Gesipa UK celebrates its 50th anniversary

As Gesipa UK celebrates 50 years in the fastener and fixing industry, Diana Scholefield, Managing Director, gives Torque Magazine a sneak peek into the company’s celebrations...

In 1955, a small company named “GESellschaft für Internationale PAtentverwertung” (International Patent Utilization Company) was founded in Germany. The company’s production then went global in 1971, with the Gesipa UK production site being founded alongside a production site in Brazil.

Originally starting with just five employees, Gesipa UK has since seen huge growth and moved on from making tools to rivets and threaded fasteners and has this year celebrated its 50th anniversary in the fixing and fastener industry.

As a group, Gesipa the division typically has an annual meeting where all market organisations come together and meet in February. The group had planned to celebrate the anniversary altogether in Keighley. Unfortunately, due to current restrictions surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a pizza party was off the cards and Gesipa had to find a new way to celebrate.

Diana Scholefield, Managing Director at Gesipa UK, says: “We had big plans for this year and that was obviously put to bed. We had the international meeting virtually where we had a ‘Gesipa UK through the years’ presentation showing how and where it all started. It was nothing like what we had planned or wanted it to be, but it was a way of celebrating.

“Things like this are an achievement and we want to celebrate that milestone with our employees who are part of that, and who drive this business.”

To celebrate the 50‐year anniversary, the company also received a sculpture made by a British sculptor which was presented to Scholefield during the meeting with employees. She says: “It is absolutely beautiful, and it is going to go in our reception next to our dragon made of fasteners. We absolutely love it.”

As many companies have had to navigate through the storm that has been Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic,
employee safety and customer satisfaction has been at the forefront of Gesipa’s mind.

“Our biggest concern was keeping our employees safe. It was a very uncertain time and like nothing I had ever experienced before. We stopped certain production sections for a short period, and you don’t realise that the machines aren’t running until you hear the silence. It was also a constantly moving landscape but being members of Make UK was very useful as they kept us very up to date with the government schemes and advised. We worked closely with our Supply Chain to ensure that we could supply our customers that were still running. It was a very stressful and uncertain time, but we are all here and healthy.”

The company plans to spend the next 12 months managing Brexit and the challenges that it will bring. “We need to ensure that we make it as simple as possible for our customers outside of the UK to continue to work with us. We are also continually improving our process and it is great to see the outcomes of these improvements,” says Scholefield.

“It has been a huge administrative job that we were not prepared for – not through our own fault but I don’t think anybody knew the impact it was going to have,” she adds.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we hope that maybe October time we can bring our employees together and celebrate, but we won’t be bringing people together until we know it’s safe. We hope to continue to grow and who knows where we are going to end up. It’s quite exciting and here’s to the next 50 years!”

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