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Scanprobe is a Kenley-based family-run business specialising in the design, assembly and manufacture of CCTV pipeline inspection systems for the plumbing and drainage industry led by Jon Barry.

It became a McBrides client in October 2019 following the merger with Shea & Co – and so far, so good. “I feel like I’ve already got a great rapport going on with Nick Paterno, and as with Shea & Co., Nick understands that at times he will need to break things down a little bit to help me get my head around it all, after all I’m not the accountant!” says Jon.

The business was founded in 1985 by Jon’s father, Michael, who started his career in the plumbing industry but went on to invent and develop the first in a long line of pipeline inspection systems.

After Michael’s retirement in 2003, Jon became managing director of the business, continuing his father’s innovation and vision creating two new cutting-edge products within just three years of each other – Maxprobe in 2015 and TrapJumper in 2018. The drain camera systems are supplied to individuals as well as national franchises, and are distributed through partners in the US, South African, European and UK markets.

Jon says: “I enjoy the chase of research & development. From the moment an idea has developed into a tangible possibility, I’m driven to see it through to fruition. But that’s only part of it, as I get a great deal of satisfaction seeing our customers become successful, and that our products are contributing to that success. The Maxprobe was born out of me looking at the existing CCTV drainage marketplace and just being a little underwhelmed with the overall offering.”

With a keen interest in disruptive technology, the mina Survey mobile app was developed as Scanprobe’s very own survey reporting software, enabling its customers to perform a pipeline inspection survey and create a full report on their Maxprobe or TrapJumper.

Growing up, Jon wanted to own his own business but hadn’t decided on what that business would be: “The main thing was to be able to leave my mark and to follow on from the work that my Dad did before me. This approach has given me the freedom to lead the way with the company; to bring in specialists and collaborate with them to shape the future. And although it does come with its fair share of stress, I do enjoy being my own boss, both through the testing times and the positives that follow.”

After leaving school, Jon studied electro-mechanical engineering and then joined Scanprobe, but says there was no red carpet laid out for his arrival. “I had to work my way up through the company, gaining experience in many departments along the way. I was keen to do it; it gave me real business insight. Where work was concerned my Dad was all business – every decision he made was for the good of the company, and that remains one of my key takeaways.”

Jon describes himself as a business owner with entrepreneurial spirit. “For me, to be an entrepreneur you need to have built a successful business, sold it, and started again and so on.” He hasn’t been afraid to take calculated risks in order to help the company grow: “I always consider ‘Can we afford to take this risk without jeopardising the long-term future of the business?’”

Thankfully, Scanprobe has weathered the Covid-19 storm, using downtime to update business protocols to ensure the business was able to continue operating in a safe environment.

Jon explains: “I became very process- driven, working closely with our quality and compliance manager to ensure we had considered every aspect to keep our staff and customers safe while keeping the business operational.”

So, what’s next for Scanprobe? Plenty, according to Jon: “We never sit still; ideas are forever bouncing around for new products, services or enhancements.

“It can be high pressure at times, but the thrill of a new product launch is still there, especially when we’re looking to achieve a new, higher level of performance for our industry. I’m excited for what’s on the cards for the coming years.”

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McBrides Chartered Accountants LLP