On Thursday 11 October 2012, Surface Technology International Philippines (STI-P) was delighted to host a factory tour for the British Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr Stephen Lillie. Mr Lillie took time out of his busy schedule to visit the specialist electronics manufacturing company as part of his on-going interest in British businesses in the Philippines.
STI Philippines is a UK owned business, with a manufacturing facility and head office in Hook, Hampshire. STI UK employs over 450 staff on a 75,000-sqft site manufacturing high reliability, low volume specialist printed circuit board assembly and final box-build to the Aerospace, Defence and Commercial Sectors. STI invested in the Cebu facility in 2010 to complement its UK offering by catering to clients in sectors such as automotive and Industrial who build higher volume and lower mix products. The Philippines site is 14,000-sqft employing over 200 staff and has taken a lead from the UK in terms of its quality management processes and high quality output.
“As Managing Director of both the UK and Philippines STI Manufacturing facilities, I am very disappointed not to be able to personally show you our site,” wrote Simon Best in his welcome letter to the Ambassador. “Along with my management team I regularly come to Cebu and have just returned this last weekend from my fifth visit this year with my next scheduled in two weeks time!
We are keenly focused on developing our business in the Philippines. As part of our global strategy we purchased the manufacturing facility within the PEZA district in Cebu in 2010 and in the last 2 years we have turned a loss making business into one making a profit; we have invested heavily in our manufacturing lines, with the best quality equipment; and we have initiated on-going training programmes for our personnel – recently two of our Filipino workers returned home after an intensive six month training programme in the UK and we are already in the process of organising UK training for the next wave”.
“The STI Filipino team is a most dedicated and committed workforce and it is a real inspiration to work with them on driving the business forward and making it a success – they are constantly looking to develop and expand the platform as well as broadening the customer base to supplement the existing UK business and support. We have used video conferencing and the extensive use of webcams on a daily basis to shrink the 7,000-mile distance to practically zero. Owning a Philippines manufacturing facility has allowed us to offer our UK, US and European customers some broader options – by capitalising on lower manufacturing costs for printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) and our ability to produce higher volumes more efficiently, we have seen keen interest in the Philippines story and we are very optimistic on our future.”
At the end of the tour of the STI-P manufacturing facilities and offices, the British Ambassador Stephen Lillie addressed STI-P staff and VIP guests, stating “The UK is home to 40% of Europe’s electronics design industry. STI-P is a showcase of British innovation and technological excellence, and we are delighted that they have chosen the Philippines as a manufacturing site. We also support the Philippine government’s efforts to improve the business environment, which will encourage more interest from UK companies.”
“We are pleased to support STI as they expand their local operations. The market presents valuable opportunities for them and other British companies to explore, and we remain committed to help build business partnerships between the Philippines and the UK,” added Derek Page, Director – UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Manila.
STI have produced a Travel Guide to assist both holiday and business travelers to Philippines – follow the link http://www.sti-limited.com/about/philippines-travel-guide/