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Interview with Ian Davies on 30 years with Auto Marine

We interviewed Ian Davies, our despatch manager at Auto Marine as he celebrates 30 years with the company.

Ian, many congratulations, this is a great achievement!!!

 

Q. When you joined the company back in 1985, what job did you do?  Tell us a bit about the various roles you have held within the business?

A. On the first day I worked on the reel compressor which made all the reels for winding. In the early months I also helped in unloading deliveries and planning jobs for winding and also packing and despatching the orders to the customer. A little bit of everything in the warehouse really.

As the company grew I also worked in quality and ran the accessory department and worked in despatch before becoming Despatch Manager.  I am now responsible for the despatch of goods to the customer also goods-in and logistics within the factory.

 

Q. What major changes have you seen in the company in the last 30 years?

A. When I started at Auto Marine Cables there were only about 5 employees working in the factory and 4 or 5 in the offices and one who did some deliveries as well as warehouse work. Including myself 3 of us still remain, Peter Hammond who is now the MD and Vanessa Wolstencroft who has been with the company for 32 years.  

There was only one building then and we all worked as a team to get the product to the customer and did various roles to complete the task.

We would only wind the bulk drums of cable which we had bought from various suppliers because we didn’t manufacture any cable at that time and didn’t have the accessory business back then.

There was a big change within the company in 1991 when we set-up a cable manufacturing plant called Castle Cables in Flint North Wales. This meant we could manufacture our own cable and transport the cable here for winding.

The next big step was in 1992 when we leased the building next door and then transferred all the manufacturing business from Flint to where we are now; resulting in us having shorter lead times to produce cable which was a big advantage over our competitors.

Over the years I have seen certain areas of the business change with new products coming on stream especially the accessory business which is becoming massive.

Some parts of the business have come and gone such as a brand called Raven which was car parts & components, the manufacturing of hand lamps and the manufacture of electrical coils. All of these products were short term projects.

At one stage within Auto Marine the amount of employees working for the company had risen to around 76 permanent staff and the regular use of temporary labour in busy periods  but with the continuous improvements that we make this has levelled at around 70 people but with higher productivity.

The way customers place orders has also changed over the years with customers ordering smaller quantities on a more regular basis and wanted them on a next day service, so the days of 2-3 day carriers have disappeared and most orders are now delivered to the customer the following day.

This resulted in a big change in the way we operate as a business and change of hours of employee’s to meet the demand needed to please the customer.

I have seen a number of changes in the senior management team with people retiring or going on to pastures new over the years but the company as always progressed and got stronger as the years go by.

 

Q. You have now completed 30 years employment at Auto Marine! Is it a good company to work for and why?

A. Working for Auto Marine Cables has been an excellent choice of career for me as it has made me a stronger individual, starting as a young lad coming into a working environment and progressing through the ranks to where I am today.

It has been very enjoyable with friendly colleagues and a good social aspect where we organise social events each year.

The company is very supportive of personal circumstances of the employees and will try to help as much as possible and try to accommodate their needs without too much disruption to the business.

Personally I only live 10 minutes away so it has been ideal for me and I have been lucky that I have not had to commute far.

Overall Auto Marine Cables has been a very good company to work for and has been very secure employment for me and has also given opportunities to my family who have also worked here and my wife is actually still employed by the company and been here for over 20 years.

 

Q. Do you have an office nickname? What is it?

Not really, but have been known as Colonel Davies unknown to me (Don’t know why?)

 

Q. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?

Tom Hanks (Always the good guy).

 

Q. If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and why?

Lieutenant Colonel Jesse Marcel, the intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell. He was a highly competent individual and one of the first two military officers at the actual crash site. I’d like to hear firsthand about the Roswell incident and the aftermath of the investigation of the crash site of the unidentified object found at Roswell, New Mexico. Did he actually keep any of the material found that he showed to his family.

 

Q. If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

The fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union and the following concert from Roger Waters from Pink Floyd about The Wall

 

Q. If you were an animal what would you be?

 Has got to be a dog

Exercise, Eat, ----, Sleep and annoy your owner.

 

Q. Finally Ian, if you could have one super power what would that be?

 Must be, having the ability to naturally fly. No more sky high petrol prices and no traffic jams.