Dave Simons reflects on 50 Years with Static Systems Group
“I know my place,” Dave says to a colleague as he passes him in the corridor. This has been Dave Simons’ friendly greeting to his co-workers for the past 50 years, and his ‘place’ has been very firmly as a valued employee of Static Systems Group.
Dave tells us his journey with the company began early in 1971 when, along with his class mates from a local school, he visited Static Systems on a career fact finding expedition. Here he was introduced to the then company M.D., John Mountford. Liking what he saw, and being rather cheeky, when John enquired if anyone had any questions, Dave asked if they offered apprenticeships. John said ‘yes’, and suggested Dave contact him again when he had left school. Dave did of course, and arrangements were made to meet again at 8 o’clock in Static Systems’ reception.
On arrival, Dave was taken through to the metalwork fabrication department, introduced to the supervisor and within half an hour was shadowing another employee. Mid-morning Dave asked John if there was any chance of an apprenticeship, to which the reply was: “You’ve started!”
Dave’s first job was to drill and pin boxes - which he later discovered were back-boxes for nurse call bedhead units. But there was a problem! At only 4Ft 8” tall, he couldn’t reach the drill and consequently had to make himself a stool to stand on. Although even now he’s not the tallest of employees, Dave did subsequently grow.
Dave spent a few months in metalwork, and during that time - on 9th August to be exact - three girls arrived: Jackie, Jennifer, and Lorraine. Eight years’ later, Dave and Jennifer’s friendship had developed into something more, and on October 6th, 1979 they married. Four years later Jennifer left to start a family; although following a short break from Static Systems she was back working at the company again and to this day is still employed.
Dave has fond memories of the Turner family who have owned the company for almost all of the time he has worked here. He reflects: “The Turner family has played a big part in my life. Their success in business has in turn kept me employed; providing financial security which has enabled me to buy my own home and to support my family.”
After serving a five years’ electronics apprenticeship, Dave moved to work within the special assembly department, building the company’s bespoke equipment which at the time was in high demand. Then he moved to the systems engineering design (SED) department, which at this stage of his career he believed would help him realise his ambition of joining the external sales team. He soon realised however that his strengths lay not as a salesman ‘selling’ the company’s systems, but as an internal sales engineer where his extensive technical knowledge and experience could be put to good use, and so in 1990 his career took another turn. Then, sometime later, it was back to SED where he remained for the next 15 years.
On being asked why he has stayed so long with the one company, Dave replies that it has enabled him to have a varied and fulfilling career.
“Being able to move between departments throughout my career and to change focus has brought about variety, presented me with new challenges, and enabled me to grow as a person. I’ve never needed to look for employment elsewhere. I’ve also met lots of different characters along the way which has kept the job interesting,” he says.
“Throughout my career I have always felt motivated, and of course it’s given me a purpose to get up in the mornings. I have particularly enjoyed interacting with colleagues and solving any issues that have arisen.”
At aged 44, Dave considered that he probably didn’t have sufficient business knowledge and undertook five years’ part-time studying to attain a business degree. After all he says: “Who knew where the remainder of my career might take me.”
He didn’t have to wait too long for the answer. On learning that the factory supervisor was shortly to retire, he applied, was given the position, and found himself overseeing the assembly department where the company’s life-critical alarm and communications equipment is manufactured. He also became a lead-member of the site security team which often makes him the first and last employee on site, as well as the first port of call for any unscheduled out-of-hours activities.
Dave says: “When I heard about the factory supervisor position I knew I was ready for a new challenge. I felt I had more to give to the company and that I could put the knowledge I had to even better use than I was at the time. This subsequently progressed to also overseeing the metal work department and a remote plant where the company’s medical supply units are built. I could see ways of improving the way we operate, and was keen to give back to the company as thanks for the years of support given to me.”
In 2020, Dave was made Production Manager. It’s in his nature to help people and of course he also wants to see the company continue to flourish. He sees the next stage of his career to be in encouraging and helping to develop the members of his team.
“To me life is about personal happiness, personal progression, being true to myself and my family, alongside supporting colleagues and being a valuable employee. I intend to give our team leaders the opportunity to grow and to develop rewarding careers. I see it as part of my role to encourage them to develop their own way of running their departments which I hope will bring about job satisfaction and a feeling of self-worth - just as it has for me.
From all you colleagues…
Thank you Dave. It’s a pleasure working with you!
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