For an inside look behind the scenes at Myriad, we enlisted a third party to have a chat with one of our team.
This is what Mitchell, our Production Team Leader, had to say about working at Myriad Engineering.
Tell us about your experience of working at Myriad Engineering
When I left school I started working here. I did my apprenticeship there and became a qualified fitter and machinist. Today I’m the Production Team Leader – though no-one saw that coming, certainly not me. I left Myriad Engineering in 2019 to head to the South Island. I didn’t expect to be back.
So first up, why did you leave?
Personal reasons meant a move for me and my partner to the South Island. I took up a Team Leader role in Picton – and that was largely thanks to Mark and Fiona actually. They sent me on a Dale Carnegie course as they thought I was a good candidate for being a leader, or heading in that direction. I didn’t see it at the time. I guess I was a bit naïve back then. They thought putting me on the course might push me to see that I guess. That was quite cool for me. It was my first step into what leadership is and I found the course really interesting. It covered communication styles and the importance of understanding the different ways people communicate based on the different ways they think and process information. What you say to one person, the next person might not necessarily understand that. I learned the importance of being able to adapt to people in a situational based way.
So what brought you back to Myriad?
I was in Wellington one week to do a job there (through my previous employer) and I called in to see Mark during the week just to stay hi. We were both short of time so decided to catch up for a coffee that weekend for a better chance to talk. At that second catchup, Mark said he’d love for me to come back. Mark and Fiona were looking for someone and they thought I’d fit the role really well.
At the time I wasn’t sure; my partner and I were in Blenheim by this time and we’d only been there for a couple of years. Together, we discussed our options and decided we’d move back to Wellington. I returned to Myriad in August 2022, accepting the role of Production Team Leader.
What’s it like for you, being back?
I really enjoy working at Myriad and working for Mark and Fiona. The company is their pride and joy and I like the way they do things, how Myriad operates.
They’ve invested in good quality machines and they make sure the people are the right fit for the company so things work like clockwork. The culture is amazing. Everyone enjoys being here, which makes being at work fantastic.
What’s changed between when you left in 2019 and when you returned in 2022?
The team is still the same generally speaking, which speaks for itself.
There are new machines, the general tidiness of the workshop is better as it’s been a constantly evolving workshop. Ever since I’ve been back there have been more changes to improve the layout and workflow of the workshop. The culture is spoken about more now as well. We have outside leadership professionals who help us to develop as leaders. It’s all really positive.
I’m now part of the leadership team too and it’s definitely good to see the inside of how that operates. On the floor previously, I didn’t get to see that.
Since I’m now working as a team leader, I work 1:1 with the team, helping them to set goals. It’s good to talk to people 1:1. We set 90-day goals every quarter and fortnightly goals and 1:1 check-ins which work towards the bigger goals. Check-ins are just 10-15 minutes and I’ll take a colleague out of the workshop and ask them how things are going and if there’s anything I can do to help. It’s a real team effort.
On the work front, I’m presently developing jigging and programming on the Robot Welder for quite a big job. We’ve got 2,000 rails to make in various lengths. The biggest is 35kg and 2m in length. The other challenge I’m working on is machining big billets of steel, about 250kg each. We have improved the layout of our manual machining department and put a new crane in to accommodate this job which is great. We’re always making improvements to the workshop.
How would you describe the culture at Myriad?
Myriad’s culture is absolutely amazing. The staff want to be here – they want to come to work. It’s such a great place. We deal with issues that arise, we are entrusted to sort it out. We focus on our values a lot. We use an acronym – TRAMP: Trust, Respect, Accountable, Motivated and Positive. That’s what we work to as a team and we all hold each other accountable to one of those as part of our 90-day goals. For example, being trusting is not like I trust you as a person; it’s I trust that you give me a good, reliable source of information. I’m not going to put you wrong. It’s a fantastic culture and a great vibe.
So now that you’ve worked elsewhere, what do you think is different about Myriad compared to other employers?
Two things stand out. Mark and the team at Myriad take great pride in making sure the workshop is clean and tidy, the tools are in excellent condition, the workshop is clean and bright. A lot of other companies have dirty concrete floors and tools don’t have homes. Being able to come into any part of this workshop and know where the tools are is fantastic. A real step up from other places I’ve been to personally. Secondly, it’s the culture. I’ve not been in any other company that puts so much energy and time into the working culture and makes sure this is a good place to be.
Myriad prides itself on its 3 P’s: Precision, Pricing and Performance. What’s your take on that? Can you tell me about that from your perspective on the job?
I feel that we’re quite competitive. New Zealand is quite a small country and there are a lot of these manufacturing businesses, so we have to remain competitive and the way we do that is through the 3 P’s. We have systems in place to ensure we do the best that we can. One of our systems (the precision side of it) is we have our own internal NCR system (non-conformance review) – every job we do gets checked. We don’t just make a part and ship it out the door. We check everything we make to ensure we are making the part correctly, to spec and to size. We work to a lead time based on our workload. We agree on a date and work hard to ensure we dispatch on time. If there are any issues, customers are kept in the loop – communication is key.
What would you say to any prospective new employees considering working at Myriad?
We had a potential new person just recently. We asked him a few questions about what did he know about the company and asked him a bit about himself. I took him on a workshop tour and let him feel at home. He told us he thought the place was outstanding. He said he’s been into a few different workshops and there was nothing he’d been into in terms of how clean and organised Myriad was and how everything seemed to just flow. When he asked about procedures he understood everything we told him. He could see the systems in place. I only touched on a couple of things and gave him the gist of how our job system works and how the flow works through the workshop and he was mind blown at how it was set up. He also made the comment that Myriad was “quite a cool place with flash new machines”.
What would you say to a potential new customer considering using Myriad?
It would be great to get them to come through and see how we operate and show them what we can do. We are a versatile business and we can handle challenging work. We are focused on growing the business and we are constantly improving our processes.
Some visitors come through here and go, “Wow! I didn’t know that was made here. Another comment we are really pleased to receive is how tidy and organized the workshop is – we are constantly working on improving the factory environment.