Anglian Business Awards: Spotlight on Denny Bros, Business of the Year

IN THE first of a new Q&A series with the winners from the EADT’s 2012 Anglian Business Awards, the spotlight falls on Barry Denny, managing director of Bury St Edmunds-based Denny Bros which won the Environment, Family Business and Customer Service Person of the Year categories before claiming the overall Business of the Year title, sponsored by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and EDF Energy.

Q) Many congratulations. You must be thrilled at this haul of awards – what does this recognition mean to you and your company?

A) Not only great publicity, but great for staff morale throughout the company in today’s difficult trading climate.

Q) How long has Denny Bros been trading and how has your business evolved?

A) Since 1945, gradually developing from a two-man general printer serving local businesses to a 150 strong company manufacturing specialist printed products, and the machinery for making them and licencing our technology internationally, as well as a town centre retail business.

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Q) You won the environmental award. Explain what measures you have built into your business model.

A) We have achieved ISO 14001 accreditation by adopting environmental procedures throughout the printing operation.

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Q) Has an awareness of the environment and your company’s impact on it always been a consideration for you?

A) Environmental matters have become more important for everyone in recent years, but we have been recycling paper since the 1940s – before it was fashionable!

Q) You also scooped the newly introduced Family Business of the Year Award. Explain who the key players are and what difference it makes to be a family-owned business.

A) Key players are Barry, Graham and Andrew Denny, all sons of the founding brothers plus a strong team of non-family directors and managers.

Q) I should imagine that working with your family also has some pressures. How do you deal with that?

A) It is important to make a clear differentiation between family and business matters and to treat everyone involved fairly.

Q) Do you think being family-owned has been the key to your success?

A) Being family-owned is very important - we make our own decisions and personal/family pride is an important factor in achieving and maintaining success.

Q) What advice would you give to other family businesses, particularly those just starting out?

A) See above.

Q) Simon Gray was named Customer Service Person of the Year – another new category. Explain his role and what he has achieved for the company in terms of customer service.

A) Simon Gray has been very effective in re-establishing the business supplies operation within our stationery business and has done this by enthusiasm and good old fashioned hard work. His efforts have been much appreciated by our customers.

Q) Why is customer service so important to Denny Bros?

A) Good customer service is vital – no business can prosper without it.

Q) Finally how did the process of entering the awards help you take stock of your business and would you recommend others to enter next year?

A) It definitely helps you to look at the business from the outside and we strongly recommend entering to others – you’ve got to be in it, to win it!

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