A LEADING South Tyneside company has scooped a top prize for its export success.
Ford, which includes Ford Aerospace and Ford Component Manufacturing Ltd, received the Highly Commended certificate inthe regional Outstanding Export category of the prestigious EEF Future Manufacturing Awards.
Judges hailed the company’s achievement in improving its processes and up-skilling staff in preparation for the challenges of breaking into the booming Chinese and Indian markets, which Ford has now achieved.
The judges were also impressed with the latest ambitious plans by the precision parts manufacturer to target new business in the rapidly growing and sought-after markets of Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and Russia. Ford was also chosen as a finalist in two categories in the national and highly- coveted The Manufacturer magazine awards – SME Manufacturer of the Year and The ICT Award – for work the company has carried out to improve its shopfloor and manufacturing processes.
Ford managing director, Mark Podmore, said: “To do so well at the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards is tremendous praise of the talents of staff at Ford, including those in our dedicated export team, who worked hard to implement the detailed export strategy needed to expand.
“The strategy underpins our progression into new and exciting markets, and is continuing to drive us forward.
“I’m also delighted that Ford has made it as a finalist in not one but two national awards, which is an excellent achievement.”
The export plan, coupled with a multi-million pound investment in new machinery and software across its two plants, gave the business the springboard needed for success overseas.
While putting state-of-the-art systems in place to ensure exceptional technical and product quality and investing in staff, which earned Ford Aerospace the coveted Investors in People Gold accreditation, the accolades also demonstrate the commitment of the board to continued growth and sustainable success.
The EEF commendation also recognises a continuation of Ford’s export strategy and its application in India, an economy which boasts similar huge growth to that of China.
Mr Podmore said a strong export strategy remained essential to the company, which employs about 160 staff at sites at Tyne Dock, South Shields, and Monkton Business Park North, Hebburn. He added: “Our success in these new markets is a major factor in our continued growth.”