How winning helped us

CONVINCED OF THE BENEFITS OF TAKING PART: David Heston, Swagelok's general manager

CONVINCED OF THE BENEFITS OF TAKING PART: David Heston, Swagelok's general manager

Have your say

WINNING a category at the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence is often just the first step on the path to raising an organisation’s profile.

In the case of Swagelok, which won last year’s award for International Business of the Year, it meant raising the company’s profile both within Swagelok’s global community and among customers.

Swagelok Limited’s general manager David Hester said: ‘To win an award in the island community gives us credibility and is an endorsement of what we are doing.

‘Swagelok has an internal newsletter called Connections.

‘We placed an article in the newsletter about the Isle of Man facility winning a business excellence award. It means the Isle of Man name gets out within the Swagelok community, including other factories, and sales divisions.

‘They will be reading about the Isle of Man which is good for our profile generally.’

Swagelok is a global provider of fluid system technologies and services. The Isle of Man manufacturing operation helps to complete the company’s piping and regulator product offering for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.

From Tromode, Swagelok also serves niche markets that require quick turnaround on high added-value and specialised products.

‘Swagelok employs more than 4,000 associates around the world,’ said David.

‘We have factories in the US and China, as well as Holland and Switzerland. There are distributors around the world, in 60 countries, selling Swagelok products. When the company acquired Kenmac in 2003 there were about 130 people employed here, there are now 195.’

And, perhaps unusually in the present economy, Swagelok is looking to hire more staff.

The company is working on expanding its roster of 13 apprentices to 17 and liaises closely with the Isle of Man College and the Department of Education in that area. It also plays a large a part, alongside GE Aviation and RLC Ronaldsway, in the Awareness of Careers in Engineering project, which aims to educate children of school age about engineering. This programme is supported by the Department of Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce.

For David and his team, it is about broadening people’s perception about what a career in engineering can mean.

‘After I went on the stage to collect the award last year people I didn’t know came up to me and said they were really amazed and were interested to know about our work,’ he said.

‘We have had an open evening here through the Institute of Directors and we invited local business people who wanted to come and find out more. I think many of them were completely amazed by what they found behind these closed doors – modern equipment, computers, a safe and clean environment, highly skilled and motivated people working on the shop floor and lots of technology at work.

‘We are bringing several million pounds a year of export business to the Isle of Man’s economy so it’s a sizeable business.’

This year’s Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence, in association with RBS International, will be held on November 15.

Application forms are available at

If you would like to find out more about what entering can do for you, contact Trudi Williamson (tjw(at) or Sarah Radcliffe (sarah.radcliffe(at) or call 695695 for more information.

Back to the top of the page