Debbie Mellor, Managing Director, Keighley Laboratories Limited | EEF

Debbie Mellor, Managing Director, Keighley Laboratories Limited

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What does your job entail?

My job covers every aspect of the business – including managing customer relationships, strategic development, financial planning and overview, health and safety, quality and coaching.  It’s also important that I keep up to date with what’s happening across the industry.


Why do you enjoy working in manufacturing?

There’s such variety on a day-to-day basis. It’s challenging, but rewarding. In this role, I’m constantly learning - I’ve found that you have to learn to be tolerant and patient about things you can’t control or can’t change as quickly as you would like.

Although Keighley Labs doesn’t specifically manufacture a tangible product, we are a key player in a valuable supply chain. That gives me a huge amount of job satisfaction.

It’s also a very friendly industry. I’ve always found great support from others working in manufacturing, both internally and externally.


How did you get into manufacturing?

It wasn’t an active choice; it was by default really.

I wanted to work in accounting, and it just so happened that my first job after school was at a manufacturer. I then progressed to become company secretary, director, acting MD and then MD.

I’ve always enjoyed learning, embracing any courses that would support my employment – financial, HR, transport management, health & safety and management.  It’s a continual process.


What challenges have you overcome in your career?

I took on the role of MD in 2008, during the recession. Maintaining and growing the business during that time was a real challenge. Even today, the uncertainly of the UK market is my biggest challenge.


What advice would you have for women thinking of a career in manufacturing?

It’s a very challenging and competitive environment, but it’s also an exciting industry to be in due to the fast paced changes. Manufacturing continually evolves to keep the world moving.

If you’re prepared for hard work, there are no barriers to entry.


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