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PP C&A duo named in The Manufacturer’s Top 100 list

Posted on 06 Jun 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 497 times.
PP C&A duo named in The Manufacturer’s Top 100 listLeft to right: PP C&A’s Malcolm Condon and Richard Spears

Two unsung heroes of the Black Country have been named in the Top 100 manufacturing professionals in the UK. PP Control & Automation’s (PP C&A) people partner Malcolm Condon and marketing manager Richard Spears, received the prestigious honour last night in front of 250 people at the NEC in Birmingham.

Hosted by The Manufacturer and Nineteen Group, the competition recognised their achievements as an inspirational leader and a digital transformer, two crucial roles in helping the strategic manufacturing outsourcing specialist to accelerate revenues towards £36 million this year. The pair will now be responsible for helping to host educational visits to the company’s facility in Cheslyn Hay, provide thought leadership in the sector and sign up to be STEM ambassadors.

Mr Condon said: “People are the heartbeat of our business, so it is great to get recognition for some of the initiatives we have put in place to support their personal development. Manufacturing is such an important sector for our economy and the more we can do to celebrate the people behind the scenes the better. The UK is enjoying a surge in popularity, but we desperately need to ensure we are bridging the skills gap by attracting more young people into the industry. This isn’t just about getting boots on the shopfloor, it is a holistic approach that focuses on culture across our business.”

Mr Condon’s inclusion in ‘The Top 100’ highlights his focus on fostering respect, inclusion, collaboration, and fun, while also encouraging more employee engagement to enhance employee satisfaction and staff morale.

‘Switched on’ initiative

The latter is where the company’s ‘Switched-on’ initiative comes into its own. Any of PP C&A’s employees can fill in a nomination form each month, with everyone recognised receiving a customised badge and small gift – this could be a bottle of wine or chocolates. ‘Wellbeing Champions’ then collectively decide if anyone has gone the extra mile and deserves to be given a more substantial reward in the form of vouchers, a personalised gift or employee of the month title. These measures have all contributed to boosting employee retention.

Meanwhile, Mr Spears, has transformed PP C&A’s approach to market segmentation, customer acquisition and internal and external brand values, including significant use of Artificial Intelligence to map out new sectors of interest. He places digital communication at its core, using a range of social media platforms, e-marketing, and video to tell the PP C&A story and some of the pain points the company solves, such as fluctuating capacity and production bottlenecks — increasing speed to market. Campaigns, such as ‘Shock of the New, ‘Rewind – the story behind the sleeves’, and ‘Niggling Critters of Outsourcing’, have helped the business secure more than £12 million of new orders over the past year.

Mr Spears concluded: “I love this sector and to be recognised by The Manufacturer as one of the most influential people in our industry is a real honour. Marketing can sometimes be an overlooked asset for a manufacturing business, but it really shouldn’t be. We have proven how building a brand, consistent communications and taking a creative approach to targeting customers can all come together to deliver growth and employee retention.”

PP C&A, which employs 230 people at its ‘state of the art’ factory in the West Midlands, offers strategic manufacturing outsourcing services to 20 of the world’s largest machine builders. This means technology developed by the company helps to robotically milk cows, provides everyday packaging solutions, protects mobile phones from water damage and cuts parts that are used in F1 cars and the world’s airlines.