Fife-based AJS Production Ltd has increased its turnover significantly after seeing its order book overflow.
The structural fabrication company, set up by Raymond Imrie and Andrew Skocz in June 2013, has been making waves in the renewable energy sector after it secured a major contract with a large renewable energy developers last December.
After successfully fabricating subsea structures for three of the company’s tidal energy converter units, the company then awarded AJS the contract to supply three nacelles, intricate and crucial elements of the complete turbines.
With other leading names in Renewable Energy already on its books the company’s growing reputation for high quality design and manufacturing has just helped it secure a further two new design and engineering contracts, from two new Tidal Energy developers.
Mr Imrie believes the firm’s difficult first year is now firmly behind it.
He said: “We started from scratch in a competitive industry and our biggest challenge has been getting a foot in the door. Most companies would not work with a fabricator until it has two years of trading under its belt. We reached that milestone in June and that opened a lot more doors with companies who had said they want to work with us, but cannot until we had a proven track record.
“Using Andrew’s contacts in renewable energy, we were able to secure a number of jobs in that sector, taking on five employees in the first year. We spent six months initially kitting out the building and never drew a wage in the first year. But since then things have snowballed and we have now expanded our facilities to accommodate larger projects and additional staff.
“We feel that a major part of our success is down to the working relationship we build with our clients. From the very beginning our plan was to grow our business through innovation and providing an outstanding quality to all of our customers. We understand that customer satisfaction is very important but it is not as important as the customer success, and we will always do our best to become an important part of that success.”
Raymond and Andrew, a mechanical engineer, had worked together previously and kept in touch. When Raymond decided to use more than 35 years’ experience overseeing projects in the steel trade to go it alone, he knew who to call.
They turned to Business Gateway Fife to find out what support was available to the enterprise, and with their advisers help the company secured a £1500 start-up grant through the Fife Investment Fund and have just secured a further £2000 this year to assist in the purchase of new machinery.
In its first 12 months AJS Production Ltd went on to double the size of its Cowdenbeath base and achieved its ISO 9001 and CE Mark up to and including execution class 4, which allows them to tender for all fabrication work, including power stations and major bridge work.
Mr Imrie said: “We believe we were one of the first fabricators in Fife to achieve the execution class 4, and are one of only a handful of companies in the UK to have it. Getting started was tough but we knew we needed to focus on getting these certifications and setting up the factory as priority. We initially turned to Business Gateway Fife to see what financial assistance there was. Over and above the grants its advice has proven to be extremely helpful. Our adviser has now linked us with the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service and they will hopefully help us become even more efficient as the bigger contracts come in.”
Lynne Baillie, Business Gateway Fife, said: “AJS is a fantastic business, with its place in the supply chain of so many industry sectors giving it the potential to grow into a significant employer in the area. We have been delighted to lend our support and advice as it has established itself and the results that Raymond, Andrew and the team have achieved have been testament to their talent, drive and work ethic.”
For more information on AJS Production Ltd visit www.ajsp-ltd.co.uk
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