Scott Grant and Simon Taylor founded GTI in January 2015 after working for leading manufacturer Alimak Hek for many years. Grant had joined the goods hoist industry in 2006.
His skill set encompasses Construction Design & Management (CDM) on sites as part of the principal contractor team, planning of crane lifts as an appointed person and the conception of Safe Systems of Works. Taylor began working in the hoist industry for Alimak Hek in 2000 after qualifying as an electrician.
Originally the two founders simply supplied labour, often their own, to other companies. This business was successful so they recruited another director, Lee Murrell, who has not only worked at Alimak Hek but also in the oil and gas industry, with experience in CDM on site as part of a principal contractor team.
Their ambition was always to go into the business of supplying hoists but, Grant admits, it has all happened far more quickly than planned. The trigger was the RG Group, which asked the fledgling company to supply hoists after first meeting them as sub-contractors for another hoist rental company. So the two companies have a symbiotic relationship that is strong enough to justify the £250,000-plus investment in the GEDA 3700.
This was made easier through the investment of a new shareholder, Peterborough businessman Mike Ferguson. Grant met Ferguson two years ago, in his role as an IPAF-accredited trainer, when he did some work for Ferguson’s company Autec Training.
“At this point I was only interested in renting some office and yard space, because we were still working out of our own homes,” Grant says. “But it became apparent we had a lot more in common and he was interested in investing. We would still have supplied the GEDA 3700 but his involvement meant we could buy it outright.”
Up to 70% of GTI’s business is still the supply of installation, maintenance and testing services to other hoist companies but the plan is to evolve so that GTI supplies its own hoists and labour.
“We come from the manufacturing side of the industry and we feel that gives us a different perspective from other companies and the standards that we apply in areas such as health and safety,” Grant adds. “We’re recruiting now and we’re very keen on taking people that have no construction industry background, preferably with mechanical or electrical engineering training, and then train them to our own standards.”
Grant is keen to develop a strong team and is conscious of a tendency in the industry for people to jump ship from one company to another according to pay rates. Lack of commitment and job satisfaction results in a workforce that is often disillusioned and cynical.
“We want people working with us who take a pride in their work, just as we do.” he says.
RG Group’s James Smith would endorse that statement. “Their work has quality,” he says. “I know that if i press a button [the hoist] will work and that their hoists will be safe for our guys. I need to be able to sit in my office and know that our operatives are safe and secure – and GTI delivers that confidence.”
GTI is currently negotiating framework agreements with a number of top construction companies but, in Scott’s words, understands that the industry is ‘volatile.’
“We won’t be dependant on just one sector for our work but will also be competing for contracts in industrial services, such as for ports, cement factories and power stations, and delivering training,” he says.