Design Network North member Succorfish started with a passion for surfing on Tynemouth's coast - and is now a company with products in 27 nations.
Back in 2008, Chad Hooper, keen surfer and now MD at Succorfish, was on a search for a robust tracker for jetskis. He enjoyed towsurfing, a sport that involves towing a surfer with a jetski at high speeds.
Jetskis are expensive, hard to keep track of and a target for thieves. He needed an Machine 2 Machine tracker, that was able to withstand the harsh conditions of the northern coastline and could pin point his jetski’s location accurately. Even the most robust trackers on the market weren’t strong enough - so he built his own.
This invention became Succorfish's pioneer product: SC1, and quickly went from a tracker designed for personal use – to a globally renowned product. Succorfish were inundated with orders from the marine industry, particularly from coastguards who were looking to track the whereabouts of marine assets. The system used advanced GPS satellite technology to monitor mobile assets to within two metres worldwide regardless of location, terrain or application, and allowed clients to accurately record location, show asset movement in real time via a secure online graphical interface, receive an anti-hijack alert if moved without consent, remotely switch the engine off, demonstrate final location and save money through investment. One client, within the first few days of using the SC1, was able to recover more than £1.5m worth of stolen equipment.
They soon got to work on the SC1’s successor - the SC2. It's capable of monitoring and controlling not just marine, but land and tactical assets in the most remote and challenging environments anywhere in the world. It can also provide users an accurate location within a two metre radius. Being able to track and trace your assets gives users the information needed to make the right decisions. This can be vital in urgent situations. What started as a jetski tracker has become so much more.
With so much success in tracking assets, Succorfish have moved onto tracking personnel – and have created a potentially life-saving product. SC4 is a personal device that protects staff working in hostile environments. It can withstand extreme temperatures and allows an organisation to track and contact their personnel, as well as alert the necessary services should their staff member find themselves in danger. A lifesaving device that can be used on land, sea or underwater.
Design Network North has been supporting Succorfish on their journey to success. Design Network North is part of RTC North's new programme called 'Designing Better Business' - launched in 2016 - which provides funding and support to north east businesses.
Succorfish’s products are now in use by marine, forestry, mining and military organisations - a variety of clients but who all have a need to protect their assets, mine data and work safely in dangerous conditions.
With stars of hit TV show Trawler Men singing Succorfish’s praises, it is little wonder their organisation is continuing to grow. Starting out with just one - there are now twelve members of staff with plans to recruit more.
'Designing Better Business' has been developed to help you place design and innovation at the heart of your business.
Whether understanding customer needs, generating new ideas, improving internal processes or ensuring design is adding value to your business proposition, this programme offers a blended service to help you make innovation happen.
'Designing Better Business' is part funded by European Regional Development Fund, as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.