The two founders of Storth Ltd, a well-recognised slurry management company, are Chris Richardson and Alan Looker both of which had no choice but to set up a new business in 1999 to enable them to continue working in this industry as their previous employer Malgar went into administration.
Alan had worked with Malgar for 25 years gaining a wealth of knowledge & experience, ranging from fabrication, installation, parts and service and becoming a Departmental Manager. Chris who was with Malgar for 11 years worked on the installation & service sector. Both of them had gained great experience in the farming industry and the installation and servicing of equipment.
Having bought their first van for Chris to commence servicing the equipment, Alan started fabricating parts for the automatic scraper systems in a small shed in Alan’s dad’s back yard. Soon it was apparent that the service side needed more help and within the first six months they employed an experienced work colleague who again also had 20 years’ experience in the installation and service side of scraper systems. They then had two service vans to keep customers happy as service is a key factor with automatic scrapers. Soon, customers were asking if they could make a full hydraulic scraper system as they had all the knowledge of what a system needs to be on the farm and what the farmer wanted. Alan started to design the full hydraulic scraper system in the small workshop and it was installed locally, modified and developed to provide the system Storth sells today.
Feedback from farmers are an important factor in developing existing and new products as this helps to continually improve products and services. Research & development of the scraper sector continued and automatic scrapers, pro rope scrapers and chain scraper systems were added to the range.
Chris soon identified their scraper system was unique to the market place as they had developed a scraper system with no ram box which none of their competitors had at that time. Chris then travelled all over the UK promoting the unique scraper system and developing business relationships and increasing the customer base. Demand was fantastic and additional personnel were employed for the workshop. After two years, Storth had a request to manufacture a Lagoon Mixer which proved a great success as they built it much stronger than available at the time in the market.
In 2003 both products were taken to the Royal Show and the Royal Welsh Show. The outcome was extremely positive and had a great response to British manufactured products. In 2004 they purchased some land and built a new 75ft x 40ft workshop. This allowed more space to match the demand from the farming sector for additional products to assist with slurry management. The development of pump products increased interest greatly. Alan had designed a pump which was well received and demand grew from strength to strength. Expansion of the workshop was required as space was running out. An extension was built to the workshop, doubling its size to 150ft x 40ft, and the staff numbers also increased to 12 by 2005.
The company was moving forward and this was a result of Chris and Alan’s hard work: 7 days a week and 14-hour days became a regular occurrence. The company continued developing and improving products which we see today, with over 20 products on the market there is now three workshops and a staff of 48 FTE. We also attend over 25 shows/exhibitions per year in the UK and abroad. Our sales team has grown from just Chris to an additional six personnel providing global coverage, all having experience & knowledge of the farming industry, enabling them to provide excellent support and advice to the farmers, network of dealers and AD plant managers regarding waste management solutions.
Over the last three years, Storth commenced exporting their quality products to various countries including New Zealand & Canada. Sales Director Chris Richardson sees great potential in the export market without losing focus on the UK market as this is the largest and most important market place for Storth. The company would not be here without the support of UK farmers and without their loyalty to British manufacturers stories like ours would disappear.
Providing quality products supported by great customer service
The experience and the flexibility in our quality manufacturing processes enables us to meet the demands of today’s modern farmers and contractors alike by providing quality products supported by great customer service. Storth strives to continually develop their waste management systems which include a range of products suitable to the industrial, water and Anaerobic Digestion market sectors.