Simon started his career as an EITB technician apprentice and service engineer within the machine tool industry and gained ONC & HNC qualifications in mechanical & production engineering.
To gain a further insight into engineering he completed a BSc degree in Design Technology (Brunel) and a post grad MSc in Advanced Manufacturing Technology (Cranfield Institute of Technology). Following graduation, he worked within research & development, management consultancy, health & safety & manufacturing management.
Before moving into recruitment, he spent 2 years working in Naples, Italy for Alenia Aerospace, where he had responsibility for delivering a TPM strategy for a new advanced production facility.
Joining Jonathan Lee Recruitment in 1994 he helped establish the manufacturing arm of the business and ran the head office recruitment operation from 2008 to 2012. He now works almost exclusively on retained senior management appointments, both permanent and interim.
Having worked across many manufacturing and engineering sectors and disciplines he has a breadth and depth of experience that ideally suits senior search and selection assignments. To compliment his practical and academic experience he has gained professional qualifications including full Chartered Engineer status (CEng) and chartered member status of both the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).
In our everyday operations, we speak to hundreds of business leaders about the challenges facing them both during the Coronavirus pandemic and as they begin to make plans for when we emerge from the crisis. A core theme we are hearing is that the COVID-19 outbreak will have a lasting outcome on their supply chains, with many analysing anew the risk management processes, resilience and agility of their businesses. As a recent estimate from Bain & Co indicates, while most business closely monitor their tier 1 suppliers, up to 60% of executives have little to no grasp on the locations and relationships in their supply chain beyond the tier 1 level. One thing is clear, when the pandemic is finally over, we still cannot expect business as usual. Changing focus Over many years, supply chain professionals have had a primary focus on reducing cost and prioritising profitability which has driven the increase in globalisation of supply chains and in particular, for many manufacturers, a significantly increased reliance on China and other low-cost territories. With so many businesses disrupted if not crippled very quickly by restrictions and delays on international movement of raw materials and components, businesses are starting to ask questions about the cost benefits of their reliance on a global vs more local supply networks. One very high profile example of the disruption and risk of having an “all-your-eggs-in-one-basket approach” to supply chain has been the manufacture and distribution of PPE for medical and care professionals during the crisis. I think few of us were aware that the majority of the world’s face masks were manufactured in China prior to the onset of the crisis. What we have seen in response to this should actually be very encouraging for the future of UK manufacturing; many UK based companies have adapted their processes and operations speedily to fill the gap in the supply of critical equipment whether it is the National Composites Centre turning their hand to face shield manufacture or the High Value Catapult Ventilator Challenge. The UK is proving that its heritage of innovation and adaptability is still going strong, perhaps giving more businesses confidence in considering a supply chain localisation strategy. Going local? While localisation of supply chains has the potential to increase manufacturing costs and consumer prices, it does offer some wider-reaching benefits such as increasing employment opportunities and increasing tax revenues for HMRC which will be much needed as we come out of the crisis. It could also offer manufacturers tighter control of supplier standards leading to better product quality and higher levels of customer satisfaction. It’s also easy to forget in the turbulence of the pandemic that most companies have been seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and localisation could be the answer to this with goods and components having far shorter distances to travel. It is not reasonable to expect that fully localised supply chains will be able to meet all of the needs of a business, but shifting the balance away from globalisation could well provide security, environmental benefits, improve job prospects, grow skills and increase resilience in these times of global uncertainty even helping the UK economy spread away from service industries and back towards manufacturing. Putting it into practice… Further investment in and utilisation of automation, IOT and intelligent technologies will, to a certain extent, support a more even playing field for UK suppliers, helping to reduce the labour cost content when considering low cost country sourcing v localisation. Working with banks and OEMs to release investment funds and build partnerships will be critical as we move out of the present situation. The focus for most companies understandably is survival but a long term plan and strategy is required to release the full capability of the UK manufacturing supply chain. The great news is that the skills required to remodel supply chains exist in the UK today. Many of the highly experienced professionals who were responsible for driving low cost sourcing and globalisation can switch those skills to look at how more local businesses, including SMEs and start-ups can supply directly to OEMs. The first stage is getting a strategy together and with many business leaders so busy managing the current challenges, it could be the perfect time to consider taking on an interim specialist who understands the market and can really add value. Now is a good time to make use of your networks and to seek out opportunities for collaborations with more local suppliers. One thing is for certain, business as we know it has changed and now more than ever supply chains need to adapt to survive. Get in touch If you want to discuss further how Jonathan Lee can support your business through supply chain evolution, please get in contact with me. Simon Roberts, Associate Director 01384 446112 firstname.lastname@example.orgSimon Roberts
