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‘I’m proud of Fairgrieves great history and to be playing my part in ensuring a great future too’

In a new feature for our website, we are speaking to our fantastic employees about their roles and work at our business – helping our customers understand a bit more about the jobs they do.

Dawn Stavers – office manager

Dawn Stavers’ history with Fairgrieve Compression Moulding dates back close to three decades, but she says she can’t remember a time before when she was so enthused and positive about the business and its work.

Having started at the company as an accounts clerk in the mid-nineties and moved into office administration, she left to raise a family and returned as office manager at a place she now considers her second home.

You name it, office manager Dawn does it. You can’t deal with Fairgrieves and not deal with Dawn!

From answering the phones and emails to handling new customer enquiries, Dawn handles the money coming into the business through invoicing, and money going out, ensuring bills are paid and staff wages processed.

She even makes – according to General Manager Barry Davidson – ‘the very best cup of tea’ – whilst he keeps her motivated with bacon sandwiches (more of that later!).

Time to take on a greater role

The above tasks have all been in a day’s work for Dawn for many years, but in recent times she has taken on even more responsibility – something which she says has really inspired and motivated her.

Dawn says she has always been hugely proud to work for Fairgrieves, given its rich history in the compression moulding sector and its longevity – boasting more than 100 years in business.

But she admits that in recent years – until the business was bought by owner Daniel Beaumont last year – she had become frustrated at not being able to have a real influence herself on where the business was heading.

“I’m so proud of this business and always have been, but never have I felt as positive and enthused as I do now on the back of the changes we have made over the past year since Daniel bought the business,” she said.

“I’ve taken on much more responsibility with regards to production planning, which is an important role as it involves ensuring the factory floor is kept up-to-date with the schedule of work and planning an efficient schedule, which can be challenging when we have a number of different product lines running.

“It has been very rewarding to take a more active role in that part of the business. I’ve lived and breathed it for so many years, so to be able to have more impact is really rewarding.

“Barry is obviously hugely experienced in running manufacturing businesses, but when he arrived he didn’t know all I knew about this business, its history, products and clients, and so he leaned on my knowledge and experience, as he has since, and that has been great for my confidence.

“I think I’ve been able to spot opportunities for us to grow.”

Opening doors to new markets

Over the past 12 months sweeping changes have been made under the ownership of Mr Beaumont and day-to-day leadership of Mr Davidson, with Fairgrieves looking to use its expertise and experience to not only strengthen its position in long-served markets, but also open doors to new ones.

It is something Dawn feels is exciting, and has motivated all.

“I wouldn’t want at all to be critical of the previous owners as they ran a great business and were completely committed to it and to the staff, but I think in some ways we’d stopped looking forward,” she said.

“Daniel and Barry came in and wanted to look at new opportunities, as although we are in a niche market, we have unrivalled expertise and experience in some very serious industries such as mining and marine, so there are opportunities to grow the business given the very complex nature of the work we do.

“I take great pride in the fact we are one of very few compression moulding businesses left in the UK. That history is important.

“We’re all a team pulling together. I like to be appreciated and feel valued as an employee – as I am sure everyone does, and that is certainly the case now. We feel we have greater input.

“If we’ve had a good week we get small rewards – like Barry will bring us in a bacon sandwich. Those little gestures make a big difference.

“He always makes a point of saying well done too when we’ve had a good week. That’s been happening a lot recently, which suggests we’re doing well.”

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‘I’m proud of Fairgrieves great history and to be playing my part in ensuring a great future too’

“Fairgrieve is the only compression moulding company in the North East - and continues to offer plastic moulding innovations.”

“We are famously known as the first UK company to compression mould Bakelite plastics - more than 100 years ago.”