Live coverage: The Manufacturer’s Annual Leaders Conference

Posted on 25 Nov 2015 by The Manufacturer

Leading industry figures will be discussing the trends and influences that are shaping the future of industry during the UK’s largest event of its kind, The Manufacturer's Annual Leaders Conference (TMALC).

The 2015 focus will be on the circular economy and the opportunity for manufacturers to explore new streams of revenue.

Entrepreneurial manufacturing leaders will impart their knowledge and give insight about how they plan to grow their business, supported by leading academics and qualified solution providers for a truly rounded conversation.

TMALC will gather some of the biggest names and most well respected leaders in industry to discuss and debate a wide range of topics including Internet of Things; creating business growth; business optimisation, and design and simulation – to name of a few.


Today marks the start of all the discussions, round tables and workshops that culminate in a night of glitz and glam tomorrow as The Manufacturer Manufacturing Excellence Awards (TMMX) takes over the ICC in Birmingham.

Day Two:

Jan Godsell, professor of operations and supply chain strategy, WMG.
Jan Godsell, professor of operations and supply chain strategy, WMG.

Jan Godsell – professor of operations and supply chain strategy, Warwick Manufacturing Group

“One of the key themes that came out of yesterday is that a lot of the current buzzwords circling around manufacturing is that many of them are inter-related. There are also a lot of synonyms, so you may not have heard of servitization, but your services-based business model relates perfectly to the concept.”

“Another key theme was that the circular economy is very much driven by design.”

Manufacturing our future:

David Landsman OBE – director, Tata

“We in the UK, not just those of us here today, cannot afford to ignore manufacturing. I shouldn’t really need to say that, but it’s crucial and worth reiterating.”

“UK manufacturing is at a very real crossroads. Can we take the path of the opportunity that exists, or do we take the wrong path and end up as a footnote. It is there for the taking, if we want to take.”

“What we need to do is make a clear, simple case for manufacturing. We shouldn’t have to do it, but we must – even as the country where the first industrial revolution occurred.”

David Landsman, executive director at Tata Limited and chairman of Tata Europe Network Forum.
David Landsman OBE, director, Tata.

“We cannot focus on past glories, or be perceived to be doing so. We have to look to the future. The environment is changing rapidly, and we have to engage with it.”

“We should celebrate what we’ve achieved. We wouldn’t be having a conversation like this 20, even 10 years ago. A lot of people were talking about manufacturing the past tense. I’m not saying it was true then, but it was certainly a widely held perception – perhaps, especially in London.”

“Rebalancing has firmly entered the political vocabulary.”

“Nearly 80% of cars produced in the UK are exported, making up 10% of the nation’s exports.”

“In aerospace, the UK has 17% of the world’s industry, and there are similar stories in other sectors such as advanced manufacturing and biosciences, among others.”

“Overall, there are some very encouraging figures for manufacturing overall. In some respect, the picture is actually more optimistic than the figures suggest.”

“Manufacturing is even more important to the economy, and that’s a message we need to make very clear.”

“Productivity in some of our most important manufacturing sectors have risen impressively, and there are a great many successes attracting investment from all over the world.”

“But it isn’t a completely rosy picture. Despite the increases, signs of manufacturing growth aren’t consistently strong enough to suggest that rebalancing is long-term, rather than transitory.”

“It goes without saying that recent headlines have underlined that the problems facing UK steel are indeed grave.”

“To stand a chance of survival, UK steel has to be able to stand on a level playing field with its competitors.”

“The picture for manufacturing is mixed. There has been real progress, but industry faces some real challenges. Yet there are other nation’s industrial sectors that are facing those same challenges, and have risen to them.”

“We are in a competitive world, and we need to get our act together. How do we do that, we need to look forwards, not backwards, preparing for a future that is uncertain, but exciting and full of opportunity. There is no doubt that technology is bringing about radical change incredibly fast.”

