Ireland’s Best Managed Companies award winners show innovation and adaptation with a local focus

Even as challenges grew and multiplied, the 2022 winners showed resilience and ingenuity in finding opportunity while supporting local communities

Brian Murphy, lead partner, Best Managed Companies awards programme, Deloitte: ‘Irish businesses hold a cautious optimism for the year ahead.’ Picture: Fergal Phillips

“When I took the helm at the start of this year’s programme,” said Brian Murphy, lead partner, Ireland’s Best Managed Companies awards programme, Deloitte, “we appeared to be looking towards recovery. But the reality wasn’t quite so simple.”

“Uncertainty continued, accelerated by the war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures and an energy-supply crisis,” Murphy said. “Despite this, Irish businesses held a cautious optimism for the year ahead.”

The diversity of new winners, from water processing to healthcare and records management, showed that the principles of a best managed company could lift and propel businesses across the entire spectrum.

The winners displayed not just the ability to cope with volatility of markets, but also in finding new opportunities internationally, while not losing focus on their communities.

“A stand out from the judging process this year,” said Harry Goddard, chief executive, Deloitte Ireland and judging panel member, “was the distinct focus of the Best Managed Companies on their local communities, despite their own international growth and ambition. Businesses have a vital role to play in our society. It was clear from the entries this year that they were having a positive impact not only on their own business, but also on the communities around them. I look forward to seeing how these businesses continue to invest, grow, and contribute to our wider society.”

The impact of these companies cannot be underestimated.

In 2022, Deloitte recognised 136 indigenous companies at the awards, representing 25 of the 32 counties across Ireland. The network of companies has a combined turnover of €13.9 billion providing more than 51,000 jobs across Ireland across a range of sectors – from retail and hospitality to manufacturing and construction. The companies received recognition following a detailed judging process that evaluated the entire management team and business strategy in some of Ireland’s top privately owned businesses, looking beyond financial performance at areas such as a company’s environmental, social and governance standards, strategic planning and talent strategy.

In addition to the Best Managed Company accreditation, there are a number of special categories such as the Family Business Award in association with the Family Business Network Ireland. Cork-based infrastructure specialist EPS Group were deserving winners of the award this year. The group employs more than 570 people and provides sustainable water and wastewater solutions to its customers in the Irish and Northern Irish water industry. EPS Group’s main aim is to become an ethical business and a rewarding place to work.

The Best in Innovation Award in association with Salesforce, recognised Delmec, who have successfully embedded innovation throughout their entire company. This Carlow-based telecoms infrastructure provider specialises in mobile communications, and is driving innovation with people and building on the technologies like mobile apps and mobile auditing to offer lower cost, greater probability, time saving, better data and better analysis to customers.

“Year-on-year we’re impressed by the businesses that qualify and requalify for our Best Managed Companies Awards,” Murphy said, “and in another uncertain year, the entries continued to raise the bar. Despite the challenges these businesses faced, the management teams of the winning companies have embraced new opportunities for innovation and growth, offering best-in-class products and services to their customers and retaining their competitive advantage in a world that is ever-changing.”

He added: “While many are expanding internationally, it’s clear that giving back to local communities will remain a constant as they grow and scale. Not only are they bringing employment, but they are offering best-in-class products and services and investing in the community continuously showing leading best management practices.

“These businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and I feel privileged to play a role in supporting them.”

Launched in Canada in 1993, and in Ireland 14 years ago, the Best Managed designation has become a globally recognised symbol of business success and resilience, and runs in 48 countries worldwide.

In addition to national and peer recognition, winners also get the opportunity to network with other companies in the Best Managed network, along with access to year-round events, such as industry roundtables and fireside chats with leading business figures.

Exclusive professional development is provided for management teams at the annual Best Managed Symposium hosted in partnership with the Irish Management Institute, the programme’s academic partner.

For more information about theIreland’s Best Managed Companies Awards Programme, see deloitte.ie/bestmanaged