Words by Rachael Rickard.
Since 2011 the Ruralco Supplier Awards have been an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the mutually beneficial relationship between Ruralco suppliers and co-operative members. However, due to the unpredictability of COVID-19, 2020 has been a rollercoaster year for events, so, rather than cancelling the Awards all together, Ruralco forged ahead with giving out two Awards. The co-oeprative agrees that, even though the Awards evening are a great night out, it is more important than ever to acknowledge excellence in business, customer services and the support that suppliers have given the Ruralco members.
Ruralco National Card Sales Manager, Lester Chambers said “For many businesses COVID’s effect on the relationship between our suppliers and members improved and trade increased, owing to the Ruralco card being the best form of non-contact payment. Although we could not host our usual September ceremony, we can applaud the exceptional customer service and continued support of the Ruralco card by Members Choice Winner Neumanns Tyres and Supreme Supplier Award Winner, Aakland Chemicals.”
Voter turnout this year was comparable to others, with a similar number of suppliers nominated. As has been the case in previous years, members voted online through a form on the Ruralco website and voter turnout did not appear to be affected by COVID-19 at all.
With increased sales the last year as well as continually acting in the spirit of the Ruralco relationship, Aakland Chemicals was proud to accept the 2020 Supreme Supplier Award.
Steve Glassey, Managing Director, at Aakland Chemicals said “it’s a great honour to receive this award again after our 2018 first time win and second last year. Ruralco is a great company to work with as it is a true partnership to achieve great results for its shareholders and has great leadership and values which align with Aakland’s values of service and relationships with customers.”
Aakland Chemicals is a 100% New Zealand owned company specialising in the independent manufacturer of quality detergents and sanitisers for the dairy, hospitality, food processing and retail agricultural markets in New Zealand. They manufacture under a certified quality management system to ISO 9001 and most products are NZFSA Approved, with some specialised products having Bio-Gro certified organic status. Aakland’s offer free on farm training for staff in the use and handling of chemicals and free on delivery.
To be voted the Members Choice Award, four years in a row is certainly no accident. Ruralco asks its cardholders to choose a supplier who they feel has given exceptional service and value for money and again, Neumanns Tyres has come out on top.
Owners and brothers Ian and Alan Neumann, agree that their level of customer service is maintained through continually offering a consistent service by their experienced, highly trained staff and they encourage their team members to always make customer service a priority. For the past 75 years this has been the businesses main focus, and they believe the team of long-serving, knowledgeable staff who offer a high level of customer service have been a big contributor to the success of Neumanns Tyres.
Ian said “The partnership between Neumanns Tyres and Ruralco is a longstanding one, with both companies continuing to work hard together for shareholders. The ease of doing business with Ruralco is of benefit to Neumanns Tyres, and being able to advertise widely through Ruralco’s platforms of Facebook, email, and the Real Farmer magazine direct to customers and potential customers is a great tool for us. It is also wonderful to be able to offer discounts to all of our loyal Ruralco members and we hope to continue to exceed your expectations and live up to our reputation by continuing to provide the best local, friendly service.”
The Winners of both Awards received a voucher from a Ruralco Card Supplier of their choice to the value of a $1,000.
The team at Ruralco thank the entire nationwide network of suppliers, extend congratulations to the all the 2020 Supplier Award Winners, and look forward to hosting the event again in 2021.