“Short-terminism regarding investment has arguably contributed to the decline of manufacturing in this country over the past two generations.”

“Both business and government have to look outwards, and ensure that any future strategy is created with one eye on what’s happening in the rest of the world.”

“I think we need to open up the professions even more. Just as a good school teacher has to enthuse the pupil who comes in without initial enthusiasm for the subject, so to must industry.”

Leadership of change:

Mel Wombwell – partner, business consulting, Grant Thornton UK LLP.
Mel Wombwell, partner – business consulting, Grant Thornton UK LLP.

Mel Wombwell – partner, business consulting, Grant Thornton UK LLP

“The word leadership keeps coming up time and time again; not just in manufacturing, but all industries.”

“The challenge with businesses who have been around a long time is that they come with history and heritage, creating highly ingrained practices and processes.”

“This can lead to employees merely being told what to do, which risks disengaging them, they switch off and just complete the task allocated to them.”

“But there have been a number of significant events which has rebalanced the relationship between organisations and their employees. Statistics include, 34% of people will find a second job to meet ends meet, the average person has six jobs across their careers, the average time a millennial spends with an organisation is just two years.”

“The way that the majority of people lead has resulted in a global poll showing that only 35% of workers are engaged, 43% are disengaged, and 22% feel unsupported. This clearly demonstrates that a new style of leadership is urgently required.”

“People are looking for leadership teams – not necessarily all from one individual – who are good coaches; consider succession; are positive role models; think strategically; provide vision and clarity; more pro-active than reactive; challenge the status-quo, and are open-minded and willing to learn.”

Neil Barrell – partner, business consulting, Grant Thornton UK LLP.
Neil Barrell, partner – business consulting, Grant Thornton UK LLP.

Neil Barrell – partner, business consulting, Grant Thornton UK LLP

“To implement effective change you need stimulus; vision; ability; resources; action, and success.”

“Stimulus is about creating a sense of urgency and inspiring a group with power to lead the change, and can be found both internally and externally.”

“Vision is about clarifying how the future will look. Ability must be able to deliver. Resources us about removing the barriers to change; human, financial, etc.”

“Action plan; plan, do, act, check. It is vital that a plan exists. Success must be visible.”

“But, how do you lead that methodology? The majority of people want to be adaptive leaders, but you need a balance of both adaptive and technical leaders.”

Circular economy – creating a new business strategy:

Jonny Hazell - Green Alliance
Jonny Hazel, senior policy advisor, Green Alliance.

Jonny Hazel – senior policy advisor, Green Alliance 

“What are the new business models? From least to most radical – long/extended life; re-use; incentivised returns; hire & leasing, and service systems.”

“Why would a manufacturers be interested in a circular business model? Demand; profitability & competitiveness; security of supply, and policy.”

Creating business growth through equity funding and support, but without loss of control:

Mark Bryant- head of manufacturing, Business Growth Fund

Mark Bryant - BGF (Business Growth Fund)
Mark Bryant, head of manufacturing, BGF.

“What most entrepreneurs and business people dis like is selling their business in three to five years. We offer long term capital and try to provide as much support as possible.”

“As we grow we create a massive network that we can tap in to.”

“Everybody is so busy running their businesses that they don’t know what’s out there and available to them.”

“People don’t realise the support that’s out there, but don’t let access to finance inhibit your businesses growth.”

Alistair Waite – CEO, Altec Engineering

“We wanted an equity and loan funder, if it’s a loan funder then you’re always sat across the table from them. If they have equity in the business then they are on your side.”

“What BGF did was set out very early on, what their offer would be. They also engaged with everybody on all levels.”

“We’ve been introduced to lotof companies, both in and outside of the BGF network. We now have a partner for an aerospace project.”

“What have BGF been like as a partner? To be honest, we’d be hard pushed to find a better partner across all levels.”

“Nothing ever goes to plan, it’s never a straight line and BGF understand that.”

“We had a good track record of growth, a well developed strategic plan, experienced management team, and this all helped us gain funding.”

