Marking his six years in post, chief executive John Pearce fixes his gaze on the future
EVERY year, in early April, I’m prompted to carry out my Made in Britain ‘relentlessly positive’ stock take – counting carefully the core value components that make up our membership, and that keep this organisation growing so strongly year-on-year. I’m completing my sixth year working as chief executive and, as we recruit to be ready for the next stages of growth and progress in 2021, I’m as confident as ever that this extraordinary and unique campaigning, collective mark and all its members can reach even greater heights in the coming years. Here’s why.
No other business representation organisation does what we do, nor achieves what we achieve. Made in Britain provides a vital and growing service, both to its membership and the general public, by uniting as UK manufacturers, product details from SME and larger manufacturers, business standards and as much good news possible – putting it all in one place. We’re a healthy, dynamic and growing organisation because success and high standards are magnetic. Our aim has always been to seek out every great manufacturing business in Britain, show them the many benefits of collective promotion, and give the entire group a measurable increase in visibility and interconnectivity, with both buyers and suppliers.
We are owned by our members. Our teams of marketing, communications, PR, sustainability and procurement policy specialists serve our membership by acting in the best interests of the entire group. We only have one critical mission: helping all our members to sell more of what they make, and we’re constantly seeking out new ways to achieve it. Being financially independent and entirely owned and controlled by our membership businesses, we never compromise on defining exactly what we require from our strategic relations, be it with HM government departments, local authorities, other trade bodies, specialist speakers and, of course, the buyers and consumers that see the collective mark on British-made products.
Our code of conduct brings our entire membership group together with the understanding that our responsibilities, values and business ethics are meaningful all year round, and not just an annual tick box exercise. Members have nothing to hide and hundreds every month are so proud of their standards, awards and success stories, they choose to publish them first on our news feed. This valuable asset of extreme transparency says something about what it really means to be a trustworthy business in 2021.
We are getting greener every day. Later this month, on 22 April 2021, we will officially launch our green growth survey for members. This unique-to-Made in Britain self-certification will onboard all members who want to join a bespoke programme of workshops, webinars, specialist speaker events and, crucially, Made in Britain PR, focused entirely on achieving a greener, more sustainable future for our sector. We know our members are making extraordinary moves and taking bold actions to reduce waste, manage resource scarcity, use cleaner energy and collaborate with others to go faster and further. The green growth programme will help us communicate these actions via a public-facing dashboard of our actions, which we’re planning to make ‘live’ to a potentially much wider audience later this year at the same time as the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
People, relationships and commitment now. The business relationships I’ve developed since starting in the spring of 2015, could be characterised by that subtle but important meeting point of competence with connectedness. If I only had two hashtags to describe the way Made in Britain people are, they would be #friendly and #professional – and they would be allocated in equal measure. Our board of non-executive directors and the new-to-this-year advisory panel (our A_team, as they have become affectionately known since inception in January) are all volunteers, devoting their time under agreements with their employers, to steer the organisation towards self-sustainable growth and help me to make decisions to protect our long-term future and maintain the highest levels of service with impact. Their boundless enthusiasm for the sector and for the Made in Britain mark is increasingly infectious, helping us to maintain the right balance of service to members and protection and promotion of the mark itself.
Much of what I have learned about exemplary British manufacturing, I have learned from you, our members. I take my responsibility in representing the sector seriously, whilst enjoying every moment I spend interacting with members, including via our online events, open discussions and board meetings. There have been many challenges along the way, but the overriding feelings about reaching this year’s half-dozen milestone are positivity and pride. I love to serve the manufacturing community and I am focused on growing the group much further beyond 2000 members, helping every single business to flourish and for all their employees to take pride in doing meaningful work for a responsible British manufacturer making products – Made in Britain.