CDS has won two prestigious business awards – one for its prowess in the construction industry and another recognising the impressive work carried out by one of its team.
The company as a whole was named Property and Construction Business of the Year at the annual Leicestershire Live Business Awards, with bid manager Nigel Smith walking off with the prize for Young Business Person of the Year.
The awards were presented at a black-tie ceremony held at the home of Leicester City Football Club this month.
The fire detection and life safety systems specialist was one of dozens of high-profile organisations from the East Midlands to be nominated for awards across eleven categories. Other winners included a Loughborough software group valued at more than £9 billion and an upmarket spa hotel which was recently purchased by the founders of snack food giants Cofresh.
Judges cited CDS’ impressive expansion over the past two years. The company’s turnover has grown nearly sixfold since it was acquired by entrepreneurs Simon Abley and Simon Cashmore in 2020, its headcount has doubled, its geographical reach now covers the whole of England and Wales and it has broadened its service offerings. It has launched an apprenticeship programme which aims to appoint 10 trainees over the coming years and half its team is female.
CDS managing director Simon Abley, who collected the prize from the podium alongside fellow director Martin Iliffe, said: “We are very proud of our achievements over the past two years. A central part of our business practice has been investment in employees and training in order to manage the tough trading environment and address two key challenges within our industry – skilled engineering resource and technical experience.
“We have become one of the first companies in Leicestershire to achieve status as both a Gent Elite Technology Centre and a Notifier Gold partner. This allows us to access equipment and components not available to competitors.”
Young Business Person of the Year CDS bid manager Nigel Smith, whose Leicester University-educated legal brain enables him to managing complex contracts and tender bids, has racked up an impressive list of achievements in his 28 short years.
Simon Abley said: “Nigel has been an amazing addition to our company and has fundamentally changed the way we manage our public sector contracts. Within the first two months of working with CDS, Nigel implemented a new bid strategy which changed the way CDS priced and pitched installation and maintenance works. This change involved putting in policies to focus on educational institutions and areas that are generally under-represented for public works.
“Nigel now manages the bids for our water hygiene, electrical compliance, fire alarm, and life safety divisions across the UK. This keeps him exceptionally busy, and makes him an integral part of each division’s senior management team.”