The finalists in the Large Business category at the Norfolk Business Awards 2018

The Norfolk Business Awards 2018 will be held at the Norfolk Showground Arena on November 22. Pictur

The Norfolk Business Awards 2018 will be held at the Norfolk Showground Arena on November 22. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography. - Credit: Simon Finlay Photography

Introducing the finalists in the Large Business category of the Norfolk Business Awards 2018, sponsored by City College Norwich – and what our judges thought of them.

• Nielsen Brandbank

Nielsen Brandbank is one of the world's most trusted providers of digital product content for e-commerce sites, mobile shopping apps and virtual merchandising applications. The business creates high quality, accurate product content that fuels e-commerce success for its customers, while creating a rich online shopping experience. With more than 20 years' experience, Nielsen Brandbank operates in 16 countries and distributes more than 50 million digital product assets annually across the world.

Judges' comments: Innovation, market leading and customer/staff focus were the key messages taken away from Nielsen Brandbank by the judges. This organisation is the market leader in its field, working with some of the biggest retailers and brands in the country driving forward their e-commerce activity. Nielsen Brandbank is clearly a customer focused business with many innovations ahead of the customer demand curve ensuring that they remain relevant and add value to every customer account. The business also has a strong commitment to the local area, with all staff having the opportunity to spend time in the local community helping on key projects. Recently, the business has launched WIN (Women in Nielsen), established to shape and sustain an inclusive business culture that values the talents and perspectives of women.

• Mills & Reeve

Founded in Norwich in 1880, Mills & Reeve is now one of the top law firms in the UK and has been named for a record 15th year running in The Sunday Times' Best 100 Companies to Work For. The firm employs more than 200 people in Norwich and is dedicated to the one-firm ethos of 'achieving more together' by building an innovative culture embracing new working practices and technology to deliver outstanding client service.

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Judges' comments: This major UK law firm continues to improve its market position from its main offices in Norwich. It has demonstrated strong financial growth over many years. The judges were particularly impressed with the attention to detail on every individual customer account, where the firm strives to be not just a service but an added value member of that customer's team so that it understands the sector fully. Staff development was also impressive with many members of the team not originally studying law but developed once appointed. Mills & Reeve also showed strong community involvement, allowing staff time away from the office to help with social and charitable projects, while the management team often spent time in local schools.

• Natures Menu

Founded in 1981, Natures Menu is Europe's leading expert in raw and natural pet food. From its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Snetterton, the business produces raw dog and cat food made with quality meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, employing over 200 people, and delivering directly to customers across the UK. Following an investment of £12.5m, Natures Menu launched new brand True Instinct earlier this year, helping to revolutionise the industry and the way people feed their pets.

Judges' comments: Natures Menu is a business clearly going places in the tough pet food sector. From a relative small beginning in Watton, growth over recent years can be seen with impressive purpose-built offices in Snetterton. The judges were impressed with the innovation across the business in particular home delivery of products and customer care which included a database of each customer's dogs. This attention to detail and customer feedback was driving innovation in product ranges with new markets targeted going forward.

• JD Cooling Group

The JD Cooling Group has grown successfully in the last 18 years since its founding in King's Lynn in 2000. With an annual turnover now in excess of £20m, it designs, installs and services specialist state-of-the-art cooling, power and control systems throughout the UK. The company employs more than 100 staff across five regional offices in King's Lynn, Manchester, Scotland, Bristol and most recently Sittingbourne, Kent. In 2017 and 2018, JD Cooling Group was named Contractor of the Year at both of the national industry awards.

Judges' comments: The group has recently won two national awards and been recognised in the London Stock Exchange's 1,000 Companies To Inspire Britain. Clearly well developed and led by John Dye, there was engagement throughout the business, giving it a solid core on which to achieve ambitious growth and new markets into the future. JD Cooling Group has an enviable apprenticeship scheme, developing 23 of their own team, with many winning national awards and recognition as well as going on to senior management in the business. Staff at all levels are engaged in the business through an innovative incentive scheme while customer care strategies were built on very clear KPIs, ensuring JD Cooling Group remains ahead of its competitors and provides real added value to its customers.

MORE: Revealed: The finalists for the Norfolk Business Awards 2018

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