Pipesketch invests to grow export business

Claudy-based Pipesketch Ltd is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop export contracts for its expertise in the design, supply, installation and testing of its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning pipework.

Invest NI is helping the company, which was formed last year by Managing Director Patrick Doherty, to develop its business through the Growth Accelerator Programme (GAP). GAP offers companies fast access to assistance geared to increase export sales through strengthening their management team. The company’s factory is at Pennyburn Industrial Estate in Derry.

GAP assistance was announced by Mr Doherty and welcomed by Des Gartland, Manager of Invest NI’s North West Regional Office in Derry.

Outlining the company’s growth plans, Mr Doherty said: “We’ve established a strong base over the past year and have carried out work for key customers in Great Britain and the Middle East.

“The challenge we are now addressing with Invest NI’s help is to grow our customer portfolio. To achieve this, we need to strengthen the management team by appointing an operations manager and developing a website for our marketing drive.

“The appointment of an operations manager is immensely important because it will give me more time to generate new business leads and convert these into active clients, as well as developing innovative products and services, such a new type of pipework not yet readily available in Ireland.

“In addition, Invest NI’s support is helping us access expert consultancy support to achieve the ISO9001:2000 management system, which is becoming an essential requirement, particularly for business outside Northern Ireland. This will also result in productivity benefits and increase our overall efficiency and competitiveness,” he added.

Mr Gartland said: “We are supporting this project through GAP because the company requires urgent assistance in developing new services and markets outside Northern Ireland, thereby leading to overall growth.

“Pipesketch is an entrepreneurial small company formed by an experienced businessman who has the technical skills, a network of contacts and the drive and determination to achieve further significant growth. Over the past year, the company has met its growth targets and expects to double sales turnover in the short-term. Furthermore, the company expects virtually all the growth to come from export markets. This focus on innovative products for faster growth outside Northern Ireland is in line with our corporate strategy,” he added.