What were your career ambitions growing up?
I followed my brother’s career path and joined the Royal Navy. I did this straight from leaving school and enjoyed it immensely, especially as my role included controlling both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. I was lucky enough to join a brand new ship that circumnavigated the globe before my 21st birthday.
Tell us about the inception of your company?
TT Electronics was established in 1812 by W. Tyzack, Sons and Turner as a provider of steel tools and scythes. Today, TT Electronics is a growing electronics powerhouse with nearly 5000 employees at 28 global locations. In the last four years TT has expanded its offerings through a series of acquisitions and new product development, designing and manufacturing a wide range of electronics for sensing, power management and connectivity for applications in the industrial, medical, aerospace and defence and transportation sectors. The Hartlepool site (formerly Stadium Group and acquired by TT in April 2018) has been established for over 30 years and today employs 140 people. TT has another manufacturing site in the region in Bedlington, formerly Welwyn Components which employs around 300 people.
What’s your proudest business achievement?
I’ve had a number of proud business achievements from relocating factories without missing a customer order, being part of a team that won the Cranfield University Best Factories award and managing a team in Sweden that turned a 2.9m euro loss into a 2m euro profit within 18 months. However, leading my team in developing our current factory at Hartlepool into a world class facility will also be up there in my Top 5 achievements.
What challenges have you encountered?
Challenges (or opportunities) are too many to mention. In my career I have had to overcome cultural differences, business political games, financial constraints and market/technology changes. In manufacturing you need to be adaptable and be able to tackle challenges as they arise but do not try and solve everything by yourself, involve your people.
How has the industry changed?
In terms of the industries and customers we serve from the Hartlepool site, we have seen a move towards high-mix, advanced electronic assemblies that require more complex manufacturing and test capabilities. The technologies and products we manufacture at Hartlepool include next generation technologies in wireless connectivity, the industrial internet of things (IoT) intelligent interface and power efficiencies. Our skill set has progressed to be able to offer expertise in design, R&D and global supply chain management – the ability to get products to market quickly is key, especially in the fast moving IoT space.
Who are your heroes in and out of business?
My hero was my father both in life and business. He had a good business mind and embraced changes in technology and culture. Is there a mantra you always aspire to do business by? One of my mantras is a quote from John Quincy Adams “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Which fictional character do you most relate to?
Sam Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings.
How do you like to unwind?
Although I have now stopped playing golf and coaching children’s football, I still enjoy watching my son Charlie train and play. I also love walking my two dogs with my partner Tracy and we are season ticket holders at Middlesbrough FC, although I’m not sure that watching them necessarily helps me unwind!