Brexit uncertainty has caused many SMEs to delay important projects or even stop crucial recruitment activities. During these difficult times, tapping into a pool of experienced resource could provide a solution to this problem. Many SMEs have not considered, or have gone so far as to dismiss, the use of interim managers as they are under the misapprehension that they are just too expensive. However, in reality, the cost of engaging an interim manager for a specific project or management assignment could be a very cost-effective solution and give the business some real impetus at a crucial time. Often the impact of doing nothing or overloading existing staff results in lost business opportunity, disgruntled staff or, worse still, key people leaving. We are no different at Jonathan Lee Recruitment. We have taken our own advice and have made the most of the skills of interim managers with excellent, cost effective results. We have used interim solutions to cover a number of tasks including training, HR, project management and IT and found the experience very positive. One of the main concerns for businesses is the cost; understanding that an interim manager’s day rate costs no more than a comparable permanent hire once the additional employment costs and benefits are accounted for. Experience shows us that the actual cost of direct employment adds around two thirds on top of basic pay. For example, in the case of an executive earning £100,000 per annum, the employer’s total costs will include national insurance, car allowance, a bonus, medical costs, pension and other benefits, as well as any unplanned costs including sickness, jury service and training. Of course, the secret to getting value for money and achieving the specific assignment objectives is selecting the right interim manager and engaging them based on their knowledge, skills, experience and references. The real advantage of an interim is their ability to hit the ground running with almost immediate effect. In fact, paying the right rate for the right individual can mean that projects are delivered in shorter time frames and more efficiently. In many cases the return on investment far exceeds the benefits initially anticipated, and, having completed the initial assignment, the interim manager is asked to pick up another project. Professional interim managers become trusted advisors and are very target and objective driven. On exiting the business, they will leave a positive lasting legacy often helping to find their permanent replacement if required. jonathan Lee interim management Jonathan Lee Interim Management successfully places interim managers across a broad range of industrial sectors and management disciplines, helping clients fill critical skills gaps with experienced managers. We take the time to meet our interim managers and can recommend suitable candidates that we have placed previously at short notice. We offer a full payroll service and legal employment framework agreement for our interim service ensuring that your interim manager is legally compliant with all the necessary insurances. contact us If you would like to discuss your interim requirements call Simon Roberts on 01384 446113 or email him.Simon Roberts
Many SMEs may dismiss the use of interim managers because they are under the misapprehension that they cannot afford them. However, in reality, the cost of engaging an interim manager could end up being less than hiring a permanent member of staff for a specific project. Here, at Jonathan Lee Recruitment we have taken our own advice and have made the most of the skills of interim managers with excellent, cost effective results. We have used interim solutions to cover a number of tasks including training, HR and project management. Directly comparing an interim day rate with a permanent salary requires more than a simple like-for-like calculation. Experience shows us that the actual cost of direct employment adds around two thirds on top of basic pay. For example, if an executive is earning £100,000 per annum, the employer will incur additional costs for national insurance, car allowance, bonus, medical, pension and other benefits, as well as any unplanned costs such as for sickness, jury service, training etc.Simon Roberts
In recent months the pace surrounding 4IR has increased and become a major talking point within the manufacturing sector. The speed at which this change is predicted to take place is rapid, with 80% of manufacturers saying that the revolution will be a business reality by 2025, according to research by EEF; the manufacturers' organisation. There is no doubt that 4IR is going to happen, but the speed of change and the implementation of new disruptive technologies is a real challenge amongst business leaders. There is fear that the UK will fall behind the other major industrial powerhouses due to a lack of clarity and substance around a viable UK industrial strategy. According to a report by the manufacturers' organisation, EEF, the transformation of the manufacturing industry will depend greatly on a shift towards digital technologies and manufacturers are aware it would make them more productive. In fact, 62% of firms state they plan to invest in new modern connected plant over the next 5 years. 