Business News

When Excitation and Engineering Services Ltd were crowned Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Business of the Year, there was one question on people’s minds. What is excitation? It is described as being the application of energy to anything and that is certainly what has happened to a firm that operates global influence from homespun offices in Tamworth. Jon Griffin, Chamberlink’s award-winning columnist, went to find out what they are all about.

t just 33 years of age, Ryan Kavanagh is a global trouble-shooter, travelling

worldwide with a licence to kill off problems plaguing the power and generation industry. Not that he sees himself as a

The Griffin Report A

James Bond figure riding to the rescue of stricken power stations or malfunctioning generators. “It is not a rock and roll lifestyle. When I look at all the countries I have been to, people think of where they would go to if they were on holiday....but I am visiting industrial areas, power station sites.” Nevertheless, one glance at the

pins on the map on the wall of the homespun offices of Excitation and Engineering Services Ltd on an out- of-town industrial estate in Tamworth would indicate that life can be quite exotic for this personable chartered electrical engineer from York. The map reveals that this tiny

West Midlands company, formed less than 10 years ago, has fulfilled contracts in six continents, bringing its energetic footprint to the likes of Argentina, the USA, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Australia, China, the Philippines, South Korea, the Congo, Mongolia and many others. They are also blazing quite a trail

locally in the West Midlands. The Staffordshire company won the International Business category at this year’s Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce's first online awards ceremony – and then topped that by taking home the overall Business of the Year title. It's all a far cry from 2011 when

founder Doug Cope launched the firm from his own home in Tamworth with colleague Barry Orme. Both men had worked for major power utility firm RWE but saw a gap in the market for a new kid on the energy block. From those humble origins the

Tamworth firm has grown into a £2 million plus turnover concern, employing 15 people and winning truly global recognition. And while Covid-19 has put a temporary halt to overseas travel – Ryan was out in Australia when lockdown struck and forced his return – the inquiries have continued to flood in from overseas.

20 CHAMBERLINK October 2020 The firm has gradually expanded

from consultancy to design and manufacturing control systems for power stations. Trading internationally from day one, their Red Adair-style expertise has been sought by a vast array of overseas clients and projects, from power stations to floating oil platforms and coal mines to cruise ships.

‘We have gone from two people starting as a service company to one that is now designing and manufacturing, and is worldwide’

A typical example of the EES

modus operandi is Ryan's sudden call to a nuclear power plant in West Virginia, USA, after the failure

of its excitation system. “I was at a power station in Liverpool a couple of years ago and Doug phoned and said there was a breakdown in West Virginia – can you fly out the next day? I was out there faster than the guys from the next state...” But Ryan, a director at EES, is

keen to stress that he's not the only troubleshooter within the firm. Founder Doug Cope is currently supporting Thai Oil remotely while undergraduates Harry Hughes and Deepika Mistry have been assisting technical documentation for a project in Ghana. Meanwhile, Richard Howlett and

Vanessa Hockin have been working on tender documents for more overseas opportunities in Australia, Spain, Belarus and Pakistan. Clearly, one of the keys to the

company’s success has been their determination to target business worldwide. As Ryan says: “Local

engineers in these sort of places are very, very good but it is that little bit of expertise that they look to us for. It puts a lot of pressure on you because they are obviously paying but one of the things we are good at is we support each other – we always back up the person who is travelling. “We look at what our options

are. Can we fix it? Can we repair it? Do we have to replace it? There are not a lot of companies our size that are so specialist. We have gone from two people starting as a service company to one that is now designing and manufacturing, and is worldwide.” For a man in his early 30s who

spent years studying to qualify before joining EON, Ryan recognises that he has already amassed a wealth of experience in his chosen trade. And he's not afraid to share some of his opinions

Excitement at excitation: Ryan Kavanagh with the GBCC Business of the Year award

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