Posted on Friday 20 July 2018 by Ulster Business
Joanne Liddle, managing director of IPC Mouldings
How are things?
Business is going very well, we have just returned from a very successful Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg which has presented some very exciting opportunities.
I am proud to say that IPC Mouldings is growing, with an increase in new contracts and job opportunities, we are in a very good position. Planned growth over the next two years and further investment in new machinery and premises makes it an exciting time for the company.
How did you get started in the industry?
One of my first jobs was in an engineering company, growing up I was surrounded by engineers as all of my immediate family work in the industry, therefore you could say it was in my blood.
I’ve been with IPC for 10 years and have seen the company grow and develop. Since 2012, I have directed a programme of change investing in accreditations, people, premises and equipment, which has resulted in a culture of continuous improvement within the organisation. It is fantastic to see the results of that transformation.
Typically, who are your clients or customers?
IPC specialises primarily in the aerospace industry, with our highest profile customer being the global leader in aircraft interiors, supplying them with a 99.5% performance record evidenced through SC21 Silver Award recognition, an aerospace driven supply chain excellence programme.
We have also recently won contracts with a global medical company, introducing new products to IPC’s portfolio, highlighting our ability to diversify from the aerospace sector.
This is a significant moment for us as it identifies a new potential market for IPC.
Do you enjoy what you do and what in particular?
Yes, absolutely. The aerospace industry in Northern Ireland is one of the best in the world and it is very exciting to be a part of that. Getting on a plane and seeing our parts on the seats never fails to delight.
On a personal level, I am proud of what we have achieved. Within IPC, success is all about team effort and strong relationships, both with our customers and employees.
The fact that we have such an engaged workforce has been significant in driving the company to where it is today.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
With any small business, it can be challenging at times, with a need to react very quickly to demanding customer requirements, but with experience you learn to manage time and expectations.
What are the challenges facing your sector and the economy in general?
There is a skills shortage, partly due to that fact that manufacturing is not considered an attractive career option for young people.
We have a long and proud manufacturing heritage in Northern Ireland and I want to see that sustained, providing opportunities to welcome the next generation of engineers. If we can educate them, and their parents, on the very real career opportunities available in the industry, then we have potential for change.
Brexit of course is still an unknown and as an exporter I believe there is much work to be done.
Northern Ireland companies provide higher levels of service, particularly SMEs, the backbone of our manufacturing industry.
Our region delivers high level performance and a positive attitude to manufacturing which is evident in the many supply chain excellence partners throughout the province.
Everything is possible and we have an opportunity to build on this if we have the resources to do so.