The BOSS Industry Awards Dinner, held at the Tower Hotel alongside Tower Bridge, London, was a glittering occasion attended by around 400 professionals from every part of the office products industry
Hosted by TV, radio and stand-up comic, Lucy Porter, the event is one of the highlights of the industry calendar, with excellent networking, entertainment and a fine meal, but everything leads to the climax of the evening, a series of awards presented to wholesalers, dealers, manufacturers and brand owners. The awards recognise excellence in all areas and are the highest accolades presented in the UK.
VOW was delighted to be shortlisted as finalists in the initiative of the year for their transport management system, which is improving visibility and efficiency whilst at the same time, reducing emissions and fuel usage. A second place on the finalist list came in the publication of the year for its mainline catalogue.
However, it was in the individual awards that VOW shone with six team members winning. The award for professional of the year went to VOW marketing director, Helen Wade who was recognised for a year of outstanding success. Wade has overseen the strategic rebranding of the company as a specialist wholesaler and has repositioned the industry-leading Green Light event, making it a must-attend conference for reseller sales teams. In addition, she had driven the highly successful Whiteout and Heatwave incentive schemes and driven a complete overhaul of the MyMarketing platform.
It’s also been quite a year for VOW product marketing manager, Scott Castle. After winning the young professional of the year at the EOPA Awards back in March, Castle has now added the BOSS emerging professional of the year award. Castle was commended by the judges for his work in developing the VOW AdVenture incentive campaign which delivered outstanding results for VOW and participating suppliers. He was also recognised for his role in supporting the establishment of the BOSS Leaders of the Future group, of which he will shortly be taking over the chair from Emily Jones.
Steve Blowers has spent 30 years in wholesaling, with Neville and Gladstone, John Heath, Kingfield Heath and ultimately VOW. From sales roles to branch management, to senior management team and board, Blowers, who now is director of dealer groups has been a constant in the evolution of VOW into its current position as the clear number one wholesaler in the channel. Blowers was recognised by the BOSS Federation with an unsung hero award. Also receiving unsung hero awards were three other VOW team members.
Matthew Allen was singled out for his great contribution to the VOW commercial team where his development of the analytical tools has allowed VOW to manage its sales, margins and cost to serve more effectively. The judges agreed that through his attitude, aptitude and excellent achievements, Allen was deserving of the wider recognition of the industry.
Rebecca Brook, VOW head of inventory was recognised for the excellent work that she has done in managing a team of 17 people, with responsibility for controlling the ordering and intake of goods from suppliers and sustaining a high level of customer fill rate and availability. The judges identified that Brook has an excellent attitude and leads by example to encourage, develop and guide her team.
Finally, Sarah Whale, VOW service improvement manager was awarded her unsung hero award for her work in the implementation of VOWs customer self-service portal and her obsession with putting her customers first. The judges recognised her dogged determination and tenacity along with her ability to change mindsets, attitudes and outlooks in order to drive continuous improvements.
Wade, marketing director, said: “It was an incredible night and amazing to see so many of the VOW team being recognised. For me personally it was a great thrill to win and I felt proud and humbled to go up and collect my award. It may sound like a cliché, but it is true, that there are lots of people whose support contributes to this, and I want to thank all of them. I also want to offer massive congratulations to Scott, Steve, Matthew, Rebecca and Sarah for their awards. We’ve put a huge focus on our supply chain relationships and these awards clearly show that our approach is delivering results.”
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