Recruitment boost as ACE aims for £1m sales push - July 2016

Steve Gaston and Craig Dubberley of Advanced Chemical Etching Ltd (ACE)

More than £250,000 is being invested into a Shropshire manufacturer’s largest ever sales drive, as it aims to smash £5m turnover by 2017.

Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE), which employs 46 people at its Telford facility, has recruited a technical etching expert and a new business development specialist to attract new customers in automotive, aerospace, F1 and medical.

Boosted by interest in its unique aluminium and titanium etching processes, the company is expecting to add £1m on to its existing order book thanks to a more pro-active approach to sales and appearances at targeted exhibitions this year.

Specialising in precision metal components, ACE has already enjoyed success at the MD&M West Show in the US, Medtec Europe in Germany and The Thermal Engineering Show in Derby and is now putting plans in place for appearances at Medtec Ireland and Precision Fair in The Netherlands.

“We knew we wanted to strengthen our sales team and I am absolutely delighted to welcome Craig Dubberley and Steve Gaston to the fold, two extremely talented and experienced sales professionals,” explained Ian Whateley, Managing Director.

“Both of them have significant knowledge of our manufacturing process, and, importantly, they know and understand what we do. Their technical knowledge is second to none and this means they can spot a positive opportunity when presented."

He continued: “In addition to the two appointments, we have revamped our website ( to make it more responsive and intuitive. It’s an approach that is working, with daily hits up 50% and new leads coming in each week through our online presence."

Steve Gaston, who started his career off at JLR, had previously worked with ACE for more than 8 years, the majority of the time working with the firm as part of a business development role he held within the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN). He will now be responsible for external sales for the Midlands and the South, with a focus on business networking and developing long-term customer relationships.

Craig Dubberley originally trained in CAD before moving into sales and will now be responsible for technical sales at ACE, working alongside Technical Sales Manager Gary Marriott to help clients with challenging projects. His other role will be in the New Product Introduction (NPI) team to ensure new components can enter production seamlessly.

Ian went on to add: “Getting the right people on board has coincided with another big push on marketing. Firstly, the website has been revamped to provide more content and new features on our processes and, secondly, we have appointed a Shropshire PR agency – Cucumber PR – to raise our profile.”

He concluded: “The final element of the mix is our exhibition calendar, which is the most prolific in our 16-year history. We’ve already completed three shows and have another two events lined up for 2016…it’s a formula that is working, with growth expected to touch 20% this year, creating more new jobs in the process.”

ACE’s scope of activities is far and wide and can include anything from safety critical components for aircraft and cars to simple washers, electronic connectors and ornate clock faces.

With the latest production machinery and a dedicated laboratory and state-of-the-art measuring capability in Telford, it ensures it can make products in materials, including stainless steel, nickel alloys, copper, beryllium copper, phosphor bronze, brass and, thanks to ground-breaking new processes, aluminium, titanium, molybdenum, nitinol and elgiloy.

For further information visit or follow the company @Ace_ChemEtching on twitter.