Systems integrator and industrial drives specialist, Technidrive is celebrating the 25-year anniversary of the company’s inauguration. The milestone follows a record-breaking year for Technidrive in 2022, having achieved a 22.5 per cent increase in turnover and made significant investment of over £250,000 in its facility in Northern Ireland.
Technidrive was founded by John Coulter in 1998. Operating as a family business with the support of John’s business partner and wife, Leanne Coulter, the organisation functioned from a 1,500 square ft premises with two employees. Today, Technidrive boasts a team of 29 engineers and support staff, working from an impressive 24,000 square ft premises.
Reflecting on the last 25-years of growth, John recognises that Technidrive’s foundation has been built on a set of core values. He firmly believes that, within the organisation, the conviction that ‘every drive problem has a solution’ serves as a guiding principle.
Additionally, John emphasises the importance of gaining a profound understanding of customers’ applications and processes, underscoring the need to ensure optimal productivity, efficiency and performance.
Furthermore, he highlights the significance of a comprehensive understanding of modern industrial drive systems. According to John, success in this field requires a mastery of mechanical, electrical and electronic aspects. This holistic approach positions Technidrive to navigate the complexities of contemporary drive systems with precision and expertise.
“Technidrive’s creation was a direct response to the common market challenge, where manufacturers typically purchased components from a number of separate suppliers,” he explained. “We emerged as a comprehensive solutions provider, adding value to manufacturers products. Today we continue to provide complete solutions in the field of electric motors, drives, industrial gear units and automation components.”
Today, the business provides these solutions to a wide range of industries, including quarrying, construction, food processing, farming and more. Techndrive has invested significantly in growing and retaining its valued team members to facilitate this expansion.
In fact, the organisation’s 25-year anniversary coincides with several employee milestones. Three members of staff; Louise Montgomery, accounts and business improvement specialist, Philip McComb, internal sales engineer, and Matthew Coulter, gearbox assembly technician, are celebrating 15 years with the business this year. Andrew Ritchie, sales manager, has also reached a 10-year milestone with the company.
John reflected on the differences between the current team and his initial set up in 1998: “The early days were marked by hard work and a division of responsibilities. Leanne took charge of the office, putting in long hours, while I focused on customer visits, providing support and assisting with drive selection and design. My evenings were dedicated to assembly and dispatch. We managed every aspect between the two of us. This experience has cultivated a profound appreciation for our staff, and we attribute our accomplishments to their unwavering dedication and hard work.”
Technidrive’s growth has also opened doors to partnerships with manufacturers. In 2020, Technidrive was awarded Premier Partner status with global motor and drives manufacturer, WEG — a brand that Technidrive has supplied for over 15 years. The company is also named as a Bonfiglioli BEST Partner and the appointed partner of Hitachi industrial inverter and PLC components. These collaborations have enabled Technidrive to maintain a large inventory of industrial assets from external manufacturers, as well as its own products.
In fact, Technidrive’s total stock value reached £3.5 million in 2023, in a strategic decision to ensure resilience of their customer’s supply chain. This attitude towards planning and security for its customers has proven invaluable to Technidrive during its 25-year history.
“At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had approximately one million pounds of product inbound,” explained John. “This was a time when many of our customers were affected by lockdowns and supply chain challenges. We took this as an opportunity to implement new systems and technologies to further enhance our management and adaptability, setting the groundwork for future growth.”
The global recession in 2008 also forced Technidrive to adapt. The business made a strategic decision to diversify its customer base, expanding from providing systems integration to quarrying and construction to also include other industrial sectors. Today, Technidrive has developed a wide range of industrial systems for an impressive range of industries, including winch solutions for life rafts, through to advanced automation for the dairy industry.
Technidrive’s growth has facilitated significant investment in its Northern Ireland premises. Last year, the business added a mezzanine floor, additional warehouse racking and new technology to maximise storage capacity. Further investments in the site are planned in 2024.
“We are very proud of our history and look forward to the next 25 years of providing solutions,” said David Strain, technical director at Technidrive. “The strong relationships we have with our customers has resulted in world class manufacturers putting their trust in us, to provide them with solutions to make their machines and offering more efficient more reliable and better than their competitors.
“On the supplier side we have also strong relationships with global manufacturers which allows us to keep pushing the boundaries of technology which is improving at a greater rate than ever before,” continued David. “Every day we aim to invest in our teams knowledge so that we can bring better solutions to our customers and continue to grow. We are excited to release some new and innovative solutions and widen our customer base with existing solutions.”