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Race to excellence

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Iam honored to be here tonight to be part of this important annual event on behalf of our shareholders (the Fijian Government and workers at ATS), the Board and Management of ATS. ATS is a government owned company with 51 per cent shareholding. The other 49 per cent is held by the workers through a trust.

The company has seen profit for a few years now. The embracing of its new vision to be the best in the region, which is incorporated in the doctrines of how the company's operations should align to, will ensure that long term returns to its shareholders and workers who have worked so hard, are maintained and sustained. 31 years ago ATS was born. In the pioneering days of ATS, the rule book was written as we went. Some of the challenges along the way were:

* The focus was solely on compliance;

* Processes were not results focused and there was a lack of performance indicators;

* Quality and safety standards were not a business priority;

* Risk management was not a common business practice;

Today, ATS's vision of being the best in the region is embodied in our operational philosophy. It is shared amongst our workers, management and the Board of Directors. This is the fundamental reason behind our success.

Ladies and gentlemen, ATS provide Ground Handling & In-Flight Catering services to our Airline Customers. We now have successfully implemented our internationally accredited Integrated Aviation

Management System. We are one of the few in the world with this accreditation. The first in the Pacific region. ATS now has international certifications such as IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO), ISO 9001 on Quality Management System and ISO 22000 on Food Safety Management System.

Integrated Aviation Management System (IAMS) ATS has undergone a colossal transformation with the successful completion of our Integrated Aviation Management System in 2012.

At the time of our registration we were the first aviation ground service provider in the South Pacific including, Japan and Australia to be awarded with this accreditation and in doing so, embedding Fiji on the aviation world map. To date there are only 114 registered ground service providers worldwide.

Furthermore with the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System, the defined principles are used by senior management as a framework to guide the organizations towards improved performance. For In-Flight Catering, our ISO 22000:2005 International Food Safety Management Standard supplements the core elements of ISO 9001 and our HACCP to provide an effective framework for the development, implementation and continual improvement of a Food Safety Management System. ISO 22000 aligns with our other management systems, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, to enable effective systems integration.

Since the pioneering days of 1981, the company has witnessed incredible advances in the industry. Today we are a reputable and established organisation operating in a complex and competitive environment with a team of over four hundred personnel. As we have grown, we have become more dependent on well sharpened processes through our integrated aviation management system and highly trained personnel to maintain quality, safety/security and efficiency in our operations.

We can be proud that the ATS brand still stands for the highest standards in ground handling and in-flight catering. Our customers and stakeholders expect nothing less from us and it is a tradition we intend to up keep.

ATS and the Fiji Business Excellence Awards. So why did ATS choose to get involved in the Fiji Business Excellence awards? Firstly, like all other applicants are aware, is that the journey is not about receiving an award, although I must admit it is a nice goal, but more importantly about receiving expert feedback on where we are and where we need to be. The feedback report offers us the tools to examine all parts of our management model and continuously improve our processes while keeping the whole organisation in mind.

Our team was adamant that Baldrige was different and one of the key driving factors was that ATS strives for excellence. To achieve this we needed to have commitment from the Board and Top management.

Our aspiration for performance excellence is something that we cannot take for granted because the price of losing is too high.

This is a big ask, but one that we know we have the competence, perseverance and passion to achieve. Our people are second to none - it will be the resourcefulness, professionalism, and the leadership qualities that will enable us to succeed during this period of change. We believe that in the race to "excellence" there is no finish line.

Vinaka vaka levu

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