Why we have Rolls-Royce – and Derby – to thank for where we are now – The APS Story

Why we have Rolls-Royce – and Derby – to thank for where we are now – The APS Story

We specifically work with the engineering and manufacturing sectors, enabling companies from within these industries to successfully navigate supply chain risk and unlock their true procurement potential.

Over the years, we’ve helped countless organisations not just survive difficult times, but to thrive, by making more informed business decisions that boost productivity and generate long-term value, among many other business critical things.

We have our unrivalled expertise of the engineering and manufacturing world to thank for these successes. We say unrivalled, because everything we do is based on an inherent, life-long appreciation for and understanding of these two sectors.

Unrivalled manufacturing and engineering insight

Not many companies that work in the same circles as us (if any) can say that they’ve got more than 140 years’ hands-on experience and insight into the way engineering and manufacturing processes work.

We have.

And we’re incredibly proud to say that the main bulk of this expertise has been acquired from within the four walls of none other than engineering great, Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce – our role model

You see, Rolls-Royce played a major role in our company owner’s, Mark Wood’s life, as a child and as an adult. In fact, the rise of manufacturing in Derby overall was a big influence too.

Mark’s dad

Worked at Rolls-Royce for 38 years. He started as an apprentice in September 1964 before going on to become an apprentice toolmaker, toolmaker, foreman/shift supervisor, business improvement manager and Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) controller.

Mark’s mum

Worked at Rolls-Royce for 20 years. She joined as an errand girl, then became an assistant PA and then a super tracer, before going to work in reprographics and then accounts payable.

Mark’s grandads

One worked at Rolls-Royce for 45 years as a welder within the main works. While the other, worked at the Leys foundry in Leeds for 38 years as a casting fettler.

Mark’s sister

Worked at Rolls-Royce too for many years, it’s almost like a family business.

In fact, Mark’s parents even met at Rolls-Royce, so it’s true to say it really does run in the family!

As for Mark…

He worked at Rolls-Royce too. He started there at the age of 21 as a progress operative, working alongside his dad from time-to-time.

It was during this time that he spent hours on night shifts, getting to know about manufacturing – which people did what, what was the impact of things, etc. He also got to know the cycle time of every single part on every single machine, which is literally 100+ parts over 100s of operations.

Mark went on to have different roles within the company, which included planning work around the shop floor, being an MRP controller – like his dad – and working within the purchasing department.

This hands-on experience was pivotal in providing Mark with a broad appreciation of manufacturing and engineering. This includes plants and engineering on new technology development programmes from MCRL3-4, through to 9.

Having the privilege of working at Rolls-Royce and being connected in so many ways for such a long time, was an incredibly inspirational experience. What’s more, Derby – the area in which Mark grew up and where APS is based – is a manufacturing town in every sense, and the globalisation has brought a global presence to the city too, and good wealth.

Derby is manufacturing and engineering through-and-through

There’s probably not another city like it anywhere with such a rich history, which has made Derby what it is today.

Even the Romans liked Derby, or Derventio as they called it, with an old site at Chester Green, which happens to be right next to the River Derwent. So, the local rivers of the Derwent and Trent made Derby a perfect place for industry as proven through the mills which is now a world heritage site, and even the Rolls-Royce Trent engine is named after the local river.

If anyone is in any doubt, then a trip around the Rolls-Royce Heritage Centre at the Learning and Development Centre in Derby will leave you in now doubt as to why Rolls-Royce and manufacturing is at the heart of everything Derby (us included) and why it must be treasured and preserved at all costs.

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