This week, #MadeInSandwell Monday is celebrating 20 years of A&M EDM, and the positive economic impact the manufacturing firm has had in the borough.
The company was founded in Smethwick in 2002 as an EDM (electrical discharge machining) wire and spark erosion specialist. The ‘A’ and ‘M’ in the name come from founders Arthur Watts and Mark Wingfield. From a two-person startup with one rented machine, A&M has grown substantially. It now has over 70 employees and specialises in manufacturing high value components for many sectors including aerospace, motorsports, automotive and marine. In 2022 it achieved record annual sales of £7m.
Other notable achievements include winning an SC21 Award for aerospace supply excellence in 2010, winning the Make UK Midlands Business Growth Award in 2016, and achieving a Thrive at Work award for workplace wellbeing in 2021. A&M was also our first ever #MadeInSandwell Monday star back in February 2017.
As part of the company’s 20th anniversary celebrations, A&M commissioned the Black Country Economics Intelligence Unit to produce an independent report on the economic impact the business has had over its lifetime. This report estimated that since 2002, A&M had contributed over £50m to the local and national economy. It has achieved an annual average growth rate of 8 per cent in the last ten years, and almost a third of its total sales are made to customers in the West Midlands.
A&M has also boosted the growth of the local supply chain, spending £5.4m on goods and services from over 230 West Midlands suppliers, and provided employment for 176 people. Since 2014, it has been working with Dudley College to deliver an Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship. A&M currently has four apprentices, as well as nine members of staff that have advanced from apprentice level.
Professor Delma Dwight, Director of Black Country Economic Intelligence Unit said: “As this impact report shows, A&M EDM is a great example of the entrepreneurship, growth and resilience of manufacturing, ready to take on the challenges and opportunities of the future. Over 20 years, the company has driven strong economic value as well as cultivating a committed, skilled workforce at the heart of the local community.” You can download the impact report from the A&M website.
Think Sandwell congratulates Arthur, Mark and the whole A&M team for their contributions to Sandwell over the past two decades.
#MadeInSandwell Monday is a celebration of the talent and diversity within our borough. If you’re interested in being considered for a #MadeInSandwell Monday profile and having information about your organisation shared on Think Sandwell and through Twitter, read this.