The 2014 MT Awards will see the launch of a new category – the Business Excellence Award, sponsored by leading pallet network Fortec.

Open to any company in the road transport industry the new award will recognise business best practice, characterised by a culture of continuous improvement, long term financial, social and environmental sustainability and a strong staff development ethos.

The idea for the new award category resulted from Fortec’s involvement and subsequent accreditation in Investors in Excellence (IiE), an organisation chaired by former TNT UK CEO Alan Jones OBE.

Fortec Distribution Network’s MD Neil Hodgson explained: “I have known Alan for over 30 years and he introduced us to Investors in Excellence. It is a widely recognised standard across Europe, with companies such as Jaguar, BMW, PWC and Ricoh accredited. We achieved the standard in 2012 after three years and it has improved our business significantly.”

Fortec is the only UK pallet network to be accredited and one of just three transport companies in the UK to achieve IiE, the others being TNT and DHL. During the accreditation process, Fortec formulated its company plan containing its mission, vision and values. The plan was completed with the involvement of the whole management team and departmental heads. Fortec’s mission within its company plan is: ‘Success through Excellence’, a mission statement known to the entire network.

It was this approach that was behind the new MT Business Excellence Award, according to Hodgson. “Our plan is to recognise companies achieving business success through excellence,” he said.  “We are looking for strong financial performance, cost reduction and efficiency, and differentiation in the market.”

Fortec has recruited several new members in the past year, and a key criterion when selecting companies to join the network is their business acumen. “The companies that will thrive long term are strong commercial entities as well as first class operators,” said Fortec Commercial Director Marcus Fischer. “They all have very strong balance sheets supporting growth to operate efficiently in the course of their business.”