One of the UK’s leading metals service centres is targeting further growth after it secured one of the automotive sector’s most demanding quality accreditations.
William King, which specialises in high-tensile steel, aluminium, light gauge processing, electrical steels and niche metal coatings, received the Jaguar Land Rover JLRQ Award earlier this month in front of 150 staff at its Atlas Centre facility in West Bromwich.
Andrew McClure, global supplier technical assistance director at the global car maker, made the presentation in recognition of the company’s outstanding performance over the past year where it has achieved world class ‘right first time’ and ‘on-time in-full’ delivery scores.
It marks the culmination of a £12m investment drive by the firm over the past five years that has seen it introduce a new press blanking line, slitting facility and a state-of-the-art stacker, helping it take on new work and to create and safeguard more than 50 jobs.
“We have been working towards the JLRQ standard for some time, overcoming the additional challenges of Covid-19 to demonstrate consistent quality, cost and on-time delivery,” said Rachel Graville, who is the fourth-generation managing director of family-owned William King.
“This has been a real team effort. It’s a fantastic achievement by my colleagues, who have been superbly led in the journey by our operations manager Justin Mansell.
“Quality has always been central to the way we operate, so a lot of the building blocks we needed for the Award were already there, we just had to focus a little more on standardising processes, implementing a clearer continuous improvement strategy, and bolstering training for all staff.
“Not only have we delivered world-class performance, we have also done so against the positive backdrop of a rising order book with Jaguar Land Rover, whom we now supply both in the UK and Slovakia.”
Nicola Richards, MP West Bromwich East, noted: “Receiving the Jaguar Land Rover Quality award is a wonderful achievement by William King. Like so many of our fantastic businesses in West Bromwich, the company has had to overcome challenges, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, over the last couple of years.
“Winning this award and being recognised for its outstanding quality and service by an organisation such as Jaguar Land Rover is a credit to its fantastic local workforce and management.”
William King, which operates four technically advanced facilities in West Bromwich, Walsall, Washington in the North East and in the Czech Republic, adds value to supply chains by supply chain management, processing and just-in-time delivery of metals.
The company currently works with several high-profile customers across the automotive, domestic appliance, metal packaging and general industry sectors, with the recent acquisition of Firsteel giving it the capability to provide specialist coated metals.
This enlarged offering is already paying dividends, opening up new opportunities as the business aims to build on a growing order book that will see it hit over £150m turnover in 2022.
Rachel added: “Making cars lighter is a major driver in the automotive sector and our recent investments in aluminium and high-tensile steel processing support the OEMs in their goal to reduce weight.
“This has seen us nominated and recently start work on Jaguar Land Rover’s two latest new model introductions, and we are really proud as an organisation to be supplying into these cars.”
William King has 10 vacancies, ranging from machine operators to apprenticeships in die maintenance and quality.