To celebrate 50 years of British manufacturing, Nigel Bicknell, Managing Director of Pambry Electronics Ltd, a family-run British manufacturer of audio and microphone parts based in Poole explains how Pambry Electronics have grown and developed to now be servicing a huge array of industries with their high-quality parts designed to work in harsh environments.
How did Pambry Electronics and the business get started?
Pambry have been operating since 1972 and the company was originally founded by my father. He started the company due to his interest in building acoustic measurement equipment and finding solutions to audio and wiring problems in harsh environments. Overtime he developed parts and partnerships that were then utilised in the headsets of language schools across Europe and multiple manufacturers of headsets and accessories.
Fast forward to 2015, we started getting some traction with our newly developed microphones, speakers and other component parts and we now have a range of parts manufactured for all customer types in Audio.
Now in 2022 as a business our turnover is in excess 4 million a year, and the business has changed from being 80% distribution to only about 15% – so much of the business is us making or designing things. We also have the expertise to produce bespoke prototypes for customers and provide solutions to design problems customers have when developing a product. We have a very proud history of developing products in this audio space and consistently research new product opportunities.
What makes Pambry Electronics successful?
Our continuous investment in research and development allows us to service new sectors and customers. For example, we now have products that aid in companies in ensuring the health and safety of their employees by measuring sound levels in certain environments. This is called the Personal Noise Dose Meter and is something we’ve developed to ensure the safety of people’s hearing in the workplace. This particular product is different from some of our others and as example of us diversifying into new industries, utilising our expertise in sound to help others.
A lot of our other microphone and speaker parts are also waterproof and can operate at both high and low altitudes, making them perfect for a variety of uses. We supply the microphones that go into Formula One, rally cars and we supply Airbus with microphone products that go in the flight cockpit, for example.
What challenges has Pambry had to overcome?
One of our biggest business challenges in the early days was investing in building our brand. We started off doing smaller jobs like wiring for other companies and other jobs we didn’t find overly fulfilling or exciting as initially we struggled to get investment from banks.
More recent challenges we’ve faced have been the impact of Brexit, the pandemic, and the national skills shortage. It’s become increasingly more difficult to get the right people in to work for us and because we want to maintain our family-feel as a business, so getting the right people in with the right skills is crucial.
What are you most proud of Pambry achieving and why?
We’ve recently celebrated our 50th year of trading and had to expand into even larger premises to house everything we need to be able to keep servicing our customers. We are proud of where we are as a business. Losing my dad suddenly 5 years ago was difficult but we continue to grow the business he started and loved, with even more passion and 3rd generation family involvement.
Another big achievement for us is we designed a product for a customer and they’ve now placed a £1 million order for it, so we are very proud of that. With wins like that we are able to continue to invest in the company and our people, keeping the family-run ethos throughout.
Established in 1972, Pambry Electronics is a specialist developer, supplier and distributor of Acoustics products. From our development centre in Poole, Dorset, UK, we supply acoustics products to some of the world’s most demanding organisations including the Ministry of Defence, major Aerospace companies, the RNLI and Formula One teams.
To find out more about Pambry Electronics, visit our main website www.pambry.co.uk