Business Growth Programme saves APS time and money on ISO accreditation

23 Apr 2019


An internationally recognised award confirms that a St Helens business is at the top of its game when it comes to the quality of its management operating systems.

Automation Products and Services Ltd (APS) has utilised both the Chamber’s Business Growth Programme and the Business Growth Grant to help it achieve accreditation to the quality standard ISO 9001- 2015.

Based at Sherdley Business Park, APS was incorporated in 2010 following a management buyout by business partners and current directors Derek Clark and Andy Fletcher.

“We both worked in the business, and when the opportunity to buy it came along, we knew it was too good an opportunity to miss,” explains Derek.

APS provides “turn-key” solutions for automation control systems. From initial design and build, through to install and commission, the whole process can be handled by APS.

The introduction of a recognised quality system has been on the agenda for a while and the 12 hours of fully-funded consultancy from the Business Growth Programme allowed the directors to receive expert help to establish what they needed to do to meet the ISO 9001 requirements.

Derek says: “It was really beneficial to use the Business Growth Programme first. It was essentially a gap analysis project and it saved us a lot of time and money when we did the actual project.

“We have always recognised the need for a formal quality accreditation and when our main customer requested it, it made our minds up to go for it; the funded support and the grant came along at just the right time for us.”

Following on from the initial 12 hours of ISO consultancy, the Business Growth Grant provided funding for further consultancy and the actual accreditation procedure.

Automated Systems and Services was awarded ISO 9001 2015 in January this year, and the operation now conforms rigidly to its requirements.

Derek says: “It was hard work, we started from scratch and it’s a steep learning curve. But now the system is in place we just have to follow it and review it when required. It’s given us focus on the business, made us more efficient and gives us a yardstick to measure our performance by.

He adds: “The reaction from customers has been really positive and has definitely made our position stronger for the future. It’s great when I speak to prospective customers as well; it gives us more credibility.”

APS has recently become a Member of the Chamber after experiencing many of the benefits. Derek explained: “I was sceptical at first, but that view has changed as a result of the experience we’ve had. Numerous facets of the business have been helped by the Chamber and that’s why we joined, we wanted to get more involved.”

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund and St.Helens Council the Business Growth Programme is designed to help businesses operating in the B2B sector who want to grow and take on new staff, but are finding obstacles in their way.

To find out more about Automation Products and Services Ltd visit

To find out more about the Business Growth Programme and Business Growth Grant click here or contact John Woods on 01744 742058 or