Oldcastle Mattress Manufacturers Named ‘Team of the Year’

The Briody Group | AIBF
The Briody family and staff celebrate their win.

Bedroom furniture experts The Briody Group have added serious green credentials to their business thanks to innovative research into sustainable mattress materials.

This, among other green changes by the company, saw the group recognised as ‘Manufacturing Team of the Year’ by the All-Ireland Business Foundation.

The family-run business has developed an exciting new range of mattresses that have been manufactured with a reduced environmental impact.

Research has led to the production of the Briody Group’s ‘Perfect Balance’ range of mattresses using REPREVE fabric, which is made from 100% recycled materials including fibre and resin from plastic bottles that might otherwise end up in the ocean.

All the timber used in the company’s bedroom furniture is sourced from sustainable forests in Scandinavia and the wood waste is used to heat their factories. Waste foam and fabric cut-offs are recycled and turned into pads for mattresses, while the company’s lighting in all facilities has been replaced with energy-saving LEDs.

The Briody Group has also invested heavily in its transport fleet to ensure emissions are reduced as well as in new production machines this year, which aims to streamline and increase production while reducing energy use with state-of-the-art and efficient equipment.

The firm also promotes good practice among staff with recycling of paper, cardboard and plastics encouraged as well as facilitation of the Bike2Work scheme. The green changes are a major reason why the group has been recognised as ‘Manufacturing Team of the Year’ by the All-Ireland Business Foundation.

The title is the latest addition to their already impressive list of accolades, which includes Small Firms’ Association Manufacturer of the Year 2018, All-Ireland Business Foundation Family Run Business of the Year 2018, Irish Manufacturing Research Health & Safety Initiative of the Year 2019 and Harvey Norman Supplier of the Year 2019.

The Briody Group | AIBF

Some 96 people are employed across the group’s three facilities in picturesque Ballinacree, County Meath’s most north-westerly point. With Mullaghmeen Forest to the west, Lough Sheelin to the north and Loughcrew Cairns to the east, the importance of preserving the environment is central to all decisions made by the business from manufacturing to delivery.

The family operation has a loyal customer base and a community ethos that has meant that nearly half the team have been with the company for more than 15 years with a sizable number having been employed by The Briody Group for more than 25 years.

Founded in 1974 by the late Benny Briody and his wife Brid, the business is now run by their daughter Bridget and sons Martin, Brendan and David. While the current outlook is bright and the aforementioned investment suggests future confidence, the past year hasn’t been without its difficulties the Briodys say that their excellent staff and customers have stuck with them throughout.

David Briody said: While we remained open for the main part and thankfully our staff stayed healthy, our customer base lies with retailers and hospitality, both of which bore the brunt of the restrictions since March 2020.

“We have yet to realise the full extent of what that means for them and for us but we are optimistic the supports given to businesses and the emphasis on ‘support local’ will see us all through. “We certainly have the right team behind us for success!”

Kieran Ring, deputy chair on the All-Ireland Business Foundation Adjudication Board, said in support of Briody groups All-Star Manufacturing Team Of The Year 2021 accolade.

“This certificate verifies that the Briody Group has achieved All-Star Manufacturing Team of the Year 2021. The Accreditation is in recognition of the exemplary performance of the company’s team over the last 12 months. At the heart of every great manufacturing company is a great team with every individual playing a unique and essential role, the Briody Group is a best in class example of this. Furthermore, we wish to recognise the Briody Group’s conduct in the areas of trust, commitment, performance & customer centricity. The Briody Group is hereby included in the AIBF Register of Irish Business Excellence for a fourth successive year.”

Dr Hynes said the Accreditation, which is now held by over 450 firms, is needed by the thousands of small and medium businesses which operate to their own standards, but have nothing to measure them by.

“We evaluate a company’s background, trustworthiness and performance, and we speak to customers, employees and vendors. We also anonymously approach the company as a customer and report back on the experience. The business goes through at least two interviews and is scored on every part of the process against set metrics”, she says.

The All-Ireland Business Foundation is a national body which accredits best-in-class Irish businesses as Business All-Stars. The Foundation also oversees the All-Ireland Business Summit while promoting peer dialogue amongst our members on an ongoing basis.

The process to select the next group of Business All-Star accredited companies has begun and further information is available at aibf.ie.

To learn more about The Briody Group, visit their All-Star showcase page here.

This post first appeared in The Anglo Celt.