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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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GMS is feline great thanks to CAT deal

A THRIVING Prudhoe-based importer of engineering components is purring after winning a five-year contract with one of the biggest names in engineering.

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Discussing finance: Evolve Finance’s senior investment executive Simon Johnson, left, and GMS managing director Owen Ingram.

Global Manufacturing Supplies Ltd (GMS) has secured a long-term supply deal with internationally renowned construction equipment manufacturer CAT.

GMS specialises in sourcing and importing engineering components from manufacturers in China, and has built up an annual turnover of £6million in little more than a decade.

Now, thanks to securing business with CAT, the company is focusing on increasing its turnover by up to a further 50 per cent over the next few years.

And to help the company gear up for the additional stock and logistical requirements that come with the CAT contract, GMS has bagged a £150,000 investment from Evolve Finance, the debt and mezzanine finance division of regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers.

GMS was founded 11 years ago in the spare bedroom of managing director Owen Ingram’s Prudhoe home and has grown to now employ 22 people, a number which it is hoped will increase to around 30.

It still has its headquarters in the town and, as well as CAT, its client base includes other blue chip engineering companies such as JCB and Britax PMG.

Over recent years, GMS has built up a network of more than 60 fully-audited Chinese manufacturing companies from which it sources a wide range of components and services.

Mr Ingram said: “China’s manufacturing reputation has improved significantly over the last few years, and is now recognised as a cost-effective, reliable manufacturer of quality engineering products.

“Our team has gone to great lengths to find the very best of these manufacturers, auditing more than 800 companies in the last five years to identify those with which we wish to do business, and which we know provide the quality of service and product that our clients expect.

“We are very much a North-East company, and the future expansion that we have planned will be based around the knowledge and expertise of the team that we have built up, and which we plan to continue building here.”

GMS’s entire order process, from initial enquiry to final delivery, is managed by the company’s personnel, and prices are also quoted in sterling, meaning customers do not have to worry about the impact of currency fluctuations.

In addition to its main area of operations, the company also offers engineering consultancy support, to assist in the development of new products and maximise the benefits of dealing with Chinese manufacturers, and a project management service, from initial design though to delivery of finished components or assemblies.

Evolve Finance’s senior investment executive, Simon Johnson, added: “GMS has used the engineering expertise of its senior team to take advantage of a significant commercial opportunity, and the progress that the company has made in just a decade is highly impressive.

“GMS’s business plan shows great future ambition based on sound commercial judgement and the success they have already helped to make a very solid case for this investment.”

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