A fast-growing computer company in North Staffordshire is set for a record-breaking year after moving into state-oftheart premises in Biddulph.
PC Interworks started as a four-man operation refurbishing PCs in 1,000 sq ft of leased accommodation at the former Celestica site in Kidsgrove in 1995.
Managing director Roger Jones has transformed PC Interworks into a company with a £2 million turnover, employing 20 people at a 10,000 sq ft office and warehouse premises at the hightech Victoria Business Park, in Prospect Way, Biddulph.
The move was enabled with a Selective Finance for Investment (SFI) grant and specialist business advice from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.
PC Interworks provides a complete managed service for 'product returns' on behalf of Fujitsu Siemens Computers, working at the moment with Fujitsu companies in the UK, Spain and Ireland - the only company in the UK to have such an agreement with such a large computer manufacturer.
Products are transported to the company for refurbishment, repair and finally sale to private and commercial users at prices that provide significant advantage over the normal outlets. All the work is approved by Fujitsu and carries a manufacturer ' s warranty.
"The idea came out of a simple discussion over lunch with one of our colleagues in Fujitsu," said Mr Jones.
"I originally worked as part of a management team in Fujitsu and then set-up a four-man business which purchased ICL's excess stock which we sold on to employees at a competitive price. That expanded into supplying 30 or 40 businesses.
"It was a very fragmented operation at Kidsgrove because we were in a collection of buildings. That's where Advantage West Midlands stepped in and helped us move and expand."
The SFI grant from Advantage West Midlands enabled PC Interworks to fit out the warehouse with office accommodation, heating, electricity, ventilation, storage systems and a CCTV security system.
Marie Greer, director for Staffordshire at Advantage West Midlands, said: "This company is an excellent example of the modern new image of business that is developing in the area.
"We have a company which has strong local roots, wants to stay in the area, has displayed clear evidence of steady and sustainable business growth and is creating jobs."
Mr Jones said the move to Biddulph had helped raise the company's professional profile and had improved movement of stock and overall productivity.
"It's a unique service - Fujitsu never see any of their returned stock, and through the development of our internal IT data base systems we can provide them with detailed information on all of their returned products, which would not otherwise have been available.
"We are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to improve its performance and now run two successful websites - www.buyit247.net - for Fujitsu Siemens stock, and - www.boffin.com - for general PC supplies.
"But 50 per cent of our trade is from recommendation - and that says a lot about the company."