Joining Gripple in 2002, having previously worked as senior project engineer for Stanley Tools, Isobel has managed products on the construction and agricultural side of the Gripple business, as well as managing the UK Marketing function. With a background in product design and engineering, including overseeing the launch of the popular Gripple Plus Range, Isobel brings valuable experience to Gripple Automation as the team’s project manager.
What does a typical day for you consist of?
My ‘title’ is project manager, but my role is project manager with a difference! The fact we’re a fledgling company means I am a creative project manager, thriving on challenging how things can be done. Principally, this involves dealing with quotations to FMEA’s, managing key supplier relationships, creating machine manuals, managing project budgets and the timelines we put in place, creating case study content to demonstrate our expertise and highlight recent project successes, ensuring we have a good understanding and control of project costings, managing the process of invoicing for the work we do, ordering supplies and materials, and getting out to see our suppliers and tool makers.
What are you working on at the moment?
We’ve recently identified a project for our ‘mother’ company, Gripple which we’ve driven from day one and will essentially be a six month design and build process. The result will allow additional in-house manufacture in the UK for the business, a 55% saving of existing outsourcing spend in the first year, and deliver payback for the business in less than a year. These are really tangible results for the team which is great when we’re demonstrating the benefits of working with us.
What do you enjoy about working for Gripple Automation?
I think it’s the variety and the ability to shape our own future as owners of the business; being able to challenge convention and continue to learn. I get to work with different competencies and sectors and that diversity is something I really embrace.
Are there any achievements you’re particularly proud of on a personal or team level?
Our team, Gripple Automation, winning the GLIDE award 2016 for Innovation is a highlight of this year for me, certainly. Leading difficult manufacturing projects where others have maybe struggled to find the light at the end of the tunnel is something we should be proud of. Lastly, helping to keep manufacture in the UK, which is really important.
What are your hopes for Gripple Automation’s attendance at Automechanika?
I’m hoping we can meet key contacts internationally; I think we should use the event to benchmark ourselves against world class companies, and it’s a great platform to raise awareness of the ‘GLIDE’ group and the complete solutions we can collectively offer. We’re all invested in GLIDE, we’re shareholders of these businesses, which means we have a genuine drive and commitment to ensure they succeed.
Where do you see the business in 5 years time?
I would like to see us expand our market sectors; I think we should aim to be tripling our turnover with double the resource allowing us to achieve that. I’d like to think we’ll be supplying automation equipment overseas too.
Isobel and the team at Gripple Automation will be exhibiting at Automechanika 2016, 7-9th June at Birmingham NEC, alongside the GLIDE group of businesses. Click here to register your attendance.