March firm PCML (Precise Component Manufacture Ltd) is at the cutting edge when it comes to working with some of the country’s top-tech firms
An engineering firm based on the outskirts of March is one of the Fens best kept secrets and also one of the area’s true success stories.
Precise Component Manufacture Ltd or PCML as it is more usually known provides precision engineering services to a raft of companies producing everything from state-of-the-art printers to medical equipment and even parts for equipment aimed at keeping us safe from terrorism.
The firm was set up in 2000 by company CEO Gavin Goates, his father and friends Diane and Kevin Miller. It occupied just one unit on the Longhill Road industrial estate when it first launched at the site in 2000.
Today it has expanded and occupies 17 units and now employs 120 people. Last year it opened a new manufacturing unit on a separate site close by, but has already outgrown the facility and is looking to further expand.
At the end of last year the firm acquired Teversham Precision Engineering and Gavin said the intention is to expand further still.
He puts the firm’s success down to its people and the company’s ethos that everyone is a vital cog in the firm’s development from the cleaner to the expert engineer.
Gavin who started out as an engineering apprentice at the age of 16 is proud of the way his company has grown.
He said: “People are the key to any company’s success. You must treat your workforce right, a happy worker is a productive worker. If they are made to feel they are important to the company then they will work to make it succeed.
“I don’t always look for people with lots of qualifications, to be honest they don’t mean a lot. What I look for is the right attitude, and a desire to work hard and do well.
“I have taken on a lot of young people who left the Neale-Wade with no idea what they were going to do. Many of them were hanging round the skate park and quite frankly they were going no where with their lives.
“We have taken them on, given the training and support they need to build proper careers for themselves. The bonus is that we are building a workforce with the type of skills we need to take our company forward.”
Gavin says March and the Fens has exactly the right sort of people firms like his need to develop.
“People in this area are hard working, they are loyal and they want to do well. We find people in places like Cambridge don’t always have the right attitude and place too much emphasis on qualifications.”
Gavin and his fellow directors have invested heavily in PCML ensuring it has all the latest technology at the staff’s fingertips enabling them to provide what the hi-tech industries of Cambridge need.
The firm has developed its own software to enable it to deal with orders and keep on top of production in the most efficient way.
It now provides components for medical research companies to use in the development of new drugs, it produces parts for security x-ray machines and more recently has won a contract to produce parts for a firm that has developed radar equipment to protect airports from drones.
“I love March and the Fens, I believe they are the perfect location for firms like PCML as they offer an excellent workforce, cheap rents and land values as well as excellent communication networks with access to the A14, A47, A10 and of course we have the railway.
“Firms like ours are important to help March retain its young people, offering them a future they might otherwise have to move elsewhere to find,” concluded Gavin.