KMF MD Gareth Higgins celebrates his 25 years with the company
Thursday 11th May 2017 marked the 25-year anniversary of current KMF MD Gareth Higgins. All employees (including a few who have retired) gathered to congratulate Gareth for his 25 years continuous service and commitment to the growth and sustainability of KMF.
Gareth first joined KMF after serving five years in the Royal Navy as a Weapons Engineer. Gareth's father, Mick Higgins, set up the company in 1971, in Lask Edge, with friends Ken Warburton and Fred Leigh (KMF: Ken, Mick & Fred).
After his time in the navy, Gareth joined the team at KMF in Sales and Customer Services. He then moved into Planning and Engineering and Production before becoming Operations Manager and progressing to Operations Director.
In 2009 Gareth became Managing Director of KMF. In the last eight years, Gareth has instructed many successful business decisions, which has allowed KMF to grow significantly.
In 2010, KMF founded KMF Precision Sheet Metal Slovakia and more recently, Gareth has overseen the acquisition of both KMF Precision Engineering and BETD Components.
In this time, KMF has grown from a £20.6 million to a £35 million Sheet Metal Fabrication and Precision Engineering Group. His hard work is a major reason that KMF remains the market leader in sheet metal fabrication and precision engineering.
Gareth said "As you can imagine over the last 25 years I've seen a huge amount of change in the industry, not just in technology but in the skills requirements for a new generation. I'm particularly proud of our apprenticeship scheme and the work we do with our local schools in the 'Young Engineer Competition'. It's inspiring to work with the city's youngsters and seeing them grow both personally and professionally."
What else has happened at KMF since 1992
1994 — KMF purchases its first punch press purchase, a Trumpf TC500R, machine number 40545
2004 — KMF moves to its current High Carr Business Park site, installs its first powder paint line and adds over three building extensions.
2007 — KMF is accredited to deliver in-house apprenticeship training with EAL, for Engineering VRQ and NVQ qualifications
2009 — The Apprentice Training Centre is built and KMF has its first £20 million year.
2012 — KMF achieved its first £30 million year
2013 — KMF invests £1million in an Advanced Solutions Unit, aerospace accredited, and located adjacent to the main manufacturing facility.
2013 — KMF launches its very successful Young Engineer Competition. So far the scheme has reached 17,000 students, worked with over 25 high schools and, with local sponsors, invested around £550,000 in encouraging young people to take up a career in engineering and STEM projects.
KMF currently has £225,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing facilities and employs over 500 staff, establishing it as the UK's largest and most successful precision sheet metal fabrication company.