A manufacturer that weathered the economic storm and emerged stronger has won this year’s Birmingham Post Enterprise Award.
Kingswinford-based precision pressings firm Clamason took the prize after they won a contract to make customised washers for use in insulin ‘pen’ dispensers for diabetics.
The company, which had to bounce back from losing its biggest customer IBM in the 1990s, said it actually managed to grow its workforce last year after Ambien Brand Where To Buy to diversify into new markets paid off.
Managing director Philip Clarke said there were further growth plans – including exporting pressings into the gigantic Chinese market from next year.
Mr Clarke said: “I am thrilled to bits. One of the biggest strengths of the company is the fact that we supply to four or five industries, which has helped us to weather the economic difficulties more than many.
“This vindicates the decisions we have made over the last three to five years.
“When things started to deteriorate last December things were tough but we have been successful with things like diversifying into the medical sector and setting up in Slovakia.”
Clamason headed off competition from another Kingswinford-based company, Mecatherm, and Coventry electric van-maker Modec to win the award.
The shortlist was selected from the monthly winners of the awards since last August – a list that also included Croft Conservation, Steadfast Solutions, NJ Bradford, Wing Yip, Salts Healthcare, MCS, Whichford Pottery and DCS Europe.
The company used to be heavily involved with the automotive industry but has moved into more high-tech niche work, a plan which Mr Clarke said has served them well as the recession savaged more traditional firms.
He said the firm, which was founded in 1947 by his father, was on a secure footing after establishing itself in several markets.
The younger Mr Clarke, who joined the firm in 1976 after graduating from Birmingham University, said: “It is a question of learning lessons.
“In the mid-1990s 60 per cent of our sales were to IBM and when they transferred production to China it was very tough and we had to do something about it.
“In the medical area one of the things we are expecting to do next year is start selling pressings into China.
“We are also growing work in central Europe. The factory we have set up in Slovakia has allowed us to service our central European customers and attract more.”
Clamason, which has a turnover of about £10 million, recently opened a factory in Nitra, Slovakia.
It had to let ten staff go in February but has since increased to employ 115 people in the UK and 20 more in Slovakia.
Tenbury Wells-based Bedford Dials won the Aston Business School award. The company was praised for investing up to £80,000 of its £400,000 turnover into new technology.
It has also reduced Ambien Brand Name Online to 20 per cent of previous levels.
Tributes were paid to David Smith, one of Birmingham’s best-known businessmen and a founder of The Birmingham Post Enterprise Awards, who died aged 67 in June, at the event at the Hyatt Hotel.
The main sponsors of The Birmingham Post Enterprise Awards are Intercity Mobile Communications and Churchill Vintners in association with Laurent Perrier. Flybe and Aston Business School provide further support and Aston Villa Football Club provided a corporate package. Advantage West Midlands sponsors the annual awards luncheon.