AirSource operates in several sectors including schools, law courts and football stadiums, as well as office buildings. When Dave and his partners, Andrew and Alex Pinchbeck, started out in 2010, among them the team had a long history in the industry. Andrew focused on the engineering, Alex the sales and Dave managed the business, which matched their skills and experience.
The team set out to differentiate themselves by providing the type of service many large companies find difficult to manage. They were doing what they had done before, namely designing and building air handling units. Being a small firm means you have more time to attend to your customers.
AirSource won their first order within a week of starting. To make the order into a reality, Dave hired three employees, all of whom were unemployed, trained them, and bought a second-hand punching machine to get them going. The new team put the solution together and had invoiced their first £40,000 within twelve weeks of starting up. AirSource outgrew its factory within 18 months, followed by another move into a 13,000 sq ft premises nearby.
Soon, the team realised there was a bigger demand for systems using heat pumps which competitors were not fulfilling. They were already making packaged units that used heat pumps, as well as air handling units. AirSource developed their production to meet the demand. As a result, Andrew, Alex and Dave invested in more into research and development on better compressors and controllers for their systems.
I asked Dave about how the Brexit result would affect them. With the pragmatism of a businessman, Dave said: