West & Senior Ltd

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from West & Senior Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


Use of WSL colours in glassfibre
reinforced composites
John Daniels, managing
director and Stephen Senior,
executive chairman
West & Senior Ltd was established in 1952 by
MrHarold West and Mr Robert H Senior and is
still privately owned within the second family
generation. Based in Radcliffe, Manchester, the company’s
main activities include the manufacture and supply of pigment
dispersions and additive blends used in the polymer, rubber
and allied industries. One of the key challenges the company
contends with is fluctuating market conditions, something that
their executive chairman, Mr Stephen R Senior and managing
director Mr John Daniels, describe in greater detail in the
following piece.
Our company has been a profit-sharing organisation since 1977, which is paid
to all employees as a quarterly bonus, assuming of course that the company is
profitable. This encourages all employees to be continuously involved with the
performance of the company throughout the year rather than at the end of a
financial year only. To keep all of the company “in the loop”, the incoming and
future sales pattern – the “state of play” – is shared with all on a weekly basis.
As a result, there was a sales turnover of £14.4 million in 2017/18, which
constitutes in excess of 12 percent increase on the previous year with an expectant
figure of over £15.0 million in 2018/19. WSL now supply globally to over 37
countries and export exceeds 55 per cent of the total sales.
»Managing director: John Daniels
»Established in 1952
»Based in Radcliffe, Manchester
»Services: Digital online custom
colour matching service and
colour concentrates
»No. of employees: more than 60
»A profit-sharing company,
everyone in the business
receives a bonus quarterly,
assuming a profit is made
»A second-generation privately-
owned business
»Exports to over 37 different
countries globally
West & Senior
Highlighting best practice
Digital colour matching systems
and specific colour ranges
West & Senior Ltd manufacture colour
concentrates and additives for bespoke
multi-polymer systems and coatings,
providing custom colour shades along
with complex tinting systems that can
be used in graphics for the polymer
film market. Applications where our
products can be found are, among
other places, the logos on aircraft
and car wrapping applications. This
is the high-tech end of our business,
and with recent investment we have
been able to provide online colour
matching – “iMatch” – which in
particular supports the export market.
Our tinting systems are also used in the
flooring industry – these can be PVC
sheet or high-build epoxy coatings.
Understanding the market
At West & Senior, we are constantly
striving to improve our processes
and products to reflect the changing
demands of the many markets
for which we produce. We have
developed our products and our
technical ability over many years,
and are now recognised globally as a
leading supplier in the industry.
The foundation of our success is our
customer focus: we work closely
with suppliers and end users to
understand clients’ requirements and
provide the ideal solution at a realistic
cost. We have dedicated personnel
within the sales, production and R&D
departments to provide comprehensive
customer service and support.
Technical assistance is provided
to customers throughout product
development and in troubleshooting
during production.
Manufacturing: highlighting
best practice
The bulk of our production is direct
company-to-company, and we have a
remarkable client base which includes
many multinational companies and
household names. We have been
very successful in achieving sole
supplier status with many of these
companies. Being able to show that
we have the best technical expertise,
the best response times and security
of supply has been instrumental in
Along with the direct sales, we have
also established long-term “market-
specific partners” for distributing
products around the world.
iMatch online digital
colour matching has
significantly improved
technical support
An example of WSL’s
colourants in the hi- tech
car wrapping application
WSL now
globally as a
leading supplier
in the industry
West and Senior: past, present
and future
In keeping up to date with all the
responsibilities that a manufacturing
company needs to adhere to, we
are members of the British Coatings
Federation (BCF) and the British
In the 66 years of the company’s history,
the financial crash of 2008/9 was one
of the most financially challenging.
However, ten years on, we have
improved productivity with investments
in new equipment that have provided
greater efficiencies. More recent
challenges have been fluctuations in
exchange rate. Thankfully, though,
we sell and purchase in all three major
currencies, which helps offset some of
2007 Registration, Evaluation,
Authorisation and Restriction of
Chemicals (REACH) is a European
Union Regulation. It’s 849 pages
took seven years to pass, and it has
been described as the most complex
legislation in the Union’s history, as
well as the most important in 20 years.
It is the strictest law to date regulating
chemical substances and involves
industries throughout the world.
REACH entered into force on June
1, 2007. As a responsible SME, we
at West & Senior Ltd conform to the
requirements of REACH and regularly
attend European and UK government-
led forums relating to the evolution
and implementation of REACH – this
is still an ongoing process. Ultimately,
the recognition of our professional
approach to this legislation has
made the company more successful
In 2014, moreover, we were included
in the inaugural list of the “Top1,000
Companies to inspire Britain” as
published by The London Stock
Exchange Group. We continue to
develop and supply colour systems in
new geographical territories.
2016 saw the company being awarded
the new ISO 9001:2015 and ISO
14001:2015 standards; indeed, we
were one of the first companies in the
UK to achieve both the new standards.
In 2017, West & Senior was cited as
a company that has assisted the UK
Health & Safety Executive develop
and publish documents for the UK
chemicals industry.
2018 investment in upgrading our
current IT systems is well under way
and expected to be in place for the
start of 2019. It is paramount that
we have a smooth transition from
the old to the new, with over 40,000
formulations to manage.
Suffice it to say, the future is bright
and colourful.
In 2014 WSL
nominated as
one of the
Companies to
inspire Britain
Over forty thousand
formulations created
since company was


This article was sponsored by West & Senior Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.