PlaceMakers’ clean sweep at the Annual Hardware Awards is testament to the quality of its people and its values
PlaceMakers finalists needed to be on the edge of their seats at the Annual Hardware Awards, as the top award in all four associated categories went to PlaceMakers and its employees!
Nearly 500 people attended the event, where the industry celebrates the best-in-class with a gala dinner and awards for suppliers, retail stores, trade stores and people.
“It was truly incredible,” says PlaceMakers general manager Bruce McEwan. “One by one, teams and individuals from PlaceMakers were announced as their respective category winners – to the point that a rather disgruntled competitor said ‘it may as well be the PlaceMakers awards!’
“Being a finalist at this level is a significant achievement in itself, and PlaceMakers is very proud of the outcome. It demonstrates the strength of our people and what it means to be part of this great brand.
“We want our customers to feel confident that they’re doing business with the best, and this type of recognition endorses their choice.”
PlaceMakers Mt Maunganui’s Damien Hermond secured top honours at this year’s Hardware Awards – a satisfying achievement after coming so close as a finalist last year.
“PlaceMakers had an incredible run at the awards this year and I was proud to play a part in that,” says Damien, who has worked at PlaceMakers for the past 16 years.
“I’m a fairly motivated individual and I firmly believe in not just selling, but working with my customers to achieve the best results possible and improve their business. This award means a lot because it’s not based on numbers and figures – it’s largely based on feedback from the clients I care a lot about.”
The trade account manager, who started as a delivery driver, has worked in many areas of the business.
“I’ve done most jobs you can do at PlaceMakers, and I make sure I can keep doing them whenever it’s required – that includes maintaining my forklift licence so that I can help out if necessary. It’s about being committed to the team you’re working with.”
At Mt Maunganui, Damien says teamwork goes both ways: “I couldn’t have won the award without the incredible team we have here.”
At age 28, Shannon Collier may be considered a young retailer but he’s not young in PlaceMakers years – the current Mt Maunganui operations manager started sweeping floors at PlaceMakers Whakatane when he was just 13 years old!
“Other than a six-month stint checking out the other side of the fence as a builder, I’ve spent my entire working life at PlaceMakers and my passion for the business and our customers only continues to increase,” says Shannon.
“I was shocked to receive the award; I was up against some exceptional people, but of course I’m very pleased to be acknowledged in this way.”
Shannon, who works closely with Trade Account Manager of the Year Damien, also attributes much of his success to the team who backs him.
“My team has really helped me to succeed by offering encouragement and support, but also making my job easier by doing theirs really well,” says Shannon, who has also worked in a variety of roles
Aside from the team, he says the most enjoyable part of his job is the customers.
“Providing solutions for the issues they encounter is a truly rewarding experience, as is seeing the final results of their work.”
Justin Macready of PlaceMakers Dunedin, who has been with PlaceMakers for almost 24 years and was awarded ‘Young Retailer of the Year’ in 2005, sees the awards as inspiration. He was thrilled to be named ‘Retailer of the Year’.
“Receiving this award was the icing on the cake at an awards ceremony that truly celebrates excellence in our fantastic industry,” says Justin.
“Whether you win, make the finals or not, the true value of entering the awards is that it forces you to look back on your hardware career and look at what you’ve achieved and what you’re doing now. This helps you plan for the future, which is not something most of us would normally do.
“The benefit of being measured alongside your industry peers is huge – it helps the whole industry move forward and improve.”
Justin was particularly impressed with PlaceMakers overall performance: “It was a very special night and I am proud to be part of the PlaceMakers brand.”
Charlie Longley accepted the award for Trade Store of the Year on behalf of PlaceMakers Riccarton operator Grant Close, who has won it several times.
“I know Grant will be stoked to receive this award,” said Charlie when he accepted the award. “There are 200 staff at PlaceMakers Riccarton who work hard everyday to make a difference and bring solutions to our customers, and this award is testament to their efforts.”
He added that the man at the helm, Grant Close, deserved real praise.
“There are 199 of us who are privileged to work for a man who’s so intuitive and passionate about what he does.”
Two other PlaceMakers team members were finalists for awards:
Trade Account Manager of the Year
Michael Tonner (PlaceMakers Cook Street)
Trade Store of the Year
PlaceMakers Mt Wellington