New winner Codex keeping it in the family
Rising through recent challenges, success comes from many factors working in harmony
Patrick Murphy has been working in the family business since he was a teenager and now, Codex, which was started by his father, Brendan in 1979 to provide reliable service driven office products at great value, has a team of more than 90 and a fleet of 18 vans undertaking 5,000 deliveries nationwide each week.
Since its inception 44 years ago, the business has seen consistent growth and new acquisitions while heavily diversifying its product range and expanding its customer base. As the country’s largest B2B provider of office supplies and services, it seemed natural to engage with Ireland’s Best Managed Companies programme.
“We got involved last year, and this was mainly driven by our strong desire to measure ourselves against other top-performing companies to help us identify opportunities for improvement and growth,” said CEO Patrick Murphy. “The programme’s reputation for acknowledging excellence in strategy, performance, and sustainability perfectly aligned with our core values and long-term aspirations. We saw it as a valuable opportunity to benchmark our performance and showcase our commitment to excellence. And the process was highly enlightening and has had a positive impact on our company.
“The comprehensive evaluation provided us with invaluable insights and feedback from industry experts and peers within the programme, which proved instrumental in identifying areas of improvement, and also helped us in evaluating our strategies for continued success.
“Being part of the programme has brought us great pride. The recognition we received for our dedication to sustainability, community engagement, and customer satisfaction was a tremendous validation of our efforts. It has motivated our team to set even higher goals and pursue more significant accomplishments in the future.”
Having discovered the Dublin-based company has been named as a winner, Murphy says he believes it is due to its long term strategies and how it has overcome adversity.
Challenges and adversity
“Like many, Codex faced significant challenges during the pandemic, however, with hard work from our team, we bounced back stronger than ever and 2022 became our best year sales wise, finishing at €33 million, with a 225% uplift in our office furniture category alone,” he said. “I am a big believer that you can’t have long-term, sustainable success in a business unless you get everything else — company culture, values, purpose, processes and people — right. So when the numbers come together, it is an excellent indicator that all those factors are working together harmoniously.
“I would imagine it is this very approach that helped Codex stand out. We play the long-game, and the challenging times are an opportunity for our team to thrive, continuing to adapt and transform.”
According to the CEO, participating in Ireland’s Best Managed Companies programme has delivered numerous benefits.
“First and foremost, the external recognition as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies motivates our team to strive for even greater success and it has supported our reputation too,” he said. “The assessment process provided us with valuable insights and with this knowledge, we refined our strategic objectives and aligned our efforts to ensure long-term sustainable growth and innovation. It has also facilitated meaningful cross-industry collaboration and getting to meet other like-minded companies allowed us the opportunities to exchange best practices and gain fresh perspectives, which is always fantastic.
“As a first-time BMC applicant, I would say that the process was a great prompt for conversation and dialogue amongst our team and we found that it facilitated organic conversations around how we could modify our strategy and approach – this was unanticipated and very positive.
Embrace the process
Murphy advises other potential programme participants to “embrace the entire journey, from application to assessment, to networking — the authenticity and transparency throughout the process is what makes it so great. Highlight your
unique strengths and company values, be proud and showcase what truly sets your business apart. Be open to all the feedback and take in all the learnings from the assessment phase. The programme is an invaluable opportunity to gain insights into how you are managing your company. And getting an outside perspective on how your team can continue to grow and improve is truly beneficial, and winning the award is a really great bonus.”
Attributing the company’s success to its ability to innovate and adapt, the CEO says it will continue the efforts.
Sustainability and growth
“We will set ambitious growth and sustainable goals for ourselves,” he said. “We are focused on achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, with a full fleet of electric vehicles by 2026, and by 2032 we are aiming for 100% of products sold to be fully recyclable. This also includes supporting our community through local initiatives and partnerships.
“Our primary focus remains on our people, our customer-first ethos, advancing our technology and fostering a culture of continued transformation.
“We have ambitious plans to diversify and expand to cater to the evolving needs of our valued customers,” said Murphy