10 Questions With… Larry Joyce, Chairman of KimberMills International

Feb 16, 2017

10 Questions With… is a regular feature on Zenoot.com where a variety of quick fire questions are put forward to manufacturing leaders and role models to get an understanding of the people behind manufacturing success in the UK. Below are Larry Joyce, Chairman of MAN Group Member, KimberMills International’s 10 questions.

1. If you were given 1 million pounds – how would you invest that in your business?

We are always striving to get better and that is typified by the £1m we spent on a new forge in Cradley Heath last year. Going forward, our next big capital investment will be in two new induction heaters and a new dispatch warehouse to improve delivery performance even further.

2. If you were prime minister, what would be the first thing you would change or improve for manufacturers?

This one is easy, I’d bring back the Manufacturing Advisory Service or MAS as it was known. It was one of the few Government programmes to ‘get industry’. In order to make it sustainable, perhaps get SMEs to invest more in some of the services it offered?

3. What one thing that you have implemented in your business would you recommend other manufacturers embrace and implement?

We gained so much from measuring and understanding how we can make efficiencies and then putting in place a plan of improvements to make them happen.

4. What is your proudest achievement related to manufacturing in your career?

Surviving. We’ve been going for nearly 100 years and during that time we have seen some great highs and some shocking lows and recessions. The fact we are still here and competing in today’s global manufacturing world is some achievement.

5. If you could choose, what would you like your legacy to be once you retire?

The best legacy for any owner is to see their company/companies continue to grow once they retire.

6. What is your view on post Brexit Britain – positive, negative or indifferent and why?

Bit of both really. Positive in that it gives us all an opportunity, negative in that the politicians will not get off the gravy train and I don’t trust them to negotiate the best deal.

7. What is a typical day for you? Time you wake up, get to the factory/office, go home?

Wake up at 5.30am so I can be in the office by 7am. I try to get everything sorted so I can be back home by 7pm.

8. How do you see smart technology (IoT & Industry 4.0) affecting the long-term growth of UK manufacturing?

Industry 4.0 is the application of common sense utilising technology and this is something we must embrace. However, there is a lot of it that just isn’t relevant to our business and other SMEs.

9. Any wise words, advice or tips for someone looking to pursue a career in manufacturing?

Get an apprenticeship, it’s the best way to learn everything you will need to know to forge a successful career in manufacturing.

10. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Don’t make hard work of giving money away.


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