Exploring new places is what Teessiders have been doing best for hundreds of years – and it’s a tradition Keith Miller is proud to continue.
Keith is managing director of export specialist Ecco Finishing Supplies, which has established a global reputation as a leading supplier and manufacturer of surface preparation and coating equipment over the past 25 years.
Ecco is constantly moving into new markets around the world and every shipment that leaves the company’s headquarters on Letitia Industrial Estate is wrapped in tape that announces proudly: “Made in Middlesbrough.”
Established in 1995, Ecco has twice been crowned North East Export Team of the Year thanks to impressive sales in Russia, Taiwan, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Angola, the United States and, most recently, Mexico.
And while he admits not every customer knows much about Teesside at first, when he tells them it’s where the explorer Captain James Cook and diplomat and archaeologist Gertrude Bell came from, their eyes light up.
“Children in many Middle Eastern countries are taught about Gertrude Bell at school, but back here her contribution is often overlooked,” says Keith.
“We’ve always been good at making things, but we need to get better at celebrating our achievements and telling everyone else about it.”
Keith says it’s time to start banging that drum about the area’s history and the things its businesses still do as well if not better than anyone else.
Ecco serves the oil and gas, offshore renewables, automotive, construction and manufacturing industries. Its products include grit blasting and recovery systems, spray systems, plural component and passive fire protection equipment.
“Our reputation is based on our product performance, quality and service delivery which is key to our success,” says Keith. “We are committed to working in partnership with our customers to develop and maintain long-term relationships. We work with world-leading manufacturers as distributors for their products, which is another big plus for our customers.
“We’re constantly transforming and expanding our product range to meet market demand and we now offer a modern, reliable fleet of equipment which is available to hire and a range of industrial supplies.”
With distribution bases in the UK, United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan, Ecco can offer a fast turnaround from initial enquiry to delivery, with many items available from stock.
“We offer exceptional customer service and have our highly qualified technical engineers available to travel and work offshore and overseas servicing equipment,” said Keith.
Ecco prides itself on adapting to customers’ needs, helping achieve a record £5m annual turnover, with overseas trade now accounting for almost 40% of sales.
Many overseas successes have been driven by the development of specialist equipment such as the Ecco 2K HV PFP, marketleading passive fire protection equipment used by customers worldwide.
Overseas clients include industry giants Cape, Actavo, Wood Group, Lamprell, Altrad, Hertel, McDermott and A&C Group.
Keith has also set up Ecco Finishing Supplies, based in UAE, which supplies products throughout the Middle East.
Customers closer to home include Universal Coatings, Hertel, Cape, Altrad, Kaefer, Wood Group, AV Dawson, Cleveland Containers and many others.
And while he’s the frontman for Ecco’s spectacular success, Keith says it’s very much a team effort.
He says: “Our reputation is based on customers readily telling others our story – that we’re reliable, honest and upfront. They know that if we say we’ll do it, we will.”
To contact Ecco Finishing Supplies, call 01642219760, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at eccofinishingsupplies.co.uk