Crawford Gillies, the Chairman of Scottish Enterprise, visited RITCHIE’s Tayside plant in Forfar on May 14 to tour the facility. Gillies’ visit was the result of a long term relationship between Scottish Enterprise and RITCHIE, which has allowed the company, specialising in industrial gas handling equipment and agricultural machinery, to improve its global manufacturing ties and invest in a number of major capital projects.
Gillies arrived at 12.30pm, met with RITCHIE’s board and then visited the company’s engineering office, works and galvanising plant. Highlights of the tour included RITCHIE’s lean manufacturing system, its advanced robotic welding set up and the most recently built section of the plant, which was opened in early 2008. RITCHIE was the only company Gillies visited while he was in the area.
"RITCHIE is an impressive, highly entrepreneurial business that maintains an outstanding reputation of providing goods and services to a wide range of industries and is an excellent example of the type of company that we want to work with," explained Gillies. Earlier the chairman had met his Scottish Enterprise colleagues in Dundee to find out how the organisation is working with businesses and industry sectors to help them grow in the recession.
"I have always been motivated by jobs and roles where there is a strong sense of ‘purpose’ and an opportunity to make a difference," continued Gillies. "Scottish Enterprise has a very strong and clear purpose. I personally find the opportunity to help Scotland, and in particular help transform the Scottish economy, to be incredibly worthwhile, motivating and exciting," he continued.
"I think the success of this event reflects the achievements RITCHIE has made over the last twelve months," explained Tony Walker, the company’s managing director. "Indeed, we are anticipating a significant increase in turnover this year as the changes we have made, such as the transition to a single site, constant technical development and geographical diversification pay further dividends."
Chas Roy, RITCHIE’s works director who was involved in arranging the tour alongside managing director Tony Walker, said, "We take any external investment in RITCHIE extremely seriously, because we see it as an investment not only in the business but in its people and the surrounding area as well. We are also very proud of what we have achieved here and part of that achievement is founded on our relationship with Scottish Enterprise. So, this visit is an opportunity to say thank you, to show Mr Gillies what we have achieved and to plan for the future. For us, this is a mark of continual improvement."
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