A £500k investment drive is helping an award-winning Black Country manufacturer achieve the best year in its history.
A&M EDM Ltd, a specialist in wire erosion and spark eroding, is celebrating after a string of recent contracts wins has put it on course for a £1.5m turnover and seen its workforce grow by 33%.
Backed by support from Manufacturing Advisory Service – West Midlands, the Smethwick-based company has defied all odds to successfully build a broad customer base in the automotive, domestic goods and jewellery sectors, with plans already in place to secure new business in the buoyant aerospace arena.
Managing Director Mark Wingfield, who, along with Arthur Watts, started the business in 2002 with just £17,000, picked up the story:
“2006 was a great year and saw us make some massive strides in improving our operational performance and in our ability to win new work. There was also the small matter of refurbishing our facility in Mornington Road to consider as well!
“New markets and, in particular the aerospace sector, were also a priority for us, as we knew we possessed the skills and the capacity required to work within demanding environments.”
He went on to add: “We immediately signalled our intentions by successfully securing the industry quality standard AS/EN9100, but rather than stopping there, we decided to carry on and go for the sector’s top accreditation - NADCAP.”
A&M EDM tapped into the experience and external advice of MAS-WM’s LiftOff project, which helped it to formalise its robust quality system and implement the specialist inspection and traceability processes expected in the aerospace industry.
The results were immediate, with the NADCAP worldwide quality standard achieved against a backdrop of cost savings and increased efficiencies.
“This is a real statement of intent and puts us in serious contention to deal direct with tier one suppliers...in fact, we are probably only a few weeks away from landing a host of new contacts,” explained Mark, who is a passionate advocate of West Midlands’ manufacturing.
“The support we received has accelerated our development and we are continuing to improve through our involvement with the LiftOff-funded BURCASS Supply Chain Improvement Programme, which aims to increase communication and fine tune processes even further.”
Iain Robertson, MAS-WM Specialist Manufacturing Advisor, added his backing:
“There is a real ‘can do’ feel about the company and this is reflected from the senior management team right down to the shopfloor, where staff are continually looking at ways of improving the way the business operates.
“A lot of competitors have fallen by the wayside, but A&M EDM has come through stronger than ever before, thanks mainly to a diverse client base that includes manufacturing bullets for the Ministry of Defence and specialist products for the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.
“The emphasis now is on increasing its presence in the aerospace sector and, having signed up to SC21, all the ingredients are there to make sure this Black Country success story keeps on going.”
Established in 2002, MAS-WM has helped over 3,800 manufacturing companies to improve manufacturing efficiencies, adding £97m to the turnover of these businesses in the process.
Going forward, it will look to maximise its relationship with the new Business Link West Midlands service to make sure even more companies can access its unique mix of in-depth support and strategic assistance.