£12m investment drive pays off as metals specialist secures Jaguar Land Rover award

A metals service centre, one of the biggest employers in West Bromwich, has 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 last 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.”

She added: “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.”

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.

Graville 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 to these cars.”

William King has ten current vacancies, ranging from machine operators to apprenticeships in die maintenance and quality.