SEVENTY-FIVE per cent of turnover generated from exports led to a Queen's Award for Enterprise International Trade honour for the Pearson Harper UK workforce, which was doubled to fulfil increase in demand.
An intimate knowledge of engineering and the petro-chemical sector blended with cutting-edge IT software and innovative use of global web-hosted access – that’s Phusion ... a world-class solution for maintaining large volumes of engineering information on complex, multi- billion pound (and dollar) projects.
Phusion is Pearson-Harper’s web portal which provides simultaneous global access to critical engineering information by thousands of clients, engineers and data processors.
Recognised as one of the world’s leading specialists in engineering information management (EIM) the company is headquartered in Billingham, Teesside, and has offices in Perth, Western Australia.
Its clients are responsible for the management of some of the world’s largest capital assets, such as liquid natural gas and oil extraction plant and refineries. These companies draw on Phusion’s vast registers of critical engineering information and data, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Established in 1992 with strong links to the North Sea oil industry Pearson-Harper carried out a radical review largely driven by the changes in the UK’s energy sector at the beginning of 2008.
Over the next three years, an incisive export-led growth strategy was implemented. The commitment by senior personnel in this ‘proof of concept’ exercise was total.
Four years on over 75% of turnover is generated from exports to a number of blue-chip clients including Chevron and BP and markets in Australia, Singapore, Angola and Kazakhstan.
Alex Hayward is managing director at Pearson-Harper. She said: “We are delighted for our achievements to have been recognised through this Queen’s Award, especially in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year.
“The award is a marvellous tribute to our exceptional staff who embraced the new vision for our business and have worked tirelessly towards achieving success.
“Many have, quite literally, worked around the clock ... such is the challenge of developing markets on the opposite sides of the world!”
This export success has directly resulted in the UK workforce more than doubling during the last two years. Thirty-six new appointments have been at Pearson Harper’s Billingham headquarters and three others in Australia, with more planned.
Pearson-Harper’s expertise and services involve collecting and managing vast amounts of engineering information needed to build and operate major capital projects.
Pearson-Harper describes its EIM output as “complete, correct, consistent and connected”; “a single source of truth”.
This information includes part numbers, specifications, drawings, tag numbers and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) supplier and EPC (Engineering Procurement Contractor) contact data.
Steve Pearson, executive chairman of Pearson Harper, said: “This business is unique and, at present, we are just scratching the surface ... the scope for growth is vast.
“Our export strategy is built on a major shift at many multi-nationals as they intensified their scrutiny of their cost base.
“The exponential savings we can achieve in both time and money for our clients are almost too large to seem feasible.
“Our biggest challenge is often helping our clients to grasp the scale of benefit which we can bring to their business.” Alex Hayward continued: “Good engineering information drastically reduces the risk of major incidents by improved Health & Safety.
“It is a recognised fact that major incident risk is at its highest during the first 12 months of operation of a new capital project.
“Traditional methods of collecting and organising engineering information typically provide information around 12 – even 18 months – after start-up and often information is only 40-50% complete.
“Through Phusion we provide clients with access to information some 12 months before project start- up with a completion rate in excess of 95%.”
Martyn Pellew, president of the British Chambers of Commerce and previously president of the North East Chamber of Commerce, is a non- executive director at Pearson Harper.
He said: “Pearson-Harper is achieving success by properly analysing its markets, sticking steadfastly to its core business skills whilst being innovative and courageous in delivery of its services.
“It is extremely satisfying to see growth achieved in this way, which is creating jobs for people in the North East and revenues for the country. I am very proud to be involved with the business.”
Pearson-Harper’s breakthrough account came in 2010 when it was awarded a £6.25m contract by Chevron Australia Pty Ltd. The contract has recently been extended to £8m until 2013. The contract is for EIM services and software solutions for the Gorgon Project.