Steve Vick International Celebrate 40 Years as a Family Business

November 26, 2021

Steve Vick International (SVI), based in Bradford on Avon, is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a leading manufacturer of innovative technologies for use in the utilities industry. The products at the heart of the business are expanding foam sealants, which were initially developed for the gas industry, and engineering hardware such as Pipe Cutters and Pipe Handlers.  These products, along with several of our other key products, have evolved over time and allowed the company to enter different industries such as Nuclear decommissioning and contract services. The family owned and operated company was founded in 1981 by the current Chairman, Steve Vick.

Steve & Crock on an LMI job in 1981

During the past 40 years, Steve Vick International has grown from a fledgling business which started at Steve’s home in Norton St Phillip, to an international concern employing over 80 members of staff and exporting to over twenty different countries.  SVI have also opened five depots across the UK.  Throughout this expansion, SVI has remained a family-owned business with the core family values still very much at heart.

One of the key values at SVI is community. The company feel fortunate to have grown the business in such a beautiful part of the world and are keen to support the local area where possible.  Of the employees based at the Bradford on Avon HQ, over 98% live locally and wherever possible the company use local suppliers.

Over the past forty years SVI have supported local charities too, including Dorothy House Hospice, Motivation and the Wiltshire Music Centre as well as sponsoring the new science wing at St Laurence School, Bradford on Avon.

At the height of the Covid Pandemic SVI supplied over 2000 gowns to a Bristol hospital which were made by their in-house sewing department.  They also provided several hundred headbands to Hack the Pandemic to be used with their visors.  Furthermore, SVI supported Trussell Trust, a network of foodbanks by using their company vans and drivers to deliver food parcels to The Hub in Bradford on Avon.

Sustainability is also a key focus at SVI.  Being a family run business it’s important to the organisation to take into consideration how it operates ecologically, socially and economically.  The team have worked hard to achieve both the Constructionline and ISO 14001:2015 accreditations.  These accreditations underpin the commitment of the company to protect the environment and prevent pollution.

The company operates several initiatives including, LED light bulbs in all offices, engines with the latest green credentials for their vans, car sharing where possible and recycling stations.  SVI have recently installed four EV charging points for their new Euro 6 vans and will also be installing solar panels over the coming months which will provide power to the offices.  In addition, SVI have opened depots across the country in order to offer a more local service and to help reduce travel.

Sean Noonan, Operations Director at Steve Vick International comments:

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve on our sustainable credentials and it’s not only the sustainability of our organisation that matters, we also include sustainability as a key feature in the design of our products.  Our Hexi Trailer, for example, reduces PE pipe wastage for gas and water companies by up to 20%. Our local Gas distribution network, Wales & West Utilities have reported that use of the Hexi trailers is reducing their carbon footprint by over 400 tonnes per annum – enough carbon to drive a family car two million miles. And our trenchless technologies significantly reduce the amount of spoil that needs to be taken to landfill as our techniques require much smaller trenches to be dug than more traditional methods.  We’re also looking into reducing single use plastics in some of our products and replacing them with sustainable wood, for example the stirrers in some of our foam products”

The staff at SVI are an integral part of the family business and key to the company’s success and future.  A huge proportion of staff have been with SVI for many years including Crock Harrison, the company’s Managing & Development Director, who started as Steve’s apprentice back in 1981.  Other members of staff have equally been with the company for thirty plus years and in 2020 three staff members celebrated their 20th year.

The company strive to treat the team as “one of the family” and offer many benefits to staff as well as training and professional development.  In 2013, SVI were awarded with the ‘Investors in People’ accreditation and were reaccredited for the commendable standard earlier in 2020. During the pandemic the company put in place some additional measures to ensure that staff felt valued and safe.  They introduced flexible working where required, and in the period where people were being asked to work from home, where this wasn’t possible, the company offered flexible shift patterns and smaller working groups.  A safe system of working was introduced which included social distancing, one-way systems around the buildings, PPE and regular lateral flow testing.

The company also acknowledge the importance of mental health and have recently signed up to the Employee Assistance Programme with Health Assured.  The programme offers free 24/7 counselling, legal advice, an online health portal, relationship management support, a management support line and manager support guides.

SVI work with the Wiltshire Employment Support Team which is a supported employment service for young people and adults with special educational needs and disabilities, including autism. Their aim is to support people to find and keep various levels of paid employment.  Steve Vick International currently employ two members of staff under this scheme.  The company also work with Wiltshire College on apprenticeship schemes, from which, two of our current staff have benefited.  It is planned that this scheme will be extended to local universities.

Steve Vick, Chairman at Steve Vick International commented,

“When I started Steve Vick back in 1981 it was a small family business. It gives me great pleasure to see, after 40 years, the huge family it has become. The company is currently embarking on a business strategy focusing on growth and diversification.  I now look forward to the next generation of family and colleagues taking us on to a bright future.”