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Barking oil supplier cleans up at business awards

PUBLISHED: 14:37 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 19 July 2019

Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. Picture: Ken Mears

Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. Picture: Ken Mears

Ken Mears

An oil supplier has won the top prize at this year's Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards after doubling the size of the enterprise in just five years.

Online Lubricants. Picture: Ken MearsOnline Lubricants. Picture: Ken Mears

Online Lubricants has seen 20per cent growth annually, according to its managing director John Collings.

It also won the award for innovation and use of digital media, and the award for growth.

Mr Collings set up the business in 1994, selling oil out of a van. He now employs 48 people out of Online Lubricants' office in Creekmouth, Barking.

Managing to compete against the giants in the auto industry is all down to customer service, he said.

Business person of the year Dr Joerg Feist. Picture: Ken MearsBusiness person of the year Dr Joerg Feist. Picture: Ken Mears

On winning the award, he said: "It's fantastic. It's our 25th year. We have never won any awards before. This is the first time we have been here. To win three is gobsmacking. It's all down to the team."

He also put a lot of the success down to the business's training of its staff, an award it was also up for, but didn't manage to win.

"It's about a commitment to training. I'm pleased we didn't win the training award because it means people are doing better than us."

The winner of that category was high-tech Dagenham company Sensor Coating Systems.

Employee of the year Chris Pollard. Picture: Ken MearsEmployee of the year Chris Pollard. Picture: Ken Mears

Its managing director Dr Jörg Feist also won business person of the year.

SCS makes technology that helps measure the temperature of engines, allowing engineers to make them more efficient and protect them from damage. Earlier on the day of the awards, Dr Feist was in talks with Nasa.

"Winning business person of the year is absolutely great, but you can't do that on your own," he said. "[You] have to do it with colleagues and investors."

The company has programmes ranging from helping students get apprenticeships from local colleges to helping people earn their PhDs from international universities.

Best new business Borthwick Casting. Picture: Ken MearsBest new business Borthwick Casting. Picture: Ken Mears

"We are looking at this as a personal achievement, but we have so many people supporting left and right that it's a reflection of the business, rather than just one man.

"I think we should recognise that we can't do things alone in life. We need to collaborate with people.

"It's the team work. We choose the right people."

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The winners in full:

The Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2019

Business of the Year - Online Lubricants

Judges' Award for One to Watch - SL Motorcycle Training

Judges' Award for a Highly Commended Nominee - Shearforce Security

Business Person of the Year - Dr Jörg Feist, Sensor Coating Systems

Best Business Outside Barking and Dagenham Trading in the Borough - Uniform 7

Employer of the Year - Fix Auto Dagenham

Home Grown Talent - London School of Management Education

Employee of the Year - Chris Pollard, Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club

Innovation and Use of Digital Media - Online Lubricants

Customer Service - Floglass Windscreens

Training, Development and Supporting Education - Sensor Coating Systems

Business Growth - Online Lubricants

Best New Business - Borthwick Casting

Sole Trader/Micro Business - Floglass Windscreens

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