Durham-based business and IT consultancy Waterstons has experienced exceptional growth with a six-fold profit increase in the last year, recruiting a further 25 staff over the same period.
The business which has been trading for 22 years now employs 105 staff across two locations; its head office in Belmont Business Park, Durham and an office near St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Originally from Northumberland, Waterstons’ chief executive Susan Bell began her career as an analyst and programmer who reached the position of executive director of UBS Investment Bank in the City, a Swiss bank that employed more than 80,000 staff globally, before returning to the region.
She said: “The growth has been sustained through the company’s ability to achieve repeat business and glowing recommendations as a result of delivering excellent customer service through a partner-led approach to its customers, who come to respect our honest and uncompromising advice.
“We are always looking out for excellent people and now that the business is enjoying growth at a rate of 13 per cent, enabling it to reach a turnover this year of £7.2m, recruitment has become even more of a priority.”
She said: “The culture of this company is to be ambitious and instil this ambition in our people but this is always balanced with a need for transparency in the advice we give; we never compromise on this. The long term business case for any given situation will always outweigh any short term gain, financial or otherwise.
“We are aiming to expand the business; we already operate throughout the UK with consultants working remotely if necessary with customers located across the country. One of our immediate priorities is to help fuel growth through recruitment.”
The business was founded 22 years ago by Sally and Mike Waterston and Susan attributes the company’s success to its unique culture.
Susan said: “There is a culture of trust and empowerment that separates us from most other companies; as an organisation we like to challenge both our own people and our customers to get the very best result. The vision, drive and values the company instils in all that it does with employees and clients alike were so compelling I felt I just had to join Waterstons four years ago.”
It’s a formula that has worked in terms of the business’ success over such a long period and one of the reasons behind the startling growth in profit over the last 12 months.
“We have partnered with all the region’s higher educational establishments, we have worked across the architectural, engineering and construction sector; ports, airports and logistics are another key area but our biggest sector in terms of turnover is manufacturing.
“This breadth of sectors puts the business in a very strong position without an over-reliance on one market.
“We encourage everyone in this business to think big; this is achieved by getting the best out of the team through continuous personal development, progressive training and engaging them with challenging projects in an enjoyable way on a daily basis. We want people to look forward to coming to work.
“We offer our customers the full breadth of our services that include three key areas of focus. One we call Transformation which has a focus on using technology to improve business performance; Bespoke which uses our team of very clever software developers to solve tricky problems and interpret data no matter how complex, and Technology which is the provision, installation and management of technology for any given business circumstance.”
Waterstons was recently awarded Investors in People Gold for the third consecutive time.
“We want to attract and invest in the best people whether through our graduate and intern programmes where we draw on the established relationships we have with the region’s universities, or hearing from more experienced professionals.
“However we are approached we are always looking for those who can demonstrate an inquisitive nature toward technology, intellectual breadth and a keen commercial awareness. We don’t have sales people; we have consultants who solve problems.”
The company is holding a recruitment open evening event on Wednesday 5 October from 4pm until 7pm. No registration is required; simply turn up on the day at Waterstons, Belmont Business Park, Durham, DH1 1TW.