Pumping specialists EPS has plans to keep those parts flowing post-Brexit
The company employs 500 people across its plants in Cork, the North and the UK
Patrick Buckley, managing director of EPS in Mallow, Co Cork. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision
“Brexit or no Brexit, people buy from people,” says Patrick Buckley, managing director of water, waste-water and pumping specialists EPS. The firm has an array of contingencies in place to counteract any potential fallout from a hard Brexit.
For more than 20 years EPS has partnered with Global Water Solutions (GWS), the world’s biggest manufacturer of pressure vessels which are used in pumping systems. “We source product from GWS plants in Taiwan and Boston as well as from their distribution warehouse in Preston, England,” says Mr Buckley.
The company employs 500 people across its plants in Mallow, Co Cork, the North and the UK.
The firm has been working with GWS on alternative product supply and routes for shipping into Ireland from its UK warehouse, as well as shipping to EPS companies in England and Northern Ireland from GWS manufacturing plants in Taiwan or Boston.
“We’re also looking at managing currency movements both for euro/pound as well as dollar/pound and euro/dollar,” says Mr Buckley.
He says the company’s competitors are facing the same challenges, including the consequences of whatever tariff is applied following Brexit.
“Our main focus together has been to ensure continuous uninterrupted supply of product to our three businesses and on to our customers, and no price shocks for our customers as a result of any fallout.”
He says a top priority is to “stand behind our customers with sufficient stocks to support them during any uncertain period”.
He also wants to maximise opportunities that he believes will arise as a result of any “unpreparedness amongst competitors”.
“The fallout of Brexit will create an opportunity for us that we intend to avail of to grow our business. The relationships we have developed and continue to develop with customers and partners across the UK are strong, and we will continue to work together in that spirit.”
Peter Teah, general manager of UK and Irish operations for GWS, is also preparing for a hard Brexit through a policy of overstocking.
“We supply EPS, and a lot of major pump companies in the Republic of Ireland, with pressure vessels from the UK...Nobody knows what will happen with Brexit, so we’re advising our customers to overstock.
“We ourselves are overstocking in our UK warehouses. Basically our contingency plan is to overstock on our part, and to strongly advise our customers to buy in extra stock and store it as well.
“However, we have warehouses in Italy and Luxembourg among other parts of the world so we can supply from there to the Republic in the event of any issues arising post-Brexit.”