Jon Constable appointed TPG’s Director of Engineering & Technology
Last week’s launch of TP Group’s Advanced Manufacturing Centre introduced Jon Constable to the invited guests and dignitaries as the Group’s new Director of the Engineering and Technology business stream.
This is a significant event in a number of ways. For the Group, it demonstrates the new approach to managing the combined engineering business activities under a common leadership. For the Manchester team, it celebrated the Group’s investment in advanced manufacturing capability on the site, and it marked another step on a remarkable rise by Jon through the business over the last six years.
Jon took up his new role on 1 January this year. He joined the Group in August 2011 as Mechanical Engineering Manager, having originally trained as an Automotive Engineer. He moved through project delivery into business leadership whilst retaining his strong engineering and manufacturing heritage, and love of all things mechanical and technical. He spent six months working as interim site Director at the Manchester heat exchanger facility alongside his responsibilities as Head of Group Supply Chain, before moving on to become the head of the Group’s maritime facility in Portsmouth.
In Portsmouth, at the defence-focused part of the business, he spent eighteen months driving a business transformation that delivered 35% growth from the first half-year revenue reported in June 2016 to the first half at June 2017. This was done through the appointment of a new commercial team, including experienced account managers to work closely with the Company’s major customers in the UK and internationally. Jon was materially involved in all the significant technical and commercial proposals during that time, and the negotiation of major contracts that have set the Portsmouth business up for sustainable success.
In addition to winning contracts, Jon also grew the engineering team by 25% to cope with the additional workload going through the facility, and streamlined the manufacturing process to deliver an increase of 60% in operating profit over the same period.
The Group’s board has supported Jon on this journey and worked closely with him to develop this as a blueprint for the future success of the wider engineering activity. Jon will now oversee all Engineering and Technology activity across the Manchester and Portsmouth facilities. The teams have already started to work as a single delivery capability, with the fabrication skills in Manchester now supporting the preparation of frames for Portsmouth projects that will carry atmosphere management systems to be deployed on board submarines. Similarly, quality systems, methods and experience used so successfully in the defence sector are being reproduced in Manchester to meet the stringent demands of the nuclear energy sector.
Jon is clear on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
“We have a great engineering heritage across these two businesses, but they have been working independently for too long and have missed out on some of their potential as a result. We brought a bit of fresh thinking to a very traditional business in Portsmouth and can do the same in Manchester.
We can also connect the two businesses more closely and make better use of the skills and experience we have. I see the future being more about the variety and quality of what we can do, and taking that to a wider audience, than being limited to the products or markets we have always worked with. Manchester can work in defence, Portsmouth can assemble complex control systems outside of defence applications.
We have designers and engineers in both locations that can serve multiple sectors and the new investment in the AMC gives us a great platform for complex machining wherever it is required. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and have a great team with James Pickles as Operations Director in Manchester and Stuart Wiggins in the same role in Portsmouth to help me get there.”
The AMC launch was a very suitable place for Jon to step out as leader of the Engineering & Technology business, as it demonstrates TPG’s focus on promoting talent, investing in the future of the business, opening up our capability and making the best use of the people and resources we have.