Olympus KeyMed - Award-winning global market leader.

Olympus KeyMed, based at Southend-on-Sea in Essex, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Olympus Corporation Japan and a key member of the global Olympus network. The company has specific responsibility for the development and manufacture of market-leading specialised medical ancillary products and industrial equipment for distribution worldwide.

The company is one of the global business centres for Olympus endoscopy products and the exclusive distributor and service centre for the entire Olympus range of flexible and rigid endoscopes, accessories and ancillary products in Great Britain. Quality and innovation are at the heart of the company’s success, and Olympus KeyMed recently won its third Queen’s Award for the development of I-SPEED – a state of the art, high-speed video camera, which is achieving significant market success through its portability, flexibility and functionality.

The focus on quality and innovation means that Olympus KeyMed depend on skilled people. “We need a wide range of skills in electronics, optical and mechanical engineering, PCB assembly and fabrication,” says Mark Jackson, Head of Business Development – Manufacturing.

“We are fortunate that Essex, with its electronics and manufacturing heritage, has an established pool of high-tech skills so we are able to tap into the local labour market. There is a good network of training schools and colleges which we can use as part of our continuous staff development programme.”

Essex is also home to many of the company’s component suppliers and business partners. As Mike Skelt, Head of Manufacturing – Medical, explains,

“Having key members of the supply chain so close at hand means we can rely on the daily deliveries and quick response times that are essential to our lean procurement policy.”

The county’s logistics infrastructure is also vital to a company like Olympus KeyMed that operates in global markets. “We have sales and marketing responsibility for the UK, Middle East and Africa and we sell our products back to the Olympus Group for distribution in Europe, USA and Japan,” says Mike Skelt.

“Having the international container port at Tilbury so close by makes it very convenient to support our export markets worldwide.”

The company also runs a large service operation, with engineers regularly travelling to customer sites or visiting other Olympus locations around the world.  According to Mark Jackson,

“London Stansted Airport provides an ideal gateway to our international destinations.”

Olympus KeyMed’s commitment to quality and innovation has been recognised by a number of prestigious awards. In 2004, it received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Sustainable Development. In 2006, a second Queen’s Award in the category of International Trade, followed in 2008 by a further Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of the development of I-SPEED. In 2009, the company won Most Improved Plant at the Best Factory Awards and was highly commended for Skills Development

Essex, with its pool of skilled labour, excellent logistics infrastructure and high-tech tradition, is an ideal base for this award-winning international market leader.

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