On Line Group shoulder to shoulder with blue chip giants
On Line Design and Engineering is setting a new level as a local success story. Inset, Brendan Conlan.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 18 Apr 2018
ON Line Group is establishing itself as an international force, honed in the Humber, as it takes on major blue chip engineering companies to win work in the region, the UK and beyond.
The company turned 35 last year, and is in the prime of its operational life, as it builds in its Immingham-laid foundations.
Brendan Conlan, managing director, said: “As a group we have had strong growth over the last 12 months, with a 50 per cent increase in On Line Design and Engineering business, consolidating group growth of 30 to 40 per cent in revenues.
“On Line is steeped in history and rooted in the Humber region, of which we are proud, as it has given the knowledge and context for the business we are. Now we are working from the Caribbean to China, with main growth areas in the UK in South Wales, the Thames Estuary, Yorkshire in the North West with nuclear, which is a first for the group.
“We have diversified quite dramatically from the points of view of region and sectors. It will make us fitter and more robust to weather any downturns or challenges in the market place.”
In the Caribbean On Line is working for a huge multi-national company helping to support liquid natural gas terminals, while in the Far East it is supporting an international pharmaceutical company in functional safety.
“We continue to support our main clients, and thank them for their support,” Mr Conlan said. “If we go back three years ago there was quite a sharp downturn in the region, and we are now starting to see some positive growth from them, and it is continuing.
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“We are challenging the big operators, taking on some of the established international engineering companies and establishing ourselves on that level. It all feeds into our strategy of growth throughout the UK, while consolidating and supporting our clients on the Humber.”
Within the elements of the group, Anglia Engineering Services, on Grimsby’s South Humberside Industrial Estate, has brought in growth of 15 per cent, predominantly in the UK food sector, with recruitment arm On Line People, opening an office in Birmingham and targeting industrial and automotive markets. It is also looking at moving in to permanent hire in the UK and internationally.
And as with the clients it serves, safety is paramount.
“Our growth is underpinned by a world class safety record which we continue to maintain,” Mr Conlan said. “We are proud of 12 consecutive year awards with the British Safety Council and seven consecutive years for Total Lindsey Oil Refinery, with more than 500,000 hours since our last lost time injury. Bearing in mind the diversity of sites we are maintaining, it is something we are extremely proud of.
“We are also proud we have had our 35th anniversary, and of the fact we have got more than 250 people based at offices in the Humber and South Wales.”
This article first appeared in a special Year of Engineering supplement from the Telegraph.
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Westminster Brexit call
Sir Eric Pickles is leading the parliamentary review.
ON Line Group has been invited to participate in a parliamentary review being led by Sir Eric Pickles.
The work, starting in May, is focused on sharing best practice as a learning tool for the public and private sector, examining how the UK grows in a post-Brexit era.
Brendan Conlan was delighted to receive the invite. “I think it is quite a feather in the cap for us,” he said.
Sir Eric is no stranger to northern Lincolnshire, having visited Port of Grimsby and Able Marine Energy Park when in post as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, a position he served for the entirety of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government.
He was gaining an insight into offshore wind operations and maintenance, a sector also on Mr Conlan’s radar, given the Humber’s cluster status and the engineering alignments.
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