Software specialist up for major business award.

Company-X has arrived right where it planned to be.

Thanks to a carefully planned strategy, developed by some of the best in the business, the Hamilton-based software development company is a finalist in the Westpac Waikato Business Awards for 2016.

Company-X directors David Hallett and Jeremy Hughes, and their team of around two dozen are finalists in the Strategy and Planning category of the awards.

Before Hallett and Hughes had even formed the company they invited Art of Life business consultant Steve Murray and DB Chartered Accountants director David Bluett to strategy and planning sessions from which the company would emerge.

“Before Company-X was formed we began a planning process, out of which came our strategy which included founding principles or tenets, which would become the backbone of the company,” Hughes said.

“It was our mantra if you will.”

Petr Adamek, who was business growth manager at Hamilton-based business incubator SODA Inc when Company-X was established in 2012, was also foundational for David, Jeremy and their staff. In the years since Steve Murray and David Bluett have continued their involvement in the planning of the strategic direction of the company, and help Hallett and Hughes define their business goals.

The Westpac Waikato Business Awards 2016 is the second major award this year that Company-X, based at Wintec House, has been in contention for.

Hughes was a finalist in the Excellence in Public Sector IT category of the 2016 New Zealand Excellence in IT Awards 2016 for his work creating a tool that could analyse and report on the nation’s roading data.

“It’s nice to see some of our customers and business partners in the list of finalists for this year’s awards,” Hallett said.

Strategy and planning are far from buzz words in the Company-X office, which is why the business is a finalist in the Strategy and Planning category of this year’s Westpac Waikato Business Awards.

“Within the previous 12 months, Company-X has successfully delivered a programme of work for NZ Transport Agency, which included six software releases, all on time, to the agreed budget, and that was well received by the primary stakeholder and the NZ transport sector,” Hughes said.

At the same time, Company-X achieved significant sales growth in software projects.

Hallett and Hughes believe a fanatical adherence to the Company-X guiding principles is responsible for their becoming finalists. These principals include maxims such as “doing what you said you would do” and many more.

“Due to the extreme skill-shortage in the IT industry, we have avoided the use of recruitment consultants and the employment of unknown staff to increase headcount, but instead, have adopted a strategic hiring method of engagement through personal referrals from our employees and contractors. This method has ensured team and cultural fit, and provides the benefit of prequalifying a candidate’s skill and capability,” Hallett said.

“We verbally and daily communicate our plans and values as we problem solve challenges and issues on a regular basis,” Hallett said.

“Our guiding principles are often referred to by our team as we go about our daily business.”