People & Skills  

Growth on the horizon for unique manufacturing network

A nine-strong collective of world class manufacturing businesses, the Midlands Assembly Network is embarking on a major expansion in 2013, securing contracts worth £7.5m and creating almost 150 jobs
 The power of the Midlands Assembly Network

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With the launch of a new website, the Midlands Assembly Network is looking to achieve both domestic and overseas growth, an endeavour supported by the appointment of a dedicated Business Development Manager.

MAN Chairman and Managing Director of PP Electrical Systems, Tony Hague explained:

“There’s a lot of negative talk about manufacturing output slowing down and if we’re not careful we’ll talk ourselves into another recession.

“We recognise how tough it is out there, but we prefer to be positive and look at what we can do to seek out and exploit new opportunities. Talking across the nine firms in the Group, there is definitely a sense of new projects starting after months of prep work.”

Hague continued:

“With what we’ve got planned, I would expect us to add £7.5 million of sales in 2013 and this should lead to nearly 150 jobs – some of whom will be apprentices. It’s important we create that pipeline of future engineers.

“We’ll also be looking to invest over £2 million to aid this expansion. This will involve new machinery, training programmes and the continued introduction of lean processes.”

Established in 2006, the MAN comprises Advanced Chemical Etching, Alucast, Brandauer, Barkley Plastics, FW Cables, Mec-Com, PP Electrical Systems, SMT Developments and Westley Engineering.

Each offer a different engineering solution, ranging from high volume precision pressings, electrical control systems and tooling, to PCB assembly, wire harnesses, specialist fabrication and injection moulding.

Combined, MAN boasts 10 world class manufacturing facilities, employs nearly 550 highly skilled professionals and holds a variety of industry quality accreditations, such as TS16949, AS9100, UL508 and SC21.

Hague added:

“In order to support our expansion, we have invested heavily in the new website, which provides everything you need to know about MAN, the companies involved and what we do. This provides us with a global platform when pitching for new work.

“The appointment of Steve Gaston as our first ever dedicated Business Development Manager is another major step forward. He has been involved in manufacturing for more than 40 years and with the Group since it first started.

“He will be charged with sourcing new leads, building relationships with strategic partners and making in-roads into key sectors, including automotive, aerospace and energy.”

Gaston, who began his career as an apprentice for Jaguar in 1969, concluded:

“Traditionally, most of our leads have come through existing relationships or attending events – we’ve never had a dedicated resource and strategic approach to generating sales before.

“We’ve already identified the first three sectors we’re going after and we have a number of new client visits already in the diary. 2013 is going to be an exciting year.”

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