Understanding when and how to engage with outside help to optimise your business:

Charles Toosey - Business Consulting Operations, Grant Thornton
Charles Toosey, associate director – business consulting operations, Grant Thornton UK LLP.

Charles Toosey – associate director – business consulting operations, Grant Thornton UK LLP

“The business wasn’t ready to accept the advice and that comes down to the culture and leadership of the compnay. The concept was simple, Saab is in decline and you should start selling parts in other areas. The advisors told the board what to do, the board said very well and off they went, but they weren’t ready to implement the advice.”

“When I go in to a company, the first thing you need to understand is the training in the company and the culture before going for outside help.”

“Saab was a good example of what to do and what not to do, they spent millions and years to produce their own satellite navigation system that didn’t work very well at all in the UK. Perhaps they would have been able to use a third party system.”

“Honesty is the best defence, sometimes you have to put you hand up and recognise you need help.”

“Speaking about Volkswagen is difficult because it is an entire network, and in these situations you need to have communication networks embedded in to the organisation.”

“One of the fundamentals is stakeholder mapping. We might get asked to look at something in isolation, but we look at the whole and take a holistic approach to see who it affects – the costumer, supplier, retailer etc.”

“Change is not an easy thing to do, you have to deal with the culture in the group.”

“Every time we go in to a company they ask us our credentials. You don’t want clever people who might be able to help, you want people with specific experience that can be applied practically.”

“You might think that we just point out the problem, but fixing a technical problem is quite simple. Actually addressing the culture of the organisation is much more important, why did this problem happen in the first place?”

“I genuinely believe that the power is with the UK manufacturing footprint to grow and change. Even if we don’t have all the tools right now to achieve it.”

The present and future of IoT:

Nuno Antonio, EMEA senior manager - analytics solutions, Dell.
Nuno Antonio, EMEA senior manager – analytics solutions, Dell.

Nuno Antonio – EMEA senior manager: analytics solutions, Dell

“Top industries leading the way and adopting the internet of things (IoT) – manufacturing/industrial, utilities and healthcare.”

“A significant barrier to successfully adopting IoT is the prevalence of internal silos which exist in organisations, between people, departments, divisions.”

“It is imperative that you unite technology and analytics with common sense.”

The great myth around manufacturing:

George Edwards – founder, Gas-Sense Solutions

“Gas-Sense has been a really significant part of the past year of my life. Through it I became really shocked by my perception of engineering and how that correlated with actually what engineering is, and that got my thinking about how engineering is marketed to young people.”

Entrepreneur George Edwards, founder - Gas Sense Ltd
George Edwards, founder, Gas-Sense Solutions.

“Engineering is a niche subject, when it’s grouped in with STEM subjects it is very much a minority. That, combined with the frequently negative headlines surrounding engineering or manufacturing stories doesn’t work to encourage young people to purse a career in industry.”

“There are many organisations promoting positive messages about industry to young people, but many are approaching it from different angles and perspectives, diluting the overall message.”

“My generation are very interested in a work-balance, and working towards something that does some good in society.”

“Engineering can excel at promoting the human stories involved it. Cold hard statistics aren’t going to entice anybody or warm an individual to the sector’s opportunities.”

“Engineering is invisible unless its visible. We’ve lost the ability for people – especially young people – to understand that a product has been engineered by someone. We need to get that back.”

The future of manufacturing:

Terry Scuoler, CEO, EEF
Terry Scuoler, CEO, EEF.

Terry Scuoler – CEO, EEF

“Whenever I hear the word inspiration, two others come to mind – perspiration and leadership.”

“Manufacturing is a global marketplace. It will grow, as will export and trade opportunities. Domestic consumption will grow, alongside the demand from society.”

“British manufacturing will be faced, for the next five years at least, to a non-interventionist orthodoxy not seen for many years.”

“It is an interesting cocktail of challenge and opportunity, but not necessarily a negative one.”

