Glidepath, the West Auckland-headquartered company known around the world for its integrated airport baggage handling, postal and cargo systems, has bagged a big award among the ‘Best of the Best’ – Auckland’s supreme business awards.

Glidepath moves people and products fast, safely and efficiently with over 900 systems, including baggage handling systems, operating in 68 countries at hundreds of airports from Vancouver to Bali.
Its ongoing success won it the Supreme Business Excellence Winner in the Westpac Auckland Business Awards – Best of the Best. Glidepath also won the Excellence in Innovation category at the awards following on from their regional success last year at Westpac Auckland Business Awards – North West.

Founder Sir Ken Stevens says the 47-year-old company has long established global markets, including India where it has a manufacturing base. It's enjoying a new era of growth providing automated, integrated product and software solutions for airport baggage, parcel and cargo handling systems.

"Entering this award has helped us measure up against different parameters. It has helped us on our journey, lifted our game in performance, product and adaptability. Tech is now a bigger exporter than meat in New Zealand and a good employer - and we'll just get better and better," says Sir Ken, who is also Chair of Export New Zealand.

Glidepath has evolved into a leading automation and technology company, able to apply its experience and innovations to solutions for airports struggling to cope with huge growth in passenger volumes and needing to improve experience, efficiency, and security at the best cost.
"That's why we have to live and breathe innovation, because we're pitching against the big guys around the world - and we often win."

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Glidepath's latest customer-centric product, CHECKITXPRESS, developed in partnership with Vancouver Airport and its innovation unit, sets the standard as the world's most accessible, efficient and intuitive self-service bag drop.
The technology and compact, user-friendly design reduces queuing times, frees up floor space and minimises the need for check-in staff.

The company employs a staff of more than 280, half of them based close to customers in Canada, Australia, India, South Africa and Latin America along with a centre of innovation excellence in Auckland.

"We are in a fast moving and exciting technological era," says Sir Ken. "We have the opportunity to create the future. Nothing is impossible."


Entering is winning

There's a common theme that comes from entrants and winners of the Westpac Auckland Business Awards: "Even if you don't win – you'll win" and ''winning is just the beginning."

That's because so many benefits are realised by businesses that not only win, but just as importantly, go through the process of entering.

A recent entrant said it best: "Any business should enter these awards because it makes them analyse their internal processes, where they're going, what direction they're going and that just helps their whole business. I think it's the best thing they can do."

The Westpac awards are run by the Auckland Business Chamber in partnership with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to celebrate innovation and creativity.

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Chamber CEO Michael Barnett talks about celebrating the courage of entering: "As a business owner you can either accept the status quo or you can have a look at some of the other businesses out there and say 'I can compete.'

"If you're going to compete, you have to compare. So take this opportunity to be judged and benchmarked – along with the significant benefits that come from that. Because that is what's going to take your business to the next level."

That's the key. Entering the awards is not just about benchmarking a business against the best – it's about taking it to a completely new level. A new level of pride comes with the territory of such a prestigious achievement. Promotion is a valuable resource used extensively to build your brand as is positioning – being recognised as a market leader.

So make your first move to taking your business to a whole new level. Enter the Westpac Auckland Business Awards.

ATEED Chief Executive Nick Hill says small and medium-sized businesses are essential to Auckland's economic growth and the awards help raise the profile of entrants and their achievements.

"Small and medium sized businesses represent 99 per cent of the region's businesses and play an important role in the region's employment and economy. ATEED's goal is to support the creation of 'quality jobs for all Aucklanders' and we're delighted to celebrate the significant contribution made by Westpac Auckland Business Awards entrants."

Westpac Regional Commercial Manager Jeff Driscoll says Westpac is all about helping our customers succeed financially to help grow a better New Zealand.

"One of the ways we do that is by sponsoring events like the Westpac Auckland Business Awards that celebrate excellence in business practices. We believe that by celebrating business excellence we continue to raise the bar for all businesses in New Zealand to aspire to; ultimately this helps grow a better New Zealand."

The awards are open to any business of any size in Auckland and are divided into three regions: Central, North-West and South-East.

Entries open next week at the start of April. The awards culminate with memorable gala dinner ceremonies for each region during October and November.

Category Winners


EXCELLENCE IN MARKETING:
Haka Tourism Group - Ryan Sanders says: "This is amazing. It's really important for us to win a marketing award because we're competing out there on a global scale against massive global brands with big budgets and massive brand exposure. So we're the small NZ guys and we've got to fight for our corner and sell NZ – sell the place that we love.

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR:
Link2 Group - Rahul Sirigiri says: "It's a great feeling to be honest, and we really deserve this. Getting something like this shows that we look after our staff, and it's advertising too for our clients that says hey this is what we do and this is why we're successful."

EXCELLENCE IN INNOVATION:
Glidepath - Sir Ken Stevens says: "Entering this award has helped us measure up against different parameters. It has helped us on our journey, lifted our game in performance, product and adaptability. Tech is now a bigger exporter than meat in New Zealand and a good employer - and we'll just get better and better."

BEST EMERGING BUSINESS:
Overdose Digital - Paul Pritchard says:"It's very worthwhile going through this process, putting yourself out there, getting judged – because I think getting judged is a validation of what you do. I think for us it was a surprise but it's really given us more emphasis to keep doing what we're doing. It's worthwhile for sure."

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD:
The Meat Box Limited - Rick Agraval says:"Don't be a wall flower about entering these awards. We um-ed and ah-ed for a little bit, but we new it'd be good for our business and exposure. Don't think that you're just chipping away doing your thing, that you're one of the many – you might well be one of the few. Just back yourself. Be proud.

EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE DELIVERY:
Unleashed Software - Danielle Dadello says: "This feels amazing and it's due to the great team and awesome culture that we've got as well as all the hard work we've put in since day dot. Now I think we need to take out Employer of the Year – definitely that's the next one for sure."

EXCELLENCE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE:
Pushpay - Rochelle Ivanson says: "I'd definitely say to other businesses to give this a try. A lot of times we're not good at shouting out about our own achievements. I think the awards tonight and the excellence of the winners and finalists is testament to the amazing industries that we have here in NZ – and talent as well."

EXCELLENCE IN STRATEGY AND PLANNING:
Optimal Clinical Trials - Liz Smaill says:"The awards have been an amazing opportunity. It helps you reflect on what you're doing and involve your team members. It also helps you think about things you could do better – so I definitely encourage entering."

EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION:
Skydive Auckland - Fiona McLaren says:"I think a lot of businesses may think that they maybe don't do enough, but when you put it down on paper you realise how much you contribute to your customers and community. So I'd ask every business to look at what they do and definitely get into the Westpac awards – there's so much to be won from it.