Famed US Business Thinker Lauds NZ Anchor Company
Fourth generation family sea anchor business WA Coppins, a Port of Nelson-based company, has made a big splash with one of the world’s most influential business thinkers, American author Tom Peters.
Peters, author of the bestselling Search of Excellence, listed WA Coppins, which has been working with the US Navy producing para sea anchors, as one of New Zealand’s most impressive companies.
Peters said WA Coppins, established in 1898, was an example of how New Zealand SMEs can follow the lead of Germany’s Mittelstand (medium sized enterprises) to drive economic growth.
“WA Coppins is a class of company that can be aspired to by many Kiwi firms,” he said.
“They demonstrate that you don’t have to be in software or biotech to be ‘sexy’.”
The company, run by Motueka local Bill Coppins, employs 18 staff in peak season, and has become the world’s leading maker of underwater parachute sea anchors. The technology stabilises large vessels as heavy as 240 tonnes in stormy sea conditions.
WA Coppins has been working with the US Navy for seven years and has several other “highly classified” contracts for military equipment. It also has confidential contracts with international defence supplier BAE Systems.
WA Coppins is now working with Norwegian company Miko Marine, to produce the sea anchors and deployment systems for its new Sea Arrestor technology.
Sea Arrestors are a safety mechanism that are helicoptered to stranded or distressed vessels to stop them drifting or capsizing at sea.
Original story by Emma Rawson, Stuff, March 30, 2014.
Photo by WA Coppins.