“If inspiration is having the foresight to invest in the areas discussed over the past two days, advanced manufacturing, circular economy, industry 4.0, youth and skills, etc., then let me return to the other word, perspiration.”

“Investments aren’t necessarily beneficial immediately. Dyson took 15 years to arrive at his multi-billion pound company was created. Over six years of intensive investment in plant, machinery and people at Jaguar Land Rover has now paid dividends.”

“By perspiration I mean quiet, consistent perseverance. Continuous professional development (CPD) is critical to us all, not one of us is perfect. Leadership in an industrial context is critical.”

“Supporting entrepreneurship and innovation is equally critical. Access to facilities for commercialising and scaling up ideas is vital, and access to talent. Government can contribute by continuing to support innovation and the various schemes that exist to surmount the so-called “valley of death”.”

“I’m pleased to say that the Autumn Statement from the Chancellor was – in the main – a positive set of tools to further support and nurture innovation and businesses.”

Day one:

Chairperson’s opening remarks:

Jan Godsell, professor of operations and supply chain strategy, WMG.
Jan Godsell, professor of operations and supply chain strategy, WMG.

Jan Godsell – professor of operations and supply chain strategy, Warwick Manufacturing Group

“I knew I wanted to work in manufacturing since I was 16 and now I’m a professor at Warwick Manufacturing Group.”

“The line-up over the next couple of days is a fantastic blend of plenary sessions, workshops, discussions, networking activities, and exhibitions.”

“Sustainability has been a topic that many of us have picked up over the past decade and a half, but the need to become more circular and the drive towards a circular circular economy has certainly grown in prominence over the past 12 months for many of us.”

“The circular economy represents a way of unlocking new revenue streams for the UK and many of its businesses.”

Annual Manufacturing Report 2016:

Callum Bentley - Editor, The Manufacturer
Callum Bentley – Editor, The Manufacturer

Callum Bentley – editor, The Manufacturer

“Our latest piece of research has been officially launched today – the Annual Manufacturing Report 2016.”

“There have been two stand-out news stories this year that we see as having a real impact UK manufacturing – the results of the General Election in May – incorporating announcements of the Northern Powerhouse and the Apprentice Levy; and the turmoil facing the steel industry which appeared to come to a head in October with the closure of Redcar, alongside Caparo Industries entering administration.”

“Our Annual Manufacturing Report is now in its ninth year, so we’ve got a rich data history to draw conclusions from, identify industry trends, and gauge key impacts.”

“Starting with Economy, Policy and Growth, despite a few issues, the majority (71%) of respondents indicated that they were positive for the future. This is the second highest level of optimism in the report’s nine years.”

“Confidence in the Government’s handling of the economy overall was generally positive, however its handling of UK manufacturing specifically was more negative.”

“New product development, sales growth and improve customer relationships were all highlighted as key focuses for the coming year.”

“Many manufacturers reported that new starters coming from schools and collages were generally poorly prepared for the world of work. This is not a reflection of the next generation itself, but more of an indictment of the current state of UK education.”

Annual Manufacturing Report 2016 - Front Cover
You can download the full report here –

“With 61%, qualified engineers are still the hardest position to recruit, according to the reports findings.”

“Automation and productivity are major areas for investment. Key drivers behind investing in automation are improving business efficiency, reducing production time and raising quality.”

“Crucially, 60% reported that working conditions and job satisfaction had improved since implementing an automation project, with almost a fifth (18%) of companies noting that jobs had actually been created in the process.”

“According to our survey, 16% hadn’t heard of the Internet of Things, with only a quarter of those that had planning to do something about it in the immediate future. Almost half would currently appear to be adopting a “wait and see” attitude in that regard.”

“A new section for this year’s Annual Manufacturing Report is servitization – manufacturing services. This will be really useful to gauge a base level for future years’ reports in order to assess penetration and adoption.”

