British construction software company COINS scores a first in its sector with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
Martine Beale asks Emerging Markets CEO Nigel Cope what it means for the business.
COINS (COnstruction INdustry Solutions) has become the first UK construction software company to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (QAE).
Presented annually, the QAE date back to 1966 and are among the most distinguished accolades bestowed on a company, and for the businesses that receive one are a recognition of great significance.
The QAEs are given to companies with a unit based in the United Kingdom, and comprise three categories for outstanding achievement: International Trade, Innovation, and Sustainable Development, plus an individual award.
Companies that apply for a QAE range from large firms to mid-sized and small enterprises in a diverse range of industries. In 2013, a total of 152 awards were given, and this year, 162 companies were recognised for their achievements.
Designed from first principles over 30 years ago, COINS has become a globally recognised construction software solutions market-leader that provides commercial and engineering contractors with a single, fully integrated platform that manages the entire lifecycle of a project or multiple-projects.
The company is headquartered with branches in the UK, and offices in the USA, Australia, UAE and Asia.
Between 2011 and 2013, its direct overseas turnover increased by 65 per cent while group net profit grew by 144 per cent. Rapid business growth in the Middle East contributed 26 per cent towards total non-UK sales during this period; the United States contributed 60 per cent with the remainder split between, Australia, the Far East and Europe.
Construction Post (CP): How did you feel about receiving a Queen’s Award for International Trade?
Nigel Cope, CEO Emerging Markets (NC): Proud that we had been recognised and vindicated that the effort that all COINS staff around the world have put in had been rewarded with the biggest and most prestigious award available to British businesses.
CP: Do you believe the award will bring prestige to the company, and if so, how?
NC: Yes indeed. We are the first software company amongst our peers and competitors to have won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, and certainly the first company focusing exclusively on construction, development and services, so the award is something else that sets us apart from the rest.
CP: How did you first hear about the Queen’s Award?
NC: We were aware of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise from other British headquartered businesses who had received the award due to their international growth, and who had expressed a positive impact on their business from receiving the award.
CP: Why did you decide to apply for it?
NC: We were confident that our sustained and steady growth in overseas revenues over the past five years would qualify us for an award, and that if we won it would have a positive impact on staff and customers.
CP: How easy was the process and how long did you spend on making the application?
NC: The Queen’s Award Office operates a very robust process to ensure that all applicants are properly vetted. There was probably a couple of days spent on the initial application, then further work when we were shortlisted, including getting external auditors to certify the submitted financial figures as correct.
CP: How long after did you hear you had been awarded?
NC: The process started for us in August 2013. The submission was in September 2013. We were informed that we had achieved the award on March 20, 2014, although this news was to be kept confidential until April 21.
CP: What kind of affect do you think the award will have on your future business?
NC: We expect it to have a positive impact around the world, especially those where there is still great respect and fondness of British enterprise and the crown.
CP: Did you go to the Queen’s reception for awardees at Buckingham Palace?
NC: Not yet, that’s on July 14, 2014.
COINS will receive the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, for International Trade in July this year. “The Lord Lieutenant of the County of Berkshire will represent Her Majesty The Queen at a presentation ceremony at our office in Slough,” says Cope. “And we are planning that the event will be a celebration for all employees.”
Construction Post looks forward to seeing pictures of the presentation ceremony, and congratulates COINS on being granted such an esteemed award.