Growing the brand
Some people like a challenge – they like starting from scratch and building their way up, with no clients and a limited amount of funds. Murray Kerr, the founder of SengS, is one of those people.
Founded in 2012, Murray took large risks in the beginning. Nobody was willing to offer financial support initially but, four months later, the company secured its first project. This gave him the enthusiasm to continue, and as more opportunities came his way Murray has not looked back.
SengS is a multi-discipline engineering, testing, controls and cooling company which provides solutions to the global oil and gas industry. It started off with just Murray but now has expanded to 17 members of staff, and recently won Emerging Industry Leader 2016 at the P&J’s Gold Awards.
Murray said: “I left school with no qualifications – some of which schools I was asked nicely to leave. I joined the Navy where I gained qualifications and learned disciplines that I still use today. I then left the Navy and in the last 13 years I have been working in oil and gas.”
The 35-year-old has spent the last 18 months building up the mechanical testing service area of the business. He has built it up from scratch and it is due to the dedication of the team and their strong working relationships with their clients that they have grown so quickly and have a speedy turnaround on key projects.
He said: “For me, looking back at the success we have had, there have been key moments. The very first was to gain ISO accreditation which allowed us to get approved on potential clients Approved Vendors List (AVL).
“Secondly it was key to build a brand, therefore we looked at logos, marketing, social media and direct mailing. This was a great success. Plus it was basically free – we just had to put in time and effort and this was mainly in the late hours of the night.
“Thirdly it was to build a very talented bunch of employees. The team we have currently are multi-disciplined and dedicated to the brand and without their support our company would not be where it is today.
“It looks very simple, but I can tell you it has been excruciating, long hours, little to any holidays, and constant stress, but the rewards and the daily challenges are exhilarating.”
SengS has reinvested £3.5million of profits back into the business in the last three-and-a-half years and managed to secure long-term frame agreements as well as recurring orders from existing clients. It is even getting new clients, despite the downturn climate within the industry.
The company has faced every challenge head on and worked every hour needed to grow the business. Future plans for SengS include growing the brand even further and making the company into an international brand.
Murray said: “Currently I am working towards this goal as this will give us further growth.
“I am sure this part of the journey will be even more demanding, but in life it would be extremely boring of we did not have these challenges.”