AP Technology

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from AP Technology is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.aptechnology.biz

45AP TECHNOLOGY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Stephen Bidwell,
managingdirector
Our cable solutions are used in the most
demanding environments where the
integrity of the connection is critical
Founded in 2001 and based in Hayes, west London,
APTechnology is a specialist provider of interconnect products
including cables, connectors, cable assemblies, wire and
wire management products for a wide range of industries and
requirements. They deliver an extensive range of materials from a
wide range of specialised suppliers – shipping to manufacturers,
subcontractors, installers and resellers across the globe so they
can deliver an end-to-end solution for all their clients’ interconnect
needs. Their main differentiator is their service: in addition to their
standard product offering, they offer a variety of custom products
and supply chain solutions to meet a whole host of needs.
Ensuring their quality, too, is their possession of an ISO 9001:2015
accreditation. On all things AP Technology, Stephen Bidwell,
their managing director, elaborates in the following article.
Why our clients choose us
Because of the unparalleled level of service we offer – we believe it sets us apart.
Our standard products really are half the picture; we offer tailor-made products and
supply chain solutions for individual requirements, including:
» In-house cable assembly production » Cable cutting service
» Planned orders » Custom labels and packaging
» No minimum order value for stock items » Global shipping
FACTS ABOUT
AP TECHNOLOGY
»Managing director:
StephenBidwell
»Established in 2001
»Based in Hayes, west London
»Services: Specialist distributor
of electrical interconnection
products
»No. of employees: 24
»IPC/WHMA-620-A certified
in-house trainer
AP Technology
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | AP TECHNOLOGY
We are proud of our ability to work
closely with our clients to make sure
we really understand what’s required
and give them a solution that meets
their needs as well as those of
theenvironment.
And we can both modify existing
designs to enable fast delivery and
use off-the-shelf cables in specialised
applications. And after the cable is
designed, we will create a drawing
and data sheet that you can check
before we put forward a quote. This
ability to provide a broad range of
solutions gives us a strong reputation
in the sector. The result is that over 17
years we have developed cables for
telecommunication, wind farm and
industrial automation applications, as
well as for diverse sectors such as the
entertainment and defence industries.
But I come back to our emphasis on
custom design-build solutions – what
we’re passionate about and where we
stand out. Many can claim to offer to
tailor their products, but in fact fall
short when put to the test. We share
a common understanding with our
clients – of having shared values. And,
importantly, having the knowledge
that every individual component – each
tiny length of wire or plug – bears
our considered touch and purpose is
central to why we do what we do.
And this allows us to develop perfectly
organised solutions to carry a message,
communicate a vision or power an
experience. We see that as a powerful
mix, and it means we are seen as an
asset to companies who deal with
complexdesigns.
Growth and its enemies
Our custom is far from limited to just
the UK, though; our products can be
found the world over. Indeed, we are
looking to expand into the United
States. During this expansion, we have
secured an exclusive agreement with
a multinational, multi-billion pound
company, who are now an automation
and control partner and who very
much share our values. Because of
the scope of products they offer, we
are now granted greater access into
moremarkets.
Growth comes with its own set of
challenges, however. In Greater
London we have found that there is
a dearth of manufacturing skills in
our sector. Despite trying to work in
alignment with government-sponsored
apprenticeship schemes and local
colleges, we struggle to find the right
talent, mainly as the sort of custom
work we do is intricate and requires
much in-house training.
However, there is also a problem with
respect to the sort of career path most
electrical engineers want to take. Many
would like to take the more lucrative
Cable cut to length
ready to flow through
to the next phase of
production
Our custom
design-build
solutions are
what we are
passionate
about and
where we
stand out
47AP TECHNOLOGY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
route of working on a construction
site as a skilled tradesman in London.
Our industry is therefore not always
the most sought-after. To remedy this,
the mental horizon of opportunities
for young people should be expanded.
For us, we’ve managed to do this
by seeking out those trainees with a
natural curiosity for assembling and
manipulating electrics. By finding and
aligning the right trainees who match
our culture and values of integrity,
dedication, dynamism and respect, we
have an excellent foundation on which
to build.
Political opportunity
In short, Brexit causes me concern.
We are currently reliant on supply
from Europe, because most of the
technology we sell comes from
Germany or Italy. The uncertainty
surrounding future trade and
potential tariffs with these countries
is something we’d prefer was absent.
On the other hand, our customer
base who export to us have begun
to become more competitive as they
mingle more with global markets.
Ultimately, we’ll take things as they
come, but the sooner certainty arrives,
the better.
Whatever the case, we believe
there is much potential for British
manufacturing. Many have feared for
a long time that competition from
the developing world will displace
this segment of our economy.
Weseethings differently, though:
British ingenuity is an inimitable quality
that affords us an edge over other
countries, even if our labour costs are
higher. An important point, as we
never forget that we are a successful
business proudly made up of smart,
open-minded, inquisitive people –
valuable attributes as we become a
part of the digital age.
Facing the future
Moving forward, I see things heading
in a positive direction. Demand has
been on the rise, and our own team
is growing – in fact, we recently took
on five new employees for the sales
and operations side of the business.
And the new exclusive agreement
discussed earlier is already ushering
AP Technology into a new and
exciting era. And as we increasingly
become aware of niche markets and
understand our unique position within
this sector, we will grow ever closer
to companies who want cooperation
in their engineering processes. This is
a general trajectory that we hope to
follow for the next three to five years,
and it’s with this optimism that we will
build on the successes we’ve already
enjoyed thus far.
British
ingenuity is an
inimitable
quality that
affords us an
edge over
other countries
Constant innovation
and a drive to deliver
the best solution allow
our customer’s vision to
come to life

www.aptechnology.biz

This article was sponsored by AP Technology. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.