A group of members made it up to Uttoxeter to visit the JCB World Headquarters on Wednesday 27 February. Our scribe, Les Green had this to say about the visit:-
To me, one word describes this visit; Impressive!
Literally from the moment you approach the enormous frontage of the modern main building and then enter the VIP Visitor Centre you know you are going to have a good day. After tea, coffee and biscuits we met our guide, were issued with Hi Vis vests, safety glasses and personal headsets so we could all hear what the guide was telling us and then off we went.
The museum is modern and well laid out and with the flow of information from our guide as we moved around, we learnt a lot about this very British, innovative and worldwide successful company. The amazing thing to me is that it is still family owned.
From the museum we moved on to the open plan offices which are a mass of computers and people on phones talking to their customers or one of their many overseas factories. There was even an area where the pilots plan their next flight using the executive jet or one of their helicopters! Even here amongst the desks were pieces of plant equipment on display.
Having seen the clean side of the business we headed to the factory (minus our cameras, no photography allowed, top secret!). Apart from the sheer size of the production lines and the noise level I was surprised to see that humans outweighed the robots by a very large percentage. It was good to see a true factory at work with piles of flat steel, bars and raw castings at one end and a finished piece of plant equipment at the other. The facilities offered to the staff for their well being was also impressive.
By this stage we were feeling a bit peckish and were escorted to the VIP hospitality suite for a superb two course lunch prepared by Michelin starred Chef, Alastair Rowe, using organic products from their sister farm Daylesford Organic.
An exceptional factory tour, they have certainly got their Public Relations down to a fine art.
PS. The planned Rolls Royce trip has a lot to live up to!
Thanks to Les Green and Vero Strucelj for the great photographs taken on the day!