A global desire for supplier rationalisation and more strategic partnerships has delivered a £4.5m sales boost to the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN).
New customers in the automotive, electronics and energy generation sectors have decided to tap into the single source solution to enjoy greater supply chain security, faster lead times and new technical innovations.
More than 85 new jobs have been created across the nine firms that make up the unique West Midlands-based collective, 20 of whom are apprentices sourced from local schools in the Black Country; Birmingham; Coventry; Stafford; Telford, and Shrewsbury.
Chairman Tony Hague made the announcement on the opening day of Subcon 2015 and comes just a few months before the group celebrates its tenth birthday.
“There has definitely been a move from the OEMs and tier 1s to trim down their supply chains to reduce costs and make them easier to manage. We’ve certainly benefitted from this.”
The Midlands Assembly Network consists of Advanced Chemical Etching; Alucast; Barkley Plastics; Brandauer; Grove Design; Mec Com; Muller Holdings; PP Electrical Systems, and SMT Developments.
Hague continued: “We’ve never come across another MAN, a lot of tried but few seem to arrive on the successful formula we have. I think what makes us tick is the fact we have eight sub-contract manufactures who don’t compete in any way and are all committed to delivering world class manufacturing performance.
“We are completely open with each other, share best practice and, now we have a dedicated design specialist, can take a product from prototype through to small, medium and high volume production.”
Combined, the Network employs more than 700 employees across twelve factories and turnover £70m.
Over the past twelve months, it has invested more than £4m into an array of machinery and new technology, including a new Special Product cell, multi-axis lathe, CNC machines and a new clean room.
“Reshoring is another big opportunity for the Midlands Assembly Network,” continued Hague, who is also MD of PP Electrical Systems.
“There is definitely a growing desire to buy British or bring production back, the latter emanating from concerns about quality, the actual ‘landing part’ price and delays in delivery.”
He concluded: “The majority of our reshore wins have been in automotive, although we are now seeing interest coming from clients in renewables and the medical sector. ‘Made in Britain’ is alive and kicking.”
Clients can work with one, two or all nine members of MAN to meet their manufacturing requirements. This could be resourcing existing components or taking exciting new innovations and turning them into commercial reality, such as Loqski (a new ski locking device) and Pegasus AV Solutions (groundbreaking audio visual mounting system).
MAN also boasts WMG, University of Warwick as an associate member, tapping into its R&D capabilities and facilities to develop new technologies that can be utilised by SMEs.