We caught up with Gary Lowe, CEO of component company Bromford Industries, to find out how the business is expanding and helping its customers to grow too. Acquisitions, new technology and a focus on people are key to the approach.
Lowe said: “We’re seeing unprecedented growth at the moment through the civil aerospace industry, across both engines and obviously in aircraft. Bromford Industries is well positioned, through all of its facilities, to help our customers in terms of that growth.”
In March 2016, Bromford Industries was acquired by Liberty Hall Capital Partners, a New-York-based private equity firm which specialises solely in aerospace businesses.
“We’ve invested over £15 million in the last couple of years, supported by Liberty Hall, in our people and in our equipment,” Lowe said.
He added: “Our growth strategy is through new work and through acquisitions.”
Bromford Industries and Liberty Hall Capital Partners recently acquired AeroCision, a business based in Connecticut.
Lowe explained: “AeroCision are a Rolls-Royce supplier. They were a supplier of the year to Rolls-Royce a couple of years ago, which is a really good award and testimony to their management team. Also, we have AeroCision in India – we have a facility now in Bangalore so we can offer a low-cost offering to our customers, which is obviously important because we all understand that being cost-competitive is very important in the industry as it grows.”
Bromford Industries is increasingly capitalising on digital technologies too.
“We’re very focused on technology and the digitalisation of our business from front end to back end,” Lowe said.
“We’ve recently invested in Smart Factory which is a digital platform that gives us real-time performance data of our machine tools. That helps drive process improvement, really helps us understand what’s going on within the business. It also helps us understand what’s going on on the factory floor. All of our employees are really engaged in that, and we can see the benefits coming through.”
Investing in people
Lowe also stressed: “People are key to the business. Some people say that and don’t mean it – we certainly do. The power of collective ambition is very important to us, so we have a number of things running within the business in terms of employee engagement which is absolutely key to our success.”
These include apprenticeships, links with local universities, leadership initiatives and talent development programmes.
“Very exciting times. Just watch us grow,” Lowe said.