COLLABORATION FOR INNOVATION
PCE Group is one of the largest designers and manufacturers of automation solutions in the UK. It provides services to a wide range of sectors, including fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), industrial automation, build to print, ocular and medical/pharmaceutical.
he PCE Group includes PCE Automation Ltd, db automation Ltd and Premier Bowl Feeders Ltd, who together combine a multitude of complementary technologies to produce world-class, market leading automation solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow. PCE designs, manufactures, assembles and tests its automation systems, before calibrating and shipping them to customers for installation in their facilities, within the UK and internationally.
The Group’s reputation is based upon innovation, together with the speed and efficiency of its solutions; coupled with their longevity and high standard of customer service. Its continued investment in its workforce (including apprentices) and its infrastructure leads to great results; which are reflected in the quality of product. Greater customer confidence leads to stronger sales performance, which benefits both local and UK economies.
PCE Group is keen to continue its international expansion and to prove that British engineering can compete against the largest of competitors. It has its eyes set firmly on the American market, where it believes it can disrupt the current marketplace and demonstrate that a fastmoving British company can compete with much larger multi-nationals.
Exports in 2019 accounted of 73% of total sales and included a number of high-value sales to the company’s top export markets: Hungary; Costa Rica; Poland; and the USA. PCE aims to not only maintain these export sales but to increase them, as it engages with new customers over the coming years.
Targeting new countries increases not only the potential number of customers but also the size of individual customers, when compared to UK equivalents. Some of the customers we are working with have operations that span multiple territories; a good relationship with one branch will often open the door to opportunities in other regions, whereas our British customers tend to be UK-only. Approaching new territories vastly increases the reach and the size of feasible target markets.
R&D, innovation and incremental improvement
PCE invests heavily in R&D and in streamlining business processes, to increase efficiency. The company works closely alongside customers, collaborating to develop new solutions that not only meet their needs but allows the company to offer similar solutions to new markets.
Orders in 2019 saw a big increase in turnover for PCE Group. This, in turn, required an investment in new personnel and the boosting of skills levels, to allow it to meet the production demand on the engineering team. The company achieved it by a program of internal training and external recruitment, with the assistance of Local Enterprise Partnership & European Enterprise Network grant schemes.
Investment in apprentices is a pivotal aspect of PCE’s business; it has a proud tradition of investing in the next generation. The company currently employs eight apprentices across its business; many former apprentices are still employed within the workforce.
As PCE produces very specialist output and services, its clients tend to be companies seeking bespoke products. They can be clearly defined by the industry they work in and technology they require, and matched to the Group’s specific abilities. They often require a technical solution to a specific industrial process; PCE takes pride in the ease with which it can determine if its products match this solution.
As its products often represent a major investment for these customers, PCE makes a point of building strong relationships with them after sales, as well as during the sales and implementation periods. It judges success on the feedback it gets during communications and whether they continue to buy from PCE Group, or recommend it to sister organisations.