Technological Solutions Limited: 20 years of building business success through applied technology
Effectively combining science and business, for the past 20 years Technological Solutions Limited (TSL) has been revolutionising food safety and quality control systems, not just in Jamaica, but across the Caribbean region.
Led by managing director Dr Andre Gordon, from its headquarters at the Trade Centre, Red Hills Road, St Andrew, TSL has built an impressive operation throughout the Caribbean, providing multi-tier services to the productive sector, with a strong focus on supporting businesses that operate in the international market.
"We typically help our clients to improve their exports, get into new markets, design efficient facilities, equip their plants and train their staff in a manner to allow them to produce at optimum efficiency in keeping with best practices around the world," shared Gordon.
"At the end of the day, we help Jamaican companies and companies throughout the region to be able to compete sustainably in the international market."
Formed in 1996 out of what was GraceKennedy's Grace Technology Centre, TSL is in fact "the only company of its kind, because the mix of skills and services that we offer would normally be done by multiple companies," Gordon noted.
Range of services
TSL's comprehensive range of services include audits and assessments; laboratory testing and analysis; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) implementations; research; training; product development; planning; logistics; plant design, upgrade and construction; creating and implementing food safety and quality control systems; and helping companies get their products into new markets.
Building business success through applied technology, the company is heralded as the experts in food safety and thermal processing.
"Our laboratory provides cutting-edge services that you can't get anywhere else. In many cases when companies have needs that they can't get anywhere locally, we will develop and adopt a protocol to provide them with that service, and we have been doing that for 20 years," said Gordon.
He shared that it has been a long and hard 20-year journey, with several financial challenges, but they have managed to grow fairly rapidly by finding the right formula.
"The fact is that in Jamaica, it's hard to make money out of science, because companies really don't see the value of it. But we created a winning formula by effectively applying scientific and business knowledge, bringing the two together to create wealth for our clients," Gordon stated.
"We also believe in working with good people, being very selective in who we hire. We also try to ensure that we are always straightforward with our clients; always make sure we consistently succeed at what we do; and employ appropriate technology. Our mission is to ensure that our clients, goods and services are able to be sustainably competitive in any market in which they choose to compete."
He added: "We worked very hard to dominate in the space we operate, not just in Jamaica. Today, there is hardly any client you will find who will say, 'I went to TSL with a problem and it wasn't solved'."
TSL's impressive list of clientele spans the Caribbean, United States, Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa.
"What really gives us a lot of pleasure is that companies that have been with us for 20 years remain with us. They started with us from the beginning, and we have helped them to grow, get into new markets, in some cases acquire new customers, and they have never left us," the managing director said.
"And then we have the newer companies, including international entities, that have come on board over the years."
He continued, "The greatest accolades that we treasure are the continued business from our customers and the expanded business, and as we always tell them 'our job is to help you grow and expand'. So when they are growing and expanding, and they continue to have us be a part of that, that is one of the greatest accolades.
"Several companies forever express their gratitude for what TSL has done to help them get to this stage and make significant strides in the export market."
Gordon is proud of the fact that TSL has been pioneers in the field of food safety.
"TSL was instrumental in introducing proper food safety protocols to the Caribbean. In fact, many of Jamaica's laws on HACCP systems, food safety guidelines and regulations are the direct results of the work of TSL. A lot of what TSL has created has been adopted by a lot of persons and companies, and they don't even know it came from us. As they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery," he proudly declared.
"We will continue to constantly raise the bar in keeping with the trends that are happening internationally."
TSl's OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS FOR 2015
Gordon said in 2015 TSL did a lot of new and different things. The company's outstanding accomplishments include:
• Successfully upgrading its laboratory's quality system by attaining ISO 17025 accreditation;
• Preventing the unwarranted and potentially brand-damaging nationwide recall of a major Jamaican export in a major export market;
• Effective assistance to a major exporter in opening a market for new product requiring challenging scientific validation of the product/production method;
• Providing critical support to the successful roll-out of Lasco Affiliated Companies' breakout ICool line of beverages;
• Successfully implementing a new retail audit programme for a major international client, covering the Caribbean from Bermuda to Suriname;
• Designing and delivering a regional technical upgrading, support and systems implementation programme for an international customer that resulted in an significant increase in compliance with basic standards from less than 20 per cent of suppliers to 60 per cent of suppliers;
• Publishing Food Safety and Quality Systems in Developing Countries, Volume I: Export Challenges and Implementation Strategies by Academic Press (Elsevier), the first of a three-volume series highlighting the sophistication of Jamaica's approach to food safety and quality systems, as well as the science and TSL's role in it for a global audience;
• Delivering a major paper on Food Safety at the International Association of Food Protection's Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon;
• Being awarded the Jamaica Exporters' Association Export Services Category II Champion;
• Being awarded the Jamaica Exporters' Association Service Award; and
• Achieving 40 per cent growth in laboratory services business.