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HSBC Global Connections Award

Published on 18th October 2016

HSBC Global Connections - South and East - SME Regional Winner

Following the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Environmental Award The M J Allen Group was the HSBC Global Connections - South and East SME Regional Winner.

The M J Allen Group is a family owned business manufacturing aluminium, bronze and iron castings, fabrications, CNC machining, punches, dies, metrology, sheet metal working machinery, architectural metalwork, structural steelwork, after-market automotive clutch and automotive transmission systems. The next twelve months will see the introduction of a new product range of autoparts and adoption of the third generation of the All-Wheel-Drive transmission by Ford Transit.

M J Allen is a maker and doer, operating in traditional industries in a progressive, innovative and technologically minded manner, always seeking to broaden its offering to customers. It has great overseas sales potential that will be enhanced via HSBC'S Global Connections programme.

Over half a century of experience as a highly successful engineering services provider started as a one man band in a disused stable but the M J Allen Group nurtured ambitions to create its own products. In 2007 the Ashford-based business came up with an innovative all-wheel-drive transmission, designed to equip Transit vans with an off-road capability. It sold the concept to Ford and the product now makes up the group's core business.

Managing Director Tim Allen, son of founder Mike Allen, said after the Global Connections Regional Final, although we already had a one stop ability to manufacture from client's own drawings to finished product I believe what clinched the award for us was demonstrating how we have used innovation to turn ourselves into a producer of our own new products, this is a massive pat on the back for everybody in the factory, without their dedication this could not have happened.

Allen said "The business survived recession by sticking to its strengths, like a lot of people we hunkered down when times were hard, but we jealously guarded our skilled people. Now we are able to get some overtime again and we're recruiting apprentices. Manufacturing is on the up and up. From being almost forgotten and somewhat disregarded the sector is starting to gain recognition and a bit of praise. It is an exciting place to be."

The group hasn't stopped innovating. The financial reward that comes with regional winner status will help M J Allen take new projects from concept to prototype stage, including a proposal for a high clearance tractor. There are also another couple of options on the drawing-board. Sub-contracting will always be important but the aim is to continue to find more products that use their foundry capabilities.

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