Stories of Brave- Escalating ambition


man in factory 

“It is important that we are both technically excellent and easy to deal with. As a company we want to make life as easy as possible for our customers, while being leaders in our field in terms of our engineering prowess.”

In the 11 years that Conveyortek has been in business, the conveyor technology specialist has seen impressive growth. Across 3 sites in Northern Ireland, a factory in Glasgow and a stock facility in Indianapolis, USA, Conveyortek now employs over 65 people. Managing Director Philip Trimble recalls the early days, as he and two partners took the brave decision of founding the company in the midst of a recession back in 2009. “As owners we were literally cleaning the toilets, doing everything to get the business off the ground in really tough times.


Managing cashflow during a time of limited funding was one of the main challenges we faced starting out, with lenders in general reluctant to finance anyone involved in construction projects. But we were confident in our vision for growth, and we found that when moving to AIB, they really took the time to get to know us and they shared our vision.”

Conveyortek has been a globally minded business since its inception, exporting a range of conveyor systems and metal separation equipment to customers world-wide across many different industries. For Philip, this diversity has played a fundamental part in the company’s success. “We knew from the start that we needed to have a diverse customer base rather than put all our eggs in one basket. Choosing the right customers has been as important as choosing the right products and services. It has been a key strategy from day one.”

Philip believes another key part of the company’s success has been down to the good team it has in place. “We operate in some very unique industries and provide a wide range of systems, so getting recruitment right and building a solid team is crucial, although it is never easy. We hire skilled people with good attitudes and enthusiasm, and we invest a lot of training in them. As part of that we have to give them rope – we have to trust them, believe in them and let them get on with it. I think we are quite good at that and we have recruited people who make the most of this trust across the whole spectrum of the business.”

For Philip, having that strong and agile team has helped Conveyortek navigate its way through the once in a generation challenge of Covid-19. “Our number 1 priority as the pandemic escalated in March was protecting our people, and we were actually ahead of both the NI Executive and UK Government in choosing to temporarily halt production. At the same time we were servicing a number of essential industries – from power stations and postal services to being involved in the construction of pop-up face shield factories – so we had to keep emergency teams going.”

“We had a lot of work in progress in the factory at that time, we weren’t sure if we were going to get it manufactured and invoiced, but we have a brilliant team of people who all did whatever they needed to do for a day or two before we closed up.” The factories reopened a month later, with new safety measures in place including temperature scanning, staggered shift patterns, enhanced cleaning and additional PPE. “Our team has been fully supportive throughout the past number of months, willing to do whatever they could to get the company through this challenging period. We have performed a small re-structure of the business with more home based and flexible working arrangements but thanks to the team’s hard work, and our brilliant customers, we are back into growth mode.”

Looking to the future, Philip believes Conveyortek’s commitment to innovation and investing in new technology will fuel further success globally. “I feel the company has been brave. We invest heavily in R&D, ensuring we have the most innovative products. We have invested in immersive technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality ahead of the rest of the industry. These are all costs that you don’t make money back from in the short term, but they are crucial to our long-term growth ambitions.”

Having worked in the industry for some 27 years, Philip is more passionate about his work than ever. “I am fortunate because I have been in this industry for most of my career and I love it. It is a very down to earth sector and people have a very common-sense way of getting things done.”

“The two other business directors and I are all ambitious, globally minded people. Conveyortek has always aspired to be a global company with world leading technologies. We haven’t lost that ambition. We feel that in the next few years the opportunities are going to be really strong for us and that certainly that ambition hasn’t dwindled at all throughout my whole working career.”

AIB is backing businesses by providing a range of supports and cashflow solutions tailored to your business needs. For further information, visit AIB NI We Back Brave.