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John Bradley, Senior Manufacturing Engineer

Longevity of any relationship comes down to working with people who understand how everything ticks.

Westwind Air Bearings, based on Poole’s Holton Heath Trading Park was founded in the late 1950s. They are a stalwart of the Dorset business community.

Specialising in developing high-speed drilling spindles used in manufacturing printed circuit boards (PCB), the company has built a solid relationship with TeamJobs as a recruiting partner over the years.

John Bradley, Senior Manufacturing Engineer, shares what Westwind look for in a partnership and the secret of longevity in how a company evolves and keeps on moving.

Protect For The Future

It is a buoyant marketplace at the moment and John predicts a busy year ahead for Westwind.

What does John put this down to? “If we take on the more specialist, difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible tasks, we protect ourselves for the future,” John states. “New technology is constantly being developed and we need to be confident and provide robust, high quality expertise for industries.  We have seen the printed circuit board industry flourish this year and we are growing our range of atomizer spindles such as used by vehicle paint sprayers.”

John says, “in our experience within manufacturing, most companies are busy, I am not aware of any company locally that is not busy. We have invested carefully in new machinery ready for 2019 and further. We are bringing work in from other European sister companies and Westwind is growing as Novanta’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing.”

A committed workforce is critical with the right skills and competencies to achieve our customers’ expectations and our business priorities.  To be effective, our relationship with our recruitment partners is crucial so that we identify the right people with the highest capabilities.

Businesses work better when there are partnerships. Tough challenges can be overcome if both parties work together.  Encouraging a collaborative approach supports businesses to deliver on customers’ needs today and into the future.

John highlights, “To have a workforce that can help us deliver is vital. Whilst we are a business that supports the local economy, we are all here to drive long term growth and meet the needs of the marketplace.  We recognise the value of working with a recruitment partner such as TeamJobs.”

“For instance, working with Vicki Reeks (TeamJobs, Industrial Manager) and her team, means we have an opportunity to select the right level of skilled, people. We provide training and support, people who are committed and interested become part of the future success in Westwind. With a commitment to our relationship means TeamJobs know our requirements well and the type of people who will enjoy working with us. Most importantly, this means that Vicki and the team can react and provide access to staff quickly. Not just for weekly contracts, we have people who have been with Westwind for a few years.”

The Right People

For a manufacturing company to thrive, sourcing the right people is key. John recognises that the engineering and technical team can usually find the right people and introduce them to Westwind.

Rob Bruce (TeamJobs, Technical Manager) and his team are introducing more technical people to us. Whilst being on first name terms with someone is great, you need someone who can understand the industry and the roles required. For instance, if I require someone to grind springs, Rob and the team know what the job entails and that I’m not looking for a high-end grinder.”

“For any business, working with a recruitment company, the consultancy has to share our business vision. This means we can quickly select the right people and we have experienced candidates who demonstrate the right skills and attitudes at the right time.”

“I need people, to find the right people.”

Within the world of manufacturing, will there become a point when recruitment becomes a thing of the past and robots take over? “This seems to be a question the whole world over,” commented John.

As the world of automation and technology continues to be part of our lives, John recognises the role we have played for generations. “We used to work with pen and paper, then computers were introduced, they still operated with people behind them. Whilst robots don’t stop for breaks and work every hour they still need to be programmed and serviced. If they were not here, neither would we be.”

“What is happening is that rather than displacing people, people move on in their careers. There must be an aim for all of us to improve our own effectiveness, so we move onto the next opportunity which will provide value.

Conclusion Time

Progress does not happen in silos.

As Westwind progress on their journey as an industry leader, support from those who understand the culture of the business and recognise marketplace challenges and opportunities can help provide the right resources to ensure success for all.

The role of a recruitment consultancy is elevated when there is alignment in values and clear communication channels.

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