Small Firms Shown Best Way to Compete in Export Markets

Around 10 manufacturing managers in the North West were briefed yesterday on how Moyola Precision Engineering (Moyola) in Castledawson has grown its business 40% annually over the past two years, through a series of key initiatives designed to improve competitive sustainability for the company. The event was organised by the North West Best Practice Club, an initiative backed by Invest Northern Ireland.

Mark Semple, Moyola’s aerospace director, outlined the steps taken by the company to strengthen and develop its business in key target industries such as aerospace. The outcome has been that Moyola moved up the aerospace supply chain and is manufacturing large aerospace parts for customers such as Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, BAE Systems and Langford Lodge.  Among other recent contracts won by Moyola is the supply of tooling for the new Airbus 380, the world’s largest commercial aircraft.  

Moyola recently announced a further £3.2 million investment in new technology and expansion of its premises to support its growth and development. The project is being assisted by Invest NI.

Kevin Helferty, Invest NI’s North West Local Office manager, said: “Moyola’s outstanding success shows how a Northern Ireland manufacturer can compete and win in the international aerospace industry by a continuous focus on capability, competitiveness and superb customer service.

“We formed the Best Practice Club to enable smaller companies in the North West to facilitate knowledge transfer in areas such as manufacturing and engineering focused on global markets. Moyola is an excellent role model for other smaller manufacturers wishing to develop exports.”

Raymond Semple, Moyola’s managing director, said: “We’ve made very substantial progress over the past three years as a result of our market focused business strategy – this sets us apart in our sector. Market intelligence is key to understanding the right industry to target, your customers’ needs and what competitiveness is all about. One of Moyola’s key strengths is its ability to change focus fast to facilitate the dynamic needs of customers. All our people and processes have a responsive customer focus. As a result, Moyola has successfully moved up the aerospace supply chain. Our strategy is to develop this further still within the next three years.  

“Keeping abreast of market developments has included extensive investment in leadership capability for our managers and engineers, the restructuring of the company to ensure a targeted customer focus, the optimisation of our key technology and steadfast leadership in our change strategy. We’ve strengthened and grown our infrastructure, engineered value added continuous improvements with our customers, invested in leading edge technology and introduced motivational in-house incentives. These enablers have sharpened our competitiveness and performance in all our manufacturing processes.”  

Moyola was established in 1976, employs 70 people and offers a world-class apprenticeship scheme and excellent career prospects for its employees. It is currently recruiting additional employees to join its workforce and is very keen to hear from good calibre people for its apprenticeship programme.

Companies attending the NW Best Practice Club were: Connect Engineering, Bellaghy; Copper Industries, Toomebridge; Central Welding, Toomebridge; Hutchinson Engineering, Coleraine; NI Aerospace Consortium, Belfast; Tyrone Brick, Dungannon; K-Scroll, Draperstown; Grease Trap Solutions, Magherafelt; KBB Doors, Magherafelt; and Rogers Fencing, Derry.