Beating the recession: bdaily speaks to Brian Palmer of Tharsus
“ The business is fundamentally unrecognisable from the one we purchased 13 years ago,“ says Brian Palmer, chief executive at Tharsus. “We only had one site and one PC – the business was essentially a backstreet metal workshop.”
Since then the business has completely evolved, and now provides engineering and design solutions alongside sheet metal manufacturing facilities. Throughout our conversation it is clear that Brian is incredibly proud of the business. “Because we’re a small company, everyone who works here takes on more responsibility. This means that when we do make things happen, it can be far more rewarding.”
The Tharsus Group currently employs over 100 people and turned over £10 million last year. However, business has not always looked so positive, and in the wake of the recession, Tharsus was hit hard on several levels. “Due to our exposure to several struggling sectors, it was a difficult time for us,” Brian explains. “BT put expenditure on hold and the MOD put back several vehicle procurement projects. The outdoor advertising equipment market also collapsed.” “However, we are now starting to recover and are seeing some good new revenue streams and lots of new customer opportunities. Over the last 18 months we have improved our sales focus which is helping us to build up long term customer relationships.”
When asked about graduates, Brian echoed the sentiments of many working within the engineering sector and lamented the lack of skills within the marketplace. “It can be hard to find good engineers, but we have been very fortunate with our team. “Lots of people aren’t being taught the fundamentals of engineering, which is fine in a large business where people are more likely to specialise, but in a smaller company like Tharsus, engineers really need to have a broader range of skills. Here at Tharsus, we want engineers with an all round knowledge of what makes machines tick.”
Brian is now looking forward to other ways the business can be improved. “We are now focussing on our product build and our new site in Blyth, where we are in the process of setting up a dedicated manufacturing facility,” he says. “Through constant development, investment and focus, the plan now is to continue to deliver elegant engineering solutions to help the company continue to prosper.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .
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