Meet the team – Neil Fulcher
What sets Borg & Overström apart from the competition, and helps to make our products unique, is our strong sense of culture. We know that the success of our products and our business relies wholeheartedly on the people at the centre of our organisation.
It’s safe to say we are pretty proud of each person within the Borg & Overström team. Their unique skills and personalities are what help us to achieve above and beyond, and also what makes working here so much fun.
Hello Neil, firstly, how did you get to where you are today?
I joined Borg & Overström in September 2016 as Operations Manager. I’ve worked in a range of manufacturing companies performing a number of roles. I started as an apprentice toolmaker, learning how to make press-tools & moulds, and using automated machines to make cooker switches among other things. I spent a few years as a tool design draughtsman before becoming a production engineer.
I’ve worked for a couple of large local double glazing manufacturers as a project engineer, and later as quality and environmental manager.
What did you do before you came here?
I have a lifelong passion for lean manufacturing; which refers to a set of principles and techniques developed by Toyota Motor Company®, which are used to improve organisations by helping them to deliver exceptional customer service at minimal cost.
Prior to joining Borg & Overström, I spent eight years working for a large international group in the heating industry. The most recent of which were spent studying lean with Porsche Consulting in Germany, and applying those principles to help improve the group’s businesses at eight factories across Europe.
Why did you decide to come to Borg & Overström?
I learnt of the opportunity with Borg & Overström from a former colleague. I researched the company and was impressed with the brand. Following a meeting with the senior team, I was excited by the prospect of working for a relatively young, dynamic, and growing company. I felt Borg & Overström was a good fit and, with my experience of working in larger companies, I felt I could add a lot of value to the business.
What does a typical day look like for you at Borg & Overström?
There are always different challenges, so a typical day is anything but!
That said, we kick off the day with the 7:30am operations team meeting, where staff from the production department, warehouse, workshop, and component assembly team meet to discuss, among other things, the team’s performance (what went well the previous day, where we can do better), and any other issues we need to be aware of. It gives the team a chance to share problems and raise any concerns before we move on to the work in hand.
Later we’ll have our ’customer excellence‘ meeting where the supply-chain, production planning, logistics, and customer service teams come together to review customer orders. This helps us identify and resolve issues before they become a problem, minimising disruption to our customers.
How would you describe working within the Borg & Overström culture?
The culture at Borg & Overström is unlike any other I’ve experienced. It sounds cliché, but there is a genuine ’can-do‘ attitude throughout.
After working here for only a few weeks, we needed to process a large number of units quickly to meet a deadline. The request for help went out and the response was phenomenal. Marketing executives, sales executives, workshop technicians, planners, and others all came in at 5am to work the ’dawn shift‘ before starting their regular day job at 7:30am. This went on for a couple of weeks. Where else would this happen?
What in particular is different about working with Borg & Overstrom over other teams?
There is a real drive across the business to do whatever it takes to exceed customer expectations. We don’t always get everything right, but the will to succeed is really strong.
Borg & Overström have maintained the kind of ’team togetherness‘ often associated with smaller companies. This is not accidental, it is something the leadership really values and works hard to maintain. To the Borg & Overström team, anything is possible!
How would the rest of your team describe you?
‘Neil joined the team last September and hit the ground running. He has been faced with unusual challenges, but never loses his cool. He is great team leader, highly optimistic, has exceptional crisis management, and is always willing to give a hand with any task. His experience in lean manufacturing is proving very beneficial to Borg & Overström.’
What is one thing about yourself that might surprise them (and us!)?
When I was younger I had a scooter, but had to upgrade to a car as the family came along. Last year I treated myself to a (second-hand) Vespa, just to use on ’high days and holidays‘. I had to take my motorcycle test last summer (luckily, I passed!).
Tell us about a recent success in your role that you are particularly proud of.
It’s quite early in my Borg & Overström career, however, I’m pleased to have got my head around the various systems and I’ve identified the steps we need to make to progress towards being a lean organisation. I’m excited at the prospect of working with the team to drive the improvements through and improve our efficiency, productivity, and flexibility.
In your opinion, what is the single most important aspect of a successful team?
The quality of the leadership is the one aspect above all others that determines a team’s success.
Which of the Borg & Overström values do you love to see emulated in your colleagues?
Excellence: I love to see colleagues striving for excellence and not settling for ’second best‘ or ’good enough‘. It’s what separates us from the competition!
Which is your personal favourite Borg & Overström product?
I think the look and feel of the b5 oozes quality and reflects the Borg & Overström brand.
Thank you, Neil. We’ve enjoyed chatting with you today – and we definitely want a go on your Vespa!