Fläkt Woods celebrates 100 years

Fläkt Woods, formerly Woods of Colchester, turns 100 years old this month and its directors hailed the company’s history of adapting to offer what customers wanted for its longevity.

Allan Hurdle, managing director of its UK fans business, said: “It’s an achievement to have been here 100 years as a manufacturing company, but it’s 100 years of innovation rather than 100 years old.

“We always look at how we can improve our service to our customers, become more integrated with them and look along the supply chain to see how to make ourselves more productive.”

The company moved to Axial Way in 2006 from its original site in Tufnell Road, near North Station, in 2006.

Although one-third of its original size, Mr Hurdle said it now employed about 460 workers in Colchester alone. Its good reputation has reached all corners of the world, and it has recently won an ongoing contract to supply fans for the Sao Paolo Metro in Brazil.

Despite its reputation, the company admitted it went through a “crisis” several years ago as it became “complacent”.

The world leader in industrial fans was not delivering to clients on time, but was determined it would learn from its mistakes and soon turned itself around. The secret of its success was a non-blame culture, consulting with staff and customers and measuring performance.

Mr Hurdle said: “The fact of the matter is that our business works because the people are communicating.

“We are proud to state we have been in Colchester for 100 years and we want to stay for the next 100 years through innovation.”

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