Kate Wickham, Managing Director of Gateshead based, Gate 7, a leading decal manufacturer for the construction and agricultural machinery sectors, was presented earlier this week (17/10/2017), with an MBE for Services to Exports and Outward Investments, at Buckingham Palace in London by the Princess Royal, Princess Anne.
Kate was named in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List earlier this year following a nomination by UK Trade and Investments. Commenting on the award John Doolan, International Trade Adviser at the Department for International Trade said, “Gate 7 have worked with DIT/UKTI for many years developing International markets. Kate has been a driving force behind the company’s export success resulting in not only increased sales to existing clients but has also grown the business into new markets increasing its International customers base.”
On receiving the award Kate said, “We won a Queen’s Award for International Trade back in 2005 and we have also won local export awards in the past. Being awarded an MBE was completely unexpected.”
Kate added, “I had an amazing day at the palace it was an incredible experience and such an honour to receive an MBE in such historical surroundings. I met some lovely people who were all really enthusiastic about what they do in their lives and careers and had made some incredible achievements. I was also able to celebrate the special day with all my family – which was overwhelming and a day we will all remember for a long time to come. I am also very proud to have received an MBE for my job which I am so passionate about.”
About Gate 7
Gate 7 is a Gateshead, UK based specialist component manufacturer for the automotive sector; the company’s product portfolio includes decals and vehicle livery for construction and agricultural machinery. The UK division of the company is run by Managing Director, Kate Wickham (34) who has been with Gate 7 since 2005. Kate, in addition to running the business with a team of 40 staff, looks after overseas export which currently makes up 60% of Gate 7’s revenue.
Business for Gate 7 continues to grow world-wide and their customer base has grown from three to its current 20 which include JCB, Hitachi, Volvo, Bobcat, Doosan and Manitou to name but a few. And when you learn that a single vehicle might have up to 200 decals, from branding to safety information to operating instructions, which the company can produce in 34 different languages, it’s not difficult to understand how the market is worth almost £50 million Worldwide to the Gateshead -based business.
Gate 7 has also increased its domestic market. “Supplying all of the UK JCB divisions has increased our domestic market.” Reported Kate. “We have also increased our export by 40% since 2012. India is a big market for us through JCB and a few other customers we are working with in India. India is a market that has dramatically increased and we have increased our exports to Sweden, Czech Republic and Germany.”
Gate 7 also has two manufacturing divisions in the USA (Pennsylvania and South Carolina) which opened in 2008 following a swell in business in America – these divisions are run by Kate’s colleague John Reay who is the vice president in the US. John has been with Gate 7 since the company started and used to manage the US divisions from the UK before moving out to the US in 2008. Both divisions are doing exceptionally well and are a carbon copy of the Gateshead based facility – everything that Gate 7 do on a global scale is exactly the same which includes machinery, ink systems and raw materials, and where possible, their supplier base. The benefit that Gate 7 have there is that the company can offer its customers a global quality standard product.