A Black Country metal foundry which fell victim to the credit crunch is back on its feet after a rescue plan was initiated to bring back old customers.

SPJ Enterprises Ltd, in Bilston, were struggling earlier this year when they found many businesses were turning to their foreign competitors.

Faced with the choice of either axing jobs or calling in consultants, the firm, which employs 15 staff at its Oakley Trading Estate premises, turned to Business Link.

SPJ co-director, Sally Barkway, said: “A pattern had started emerging where clients were opting to do business with firms abroad who could undercut us, so turnover started plummeting.

“That, for me, is the one main cause of the troubles faced by so many companies in the West Midlands. Companies need to have more trust in their smaller local supply firms rather than looking overseas.

“Our work is of the utmost quality, carried out by fully-trained welders, brazers and assemblers – and orders are always punctual. This means fewer mistakes are made and if there ever was a problem, because we’re local, it can be resolved quickly. A lot of companies don’t think about this and look to cut immediate costs first rather than thinking of the real long-term savings associated with UK-based producers.”

Business Link put the firm in touch with manufacturing expert Mark Edwards who instigated a rescue plan.

Mr Edwards said: “Once we ascertained how SPJ could become more competitive I drew up a structured plan of action and started contacting customers that were no longer on SPJ’s books.

“Asking people to be brutally honest about why they moved their business away meant that very quickly we were in a negotiating situation to bring the work back."