2 minute read
10 Questions With – Richard Bunce, Managing Director, Mec Com
1 – If you were given 1 million pounds – how would you invest that in your business?
I’d use it to ‘supercharge’ our company-wide cost down conformance programme, which has already delivered more than £250,000 of savings for our business.
2 – If you were prime minister, what would be the first thing you would change or improve for manufacturers?
That’s a difficult one, as there is so much the Government could do better to help UK manufacturing. If I had to pick one thing, I’d focus on skills and creating a best practice apprenticeship scheme that would deliver world class engineers.
3 – What one thing that you have implemented in your business would you recommend other manufacturers embrace and implement?
We have enjoyed significant success in creating a low-cost manufacturing operation in Romania. This hasn’t been done to take work from the UK…quite the opposite. Our clients were telling us that they wanted a ‘cheaper’ option for low-value-added manufacture so we created that location to ensure we are still in a position to win and deliver the high-value add work at our base in Staffordshire.
4 – What is your proudest achievement related to manufacturing in your career?
Going back to the question above, I’m very proud of the way we have set up a quality manufacturing facility in Eastern Europe. This has provided employment opportunities for people in Cluj Napoca, as well as jobs for people in the UK.
I genuinely believe this decision helped us offset the tremors of the last recession and now puts us in a position to be a true global manufacturing partner to our clients.
5 – If you could choose, what would you like your legacy to be once you retire?
I’d like people to remember me as someone who was fiercely passionate about British industry and someone who was responsible for giving people jobs that offered sustainable careers.
6 – What is your view on post Brexit Britain – positive, negative or indifferent and why?
Indifferent, predominantly because Brexit hasn’t really happened yet. Since the vote last June, we have actually won more than £2m of new contracts so naturally that is a good thing. However, I believe the pain is still to come.
7 – What is a typical day for you? Time you wake up, get to the factory/office, go home etc.
I normally rise about 5am, travel 30 miles to get into the office and then leave about 4.30pm for home. Like most MDs, my working day never really stops.
8 – How do you see smart technology (IoT & Industry 4.0) affecting the long-term growth of UK manufacturing?
It’s early days and there is a lot of talk about these new technologies, without anyone actually explaining the difference they will make to SMEs. If it will improve our business and what we can deliver to the customer, we’ll be first in line to adopt them.
9 – Any wise words, advice or tips for someone looking to pursue a career in manufacturing?
Make sure you ‘love’ making things or improving things that somebody else has already made.
10 – What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
As Peter Drucker once said…’if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it’.
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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