Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
Chief Executive Officer of Brandauer is what the business card reads, but the position is a lot more than that.
I am the figurehead and custodian for a 153 year-old precision engineering business that has a global reputation for design, innovation and world class manufacture.
My role is to lead the company forward on a 5-year strategic plan that will see us reinforce our position as a global leader and that involves overseeing manufacturing operations, our sales team, workforce issues and lobbying Government on critical industry issues.
What is it the company does?
Brandauer is one of the largest contract presswork and stampings companies in Europe, manufacturing precision metal components for customers around the world.
We offer the complete range of services required for the supply of pressed metal components from prototyping, design and in-house tool production (or a specialist tool transfer service) through to high-quality manufacturing and logistics.
Recently, we have invested £250,000 into a new Special Productions Division, which gives us the capability to offer prototypes, one-offs and low batch manufacturing.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
360-degree respect for everyone in the business and this involves listening closely to your staff and then being strong enough to make the right decisions when they are needed.
I’m also extremely passionate about all things manufacturing and believe to be a true leader in industry then you have to be an Ambassador for STEM, which stands for Science Technology Engineering and Manufacturing.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Like many manufacturers it has to be the skills gap. When I became CEO, the average age of our workforce was 52 and we needed to reduce this by getting more young people involved in the business.
Thankfully we have started to address this issue, taking on three new apprentices with a further two more to follow later this year.
We also launched the company-wide 5Rs - retention, remuneration, resource, requirement and recruitment.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
At work, I always ensure that I am learning new things or getting involved in projects that stretch me mentally and, sometimes physically. The latter includes being part of an eight-strong Brandauer team that completed the ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ last year, raising more than £3500 for the British Heart Foundation in the process.
Outside of being CEO with Brandauer, I enjoy spending time with my family, travel and trekking.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My career aspirations when I was young ranged from being a pilot to a bin man or road worker.
Any pet hates in the workplace?
The old adage ‘we’ve always done it that way’. This can strangle growth prospects and doesn’t even make sense…if we are looking to continuously improve why keep doing things the same way?
Where do you see the company in five years time?
We want to double the size of the business so we are securing sales of £15m and competing successfully in the German marketplace. There is also a strategy in place so that we can manufacture our own ‘Brandauer’ project.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Be patient, work hard and always come to work to learn…once you think you’ve got everything covered you’ll start going backwards.
Other advice would be to spot the opportunity in everything and be able to wear the company hat in whatever situation you are in.
Where did you start your career?
My career started off at a Graduate Trainee at Lucas Aerospace in York Rd in Birmingham.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.
Following twelve months at Lucas Aerospace I moved to PSM International as a Development Engineer and then spent six years at Gill Cables Ltd where I eventually got promoted to Technical Manager.
From there, I was appointed Technical Sales Director at Suprajit Europe Ltd and then joined Brandauer in 2010 as Sales and Marketing Director. I became CEO in 2014, taking over from industry legend David Spears.