The Industrial Revolution never reached Ireland, and that led to the Irish business community taking a different evolutionary path than its neighbours, according to Simon Wilkins, Business Development Director for Country Meath-based Timoney.
Speaking to MT during Eurosatory 2016 in Paris this week, Wilkins gave ample evidence of the fact that Timoney – a niche specialist systems engineering company focused on ‘everything below the hull’ of a tactical or armoured vehicle – has embraced that alternative destiny and is addressing its future market both aggressively and successfully.
“We specialise in complex, high specification and rapid development of very small numbers – one to five off of a system,” he states. “Production becomes the province either of our strategic partners or our customers: it really doesn’t make sense for us to try to compete on price, which is what competition for volume production comes down to. Far better for us to win on value.”
Since there is no domestic market for Timoney, the company’s entire revenue derives from exports. And – although just five years ago observers were predicting the death of the armoured vehicle industry, Wilkins is sanguine about the future. “We were the best thing that nobody knew about to begin with, but we have succeeded in getting our message out. And that message is – we can provide value and benefit across a range of interrelated issues from advanced independent suspension design to technology licensing,” he says.
That philosophy has led to a number of successes in which excellence in the systems engineering process has been accompanied by a canny approach to transferring or licensing technology to the user – a policy that has paid significant dividends as ‘new blood’ seeks to enter the armoured vehicle design, development and manufacturing market. “We’ve pretty much become the ‘go to’ people for heavy 8x8 [wheeled vehicles],” Wilkins observes.