Rachel Mansfield, global service and innovation director at Tracerco
Rachel Mansfield, global service and innovation director at Tracerco, talks about her role on the board of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum (AMF) and the amazing results that occur when manufacturing, engineering and support businesses connect with one another.
In April 2021, I was approached by Alan Metcalfe, the AMF co-vice chair, to join the AMF as part of its new board structure. I knew Alan quite well but knew very little about the AMF. However, as I learned more about its history, purpose and ambition, I was really keen to get involved.
The AMF is a friendly, approachable, membership network which, over the last 15 years, has driven engagement, collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and experience between its manufacturing community members, as well as representing and steering topical issues. Moving forward, engagement, collaboration and representation of the membership base remains at its core, however, it is recognised that increased value for members can be achieved through increased network diversity. Therefore, the AMF is extending its reach to further include engineering, service and supply chain communities that work so closely, or are integrated with, manufacturing.
I am a chartered chemical engineer, with 20 years’ experience, in engineering design, operations, and leadership, in and around the oil and gas sector. I understand the value associated with the development of connections and networks, sharing knowledge and best practice, to continually improve and grow. As a result, I am extremely passionate about the AMF, what we do and what we stand for and I am extremely excited to be a part of the organisation.
Recently, the AMF conducted a member survey to understand key challenges facing our member base and I am working with the board and strategic partners to ensure we are equipped and are supporting our members to overcome those challenges. Employee retention and recruitment, delays to raw materials within the supply chain and accessing new markets are some key challenges facing members. However, with challenge comes opportunity and in 2022 the AMF is hosting a diverse range of focused forums, webinars, events and socials, to support members in the identification of opportunities to drive sustainable growth.
The 2022 events build upon the success of our 2021 schedule, where we developed a mix of in-person and online webinars, we showcased member facilities with site tours, knowledge sharing presentations and networking sessions. Since I joined the AMF, I have personally benefited from networking and making wonderful connections. A recent example was meeting Helen Hopper, head of human resources, at Caterpillar and joining and supporting Helen at her team strategy session. The importance of supporting others, especially during times of change, should not be underestimated and for those organisations who are not members of the AMF, I strongly encourage them to join, as together we are stronger.