Q and A with Mark Rutherford of Alexander Battery Technologies

Industry Insights

Q and A with Mark Rutherford of Alexander Battery Technologies

27th March 2023

We were delighted to see Peterlee-based Alexander Battery Technologies take home the Manufacturer of the Year (under £25 million) award – sponsored by Horizon Works – at the Insider Made In The North East Awards in March.

Alexander Battery Technologies designs and manufactures customised lithium-ion batteries and chargers for volume production projects. It also produces customised products for LiFePO4, NiMH and non-rechargeable battery packs.

The company supports customers which operate across multiple markets including medical devices, test & measurement equipment, communications, specialised tools and power tools, military and robotics.

After the award win, we thought it would be great to catch up with managing director Mark Rutherford to gain an insight into the company, find out more about its success and chat about its exciting plans for 2023…

How has Alexander Battery Technologies evolved over the last few years?

The company was founded more than 40 years ago in the United States and established manufacturing operations in the UK in the 1980s. It was acquired by the management team with the support of Shard Credit Partners in 2019, and a new leadership team was put in place, including myself and my fellow director, Claire Brymer.

Since 2020, we’ve been working on getting our name out there and have completely restructured and redesigned the facilities in Peterlee.

We invested more than £2 million in converting two 20,000 sq. ft buildings into a state-of-the-art production facility and a warehouse. We also added an Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) production area, an engineering and production lab for the creation and testing of products and a production flow to allow for flexible manufacturing.

We’ve also invested in manufacturing facilities which will enable us to produce larger, higher voltage batteries and serve new markets, including the automotive sector.

What did winning the Manufacturer of the Year (under £25 million) award mean to the team?

We were absolutely overjoyed to win the award – it’s really nice to be recognised by your peers.

It’s good to get recognition for all the hard work that everybody has put in. It’s a well-respected award in our sector and it was a very competitive shortlist!

Sometimes when you’re in the thick of it, you don’t realise how much you’ve actually achieved as a business.

Why do you think it’s important for manufacturing in North East England to be celebrated in an awards event?

It reminds people that the North East is at the forefront of manufacturing. We have really good businesses here that are leading the way in manufacturing technologies, and we have a strong local supply chain.

North East manufacturing is of a very high quality and it’s also very competitive from a cost perspective.

You’re committed to addressing the skills gap and supporting young people in the region – tell us more about that.

We have a talent shortage in the North East, especially in engineering, so we want to get involved with local schools and colleges, and show young people the opportunities that are available to them.

We have six apprentices at the moment, who work across multiple departments including test engineering, design, process engineering and quality, and we’ll be launching a new apprenticeship programme this year, through which we’ll be putting young adults through their degrees.

I think soft skills are very important too, so we help our apprentices with areas such as problem solving and communicating with peers and management.

What does the future hold for Alexander Battery Technologies?

We’ll soon be opening our new Technology Centre in Peterlee, which will include 12 specialist state-of-the-art R&D labs.

We’ll also be opening an office in Germany by the end of 2023, which will be our first expansion into mainland Europe, and we’ll be introducing a new ERP system too.

In addition, this year we’ll be aiming to generate more market awareness, so you’ll see our team will be at more shows and events!

Alexander Battery Technologies is on a five-year trajectory and we’re aiming to be a £100 million business by 2026 – we’re on track to reach that goal.

For more information on Alexander Battery Technologies visit https://www.alexandertechnologies.com/