Marking a Golden Milestone
Half a century ago Trevor Nickson completed his 5 year apprenticeship with ICI with the prospect of a long career ahead of him at a company providing great opportunities for promotion and skills development, a path many of his colleagues and friends alike were choosing to take. After achieving his engineering qualifications he was promoted to the company’s design offices and this is where he saw a gap in the marketplace for companies who provided good quality design services. As Trevor wanted a greater challenge than his nine to five routine, he decided to take the momentous step of going it alone. With plenty of common sense but no contacts and little financial support some may have questioned his decision but with good health and plenty of determination the risk had to be taken.
As the months went by working an eighteen hour day, seven day week, a breakthrough occurred in October 1959 with the chance of a small project for about 3 months for three people with a UK manufacturing company in the North West. The next job was to recruit three suitable candidates to carry out this important task for DATS first and only client, Metal Box in Speke. Local adverts were placed in the Liverpool Echo on the Friday evening and on a routine Saturday visit to the offices in Liverpool, Trevor was confronted with a line of individuals stretching from the ground floor to the rented offices on the third floor. The shock that they were all responding to the advert was the realisation that business life had begun and life would never be the same again. Forty five people were interviewed that morning with at least half suitable for the work in hand.
This became the bedrock of DATS first database with many of those early applicants still working for company some twenty or thirty years later.
DATS original focus was to meet industry’s need for a flexible but specialist design resource. Five decades on this is still a key part of the business as DATS has continued to match people and skills through diverse and specialist industry knowledge. Over the years DATS has responded to changes in client requirements and market trends by introducing new industry divisions and disciplines to their portfolio of skills. Still operating out of the North West of England, DATS partner many industries throughout the UK and overseas in providing innovative and flexible solutions.
Last year Dixon Stewart Associates became a specialist division of DATS, resourcing management roles within distribution, supply chain and logistics. Whilst Dixon Stewart continues to resource executive level positions, DATS now utilise their expertise to develop the Supply Chain and Logistics Division which will embrace a broader spectrum of roles within the sector.
DATS remains a privately-owned company; Stephen Nickson, Trevor’s son, is Managing Director and brothers-in-law Simon Hancock and John McMullan are directors (see left). Although Trevor retired a number of years ago, he still has a keen interest in the business and remains on the board of directors.
Stephen Nickson comments, “DATS are proud of the reputation we have earned for providing an excellent service. Many of our clients are long standing and have been with us in excess of 10 years. Locations, company names and fashions may have changed over the past 50 yeas but our core philosophy of building client relationships and providing a focussed, quality recruitment service remains the same. I firmly believe this has been at the root of DATS success and will continue to take us onto the next milestone”.
DATS will be marking this golden milestone by celebrating with clients and staff.