This year Janet Waine is on target to achieve £1.2 million turnover at her company, Aqua Safety Showers International.
Janet, who is Managing Director, is currently expanding her assembly line team and will shortly be welcoming her first apprentice. The company is also gradually building up a global distributor network.
Aqua Safety Showers International is very clearly flying the flag, not only for British manufacturing and exporting but also for women in what is still considered to be man’s world.
Janet remains undaunted by the task in hand. Along with head of sales Jen Gerrard, and a comprehensive manufacturing facility based in Greater Manchester, she has already established her company across the UK, supplying most of the water utility companies with safety shower equipment. She is also growing a healthy business in the Middle East, having installed her own sales personnel on the ground, and is shipping out orders across Europe and Asia.
“I have a very clear understanding of what the market requires when it comes to safety showers,” said Janet. “It isn’t just about the end product. You have to be able to recommend and advise operatives working in extreme conditions in the best safety shower solution to suit their worker’s needs.
"It is surprising how many people believe that a safety shower works on the concept of a domestic shower. And when we talk about extreme conditions, we are talking about ensuring safety showers operate in temperatures from plus 60 degrees centigrade down to minus 50 degrees centigrade. You then need to deliver the solution on time and on budget whilst also ensuring clear and constant communication. After that it is important to help customers with advice on installation and maintenance as a safety shower has to work first time every time.
“Every day we deal with different cultures, different certifications, different hazards, and different environments; there is no one-fits-all approach which some competitors offer. We understand the business and the specifications given on different projects.
“We also have the flexibility to adapt or modify our designs whilst still remaining competitive and profitable. This was always the frustration I faced when working within the confines of someone else’s business.”
Aqua Safety Showers International now boasts a comprehensive range of safety shower solutions including self-contained tank showers, mains fed showers, mobile units and stand-alone remote tanks.
The design and manufacturing of the products, which takes place on the premises, is headed by Janet’s engineering husband, Mike.
Janet added: “We actually work well together. Having also spent most of his career working for others, I think he quite likes having a considerable degree of autonomy be able to engineer his ideas into the manufacturing procedures. He is constantly looking at ways to develop our products to better meet the demands of industry.
“One of his latest designs now makes it easy for engineers to test and maintain the water quality in their Tank Showers. We now provide an optional bespoke smaller hinged inspection hatch which allows for simply and easy testing through ‘dipping’. This method can also cut down the time is would normally take to undertake this monthly task.
“The safety of the workforce is paramount so there will always be a need for the provision of safety solutions. The exciting thing is in what future format these solutions will take. Having the control to make my own mark in this industry is very exciting.”