Corrosion Resistant Materials have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.
We met up with Director Adam Bradley, who told us about why they entered the running for the prestigious award, what the application process involved, and why other companies should consider applying.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is an award that recognises outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:
- international trade
- sustainable development
- promoting opportunity through social mobility
Corrosion Resistant Materials were keen to be recognised in the ‘international trade’ category, having grown considerably since the company was founded in 2015 and hoping to solidify their position in the international market.
Eyes on the prize
Adam had been aware of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for a while, and was looking to grow the business internationally.
“It’s the most prestigious award a company can receive and is recognised worldwide. We felt by winning an award it would open more doors for us internationally.”
Corrosion Resistant Materials, who supply technical metal materials into the aerospace, automotive, marine, oil & gas and petrochemical industries, have built a reputation for excellent service and product knowledge, but wanted to increase their presence outside the UK.
To qualify for the ‘international trade’ award, companies need to prove that they’ve made a minimum of £100,000 of overseas sales in the first year that they enter, and be able to show year-on-year growth over subsequent years.
They also need to prove that they have achieved ‘outstanding growth’ in overseas earnings relative to their business size and the sector they operate in.
With an eye on achieving the qualification criteria for the award, Adam and the team focused their effort into growing their international sales and supplying new customers in new markets.
Local company, international impact
Adam explained that the application process involved an element of demonstrating strong corporate social responsibility.
“The Award put a lot of emphasis on the social responsibility of the business and what you were doing to create jobs in line with your growth, as well as how you supported your local community. As we employ apprentices and do lots of outreach work with schools and colleges, the judges were impressed with our efforts to open the eyes of young people to engineering and to support our local community.
“We are a local company here to support our local community, but we have a global outlook.
“The application process took around 2 months to complete and involved submitting detailed accounts from the least three years as well as a lengthy application form. This included submitting every invoice raised in this period too.”
Based in Mexborough, a few miles north-east of Sheffield and in close proximity to the world-renowned steelmaking region, Corrosion Resistant Materials have a well-established work experience scheme with local schools and colleges, and employ and train personnel from around the area.
Unique approaches, including ‘speed networking’ events at local schools and academies, and directly engaging with the careers coordinator from the local council, have played a big part in attracting students to seek employment in industry when they leave education.
Since first applying for the Award, CRM have grown their international sales from £100,000 to over £1.5million, and it now accounts for almost 50% of their overall business. Adam told us:
“Our export division has grown year-on-year and now accounts for almost 50% of our overall turnover. We now supply our range of nickel, duplex, stainless, low alloy, aluminium and titanium bar, sheet, plate, tube, pipe and forgings into over 38 countries (and growing).
“I’m incredibly proud of the entire team. To grow our exports from £100k to £1.5million in three years took a lot of hard work and dedication and was a huge team effort.”
It was all worth it
“Receiving The Queen’s Award for Enterprise puts your company on a different level and shows the world that you’re a serious player when it comes to exporting. Many larger companies within our sector cannot claim to be Queen’s Award winners, and given that I’ve spent 16 years within export sales I felt like it was a huge pat on the back for me personally and reassured me that I was doing something right.”
Adam visited Buckingham Palace in July 2022 to receive the Award on behalf of CRM, and said it was one of the proudest moments in his career.
Why you should apply
Since the Award was established in 1965, over 7000 companies have been rewarded for their efforts in developing innovative products and services, promoting UK industry, and supporting their local communities.
The awards are valid for 5 years, and winners report that they benefit from worldwide recognition, increased commercial value and a boost to staff morale.
For many, the Award is a springboard for further growth and marks an important milestone in the company’s journey. The kudos of being a Queen’s Award for Enterprise recipient can be crucial in adding gravitas and credibility that attracts foreign investment and opens doors internationally.
How to apply
The awards are free to enter, and you can apply for more than one award at a time (one for each of the four categories).
Find out if your business is eligible to apply.
The deadline for applications for the 2023 awards is 6th September 2022, and if that date has passed by the time you read this, applications for 2024 will likely be open in May 2023.
Read about other winners of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise on the official Queen’s Award blog.
You can connect with Adam Bradley on LinkedIn, and find out more about the products and services offered by Corrosion Resistant Materials by visiting their website: www.corrosion-resistant-materials.co.uk