Investment pays off in new contracts for engineering firm
A Black Country precision engineering firm is reaping the benefits of a major investment programme after landing new contracts in automotive, aerospace, F1 and for parts for automation equipment.
A&M EDM, which employs 58 people across its two sites in Smethwick, is heading towards £5m turnover for the first time in its 15-year history after setting its sights on supplying high value, high performance components, including the development of engines for unmanned vehicles.
Support from the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) has also helped it to identify improvements in its marketing activity, strategy and the implementation of a new environmental system that is shortly to lead to ISO:14001 accreditation.
“We’ve come a long way since I started the business a few doors down, with just two people and a few machines,” said Mark Wingfield, managing director.
“Over the past 15 years we have grown into the UK’s largest commercial EDM (electrical discharge machining) wire and spark erosion specialist, an achievement that we have built on by adding CNC machining and toolmaking design and manufacturing services.”
He said the scrutiny applied by MGP led to a new action plan that focused on its approach to customer relationships, strategy and digital marketing.
“It also highlighted the need to secure the ISO:14001 environmental accreditation so that we could tender for larger contracts with the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce and Marston Aerospace,” he added.
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The MGP supported the firm’s work with Enki-Environmental, which helped the management team develop systems that measured environmental impact and ensured all waste streams were minimised.
This led to a new recycling strategy, re-using scrap wire in production and the installation of LED lighted to reduce energy costs and improve the working environment.
Helen Fortune, manufacturing growth manager at MGP, added: “A&M EDM is an innovative, cutting-edge business that is keen to seek external assistance to help it get even better and unlock growth.
“We have identified a number of areas it could improve on and the management team and workforce have embraced them, developing and rolling out a robust environmental management system in just a few months.”
The next stage in the plan is to develop a digital marketing strategy, which will see the MGP working with A&M to visually convey its precision engineering credentials to target new customers.
The MGP, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions (EGS), is promising to fill the void left by the demise of the Manufacturing Advisory Service by providing access to specialist advisors to help manufacturers to grow and improve.