NZB Named Finalist in 2021 International Business Awards

10 September 2021

"We have a business plan that has future-proofed our auction sales process." NZB's Danny Rolston

New Zealand Bloodstock is thrilled to announce its placement as a finalist in the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) New Zealand International Business Awards for 2021. 

NZB secured its place in the country’s most prestigious award programme for exporting businesses, as a contender in the Innovation in Response to COVID-19 category.

Bloodstock Sales Manager Danny Rolston was elated by NZB’s recognition in the category, for both its auction sales and airfreight success.

“As with many businesses around the globe, the adversity and challenges we faced while trading horses in the midst of a global pandemic tested not only NZB, but our industry in its entirety.” 

“Traditionally our auction sales process has relied heavily on having international buyers onsite.

“COVID presented a huge challenge to us in that we had to change the way we’ve been selling horses successfully for the last 90 years,” he said.

In response to the pandemic and having no international buyers present, NZB developed and rigorously tested its robust and user-friendly online bidding platform, which has now become a staple in the way it operates its thoroughbred and standardbred auction sales.

“The new online bidding platform, which created a hybrid auction environment, in its first two uses post-COVID generated over $14 million in sales turnover, equivalent to almost one-third of each sales total aggregate,” Rolston said.

“The feedback we received from leading bloodstock agents and trainers on the new platform was that while they’d still prefer to be onsite at here in New Zealand, this was the next best thing to being there. They felt part of the auction process and valued as a buyer,” Rolston said.

NZB's online bidding platform generated over $14 million in sales turnover.

NZB’s Airfreight team also had to find solutions quickly to enable them to continue to offer their export services to an economy heavily reliant on it. 

“Our ability to freight horses into any international market was also challenged,” commented NZB Airfreight Representative Robert Logan.

“We had to build a raft of new relationships with onshore and offshore Government entities, working tirelessly with these groups to solve the ongoing constraints for travelling grooms and the general export process,’ he said.

In an era where international travel is restricted and buyers cannot physically inspect horses on-site, NZB had to reinvent the way in which it communicated to its clients, to reinforce the value of kiwi horses, as well as new developments in NZB’s technology and general business practices. 

NZB’s Marketing Manager Natalie Jamieson was at the forefront of developing an effective marketing communications strategy around its upcoming auction sales post-COVID.

“We strategically crafted and delivered key messages around our sales, horses and the new online bidding process with our clients.”

“With our sales team being unable to canvas in person, maintaining and building relationships and confidence remotely was key to our sales and business operating successfully during this time,” she said. 

Rolston is enthusiastic about the future of NZB sales and its position in the current economic climate. 

“We are incredibly proud of our entire team at NZB, who worked together tirelessly to innovate when COVID hit, and now we have a business plan that has future-proofed our auction sales process,” Rolston said.

Dating back more than 50 years, the NZTE International Business Awards celebrates the success, vision and determination of New Zealand businesses on the world stage.

The 2021 edition of the Awards is particularly significant, as NZTE recognises the resilience and innovation of New Zealand exporting businesses, whose contributions are vital for building the future of New Zealand’s economy as it recovers and emerges from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s Award winners will be announced on 14 October at an awards ceremony in Auckland.