Invest NI helps Shaw Automation to export success

Invest Northern Ireland has helped Ballymena-based Shaw Automation Company to increase turnover by 80%, double employment levels and secure a number of significant export contracts over the past three years.

The business, which specialises in the design and manufacture of control systems particularly for variable speed drives and programmable logic controllers, is servicing a niche market. It has received a range of support from Invest NI which has been instrumental in helping it to streamline processes, attain accreditation and successfully target export markets.

Adrian Shaw, Managing Director, says: “Our success in recent years is due to a number of factors. With the support accessed via Invest NI’s North Eastern Regional Office in Ballymena, we have invested in increasing our capability, through strengthening our management team and internal processes. This has been supported by a move to new purpose built premises and the recruitment and training of specialist staff.

“As a result we have been better placed realise opportunities for our systems in markets outside Northern Ireland and as a result, have secured a number of successes in both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.”

A key achievement for the company has been getting ISO accreditation. This has been essential in allowing it to tender for bigger contracts and to diversify into new markets.

When the company decided it needed to move to bigger premises, Invest NI’s Property Solutions Unit helped to identify an appropriate site. Shaw Automation has recently moved into purpose built accommodation on a site acquired from Invest NI on the Woodside Industrial Estate outside Ballymena. The company currently employs 18 people.

Bill Scott, Head of Regional Economic Development at Invest NI, says: “Shaw Automation has developed an excellent reputation for quality, service and cost competitiveness. By taking a strategic approach to developing sales, particularly in export markets, the company has increased productivity and turnover.

“Invest NI has been able to help the company maximise its efficiency and formalise its marketing approach and this has resulted in export success. We are continuing to provide advice and assistance so the company has the support it needs to fulfil its significant potential.”