4IR is set to fundamentally transform the manufacturing sector - it will be a game changer. Businesses will want to capitalise on it, but recognise the need to invest in staff, management and leadership skills so that they can make the most out of the rapid advances in technology that are driving this new industrial age. This throws up a real problem to manufacturers who are already suffering with major skill shortages in key areas. In particular, many firms do not have the skillset in-house or the experience to implement digital technologies. Indeed, this type of business change is the typical scenario where interim and contract expertise can help guide an organisation in its next phase of business growth. Businesses are increasingly looking to interim specialists to guide them through the required changes to keep up with 4IR. This change will impact all areas of business including software systems, machinery and connectivity. One thing is clear - the ability to collect vast amounts of data and use this to make informed business decisions will become critical. These are truly challenging but exciting times. 4IR presents an opportunity for UK Manufacturing to demonstrate its ability to innovate and embrace new technology, but the competition has never been as fierce or as global. Does UK PLC have the technical expertise to capitalise on this opportunity? We’ve seen a trend in organisations turning to interims who have the technical knowledge and experience to help transition businesses toward digital technology. Jonathan Lee Interim Management has seen recent successes in areas such as automation and business transformation where interim specialists have demonstrated their ability to respond and help companies succeed in the 4IR environment. Looking to the year ahead, interims will play a vital role in preparing Britain for the transition in 4IR and it’s imperative that organisations start planning now for this change.Simon Roberts
We are excited to be a part of the regional and national judging panel for this years EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2017. Simon Roberts, Associate Director for Jonathan Lee Interim Management and Jonathan Lee Search & Selection, will be working his way through this year’s entries over the next couple of weeks. And he’s the right man for the job!Simon Roberts
Interim professionals can make a significant business impact, but finding the right interim manager is key to this success. It is essential therefore that there is real clarity around what a business wants to achieve by taking on an interim manager. In some cases this need is clear cut, such as appointing a direct stand-in for an absence caused by illness. However, in many cases taking on an interim manager presents an opportunity to engage with an industry professional who can apply extensive senior management experience and a greater breadth of industry knowledge. Setting objectives and goals from the outset is important, but be prepared to change and be flexible. Interim managers are adept at unearthing the root cause of problems and these may need to be addressed if the original plan is to succeed. A good example is demonstrated in a recent Interim placement with an established, family run business who perceived they had a major problem with manufacturing and production. Placing an Interim Operations Director within the business, the interim quickly established that the root of the problem was poor quality information being released to the manufacturing teams. This resulted in ineffective planning and scheduling; incomplete Bills of Materials (BOMs) were being released resulting in material shortages and the wrong parts being ordered. The impact of this was increased cost and late delivery. When the interim manager explained this to the Board, the focus of the assignment was changed with the new remit to implement a more stringent sales, contract and customer management process. The positive impact across the business was dramatic and the changes formed the basis of a company-wide transformation project. The improvement and gains brought about by better communication and breaking down departmental silos lead to an increase in product throughput, reduced cost and greatly improved quality and on-time delivery. The company was eventually sold to an international business who have engaged the same interim manager on several occasions to complete similar exercises within their new acquisitions. Interim managers, with their breadth of management and technology experience, are helping manufacturing businesses rise to the challenge of competing in a global market place. These movers and shakers are increasingly bringing their knowledge and experience to bear within the SME sector. Often seen as the backbone of UK manufacturing, SMEs are increasingly having to consider new enabling technology and look for advice on what and where they should invest. Developing these technology road maps can be daunting, but working with an interim manager allows a company to employ a specialist resource when it is most needed to help define business strategy, giving independent advice and then delivering the management and implementation of the plan. In ever changing, challenging and uncertain times, the ability to secure the right resource when you need it most is essential. Jonathan Lee Interim Management continues to meet the needs of its clients by providing high calibre interim managers across the engineering, manufacturing and technology sectors. JONATHAN LEE INTERIM MANAGEMENT Jonathan Lee Interim Management successfully places interim managers across a broad range of industrial sectors and management disciplines, helping clients fill critical skills gaps with experienced managers. We take the time to meet our interim managers and can recommend suitable candidates that we have placed previously at short notice. We offer a full payroll service and legal employment framework agreement for our interim service ensuring that your interim manager is legally compliant with all the necessary insurances. CONTACT US If you would like to discuss your interim requirements call Simon Roberts on 01384 446113 or email him.Simon Roberts
Very quick search, good communication and great selection of candidates. We were able to close this search in record time and found a great candidate. If we ever have a similar need in our company, I would definitely work with Simon and Jonathan Lee Recruitment again.