Precision Polymer Engineering

HIGH achievers at an engineering firm are identified early to boost their potential.

Bosses at Precision Polymer Engineering, which is based in Blackburn, said personal development was top of the list of its priorities.

The company, which designs, develops and manufactures high performance moulded rubber seals, rubber gaskets and rubber components for industries around the world, has a review system in place which scores all workers on a nine block performance matrix.

Human resources director Gary Rae said this gave an accurate profile of the business and linked into its online system of talent management.

He said: “We operate at the very high end of service. Our excellence is taken as a given and we want to promote that image.

“We share all of our figures with all of our people in the business.

“If we get any complaints from our customers, they are shared across the business. Our order intake figures are shared and we treat all our people like adults.”

All employees have an i-Achieve account, which monitors and sets objectives.

Line managers keep a check on progress through regular reviews and action plans and agreed goals are discussed.

In 2013, six team members completed the IDEX management training programme and the company has embarked on a young apprentice programme.

Mr Rae said: “I do not think it is just about helping the business. I think it is about helping East Lancashire.

“A business that is successful in East Lancashire makes East Lancashire successful.

“I am very, very proud of the work that local people are doing to make us a success.”

Meltech Group

THE Meltech Group has invested consistently in its engineers, and has seen its workforce increase from 30 to 45 in just two years.

The Blackburn-based company, which has been trading for more than 30 years, credits the skill and dedication of its staff as the reason for the company’s long-term success.

More than 30 per cent of Meltech employees have been with the company for a decade or longer, while eight members of staff have clocked more than 20 years.

Within the workforce there are assorted family connections, and half of the six new apprentices appointed this year have family links to existing employees. Meltech likes to support its local community wherever possible. 

Around 20 per cent of the staff walk to work every day, and more than 90 per cent of any work sub-contracted is undertaken within a 50-mile radius of Blackburn, in keeping with the company’s policy of developing and supporting talent and manufacturing on home soil.

Two new managing directors were appointed in April, both hired from inside the company. Helen Williams was promoted from manufacturing director, while Peter Drever was previously sales and marketing director.

Their appointments came on the back of a sustained period of growth for the company, which has seen Meltech pick up orders from multinational companies, delivering specialised engineering projects in Russia, USA, Europe and South America.

Meltech chairman Marcus Moir  said: “Over the years we have developed long-term relationships with a wide range of customers, working in diverse sectors. The last two years, in particular, have seen exciting growth and we have a healthy order pipeline which indicates further growth in the foreseeable future.”

Meltech, said Peter and Helen, will have MD responsibilities for individual companies within the group, which will see their expertise harnessed, across all divisions within the group.

Mr Moir added: “To prepare the company for the most efficient and customer-focused response to this growth, we felt it important to provide greater clarity on what we offer and how we operate.”

The Seafood Pub Company

THE Seafood Pub Company’s staff could easily claim to be among the most well-fed workers in Lancashire.

At the start of each shift, staff have a ‘briefing’ that includes tasting any new dishes or specials on the menu and discussing the ingredients.

The company, founded by Joycelyn Neve, believes that this knowlege and experience is essential for their staff as it allows them to communicate honestly with customers about the flavours in dishes on the menu.
Joycelyn said: “Our daily briefing means that our staff can talk to our customers about flavours and their likes and dislikes, ensuring that they get a meal they are completely satisfied with.

“We also utilise the talents and passions of each of our individual workers and give them the opportunity to study for qualifications related to their outside interests, be it hospitality management, wine tasting or something completely unrelated to the business.

“It means that our workers are happy and know that the things that they are passionate about in life will be used to the full in their job.”
Employees are also taken to visit suppliers’ farms and ‘prep’ units where they are able to witness first-hand livestock growth, slaughter and butchering and understand it for the skill that it is.

Senior chefs also join Chris Neve – Joycelyn’s father who has a long tradition of trading high quality seafood – for an early morning trip to Fleetwood to see fish landed, bought at market then transported to the pubs.
All staff have a two-week training period in which they are fully trained in health and safety, food hygiene, COSHH, manual handling and fire training and cross trained to work within different departments. All managers are put through their personal licence and Wines and Spirit Education Trust Intermediate level.

The pub company also works with local brewery Thwaites, to provide staff with cellar management skills and beer tasting experience.
Because of these forward-thinking and inclusive training programmes, the Seafood Pub Company enjoys extremely good staff retention.
Joycelyn said: “Our staff are passionate about what they do, happy and successful and I think that shows to our customers.”