Smiley Monroe to expand with US manufacturing facility

By |  October 3, 2019
Smiley Monroe US facility

From left: Ryan Wright, international sales manager; Chris Monroe, global sales director; and Jayne Peters, head of human resources and people development. Photo courtesy of Smiley Monroe

Smiley Monroe, a Northern Ireland-based manufacturer of conveyor belts and material handling equipment, will expand into the United States with a manufacturing facility in Franklin, Kentucky.

The decision to expand into the U.S. and Kentucky, specifically, is due to Smiley Monroe’s growing customer base in the region, increasing political uncertainty in the United Kingdom, and to avoid export restrictions to the U.S.

“With the political uncertainty in both the UK and beyond, protecting our export sales is paramount to growing the business and safe-guarding jobs in Northern Ireland,” says Chris Monroe, global sales director at Smiley Monroe. “Having a base in the U.S. will shorten lead times for customers and help us be more competitive in the tough U.S. market. Removing barriers to trade will fast track our ambitious growth plans to increase turnover by 50 percent over the next three years.”

The $2 million facility investment will create 30 full-time jobs in the local area, according to the company. Smiley Monroe will work with Simpson County in Kentucky to recruit a team of production operatives and support staff.

In addition, Smiley Monroe says it “has all the pieces in place” to be producing in the U.S. by January. Until then, the company’s Northern Ireland headquarters will continue to service both local and international customers.

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