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An introduction from Rene Joppi

1). Since your change of position here, what have been your main goals?
Mackwell is very well known in its market. From the beginning my aim was to build on this, expand the brand and the products Mackwell can offer and push into different areas of the market. This allows us to establish ourselves further and also provides us with many different pillars which we can develop further.Personally I moved with my family from Dubai to England, which was quite a change of scenery and, openly speaking, quite a challenge for me (and especially my wife). But we discovered the nice sides of England during the last 18 months and are happily enjoying our time now with all England has to offer.

2). Describe your leadership style.
In essence, I like to empower people at work to achieve their tasks in their own way. I always aim to establish the general goal or task but then leave the path open for it to be achieved. If there are challenges along the way, or things are unclear, I try to be there and support with my experience and knowledge. I’d like to believe that I am quite open and really live by an open-door policy. In the end, we can only be successful as a team – and I try to act in a way to make the team successful.

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Why Saving a Few Extra Pounds Can Be Dangerous

When it comes to designing emergency lighting, there are many factors to consider. Peter Adams, Mackwell’s Central Service & Training Manager explains more.

Not only must the emergency lighting system be fit for purpose, but it must also meet stringent safety and compliance standards. Meeting these standards can impact financially, both in terms of the design and specification, through to the installation, and the on-going maintenance of the system. Often portrayed as a necessary but unattractive part of the lighting scheme, emergency lighting is in fact, a safety critical system and is a legal requirement within commercial premises. It is provided to help facilitate the immediate and safe evacuation of occupants from the premises in times of emergency and as such, must be afforded the same importance and diligence of other such systems. Short cuts and corner cutting such as the specification of sub-standard components and ineffective maintenance schedules, brought about by budgetary constraints can all result in non-compliances, compromising the safety of the building occupants.

One of the most fundamental aspects of building safety, the provision of an adequate emergency lighting system, can often be overlooked. Its importance, however, is critical in ensuring the safety of employees and members of the public. Emergency lighting provides guidance and illumination of a sufficiently high level to enable all occupants to evacuate the premises safely at times of emergency. The consequences of a non-compliant emergency lighting system can impact severely on the health and safety of occupants, resulting in prosecutions such as fines and custodial sentences depending on the level of non-compliance.

Read the full article here

Mackwell Celebrates 40 Years Anniversary

This February the 14th, Mackwell celebrate 40 years since they were founded. 4 decades later, the company has evolved beyond all recognition and is now one of the leading providers of solutions to the global lighting market.
Following its move to private ownership in 2011, Mackwell focused on developing intelligent lighting solutions for a constantly developing and diversifying market. Products are developed by our team of UK based, passionate design engineers, who oversee the process from concept to full production, bringing state-of-the-art solutions to the market. This has allowed Mackwell to develop a large portfolio of emergency lighting solutions that offer the best in premium quality and performance. Mackwell have built a strong team of experts throughout the years that, along with their dedication, skills and support create some of the finest products on the market today
Read full article here

Employee Competition

WIN £500 holiday vouchers
  • Every employee will get one entry as standard into the competition.
  • For every successfully accepted Bright Idea, employees will get an additional entry.
  • At the end of the year the winner will be drawn at random.
  • The vouchers can be used on any of the sites listed above.
  • This competition runs up until 31st January 2020.
  • This is an internal competition for Mackwell employees only.

Charity fund raising

January - March

Each quarter we raise money for a different charity. The charities we give to are voted for by yourselves. The charity donations come from our monthly dress down days, cakes sales, football cards and any other fund raising activities and for Q1 we supported Crisis.

Crisis work directly with thousands of homeless people every year. They provide vital help so that people can rebuild their lives and are supported out of homelessness for good. Crisis offer one to one support, advice and courses for homeless people in 12 areas across England, Scotland and Wales. How they help someone depends on their individual needs and situation. It could be with finding a home and settling in, getting new skills and finding a job, or help with their health and wellbeing. Together with homeless people and Crisis supporters, they campaign for the changes needed to end homelessness for good.

New to Mackwell

Gary Pearson
Export Sales Manager Europe

From a lighting and lighting control background, Gary joined us in May. He worked for many familiar companies including Martech, Apollo Lighting, Ex-Or and CP Electronics and has 25 years experience working with lighting OEM’s, consultants, distributors and end users worldwide, so is a great asset to the Mackwell team.

Many years ago, Gary used to play the drums in a heavy metal band and has a few stories to tell if you ask him! His other hobbies include traveling, music (of course), craft beer, wine and bourbon plus trying to keep fit.

Quality update

Changes in the department

Since April 2017 we have seen many changes within Mackwell’s Quality department. John Allsopp comments, “I would personally like to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for your continued support in this challenging transition. I am happy to say we are moving in the right direction to succeed in our target of a zero-defect business. Although we still have many challenges ahead, I am confident with our changing culture towards Quality we will be successful.” 

