MEET THE MD: ANDY SIMPSON OF ANGUS 3D
Growing up, Andy Simpson couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be a clown, a tractor driver, or a tiger tamer – so he became an engineer, and hasn’t looked back since. He talks to BQ about his journey so far.
What is it the company does?
Angus 3D Solutions Ltd provides prototypes and additive manufacturing services to individuals, small business and large organisations with tailored solutions to their reverse-engineering, design, rapid prototype and production requirements using both Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) and traditional manufacturing technology, to reduce clients’ time-to-market, mitigate risk and save costs.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
My role is split into four main areas:
- Running the day-to-day workshop aspects of the business – planning, loading and monitoring the 3D printers.
- Spending time with clients discussing the challenges they face with their present manufacturing methods. Then explaining how Additive Manufacturing technology can overcome these – so they receive the right solution to their manufacturing requirements.
- Spending time presenting and doing talks for organisations looking to adopt the technology.
- Ensuring we’re aware of the latest developments in the additive manufacturing industry – to ensure we are always relevant and up to date, offering the latest technology.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I started a four-year engineering apprenticeship in 1982 with Giddings, Lewis-Fraser in Arbroath, a machine tool manufacturer. I entered the oil and gas Industry in 1989, where I started to develop my career in manufacturing.
I then spent more than 35 years in manufacturing – managing several privately-owned and international manufacturing companies in the UK, Europe, Russia and the Middle East, including the building of a purpose, build multi-million dollar oil and gas manufacturing facility in Abu Dhabi.
I was responsible for several manufacturing facilities located in the UK and overseas, but as the oil price dropped my role changed and spent a significant amount of time closing facilities, moving work overseas and making people redundant, which was far from enjoyable. So, to take control of my work-life balance and career destiny I set up Angus 3D Solutions in 2017. I saw an opportunity to develop additive manufacturing and bring a new service to the manufacturing industry.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
- Putting your team’s development before your own.
- When things go wrong, take responsibility, fix it and don’t make excuses. When things go right – make sure the team gets the praise.
- Spend more time listening than talking.
What has been the biggest challenge in your current position?
Convincing companies to change their method of manufacturing to additive manufacturing so they can benefit from embracing this technology. Change is always hard to be involved in.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I find the stress of the job is far more manageable than it ever was when I worked for a large organisation, as I now have the ability to control and manage the cause of the stress. However, I love walking Jasper our Cocker Spaniel around the Edzell countryside which allows me to ‘clear the head’.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Clown, tractor driver, tiger tamer, electrician. Some may say I managed to achieve the clown ambition!
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
I hate inefficiency and waste. Always looking at how to remove these by using Lean and 5S methodology in the business.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
In 5 years we will have solidified our business as a major influencer in the additive manufacturing industry and built a world-class scanning, printing and manufacturing service business. We will be known to provide class-leading components and services and be the number one choice for our customers over several industries. This will have been achieved by our motivated and passionate team who achieve their own personal and professional potential by working in an environment that cultivates success.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
You will make the wrong decision and make mistakes along the way, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Look at these as an opportunity to learn and grow out of them. You will be better off for them in the longer-term.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
That no-one is as passionate about your business as you are, so they will not have the same drive as you, so don’t expect it. You can only be disappointed if you do set this expectation.