Managing director of Worldwide Engineering Services answers the questions
Having worked in the engineering services arena for several years John Smyth and Mark Dickie felt they could do better than what was currently on offer. So in May 2000 they set up Worldwide Engineering Services to provide customers with a better range of solutions. Here managing director Smyth tells us how the business has grown.
What do you do (in non-technical language please)?
The business provides engineering products and services which is complemented by an added value programme. This includes stores inventory reduction, stock management, plant surveys, critical spares analysis and our zero cost programme which provides clients with a vendor managed stores management including stock for no up front costs.
Where did the funding come from and which organisations have supported the business?
The initial funding came from a combination of personal money from both directors and Lloyds TSB who continue to support our business.
What is unique about what the company does?
In our sector, there are lot of “box shifters”,we are absolutely committed to adding value and providing cost benefit solutions whilst developing trusting relationships with our staff, customers and suppliers.
What has been the single biggest investment?
Our biggest investment is our people, we place great pride in training and developing our staff and attaining Investors in People was a proud day for everyone.
Has there been a key moment or turning point?
Taking the decision to purchase our new premises was a big decision at the time. This has allowed us to create a great environment for our people, whilst giving us the room to grow when we need it.
What is the business plan and how does the company intend to grow?
We believe that the franchising model will work for our business and we are currently in the early stages of evaluating this which could transform the size of our business dramatically.
We have also launched another business called Integrated Supply Solutions which provides onsite procurement expertise and knowledge, providing cost benefit solutions whilst allowing the client to focus on their business.
Do you have any non-executive directors, mentors or key advisors? Who are they?
We feel privileged to be a client managed business with Scottish Enterprise, Cameron Ritchie understands our business objectives and has been heavily involved in the strategy.
How does the company use technology and IT?
Our customer relationship management system is vital .Utilised at the heart of the business it allows us to capture vital information relative to the clients business whilst allowing us to build up a picture of the client as a person which allows us to get to know them better and build the rerlationship.
Who are your key customers/what are your key markets?
Industries such as food and drink, bioscience, newspapers, chemical and power have benefitted from the technical knowledge, major cost savings, attention to detail and an absolute commitment to customer service has allowed the business to grow each year.
Does the company have international sales or does it intend to grow internationally?
At this time we have no plans to expand internationally, although the franchise model can certainly be expanded to Europe once established in the UK.
What has been the best achievement so far?
Obtaining a contract with one of the major Scotch whisky producers has given us the confidence that we can compete with our major national competitors.
What has been the biggest hurdle which has been overcome?
Getting over the first few years when we were looking to establish ourselves in the marketplace. We have always focused on doing what we are good at and not worrying about our competitors. That philosophy has stood us in good stead thus far.
What will the next 12 months hold?
We have just delivered 44 per cent growth in sales and are shooting for another 30 per cent this year. We are keeping a keen eye on the bottom line as this curve increases.
Where do you want the business to be in 10 years time?
To be regarded as the industry`s leading solution provider in the UK, Europe and beyond.
If you were given £1 million to invest in the company how would you use it? What's the best part of running a business?
As we grow a training academy would be top of the list. People are the biggest driver in making the success of our business and it my belief that they can make or break a company.
What's the best part of running a business?
When we develop a partnership with a client from the beginning and watching it grow whilst our people build up a relationship with the people within it.