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In April 2020, The PCE GROUP were thrilled to receive Royal ascent in the form of a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.  The awards themselves are the highest honour awarded to UK Businesses, by our Monarch of the Realm. The success underlines the formidable Team PCE in Beccles, Suffolk and Lutterworth, Leicestershire.

Quality Manager and Curator/Author of the winning application, Steve Mortlock, takes us through the application process and what this means for The PCE GROUP.


PCE Background

Founded in 1961 by Ernest James Cook, Poolcraft took the first steps of what has become a family odyssey, in building the PCE GROUP of Companies. Poolcraft started life as builders of leisure boats; enjoyed by thousands of British Tourists and Holiday Makers, who visited the world-famous waterways of the Norfolk & Suffolk’s Broads National Park.

The PCE GROUP was formed in 2018; combining the skills, expertise and synergies of PCE Automation (Suffolk) and both db automation and Premier Bowl Feeders of Leicestershire; with a strategic foot at each end of the A14, one of the main export arteries of the UK.

The PCE GROUP operate within a number of sectors, producing cutting edge, world-class automation solutions within;

  • Ocular, Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Laboratory and Clean Room Environments
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)
  • Industrial Automation Sector.

Accredited in Quality Management (ISO 9001) and as a Safe Contractor, The PCE GROUP of Companies demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the highest standards of engineering excellence and to the environment.

Steve, how did PCE come to apply for a Queen’s Award?

During an informal discussion at a Norfolk Chamber of Commerce networking event in 2018, MD James Cook outlined his ambition to apply for a coveted Queen’s Award; a globally recognised award which would recognise where we have excelled as a business and underline our future growth ambitions, with a royal seal of approval.

How difficult was the application process and what recommendations would you make for others applying for the first time?

Instigating the application was a relatively straight forward process, as there are countless guidance notes each step of the way, as you would expect from a government portal process. The questions themselves however were rightfully more stringent and demanded pin point focus and articulate, well considered responses; covering the vast spectrum of selection criteria.

Some of our suppliers are previous winners of the award, so my first approaches were to these contacts and to reach out to the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce for any valuable guidance they could provide. I would recommend reaching out in the same way where possible.

During these initial conversations, it was mentioned many times that a very low proportion of first-time applicants are ever successful at the first time of asking. This acted as a real catalyst for me to ensure that everything was on point and gave me a stronger focus. Accuracy is everything, so check, check and check again.

What was the reaction to the news of PCE success?

An early morning text from MD James Cook, confirmed how thrilled he was, coupled with a socially distant nod to our victory on arrival at HQ.

I was initially stunned, which quickly gave way to pride and excitement for Team PCE, who have worked incredibly hard to drive company growth.

I have been with PCE a relatively short amount of time (3 years at time of writing) so am personally thrilled to have brought this one home for our formidable team.

What is next for the PCE GROUP?

We have capitalised on growth opportunities within the Ocular, Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries, which has helped us to enter new territories and add clean room automation to our range of skills.  Our strategy is to grow our involvement within these industries and to continue exploring new sectors to disrupt, with our world class automation.

We also intend to continue investing in our team and our infrastructure, to ensure we are in the best position to grasp the growth opportunities that arise from winning this prestigious Queen’s Award.

PCE, Your partner in automation….

To check out the PCE Entry within the 2020 Official Publication, CLICK HERE




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