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  • AE Aerospace

Our Uncommon Venture!

Our story so far with The Uncommon Practice

In July 2020, The Uncommon Practice launched a campaign to find a client business to partner with, on a journey of growth. In this uncommon venture, TUP offered the winning owner-managed SME up to 3 years of professional services consultancy completely free of charge, to help turbo-charge business growth.


More than 50 business owners applied, from sectors as diverse as Financial Services, Education, Manufacturing and Technology. AE Aerospace was amongst four businesses who were short-listed; all with the potential for exponential growth given the right support. After a series of video interviews, interrogating our ambition and vision, and what we wanted from our consultant partners, we were announced the winners in December 2020.


Since then, a lot has happened and it’s great to be able to give an update on progress with The Uncommon Practice.


Following several Teams meetings during the early part of the year, where we improved our understanding of the road ahead and the support that tUP can provide us, we developed the initial action plans to get us to the starting gate.


We have been working on our future organisation structure, recruitment, succession planning and training to support the planned growth, doubling sales in the next 3 years. Our new Financial Controller, Kimberley Orme, has been working on the financials to support the planned growth and improve our profitability, cash generation and cash flow. Andy Masters, our Technical Director is working on increased capabilities, eg Non Destructive Testing (NDT), Assembly, sealing etc. Ian Bouquet-Taylor, fresh from the 5G implementation, is continuing to develop our Production Scheduling and Capacity Planning systems to enable us to improve on time delivery and SC21 C&G to improve productivity, enabling our manufacturing to cope with the growth.


Following the virtual meetings, we were delighted to greet Steve Harvey, Founder and Director of tUP; Olga Fahey and Lucy Powers, Directors of tUP, on site, on the 6th May.


Following this, Olga took Peter through a detailed product explanation of how tUP will move us forward, including OnBoard, Investment Drive, LaunchPAD, Map & Compass, CashBoard, Culture Safari, Sales Accelerator, Turbo Boost and Cruise Control. We are very excited to have access to the team and products at tUP, which we are convinced will make all the difference as we move the business forward.


Lean Thinking teaches that you must take time to look back and understand where you’ve come from and what you’ve achieved. From where we were 7 years ago, sales have increased 7 fold, staff numbers 2.5 times higher, we’ve consolidated 2 old factories into a modern facility and reduced the average age of our machine tools from over 35 years to less than 5. And most importantly of all, we’re providing training for all staff, a better working environment and gone from no Apprentices to over 15% of our team being in a formal Apprenticeship.


We look forward for what's to come with tUP.