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Entering the global market

Glidepath staff.

In 1983, continuing its push into the global business arena, the company (still known at this stage as Thompson Engineering) entered the United States of America as Glidepath U.S.A.

It had been there for about eight years when Stevens was approached by a Fortune 500 company who were keen on establishing a global ‘materials handling business’. It needed Glidepath to complete its geographic coverage and offered a substantial amount of money for the business.

He accepted, but within three years Glidepath U.S.A. had been run into the ground. The new owners had also added a ‘restraint of trade’ clause to the original sale agreement which meant Stevens was banned from operating in the United States for a period of six years.

While this may have been an issue for some business owners, Stevens turned the situation into a positive. He decided to focus on growing other territories and looked for opportunities in Australia, Asia, South America and Canada. He also changed the New Zealand company name to Glidepath Limited.

By 1990 the Australian and American markets had been well established and the New Zealand factory had been relocated and rebuilt.

Countries with airports using Glidepath.

Fully integrated BHS

The company was designing and implementing fully integrated baggage handling system (BHS) conveyor ranges which also included sortation machinery and devices, all new to the industry at that time.

Glidepath - a section of the BHS.

As well as designing and installing its equipment, Glidepath provides ongoing maintenance and service. Glidepath is committed to offering tailored solutions to suit clients’ needs – from an inbound baggage carousel to a fully integrated system. Along the way, Stevens learned that it is imperative to offer cost effective solutions.

Glidepath has strategically placed operations either at, or close to, the airports where it has projects.

Semi-retiring in 1997, Stevens hired a CEO to take over the running of the company. But after some time he was concerned the company wasn’t expanding into the right markets.

In 2003 he took back the reins, and Glidepath went on to land several contracts in the South East Asian, Chinese, Canadian and South American markets and set up a full service establishment – design, manufacture and installation – in Dallas, Texas.

Read more about Glidepath's journey:

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