Transitioning to a circular economy:

Tim Griffin – vice president and managing director, Dell UK

“Why is Dell interested in the circular economy? It really does correlate with Dell’s ethos and values.”

“As we look at the circular economy, it is a source of competitive advantage and differentiating yourself in the marketplace.”

“A great example of the circular economy is a library. If you borrow a book, read it and return it, then someone else can make use of it, rather than it sitting on your shelf at home.”

“Over the next 15 years, we’re going to be adding another 1bn people to the world’s population, and another 1bn in the 15 years after that. So a huge influx of people putting extra stress on already stretched resources and infrastructure.”

“Take, make, waste underlines almost every economy in the world. You either have a linear economy, or a circular economy. There is a belief that the circular economy represents a $1 trn opportunity, and could generate an additional 400,000 jobs.”

“We live in a very complex world and there is a real need to re-examine our business models and consumption practices. It’s crucial that you start that journey now, don’t wait and risk being left behind.”

“A path towards a circular economy revolves around sustainable sourcing, not only making better use of recycled/reused materials in our products, but fundamentally thinking about how are products could last longer.

“Creating a product life-cycle with your customers is a win-win. You could also consider how to employ technology to extend the longevity of products.”

“Only about 15% of the electronics in the marketplace get recycled, and its really as much about consumer choice as it is about manufacturers themselves. So it’s important to think about the supply chain aspect of your product life cycle and the ease in which it can be recycled.”

“The circular economy is all about a systems approach, looking at the entire ecosystem and being aware of every component. That meshes with the Internet of Things, especially Big Data Analytics.”

Design for additive manufacturing:

Steven Crownshaw- additive manufacturing sales and developement manager, Renishaw

“We start with metal powder, process it and create very little waste, it does require building a CAD file – which can be quite time consuming if it’s a one-off, but for mass manufacturing it’s the way forward.”

“Part consolidation is coming into place more and more, taking pieces and consolidating them into less pieces. It might be more expensive to print it, but with the time you save, it can save a lot of money.”

“People think this is disruptive to manufacturing, things like surface finish. Sure it’s not always as good, but you can easily shine the part up afterwards and people don’t always think about that. People think it might be rubbish, it’s not rubbish. Metal is totally different to plastics.”

“This isn’t just changing manufacturing, it’s changing upstream designing. One of the biggest issues is training designers who are capable of designing with additive manufacturing.”

“It’s such a new disruptive technology that there isn’t a rule book to tear-up. We’re taking components with 72 pieces and printing it in one piece. This is why design is so incredibly important.”

“This is where it becomes disruptive, design freedom. We can do almost anything and that can disrupt traditional manufacturing. We like to think it’s a technology that can work in tandem with more traditional production not destroy it.”

“You can get the design tolerances that we can get from traditional manufacturing, with some extra processes, you can get the tolerances you always have and save time and money. It’s a complimentary technology.”

“One man rang to say he had printed a seat post for a bike, he said he wanted to come and show us, but he was a one man band. We said yes of course, come down we’d love to see it. This was three years ago and now he’s 3D printed a whole bike.”

“You can’t just throw designs in to the programme and hit print, but the technology is coming.”

“People are always asking for bigger machines, but they’re expensive, don’t tie yourself to it. Buy more than one machine, it’s far more flexible.”

“We are working with the NHS to manufacture parts that can be put into people who have gone through trauma. It goes in straight into people with no problem at all.”

New standards for sustainable value creation:

Richard Jones – head of public and policy affairs, IOSH 

“Leadership and worker participation is emphasised even more in all the international standards. It’s about worker participation, consultation and implementation.”

“It’s about setting goals by the management system and setting goals to reach them.”

“There is now a requirement to achieve continuous improvements in the system and goals to check against this.”

“Iso 45001 helps to reduce the risk of physical and mental harm, as well as implementing a guide to achieve continuous improvement.”

“Good health & safety is an investment, not a cost – helping save lives, improve reputation, resilience & results”

“We need to ensure that health and safety gets the strategic resources that it needs and deserves.”

