3 minute read
10 Questions With – Matthew Aldridge, Director, igus UK
1 – If you were given 1 million pounds – how would you invest that in your business?
In two ways. Firstly, I’d build upon our apprentice scheme. igus took on its first apprentices last year, and it proved to be a really rewarding experience. Secondly, I’d expand our Northampton manufacturing facility with the construction of a new building.
2 – If you were prime minister, what would be the first thing you would change or improve for manufacturers?
Slash the restrictions on subsidies for manufacturing apprentices. At the moment, there are too many limitations around factors such as company size and ownership.
3 – What’s one thing you have implemented in your business that you would encourage other manufacturers to embrace and implement?
We offer free lunches to staff in our canteen. It is something that costs very little to implement, yet it creates a real sense of team bonding and togetherness.
4 – How do you think the manufacturing community can collectively continue to engage and interest young people in manufacturing careers?
By offering apprentice exchange programmes. It would be a great way of maximising learning opportunities across industrial sectors.
5 – If you could choose, what would you like your legacy to be once you retire?
Building igus from a handful of employees into a nationally-known manufacturing company.
6 – What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don’t send every email that you write! If you have an emotional issue to address, write the email, send it to yourself, and then leave it 24 hours before reviewing and sending it. It’s amazing how much you end up deleting.
7 – What is your morning routine once your arrive at the factory/office, does this depend on the day of the week it is?
I start every day with an iJam which is a stand-up meeting with everyone, covering a quick review of the last 24 hours and a plan for the day ahead. Every Monday we have the “one team” meeting, which lasts 1.5 hours, during which all managers give a status report.
8 – What one thing would you change to make your business more efficient and productive if money was no object?
Automated picking and assembly would help boost productivity at the plant.
9 – How do you see smart technology (IoT & Industry 4.0) affecting the long-term growth of UK manufacturing?
I think Industry 4.0, or whatever you choose to call it, is the natural development of integrated products. It offers some really exciting possibilities.
10 – What is your view on post-Brexit Britain – positive, negative or indifferent and why?
If our customers keep making machines that the world needs, then life will go on.
10 Questions With… is a regular feature where we put a variety of quick fire questions to manufacturing leaders and role models to get to know the people behind manufacturing success in the UK.
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