How strong is your operating team and do you have the 'leaders of the future' being nurtured within the Group?
I have developed a number of sector silos with a strong sales driven leader heading up each one. This includes automotive, electronics and telecoms, sales to distributors, TR Direct looking after the smaller transactional customers, plastics products and a project management team controlling multi-site enquiries.
Of course all of this has to be supported by the sourcing and purchasing teams, the new product introduction New Product Introduction (NPI) teams which involves both technical and quality personnel on feasibility. Elimination of risk is a high priority for us and our customers, and the work has to be put in by all disciplines to make that happen. Strong leaders of these key functions are in place.
Since you took on the role globally, how have things changed?
In the fourth year since the Team was reformed and strengthened the importance of coordinating global activity with the major OEMs we supply has been essential. The global enquiry portal has been one of the main reasons for our success as we have visibility of activity 24/7, and can influence and respond using all of the Group resources. Working with the global head offices and design centres of these companies, and being able to support this at local level in the various countries is a winning formula.
What are key for you to achieve?
Continuing to coach people in the 80/20 Pareto Principle encouraging them to spend their time on the important issues and not get bogged down in the small stuff. Continuing to improve the efficiencies in the business and eliminate non value add activity. Upskill as many of our people as we can, by training and equipping them with the skills to give value and gain personal pride in achieving their tasks and KPIs.
How often do you visit colleagues at the rockface?
This is one of the most interesting and pleasurable parts of my role and I am a frequent visitor to most of our sites on a regular basis. Listening to the Teams and engaging with them, maybe on a topic or an issue that they need assistance with, gives me a real feeling of being connected, that you cannot get from sitting behind a desk.
What's so important about the new licences won this year?
The licences are very important and give our manufacturing sites an opportunity to make more value add products, and our sales teams to offer a more enhanced portfolio of product. This keeps us ahead within our industry, and in the eyes of our customers as we constantly look to increase our offering to them.
How would you sum up your last year and your outlook?
I am particularly delighted at the performance of the UK, Europe and the Middle East having fought back from the recession so strongly. All of the sites are performing well, and I am encouraged that there are new markets, and countries such as Russia to develop in the coming year. So we will move forward with confidence this year!
I would sum up last year as a tribute to networking, connecting up the opportunities globally and hard work on behalf of the teams. My outlook is that this year will continue to bring more global opportunities with some new multinationals engaging with us. China and the ASEAN Region will develop as a stronger force in automotive through the acquisition of PSEP and the work that has been done by the European teams to get us on the global platform builds as the approved supplier.