Judy Robinson has joined the Quality team as Mackwell’s Production Quality Controller, this will have a big influence within all operations within the business. Judy has been tasked with several objectives to ensure production stability and control.

BSI audits

As you are all aware Mackwell achieved 100% transition to the new BSI standards last year for     BS EN ISO9001:2015 And BS EN ISO14001:2015. The transition was essential to ensure Mackwell retained certification of compliance within our operating systems.

To ensure continued compliance Mackwell’s system’s are continuously tested against the standards for compliance and sustainability. The standards are tested by no less than four audits a year. I’m happy to report since transition we have achieved zero non-conformances in BS-EN-ISO9001:2015, and only two minor non-conformances in BS-EN-ISO14001:2015. This is a great result for the business and indicates we are moving in the right direction.

Health & Safety Framework

2019 has been a busy year with the refresh and implementation of Mackwell’s Health and Safety framework. We have been working hard to ensure we all stay safe and are legally compliant and aligned to the HSE regulations. Several new systems have been implemented and included within the internal audit schedule to ensure full control and compliance.

Mackwell’s balance score card ensures we track and measure health and safety continuously to ensure our safety at work. Remember to report any potential near-miss for Health and safety and operations concerns. A near-miss has a great influence on our continued improvement culture.

Spotlight on...

Middle East India & Africa

The Middle East is still moving forward in the right direction and we have witnessed some good growth in the current financial year. 

Dilshod, manages our UAE business and was tasked with increasing our specification business by developing stronger relationships with MEP consultants. He has been very successful in the UAE and has grown significantly, but even more importantly has started to generate a strong pipeline with good foundations to grow even further in the future. We have broadened our application focus from just retail to now include office, leisure/entertainment and hospitality. Recent projects include fit-out projects for brands such as Microsoft, Bloomberg and Studio Debenhams.

Our newest team member, Amr Ezzat, is based in Egypt and has proved an excellent asset to the team bringing much needed experience in the distribution channel where we have recently seen a significant increase in sales volumes in our ELEDD MIDI kits. 

Moving into the new financial year we want to continue to grow our Mackwell branded luminaire business with a focus on Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 

Hong Kong & APAC

A focus was given on south east Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia, two countries with strong economic growth and high end construction projects where DALI solutions are becoming popular thanks to the increasing awareness of the importance of safety compliance, but also international architects, and designers more and more involved.

Singapore as a geographic position in South East Asia is also key to specification of many projects in the region. Together with Hong Kong and its proximity to China, they constitute two major hubs for project specification in APAC region.

The Guangzhou Lighting fair in June will be another opportunity to display Mackwell solutions to the Chinese OEM manufacturers, with over 2500 exhibitors attending. 

Employee survey update

Banking hours

As a result of last years’ survey we implemented Flexible Working Hours for office staff and asked you all to provide ideas as to how we could also make this work for Production staff also. 

Through a Bright Idea it was suggested that shop floor employees could have some flexibility in their working hours so they did not lose time for appointments taken in working hours. After discussions with a forum group we put together a policy, which is now working on a 3 month trial, which is due to end 1st July, where it will be reviewed before making permanent. 

Banking hours works by providing a credit and debit limit so, employees can earn extra hours and either:
  • Keep them in the bank ‘for a rainy day’
  • Use the extra hours for any appointments they may have
  • Pay back any hours taken 
  • Take the hours out of the bank and ask for payment for them
Equally, at quiet periods, the hours earned (in credit) can be used to leave early, providing permission has been granted of course. There is a maximum in credit and debit each employee can go. 

The trial appears to be working well for employees.

Clear review

The results of the Employee survey indicated that we needed to address areas of employee careers and rewards. People were negative on:
  • Feeling valued
  • Career paths
  • Recognition
  • Recognising strong performance
  • Training and Instruction

We concluded that 1-1 discussions could remedy a lot of these feelings. We have been looking to introduce a new Performance Management system as our old appraisal system was an outdated appraisal model, not structured, treated as a tick box exercise and was focused on the past rather than the future! 

We have now subscribed to an online system called Clear Review, which is intuitive, user friendly and will enable us to move to continuous performance management, such as objective setting, development support and how to conduct meaningful check-in meetings. We believe this will address some of the negatives highlighted in the employee survey by bringing clarity and accountability to people’s roles and expectations and how people contribute to the bigger picture.

Over the past few weeks we have been populating the system and training Managers/Supervisors in the use of the system and what is expected from them. Over the month of June we will be taking steps in preparation, training for all employees, IT data creation and configuration of Clear Review.

Our go live date is set for 1st July 2019

Enquire Today

For more information, please call us on +44 (0) 1922 458 255 or send us a message below.

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