Our success as a business is dependent upon us securing and maintaining a reputation for operational excellence.
For existing customers this means consistently delivering the services they want at competitive prices they can afford. For new customers it means demonstrating to them that we will provide the service they want in a convenient way while offering good value for money.
A measure of our success is through external accreditation. During the year, UK Coach joined c2c in achieving a five-star EFQM rating. UK Bus and ALSA each hold a four-star EFQM rating and will be looking to achieve a higher score when they are next assessed in 2017. North America continues to hold a Bronze Award from the Illinois Performance Excellence Center, increasing the score by 50% in their 2016 assessment.
Alongside our excellence accreditations, we were pleased to win another record number of industry awards during the year, reflecting the exceptional achievements of our employees and the best practice they deliver. In particular, National Express West Midlands was judged Bus Operator of the Year in the National Transport Awards, The Kings Ferry won UK Coach Operator of the Year at the UK Coach Awards and ALSA was awarded the best customer experience for transport in Spain.
In December the Group Chief Executive, Dean Finch, launched a new initiative to champion operational across the business. The Delivering Excellence programme will review the way businesses in the Group carry out similar operational functions to seek best practice, learn from any external examples and then develop a Global Operating Standard for that activity. This programme will both look to further embed excellence across the business and draw on talented individuals across the Group to develop the skills and experience of future managers.