Last month, the team from IPC Mouldings took a rare day out and flew to London, courtesy of Aer Lingus and spent a few hours at the Aer Lingus Take Off Foundation Awards in Pall Mall.  IPC had been nominated as a finalist in the Overall Excellence category.

As with all these awards we weren’t sure of the outcome, but it was an afternoon in London in good company. When we got there we realised it was the biggest and final award of the afternoon.

We didn't win but I’m told it was a close contest between us, the other finalist and, of course, the winner, congratulations to Selective Travel Management.  I could say I was disappointed, but to be honest,  I am more than happy to be in the mix with some really innovative and successful Northern Ireland companies.  I saw beyond my own sector and business, listened and learned about other companies, their entrepreneurial skill and their journey to excellence.

In the aerospace sector, we are well used to standards, accreditations and excellence, this opportunity enabled me to look at excellence in the wider business context and ask, what is excellence?

We can easily quantify it through our various accreditations and awards like AS9100, SC21 Silver,  EFQM 4 star or even metrics by accumulating a 5 year quality and delivery performance in excess of 99%  – all setting a very high bar of excellence within this industry and probably of lesser impact to anyone outside the sector.

But excellence can be so much more: it is engaging with your customers, knowing what they want before they do; it’s also about your employees, challenging them, keeping them interested and getting them to be the best they can.

IPC has 24 years’ experience in injection moulding.  The next time you are flying consider this – from Economy through to Super First-Class seating, it’s very probable that the seat you are sitting on, contains parts manufactured in Northern Ireland by IPC Mouldings.

So, what I have learned or what do I know – that excellence for us is hard and fast and can be measured – it is statistics – but in the wider context it’s a journey of continuance, of wanting to be the best.

As the 36th President of the United States of America, Lyndon B Johnson said, “the noblest search is the search for excellence.”

So, for IPC the search will continue.