Further success in the pipeline for Cramlington firm Techflow

AN oil and gas hose specialist plans to double its £20m turnover and workforce when it moves into a new £3m factory.

Cramlington’s Techflow Flexibles makes hoses used on oil rigs and has recently invested in a manufacturing facility covering 183,000sq ft.

The firm has also brought in Gateshead-based Ogilvie Communications to install a new phone system and IT network backbone at the site, which is set to open later this month.

Techflow managing director Ken Beattie said: “We expect to double turnover to reach £40m by 2014 and will be recruiting an extra 25 people to add to our present team of 50, with a view to staff numbers topping the 100 mark within 12 months. Our new factory marks a step change in the business, giving us a strong platform to extend our customer base and our offerings.

“We had very specific telecoms requirements that no other supplier could accommodate.”

Integrated IT and telecoms specialists Ogilvie Communications employs 21 people.

The £45,000 contract with Techflow involved its engineers laying more than 6,000 metres of cabling to support the new IT and telecoms network, as well as installing the new phone system, 138 data points and a guest wireless network.

More than 95% of the order book of Techflow Flexibles and sister company Techflow Marine comes from export work to supply the offshore oil and gas industry, with the main customer bases located in the Far East, North America, the Middle East and Brazil.

The new phone system uses internet technology to allow staff to communicate with its worldwide client base for free.

By using intelligent switching and voicemail integration to route calls between cordless handsets and mobiles, UK staff are accessible whenever they are on the move, which will improve call handling and speed up communications.

Techflow commercial manager Terry McDonnell said: “Ogilvie has given us a flexible, easy-to-use phone system with better cost visibility and one in which we can change settings as frequently as we need to, and with no fuss. Programmability and scalability are particularly important because when Techflow Flexibles and Techflow Marine both move into the new building we will have around 65 people on site, with plenty of room to accommodate more.

“A more efficient communications system means a more efficient, and therefore profitable, operation.

“As a family-owned North East business we prefer to use local suppliers wherever possible. Ogilvie was the best partner for the job, and the fact that they are local is an extra bonus.”

Steve Hood, business development manager at Ogilvie Communications, added: “We are very pleased that Techflow chose to work with us. Because their market is mainly overseas, the company was spending way too much money on IT and communications.

“We used our expertise and partnerships with leading communications vendors to design a more cost-effective and future-proof system.”