“Risk assessment at the design stage allows us to eliminate health and safety problems when it’s still a piece of paper.”

What is all the hype? New design and manufacturing paradigms to support the circular economy:

Robert Harwood Ph.D – global industry director, Ansys

Harwood, Robert - Ansys
Harwood, Robert – Ansys

“What happens if you just update a piece of software, think about your phone. It always has software updates but can the hardware deal with it, will it overheat for example? This is why we use simulation.”

“For the internet of things we need three things to really make it work – the things, the platform and analytics.”

“A lot of the value is outside the things, I think a lot of the value comes from the analysis.”

“A project we worked on last year, was a car belt. We put a chip in there to monitor wear and tear. Now not only does that timing belt manufacturer understand when something is going to fail, but why.”

“IOT and simulation is all about getting a competitive advantage.”

“There’s going to be a lot of collateral damage in the next couple of years. Lots of firms will jump on the band wagon and will fail, so it’s important to have a strategy. This is where simulation comes in, to gain an advantage.”

“The real impact of the circular economy comes in analytics. This can change how things can be used in the field and impact your life and environment.”

With big data, simulation and analytics you can do a lot. Whereas your competitors know when something breaks, you’ll know why.”

“Simulation has an immense role to play in unlocking the power of additive manufacturing.”

“We are really seeing the emergence of systems engineering. We are now moving into truly behavioural stuff, it’s digital twin essentially, of the behaviour of that product.”

“It affects manufacturing because that model based simulation can take your product all the way from day one to the end of its lifecycle and see how it performs.”

Sustainability and the environmental implications of a circular economy:

Dr Forbes McDougall – head of circular economy, Veolia

“We need to go circular because of the increases in the middle classes – because these are the consumers.

“India and China have seen massive increases in their middle classes and therefore consumption, so we need to act.”

“A lot of people think that the circular economy is just recycling plus, that’s not the case, it’s far more than that.”

“The jobs that they’re talking about being created thanks to the circular econmy are not just waste disposal type jobs. There’s blue collar jobs, but also a lot of white collar, high tech positions.”

“We have Uber, where you rent a car for some time. Soon we will rent other things like white goods. Why buy all those machines from different place them when you can rent them all from one person in one place, but are then upgraded and maintained as part of the service.”

“These are the five business models that seem to be emerging in circular: circular supplies, resource recovery, product life extension, sharing platforms, product as a service.”

“Don’t go paying for disposal, make revenue from those wastes.”

“Sharing platforms, using under utilised and under-used pre-existing resources. AirBnB is a perfect example of this, and mobile technology is paramount.”

“We run turbines and we said that we’d have them running 98% of the time. They are now linked machine-to-machine and share big data between each. We had a turbine with an out of spec wobble, the machine picked this up and told the engineer. The engineer got there and the blade was about to fall off the turbine. That would have wrecked the turbine and been destroyed, costing a lot in time, money and resources. Instead it was a comparatively cheap and quick fix.”

“Modular design technology will be massive, being able to fix your own things with relative ease.”

“Making high quality chemicals out of waste is a massive possibility.”

“Get your house in order first, it might be that you’re recycling all of your waste, but if you’re polluting the land your facility is built on that’s not really helping.”

Sustainability and the environmental implications of a circular economy:

Emma Shavick – Sustainability leader, Proctor and Gamble

“We recently announced that all our North American textile plants will be powered by wind.”

“We actually have a paper-making plant in Georgia that is powered 100% on steam from wood, woodchips, even pecan shells.”

“We aim to have all of our sites globally to be zero-waste-to-landfill, our London site has actually already achieved this.”

“One project that we just started is with the University of York. We have sponsored some Ph.D students to evaluate our waste to see if there is anything in there that can be used in there and how to extract and use it or sell it on to others.”

