After 50 years in business Alderman Tooling in Plymouth still has an appetite for growth and strong ambitions for the future.

The bespoke metal fabrication firm was founded in 1969 by Bill Alderman to provide machine tooling to the burgeoning Plymouth manufacturing community. Bill’s daughter Karen Friendship took the helm as Managing Director in 2005 and the company remains in family ownership today.

The service offering has expanded, and Aldermans now provides bespoke metal parts to industries as diverse as retail and automotive.
The company’s growth has been achieved through a combination of organic growth and acquisition, always focusing on customer service and quality, and with a keen eye to efficiency.

Financially, Karen has tirelessly focused on stabilising the business and has significantly improved the contribution from 23% to 40%, achieved through focusing on variable cost productivity and product and customer profitability. Gross Profit has improved from 15% to 25% while doubling the balance sheet value and managing an intense capital improvement program. Thanks to this significant investment, Aldermans now boasts one of the South West’s most comprehensive arrays of metal fabrication technology. Press tool manufacturing, CNC turning, CNC laser cutting and punching, metal bending and forming, welding, powder coating, product assembly and kitting are all in-house services.

Investment in people has been equally key. The company now employs 50, many with impressive long-service records. It strongly supports apprenticeships and ongoing staff development; and in 2017 scooped the prestigious Employer of the Year Award in the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards UK.
Aldermans has long held ISO 9001 quality management certification and augmented this in 2017 with ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 for environmental and health and safety management, plus Fit For Nuclear accreditation. The immediate future sees the company taking on larger contracts and continuing to develop bespoke products for leading regional manufacturers.

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