A Teesside systems integrator has marked its 10th anniversary by announcing plans to double its turnover and the size of its workforce within the next five years.
Stokesley-based Applied Integration believe their current turnover of £4.4m will increase to around £8m by 2020.
And the company’s directors hope to create more than 30 new jobs, including many engineering roles for Teesside graduates, as they meet the growing demand for their cutting edge solutions to 21st Century industries.
The first phase of jobs creation has started with Applied Integration branching out to new research and development offices located in Stockton.
Applied Integration staff are in the late stages of developing the state-of-the-art automation and safety-critical control systems for the UK’s future nuclear deterrent, four Astute class submarines for the Ministry of Defence.
In a project that director Garry Lofthouse describes as “the most complex build in the world today”, they are working on the overarching control systems for what will be world class submarines, with Audacious scheduled for launch in 2016.
Now Applied Integration directors are looking to mark the company’s 10th anniversary by transferring their skills and expertise into exciting new markets such as the aerospace industry, whilst continuing to service their traditional customers within the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors.
Prestigious clients also include aerospace and defence manufacturers Esterline and Swinton Technology, a global supplier of oil and gas flow computer control system solutions, together with international energy leaders Phillips 66, automation technology experts ABB and PET resin manufacturers Lotte Chemical UK.
Set up on Stokesley Business Park by Garry and fellow directors Lee Raywood, Graham King and Roy Coleman in 2005, the business has grown from strength to strength throughout a period of recession since securing a series of contract wins with the BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence.
But Garry predicts Applied Integration’s future to be even brighter than the past.
He said: “Over the next five years we aim to double our turnover and double our manpower.
“I think a turnover of £7-£8m is very achievable between our successful automation control business and the growth of our relatively young panel build service.
“On the automation control side, we have ongoing work with prestigious existing clients, including BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence, while we have several potential large, long-term contract wins in the pipeline, which we’re immensely excited about.
“We’re actively looking to make a breakthrough into the aerospace sector, as we’re confident all of the expertise and experience we have from working on submarines can be readily transferred to tackle similar challenges within that industry.”
Shortlisted as Teesside’s Company of the Year in both 2014 and 2015, Applied Integration’s successful long-term work on the systems for Astute class submarines and through life support ensures contract longevity – while also boosting their progress in the commercial sector.
Garry explained: “Our work in the defence sector has really raised our profile in the marketplace. We’re making real inroads with lots of new customers. Potential clients sit up and take notice when you mention the Ministry of Defence.
“These long-term projects give the business stability in the marketplace, while the prestige of our Defence sector clients, together with the reputation we have built within it, helps us to win new clients.
“The typical reaction is ‘If you can build systems for them then you’re good enough to build systems for us too’, which is a great accolade but one we’re very comfortable about living up to because we’re now setting the industry standards in automation control.”
Looking back on the 10-year journey from start-up to the winners of the 2015 Manufacturing gong in the North East Business Awards, Garry recalled: “We discussed the business startup while attending the Instrument and Measurement Annual Dinner reunion in Middlesbrough.
“All four of us gave up very well paid jobs to start the business, basically halving our salaries and with the potential of no earnings for the first six months. We wondered how we would turn over £8,000 a month that we needed to break even – that was frightening.
“We never dreamed we’d reach the levels we’re at today and feel unbelievably proud for what we’ve achieved.
“But, 10 years on, the four of us still share the same vision and values. We are all agreed on the direction in which we want to drive the business.
“We will continue to work in the defence and marine sectors, whilst never forgetting our traditional roots within the oil, gas and petrochemical fields.
“We’re not the sort to wrest on our laurels. Our achievements spur us on to make the business more successful.
“Our market is practically endless, as we can deliver solutions for literally any business or industry that needs an automated process.
“It’s been an amazing 10 years but the future’s looking even brighter.”