A third generation electroplater in the middle of Birmingham is fighting back against the credit crunch by investing in the latest equipment and diversifying into new markets.
EC Williams, which has received strategic and financial support from supply chain initiative Accelerate, provides finishes and coatings to millions of components destined for use in cars and motorcycles produced all over the world, as well as a wide range of electrical products.
While its volumes have been cut by 30 per cent following the global downturn, managers say they are confident they can withstand tough market conditions by offering the best value added service combined with nearly 90 years’ experience in surface engineering.
“Our annual sales are probably going to top £1.5million again this year, but we have certainly noticed a drop in volumes since the automotive industry went into shutdown in August,” chief executive Henrik Skouby, said.
“Rather than moan about the situation, we prefer to focus on what needs to be done to not only weather the storm, but to ensure that we come out of this recession more competitive than ever.
“We benefit from continual investment and our electroplating plant is as good as any in the UK. There has also been a lot of funding directed at ensuring all of our functional and decorative finishes comply with current environmental directives and safety regulations.
EC Williams, which employs 23 people at its Jewellery Quarter factory, specialises in the electroplating of small components that require either a high level of corrosion-resistance or a coating for electrical applications.
A major order boost secured in 2008 has allowed it to safeguard all of its workers and the company is now focusing on extending its value added services to new markets both geographically and into the diecasting, petrochemical and aerospace industries.
“With the auto sector struggling at the moment, we need to ensure we take our expertise into areas that currently are not well served and so represent potential new business for us – this will be one of our main focuses over the next twelve months,” said Mr Skouby.
“We are also keen to access as much support as possible from the likes of Accelerate, who have been invaluable in the past.”
Accelerate adviser Norman Taylor said: “EC Williams is a well run business with a strong customer base.I am confident that the firm will emerge stronger than ever before.”
Managed by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Accelerate is the supply chain initiative for the West Midlands, providing strategic advice for the automotive industry.