Brighouse firm devastated by floods in 2015 wins Top Supplier award

Staff from Halifax Rack and Screw being presented with their award
Staff from Halifax Rack and Screw being presented with their award

A Brighouse firm left devastated by the Boxing Day floods of 2015 has been named Top Supplier of 2018 by American company The Vermeer Corporation.

Halifax Rack and Screw, which employs 44 staff at their Armytage Road base, was thought to be finished after the catastrophic floods in 2015.

The company was submerged under nearly three feet of water, seriously damaging all machines on site.

Financial Director Colin Jones said: “Our initial thoughts immediately after the event was that the company was finished, that there was no recovering from such destruction.

“Instead, on the basis that the company was established more than 60 years ago, the decision was made to try and get the company back up and running and to protect the jobs and livelihoods of our 30 employees.

“We decided against making redundancies which would have been the natural way forward and maintained manning at pre-flood levels. Against all the odds, this is what we attempted to do.

“The impact of the flood was that about half of the “screw” side of the business was lost due mainly to the insurance company refusing to authorise repairs to important machines.

“In addition, due to the length of time taken to either replace or refurbish other key machines, a number of important customers, primarily in North America, were lost due to delivery issues.

“Faced with the stark choice of seeing a proud company going into slow terminal decline, we decided to invest heavily in new equipment and, aided by financial

assistance from the Regional Growth Fund, we purchased modern, top of the range machine tools in order to broaden the appeal of the company.

“We are now starting to see the benefits of this investment. Manning levels are up by almost 30 per cent and orders are now coming in for the new equipment

installed.

“Through all of this traumatic period Vermeer Manufacturing Inc, a major manufacturer of industrial and agricultural equipment in the United States, has stood by us and supported us and sales have actually increased to Vermeer as new products from our capital investment come on stream.

“The final accolade to this business partnership is that we have been awarded the Vermeer Top Impact Supplier for 2018 Year Award which we are proud to receive, based on price, delivery and quality.”