In this blog series we interview members of the team to find out what it is that inspires them and what working at Forgeway means to them. We start with Rod Buckley our MD.
What inspired you to start Forgeway back in 1994?
Really what inspired us to start Forgeway back in 1994 was advice given from a very experienced accountant and business leader. He said; “sell a consumable product used in industry”.
After many years of working in the wood working sector we discovered that there was a lot of established companies already supplying that market so we decided to sell to the engineering and manufacturing sectors where the product is included in the finished article.
How would you best describe your job?
The business is at a size now where my day-to-day job is all about managing people and making sure that people are doing the right things and doing them well. Driving product innovation through industry and market feedback
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Plan my day. At the end of each day I’ll write a list of everything I need to do the following day and then in the morning I’ll write another list and then compare them. Interestingly there are always differences. Trading globally means things happen while we sleep!
Planning is the secret of execution. To quote Steven Covey “there are many universities and colleges that teach strategy but I haven’t yet found one that teaches execution.” Execution is key – production then perfection.
The 4 disciplines of business are very important in planning every day.
Strategy, Execution, Cash, People.
What does a normal day look like for you?
A normal day would generally go something like this.
5:30am – 8:30am – “Hack Work” answering emails etc.
Rest of the day – is free to work with the management team and deal with any challenges that arise throughout the day to ensure quick resolution.
End of day – Last hour of every day is spent reviewing the day.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
It has to be winning customers! It’s hugely satisfying to beat the multinational corporations that operate in our market by offering customers real solutions.
What do you consider as Forgeway's biggest achievement?
Convincing some of the world’s biggest manufacturers that we have a solution to their problems. This has been proved as we have solutions that have passed the test of 20 years and more!
What do you consider as Forgeway's biggest challenge?
People. The labour market is tight and external factors such as Brexit and uncertainty over foreign labour is definitely a concern. Also as the business grows and scales, success is about people with more experience and who can do the job better than myself.
What advice would you give anyone who was looking to start a manufacturing business?
I’d have two pieces of advice...
- The first ten people you hire will determine the success of the business.
- If your focus is cost rather than product perfection – don’t bother!