A Clare company has become one of the first businesses in the country to achieve a new quality mark signifying that they meet the highest standards of quality and trust.
Castle Blinds, Newmarket-on-Fergus, has been awarded the coveted All-Ireland Business All-Star accreditation – an independently verified standard mark for indigenous businesses, based on rigorous selection criteria.
The accreditation is overseen by the All-Ireland Business Foundation, whose adjudication panel is chaired by Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick and Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics.
Castle Blinds previously attained recognition as an All-Star brand through the business network. The Clare company impressed judges “with its clarity of vision for the development of the business,” according to Kieran Ring.
Castle Blinds’ products are handcrafted by highly skilled craftsmen to customer’s exact requirements.
“As a business we are very concerned with setting standards, but those standards, somewhat like windows requiring blinds, need to be constantly measured,” said Pat Naughton of Castle Blinds.
“We have been looking for something like this – an accreditation process which is tough, externally verified and allows us to constantly measure our own performance. As an indigenous, emerging Irish All-Star company, we are immensely proud of our All-Star status.”
According to Kieran Ring: “Workplaces now demand the best possible working conditions and the use of light and shade has become very important. Castle Blinds, through its investment in state of the art equipment, has proven itself equal to the challenge and is increasingly making its way on to supplier lists at some of the country’s best-known workplaces.”
Dr Hynes said the accreditation, which is now held by 170 firms, is needed by the thousands of small and medium firms out there who operate to their own standards, but have nothing to measure them by.
“It provides very important credible and transparent benchmarking that hasn’t been available up to now, allowing companies to very clearly understand where they are versus their competitors,” she said.
“In a minimum six-week process, we evaluate a company’s background, trustworthiness and performance, and we speak to customers, employees and vendors.
“We also anonymously approach the company as a customer and report back on the experience.”
The All-Ireland Business Foundation will be responsible for identifying and accrediting best-in-class Irish businesses, overseeing both the awards and ongoing accreditation, promoting peer dialogue, in addition to hosting the All-Ireland Business Summit on May 1 and 2 next year.
It will also create an active community of progressive businesses and ambitious business leaders who work together and openly share knowledge.