Manufacturing law for the future:

Rob Bryan, partner at BPE Solicitors LLP.
Robert Bryan, partner, BPE Solicitors LLP.

Rob Bryan – equity partner and head of manufacturing, BPE

“I’d like to give you an insight in to the legal regime that will give manufacturing the best chance in the future.”

“The question we need to consider is will the UK framework move to one model, or another or in a completely different direction?”

“There’s two extremes, the Silicon Valley model and the Japanese model. The former tends to work well for start ups the latter tends to work better for larger businesses. The challenge is to find a happy, efficient middle ground.”

“Firms in the US that are going through tough times cut money for R&D in order to keep shareholder money, that is the current trend.”

“In all countries, those that have greater employment rights have greater levels of innovation.”

The economic environment:

Barry Naisbitt, chief economist - finance, Santander.
Barry Naisbitt, chief economist – finance, Santander.

Barry Naisbitt – chief economist, finance, Santander

“For the future, I broadly imagine steady economic growth to continue, even if it doesn’t sound particularly exciting.”

“We’ve now had 11 consecutive quarters of economic growth.”

“For economists, we look at something called real earning increases, when we say we real we mean in purchasing power terms, against inflations. In the past couple of years, wages are now very much above inflation.”

“Manufacturing hasn’t bounced back as strongly as services, and I think part of that is because it’s far more global than services.”

“Something I find slightly puzzling is that we do seem to like exporting things to places close to us. China for example we send about 4% of our exports to China, whereas we send over 6% of exports to Ireland. This goes to show there are big markets that we are yet to tap in to.”

“The key thing for the economy is investment and in the past six months to a year we’ve seen a fairly large pick up in investment for manufacturing.”

“As we have seen some bad news coming from emerging markets, problems in Chinese demand, geopolitical issues, we have seen people losing confidence and therefore a drop in output.”

“With inflation, we’re not exactly sure what it’s going to do, but we think it’s going to pick up. It’s a gradual increase in inflation back to target.”

“We’ve seen economic growth despite troubles. Although I think these issues have affected manufacturing more than in other sectors.”

“The key point is the rise in real earnings, that’s a real change from what we’ve seen in the last five years.”

“There are more opportunities in a growing economy, and it is easier to take opportunities in a growing economy than at any other time.”

Manufacturing the future: understanding how technology will drive the industry:

David Johnson, chief operating officer, Meggit.
David Johnson, chief operating officer, Meggit.

David Johnson – chief operating officer, Meggit

“In terms of what causes change in business, it takes the form of market pressures, competition and expectation from customers. A big driver for aerospace is lower operating costs while meeting strict emissions rules.”

“All companies have to adopt and adapt to what’s available in terms of technology.”

“I think it’s an exciting time to be an engineer, if you’re good, there’s an accelerated career path for you.”

“One of the key drivers for change is the way technology can overturn tradition.”

“Labour costs are now insignificant, in essence what we did is put a group of machines in one machine and it fundamentally changed our supply chain philosophy.”

“We have a mechanism now where lean is in all our 30 sites and is standardised throughout all these sites.”

“The first stage is training, and even with just this phase we have changed the business.”

“We’ve tried to encompass the best of lean in the past 20 years, and our experts are full time employees, not consultants. We did this to really embed this into each site.”

“DLA (daily layered accountability) is something we have implemented and seen massive improvements. Problems are communicated and if there are any problems we get them sorted, or it moves up a management level.”

“DLA connects people up, down and sideways in the organisation and gives people a sense of importance and being.”

“In a nutshell, we’ve increased the performance of the business, as well as its velocity.”

“Industry 4.0 seems to make factories rich in data, but it does more than that. We can have the right people the right data at the right time to do the right things.”

“While it’s fair to say we’ve come a long way in terms of machining, I don’t think we’ve come that far in terms of assembly.”

“Traceability and accountability is quite important, especially in aerospace.”

“I would say change management is one of the most over complicated, over sold, over priced things in manufacturing.”