Being able to flex its capacity to maintain efficient and sustainable production and having a diverse customer base were key to the continued success of Spirax Sarco during the pandemic.
Here’s what Spirax Sarco achieved in order for the panel of judges to award their business the highest accolade of Gloucestershire Live Business of the Year 2021.
Key business points:
- Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc is a multinational industrial engineering group with expertise in the control and management of steam, electrical thermal energy solutions, peristaltic pumping and associated fluid path technologies.
- In May 1959 Spirax-Sarco Engineering Ltd became a public limited company, however their beginnings can be traced back to 1888.
- Two Cheltenham sites; Charlton Kings head office and Runnings Road manufacturing plant.
- The manufacturing plant employs 513 staff and is the focus of the award entry.
The winning entry:
Spirax Sarco operate across a variety of industry sectors from Food and beverage, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnical, Machine manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Chemical, Healthcare, Power generation and many others. It is this diverse customer base and their direct sales approach that give them the strong successful business they have today.
The business competes on a world stage and has continued to thrive in a competitive market place maintaining their world leading position across many of their product ranges, despite a very challenging period as Covid took hold and the various phases of lockdown occurred.
Parts are sourced worldwide to proudly machine, assemble and despatch from Cheltenham, primarily employing local labour. During the pandemic many employees continued to attend their place of work throughout, with many roles in manufacturing, distribution and associated support services, just not possible to be performed from home. In addition many employees adapted to the new working from home regime without losing any effectiveness.
The business flexed its capacity to maintain efficient and sustainable production. This involved many discussions with employees about hours of work, flexibility, Covid awareness and the overall need to retain skills for when demand increased again. When restrictions eased the business saw a significant rise in orders, partly due to restarting of projects and worldwide recovery, but also the considerable growth in areas that operate in the pharmaceutical regions responsible for lab testing, product manufacture and vaccine manufacture. Managing this growth by increasing employee numbers and flexing hours worked involved further discussions with employees.
The group manufactured 3000 component parts for ventilators required to support the Covid response. These products were produced on time to a very exacting standard and with a short delivery lead time.
Amid all of this, work to support their communities through employee volunteering and charitable contributions continued and even increased as employees looked at the wider issues facing local communities. This included sponsorship of the Cheltenham Food Bank as well as donating essential laptops and internet connectivity to six families of Gloucestershire Young Carers at the height of the pandemic.