PWC ‘Changing Times’ – A Traditional Business with Technology at its Heart
Ulster Carpets was delighted to be included in the latest article by PWC ‘Changing Times’.
Next year, Ulster Carpets will celebrate 80 years of carpet manufacturing. Dedicated to producing the finest axminster and wilton products, to this day the family owned company remains committed to the original Ulster ethos based on growth and development. Whilst tough trading and financial periods have seen many of their competitors move their operations abroad, Ulster’s long term strategy and proactive business approach has enabled them to withstand the crisis and ensure all wilton and axminster manufacturing remains within the UK and Ireland. From the buying and processing of the wool in Ulster Yarns in Dewsbury, to the winding, dyeing and weaving at the Castleisland site in County Armagh, Ulster have control over every aspect of the process ensuring the quality of the carpet is of the highest standard.
People are at the heart of Ulster Carpets and it is the passion and dedication of its employees that sets them apart from the competition. Continuous demand for their products around the world, combined with expansion into new export markets has led to a recent increase in employment levels with 20 new jobs being created, providing a welcome boost to the local economy. Each year Ulster also runs a graduate scheme, taking on students across all areas of the business including design, sales, engineering and operations.
Technology and innovation is part of the Ulster Carpets’ ethos. Their patented PSYLO™ technology, which allows designers to use a superior number of colours without the need for a repeating pattern, has enabled them to become a market leader in the manufacturing of bespoke Axminster designs for the hospitality, cruise liner and casino markets. To date they have supplied some of the world’s most famous venues including the Ritz Paris, The Regent Fleet Seven Seas Explorer and the Burj Arab Hotel in Dubai.
In addition, investment in infrastructure plays a huge role in their growth and development. As part of a £35 million regeneration of all woven manufacturing facilities at their Northern Ireland headquarters, last year saw the completion of a brand new state-of-the-art Dye House and Energy Centre, designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce the company’s carbon footprint. The remaining phases of the redevelopment will be rolled out in the coming years.
Nick Coburn, Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman commented:
“Ulster’s continued focus on innovation and investment has enabled us to grow and maintain our competitive advantage. We are a family owned, but professionally managed business committed to operating as a vertically integrated, self-sufficient company in order to maximise our control over the entire manufacturing process. This will ensure we continue to strengthen our position as a premium carpet brand in the years to come.”