Why winning the PIA does not make you ‘The Best Distributor’

Let me start by saying that I am a fan of the Plastics Industry Awards.

Of course all industry awards have their critics, but it is difficult to deny that the PIA is a positive contribution to the UK plastics sector.

The following quote is taken from the 2015 PIA website:

The Plastics Industry Awards have firmly established themselves as the forum for recognising and rewarding excellence in an increasingly competitive market.

Launched in 2001, and held annually in London this event is dedicated to rewarding innovation and exceptional performance. The Plastics Industry Awards acknowledge the best companies and the best people in the market.

Supplier companies are invited to submit a written entry about work they have done with one customer, and all entries will be judges by panels of industry experts selected for each of the six Supplier Partnership Awards.

I also noted the following claim from a recent winner of the award:

Winners of the prestigious UK Polymer Distributor of the Year Award 2014.

However the PIA website clearly states the category as being:

Supplier Partnership – Polymer Distributor 

Of course whilst the difference between the PIA definition of the awards and a competitor’s claims may be a matter of semantics, I doubt that the subtlety of the transgression is lost on many. For the avoidance of doubt the ‘supplier partnership categories’ are elective – candidates need to showcase an example or examples of how they have closely collaborated with a particular client or clients, which is then assessed by an independent panel of judges against closed criteria. Whilst the category does acknowledge one of the best companies in the field, it does not define the winner as being ‘UK Polymer Distributor of the Year’ nor could it credibly on such narrow criteria.

However before being accused of hypocrisy, Plastribution has in the past and unashamedly celebrated both being finalists and PIA winners and of course that is something that we will continue to do. And whilst we might claim that our 2004 win was achieved when UK plastic processors scored distributor’s performance across four criteria, we would argue that our consistency as a PIA finalist, is evidence of why Plastribution continues to be the preferred choice of UK plastic processors, not just once, but year in year out.