Success Flows from Focus on Innovation and Enterprise

By focusing on quality services and innovation Williams Industrial Services (WIS) increased turnover by 80 per cent last year and is now the Northern Ireland market leader in process control and environmental engineering, Leslie Morrison, Invest NI chief executive, said yesterday.

Speaking during a visit to the company, which is based in a 20,000 sq ft complex at Mallusk, Mr Morrison said: “WIS is a remarkable story of successful enterprise and innovation. When its current owners, led by John Toner and Robert Adamson, the joint managing directors, acquired the business, in 1995, turnover was £1.5 million and 22 people were employed.

“The company is on target to achieve turnover of £26 million this year and employment is in now excess of 150. It has achieved growth in excess of 20 per cent every year since 1995.

“This is a very progressive company which is succeeding against bigger competitors from outside Northern Ireland by continuously adding value to its business through investment in innovative systems, the knowledge and expertise of its people and ensuring fast and efficient services to clients. It is therefore contributing substantially to the local knowledge base.

“As well as its outstanding success in Northern Ireland, the company has established a market position in Great Britain by means of strategic alliances with industry leaders such as Severn-Trent Water and Thames Water,” he added.

Mr Toner said: “Our growth is being assisted by the huge investment now underway in water and waste water treatment systems in Northern Ireland. We offer the relevant authorities expert services from a local company which is on hand to develop solutions on a par with the world’s best in our industry quickly and cost-efficiently.

“By keeping abreast of global developments in our sector and through our international alliances we can offer clients the latest technology-driven solutions. For example, we designed the first Sequencing Batch Reactor, a US development, for the waste water treatment works at Lisnaskea in Co Fermanagh. This is a modular system that is a very cost efficient method of treating waste water in small and predominantly rural areas.

“Invest NI’s advice and support are invaluable. It is helping us to strengthen our position further in what is now an intensely competitive industry by advice and guidance in areas such as marketing, exporting, management information, business improvement and company development. We operate an extensive in-house training programme that includes regular placements on engineering courses at Queen’s University.”

WIS specialises in expert engineering services for a broad range of private and public sector organisations including the Water Service for Northern Ireland. These services include process control and instrumentation; instrument maintenance and calibration; project and system design and consultancy; process control system design and manufacture; and equipment distribution.

The company’s services cover municipal wastewater treatment; industrial effluent treatment; water treatment; utility distribution; leakage management; building services; energy monitoring and targeting; and environmental engineering.