman Sir David Wootton & Lord Mayor Locum Tenens. David Haigh CEO of Brand Finance PLC also grace a talk.

The menu was fabulous, Tony & Chris had a great time. It was interesting to be among the big Brands that received awards and hear from them why they think they are successful.

One of the most interesting talks was from the lady who received the Lego award. She firmly stated that the most important people in their business was their customers – the kids !!! Yes the parent’s spend money but the products need to make their customers happy & be what they want. Their customers are mostly the kids of the world ! Big & small. Lego listen to their customers & continue to innovate to keep their customers happy. Two very important lessons for any business.

Apprenticeship positions at SmartAct – come and join our team !

Apprenticeship positions at SmartAct – come and join our team !

Come and Join our team at The Smart Actuator Company. We are looking for 2 Digital Marketing & Account Management Apprentices.

Vacancy description

The Smart Actuator Company Ltd would like to appoint 2
Marketing Apprentices to join their existing Sales & Marketing Team
based at their Malvern manufacturing headquarters
Job Description;

  • Incoming & Outgoing communications with customers on the
    phone and using technologies such as social media and e-mail
  • Account management, fact finding and information gathering
    from customers
  • Online sales processing
  • Answering customers enquires regarding sales and products
  • Inputting products onto the sales system and website
  • Management of online sales and promotional materials
  • Social Media updates and marketing
  • Support carrying out and undertaking business exhibition’s and
    sales events
  • Sale contact management
  • Database inputting and CRM management
  • Follow health & safety at all times
  • Any other duties as required
  • Keep the workplace safe at secure at all times

Heart of Worcestershire CollegeWeekly wage is £166.50 plus sales incentives. The position is for an initial 15 month Apprenticeship in conjunction with Heart of Worcestershire College.

Desired skills

  • Good communicator
  • Literate
  • Numerate
  • Can work independently
  • Good IT skills
  • Good telephone manner
  • Asks for help when unsure
  • Team player
  • Able to follow instruction

Personal qualities

  • Positive attitude
  • Trustworthy
  • Self-motivated
  • Honest
  • Enthusiastic
  • Has integrity

Qualifications required

Maths and English Grade A-C (or equivalent)

You can apply online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

Search for Vacancy VAC001158705

Or contact Heart of Worcestershire College – 01095-743539

Email – apprenticeships@howcollege.ac.uk

Join the team at SmartAct. We have 2 Apprenticeship positions available.
Join the team at SmartAct. We have 2 Apprenticeship positions available.