Federico Ercoli visits Midlands’ manufacturer, Brandauer, to learn about its practices.
“The outside is deceiving, wait until you see the inside,” I was told by the PR representative that picked me up in Birmingham and drove me to Brandauer.
“The look might not suggest it, but Brandauer is on top of its game on an international level,” he added. Entering the facilities of a metal components manufacturer probably never created such high expectations.
Although, it only took me a few minutes and a few glances to realise the particulars were all there. The 45,000 sq ft factory is the opposite of what one expects to find when dealing with a global presswork and stamping company.
Clean, tidy, well-lit and efficiently organised. More than lean philosophy is probably a necessary modus operandi due to the high number of parts the firm is commissioned.
“We are globally competitive. We have been supplying China with 4m parts a week for the past 10 years and continue to do so,” Rowan Crozier, CEO at Brandauer explains.
“75% of what we manufacture is exported and that’s increasing. We’ll probably going to be at 80% by the end of next year,” he added.
Like many other manufacturers, reshoring at Brandauer is considered a crucial issue. “We are winning more business off-shore than we are in the UK at the moment; but the most recent contract, in regards to re-shoring, is a cable conduit connector, which is a telecoms application that we supply to four different countries: China, India, Mexico and Eastern Europe,” Crozier said.
With the recently introduced Special Products Division (SPD), Crozier, who took the reins as CEO last September, intended to reduce time-to-market pressures, open the door to new staff and boost productivity.
“I put in a five year plan. Part of that was to fix a number of issues and deal head on with the skills gap. Secondly, to grow this business and double its size over the next five years by difersifying, offering new capabilities and potentially developing a product that is Brandauer branded,” he said.
And with Crozier’s fearless can-do attitude it looks like, for Brandauer, growth is there for the taking.