Gardner Aerospace: From marginal business to a national award winner | EEF

Gardner Aerospace: From marginal business to a national award winner

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For Gardner Aerospace Group, winning the Future Manufacturing Awards’ Business Growth Award was official and public confirmation of their massive turnaround.

Following a significant downturn in the aerospace industry as a result of the 'credit crunch', Gardner Aerospace took decisive action in 2010 with a comprehensive strategic review resulting in detailed action plans for each key area of the business. The company quickly identified that the next step towards growth would be a significant increase in engagement with a major OEM customer and to develop its operations significantly. By successfully doing so, Gardner not only met all of its ambitious growth targets but actually exceeded them.

Some of the impressive results achieved included more than doubling its manufacturing sales, establishing operations in France and India, expanding its workforce overseas (while retaining its UK workforce) and the centralisation of all group functions.

Judges' Comments: “This was an ambitious company achieving a complete turnaround of the business, driven by passion and dedication. Critical to their success story was the impressive development of a key customer relationship. This company moved from component manufacture to becoming a provider of integrated services with a very strong order book.”

“It’s been a long journey, from a struggling business to a leading aerospace company. Now, we are achieving the targets we set ourselves 6 years ago,” says Karina Gerdes, Corporate Development Manager at Gardner Aerospace.


Their approach to growth is routed in continuous improvement activities, including moving to new, updated facilities, achieving OHSAS18001and ISO14001 for all their facilities and encouraging their team to identify any and all improvements possible.

“Part of the recent improvements have come through opening communication channels and making sure our leadership is close to the operational activities in order to know what’s going on,” Karina says.

Winning the Business Growth Award was a good marker for their progress to date and helped them start make even bigger plans for the future. She says, “When we were submitting the award application, we realised we hadn’t really looked back to see exactly what we had accomplished. We had to reverse engineer the journey we had been on. But it also helped us to further invigorate our future strategy.”

Karina says, “Everyone was really excited about the award; it showed that everyone’s hard work had paid off and contributed notably to where we are today.”

The EEF Future Manufacturing Awards is the most rigorous and respected recognition programme in UK manufacturing. Companies of all sizes can apply in categories ranging from developing people to apprentices to business growth. Regional winners in each category go onto the national awards event held annually in London. Learn more about the awards, which are closing for entries on 29 July 2016, and see 2016’s categories.

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