Q1. Mark congratulations on being AML’s longest serving employee! What was your first role within the company?

Thank you. I have been with AML for over 11 years and have seen an amazing amount of change throughout the whole company. I joined AML on the 1st of November 2010 when there were only 4 staff members, and I was employed as a Senior Engineer. I started with 2 other engineers (who have subsequently moved on to other companies).

As you can imagine working with such a small group of people our roles were quite varied, as we had to look after everything from goods in, to goods out. Anything from dealing with customer issues, installation of new machines, or off-loading goods with the forklift truck. My main official role was looking after customer enquiries and project management. As the company grew and other departments were introduced, I progressed to Project Manager, Operations Manager and then my current role Commercial Manager.

Q2. How have you seen the business grow within this time, what in your opinion is the key to AML’s growth?

I have seen the company grow from a small machine shop of 2 machines and 7 staff members with no departments, just functions, to what it is now, with multiple units and offices, 60 staff and soon we will take delivery of our 15th machine tool. We now have multiple staff within all departments, and fully integrated MRP / Planning / Quality and monitoring systems.

One key attribute is how the staff have reacted when change has happened, they haven’t just adopted these new systems, they have embraced them and enhanced them, and as a team we are still looking to improve all the time.

The key to AML’s growth is firstly with Gareth Morgan’s (AML Managing Director) drive and vison. I immediately realised this when I came for my interview and still see it every day, the passion to make AML a success. This mantra has been passed down through all the management team, but also a need to look after and support all employees. I would see this as success as we have minimal staff turnover and some who have left, have returned. We are also very customer focused and pride ourselves in the level of engagement we have with our customer base.

Q3. AML works within the Aerospace, Energy and Defence sectors, all sectors with fast changing demands, how does AML stay ahead of the competition?

We are a technology focused company and use the latest techniques and tooling to provide solutions for machining parts on single machine tool platforms. The machine tools we have are all 5 axis and of a similar type which enables AML to be very flexible and responsive to customer requirements. Keeping a keen eye on any market shifts and trends also helps.

Q4. What do you most enjoy about your role as Commercial Manager? What are the main challenges?

AML is a fast-paced company and there is never a dull day, the customer interaction and working with my colleagues is what I find the most rewarding.

Main challenges are keeping everything on track and delivering parts to the customer on time. As with all manufacturing, there is a lot of operations and processes that need to be managed and things do go wrong. It’s how we deal with the challenges and overcome them to still deliver conforming parts and maintain good working relationships with our customers.

11 years down and hopefully a few more to come. This is down to the people I work with, and the support given from the Directors.