Queen’s Award for Arbroath business

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An Arbroath-based business has been awarded the Queen’s Award for International Trade in recognition of the company’s substantial growth.

Interplex PMP, which supplies the automotive, telecommunications and medical industries, is one of only 13 companies in Scotland to receive the highly-coveted award.

As the result of a five year plan, Interplex PMP has turned a trading loss into profit, tripling sales to £17m and increasing overseas trade by 360%. Stephen Barlow, managing director of Interplex PMP, says that the successful turnaround has also helped to secure and create more jobs in Arbroath.

He told the Herald: “Since I joined the company in 2010, we’ve seen employee numbers increase from 80 people on a three day week to over 170 staff with the capacity to work 24/7. The company has a great heritage in precision engineering and an excellent reputation for producing high-quality products.

“If you drive a car or use a broadband connection, the chances are that they contain components manufactured by Interplex. Few companies in Europe are fully integrated with the core capabilities we have to stamp, plate and mould under one roof. Being a design-driven business also gives us a competitive advantage, allowing us to go deeper with our customers to solve many of their design challenges.”

Interplex PMP manufactures precision components including stamped and plated parts, plastic mouldings, assemblies and tape and reel packaging. Barlow adds that the company’s ability to successfully compete with lower-cost economies is down to a combination of quality products, flexible design services and fully manufacturing products in-house, with Interplex PMP shipping to customers in the Czech Republic and Romania.

He said: “If you look at a map, Arbroath is as close to, say, Toulouse or Barcelona as many manufacturing hubs in Eastern Europe, so in many cases we’re considered to be quite local. This award demonstrates what can be achieved when you combine a highly motivated and skilled workforce with a robust business strategy and fully-integrated in-house capabilities.”