Hadleigh: Plant Parts presented with Queen’s Award by HRH the Duke of Kent

Richard Finch, left, and Robert Finch, right, of Plant Parts receive the companys Queens Award fro

Richard Finch, left, and Robert Finch, right, of Plant Parts receive the companys Queens Award from the HRH the Duke of Kent and Lord Tollemache. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk company which has achieved the rare feat of winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise three years running was today presented with its latest trophy by HRH the Duke of Kent.

Hadleigh-based Plant Parts, an independent supplier and manufacturer of spare parts for construction machinery, completed a hat-trick of successes in the International Trade section of the awards when this year’s list of recipients was announced in April.

Plant Parts, which has a workforce of 16, was recognised for its success in increasing its overseas sales by 76% over the last three years.

The past 12 months has also seen the company change its export strategy in order to concentrate on building on its existing partnerships and to recruit new selling partners for its own Final Drive Centre (FDC) brand of excavator final drives.

Lord Tollemache, the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, today presented a scroll confirming the company’s award to director Robert Finch, with the Duke of Kent then presenting the trophy, an enscribed glass bowl, to managing director Richard Finch.

Brothers Richard and Robert Finch launched Plant Parts in 1991, with the company moving to its present base, off Crockatt Road, Hadleigh, in 1994.

Having started out as a specialist in supplying spare parts for Komatsu machines, it has also developed a niche in supplying final drive assemblies, a major component in track-laying machines, through the FDC brand.

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Its main export markets are Scandinavia, the United States, Ireland, France and the Baltic states, which together represent 72% of its export sales. In the last three years the company has responded to competitors selling inferior, low cost products by offering customer warranties and support services that are beyond its competitors’ capabilities.

Although Queen’s Awards remain current for five years, recipients are entitled to apply afresh each year. However, it is unusual for a business to sustain the progress necessary to be successful in the same category in each of three successive years, which is what Plant Parts has achieved, having also been a Queen’s Award winner in 2011 and 2012.

Thanking staff for their contribution to the company’s success, Richard Finch said: “Any small business like Plant Parts is only really a collection of people and, for a company to be successful, those people must perform to an excellent standard, which is the case here.”

Other Queen’s Award winners in Suffolk this year include Pipeshield International Ltd of Lowestoft and Seers Medical from Debenham.