When Britain’s electrical manufacturers started moving production to low cost centres in the Far East, the writing could have been on the wall for P&B Metal Components.
But, rather than give in to what some might have seen as the inevitable, the family-owned company chased the business, using a combination of innovative techniques, technology and premier quality to ensure it continued to be the supplier of choice for switch components.
The result is reflected in the Queen’s Award for International Trade – and a confidence that there is still plenty more business to be won abroad.
P&B’s biggest markets are the Asia Pacific region, China, Malaysia and Australasia - the biggest user of the special strip the company produces for making high quality contacts.
The company believes there are further opportunities to grow its business in China as the Chinese themselves develop an increasing appetite for Western electrical goods and the wealth to pay for them.
Meanwhile, as manufacturing starts to become more expensive in China, P&B sees new opportunities opening up in Vietnam and Malaysia as those countries take over the mantle of being the Far East’s low cost centre of production, and in Australasia and South America.
There may even be new opportunities in the home market, particularly as UK-based clients emulate P&B’s recipe for successes and develop technology that makes it cheaper to manufacture at home than have things done by hand in the Far East.