Tooling up for up, up and away as business trio gear up for technicians' take-off

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 17 Jul 2018

THREE businesswomen believe they have hit on a money saving, local supply chain-boosting niche in the burgeoning offshore industry.

Airport hotel managers Sam Cook and Amy Lee have joined forces with the managing director of an established regional tool supplier, Sally Wray, to launch GoHire Offshore within Humberside’s terminal.

She had taken over the Hull business in 2015, leaving a legal role at a regional local authority. With Nightel, the company behind Kirmington’s two hotels as a client, she was amazed to see the type of deliveries being received at the developing offshore hub. 

“I was running a conventional tool hire business, and delivered some tools to Sam and Amy and a taxi arrived with a spanner from Great Yarmouth. All I could think of is why is that being done? I’ve got a warehouse full of spanners! 

“We had some meetings and looked at all these people coming to the area, but not using the local supply chain.”

Sally Wray,  pictured here at the Goulton Street premises.

The idea to actually have a presence at the airport clicked when the three were together at Grimsby Renewable Partnership’s conference in 2016. Seeing the way the industry was becoming more dependent on helicopters, and well aware of the continuing need from the more traditional North Sea industry, they also knew allied businesses in the area that could help serve them.

“We want to make sure the offshore wind and oil and gas industries are supplied,” said Sally. “We have the likes of Hammond and Taylor and Survitec here, and we are asking others to join us too,and encouraging technicians and their employers to use us, save money, and make sure we get the benefit in this region.”

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Sally said cross hiring – from company to company to end user – was a familiar model in the sector, and was now being taken to a new level with the collaboration. 

Building on the 24-hour nature of hotel customer service, a collection depot was launched, and in addition to the extensive tool and equipment hire service, the team now offer, instrumentation and calibration services, tooling and PPE supplies, storage and materials management.

“It just made perfect sense to combine the services we each already provided to create a full package for our customers,”

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Sam said. “They can not only get hotel rooms from Hampton by Hilton and Nightel, but also order their tools and PPE, have any of their own equipment tested and certificated but also store their tools and equipment.  

“We operate around the clock and will shift mountains if it means our customers have what they need.”

She added: “We can see all the great things happening in the sectors, but we see elements of the supply chain not benefiting from it. As we are so close to the hotels, if it is overalls or survival suits that are required, we can deliver to the bedroom at the hotel. 

The whole point of it is to get a supply chain in the Humber region. The work is being done in the Humber, so why shouldn’t we?”

Currently served from partner firms in northern Lincolnshire, and Go Hire’s depot in Hull, which started life as Arnott Plant Hire in 1995, more of a presence on the airport business park is the end goal.

“To have a larger team and unit would be great,” Sally said. “Power tools and equipment have to be safety checked with it being offshore, it is a different level to the construction industry.

“We have made sure we have offshore expertise too. When we started putting the project together we pulled that in, as while we do have lots of experience in tools, I was worried about expertise in the offshore arena. What we now have are offshore consultants, people we can connect with for everything concerning our tools and equipment. 

“It has got to be professional, it has got to be right, and there is nothing in the area like it.” 

Having bought Arnott, Sally renamed and rebranded the business GoHire, moving it to larger premises in a more prominent location in the city’s Goulton Street, visible from Clive Sullivan Way. 

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