Robyn Miller, Gleaner Writer
After having won numerous awards from several organisations including the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA), it seems they have swept every major award in their path.
But for Preston and Rose Dietrich, owners of the outstanding local company Nicorp Limited, there is no compromising quality hence, it continues to be recognised year after year.
In October this year, the company will chalk up yet another award - its 12th to be exact. This time, the Diamond Award for Quality Production, will be given to Nicorp in Brussels.
For Rose, the awards all mean a lot, but the JMA's Product Award for the Electrical, Electronic & Automotive Work Group won in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009; and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Technology and Energy's for competitiveness, won over the similar period, ranks among the best.
"The award from the JMA means the most, the awards we received from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce are also welcomed ... . We would have beat out some of the bigger companies," said Rose, as she put the win into context.
Then an operations manager with a leading commercial bank, Rose and her husband Preston, an engineer, started Nicorp in 1988 after friends began complaining to them about damage to their household appliances and equipment as a result of frequent power outages.
Realising that the market was grossly underserved, Michael quit his job and started building power surge stops.
The response was overwhelming. The Dietrich's power surges were saving homeowners thousands in appliances and equipment costs. It was difficult in the early days, with extended work hours becoming a regular routine, which often meant Rose's day would finish long after her full-time job had ended.
"Starting up was difficult because we had to work late at nights," she said,
Then there were the financial challenges. "Banks were not willing to lend to someone entering business for the first time ... so we had to tap into our own resources and family's," she said.
As the company grew it moved into manufacturing power surge stops for compressors and other industrial equipment.
Known as the 'power protection people', today Nicorp supplies more than 44 different model power surges, and is the number one choice for residential, commercial and industrial clients. Its name taking on similar meaning as brands like Pampers and Q-Tex.
The onslaught of the recession reduced the then 22 staff to 16. Still Rose, who relies on her faith, is grateful, as most of her staff have been with the company from its start.
She credits the JMA for creating the atmosphere for networking among companies and for assisting with clearance of goods among other services. She also lauded its JMA/JEA expo, calling it "a brilliant idea".