EEF Future Manufacturing Awards Director Kathy Riley explains what the judges are looking for from this year’s entrants

IN: Industry news

With under three weeks left for Britain’s forward-thinking manufacturers to enter the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards, Aldermore spoke to Awards Director Kathy Riley for key tips on how businesses can impress the judges.

undefined“We want to see a structured business approach with the measurable outputs that were achieved, and we want to see along the way consideration of staff involvement in terms of implementation and communication,” states Riley, adding, “That for us is the perfect entry as it has been a complete team effort within the business.”

Riley is keen to underline how valuable being named an EEF Future Manufacturing Award winner can be for a business, sharing the story of last year’s Winner of Winners, Fracino.

“Fracino has gained tremendous benefits both through business growth but also through morale and recognition of their activities within the community that they work,” Riley relates. “They hadn’t really entered awards programmes before, but since being named EEF’s Winner of Winners in 2012, the company’s profile has increased through all forms of media, including Television, new business has been won and its workforce has been inspired. Fracino really has embraced winning and maximised on the opportunities.”

The family-owned Birmingham firm began when Frank Maxwell, an engineer, renovated an espresso machine acquired while on holiday in Italy. Fixing the machine in his garden shed ignited a passion for Frank, who soon started up a business repairing, and then manufacturing, espresso machines. Joined by son Adrian, the pair expanded this fledgling firm to a sizable two-factory business, growing export turnover by 50 per cent in the space of five years and supplying machinery for major high street café chains.

”Over 50 years on Fracino is a huge success story selling their machines to France, to Italy… to the whole world!” shares Riley. “They won the Outstanding Export Award and the story was so inspiring that they were also rewarded the overall Winner of Winners accolade.”

In fact for Riley, Fracino’s success represents a poignant example of how much the manufacturing sector could prosper given greater recognition.

“It’s a hidden gem,” summarises Riley, “They’ve been doing all of this but nobody really knew about it. That’s manufacturers in a nutshell really. There are some great stories that go on within manufacturing but people never get to hear about them.”

For Riley, promoting the importance of this under-represented sector was one of the core reasons for setting up the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards.

“We want to celebrate those successes and share that with the rest of the sector but also the wider economy,” Riley explains. “If we’re really looking for growth, manufacturing is well-placed to deliver that. Manufacturers are the most innovative organisations, they account for 50 per cent of exports, and they invest in machines that make the UK productive. So if you really are seeking to balance the economy, the way to do this, we think, is to promote the best in manufacturing, and the EEF awards do that.”

Aldermore is proud to support this crucial industry event and invites manufacturing firms of all sizes to enter this year’s awards to demonstrate how much manufacturing matters to the UK economy.

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