Extraordinary People - Chris Driscoll, Operations Manager, Land Systems Canada

Extraordinary People - Chris Driscoll, Operations Manager, Land Systems Canada

We announced earlier this year that Marshall Canada had secured a long-term lease for a new Land Systems production and integration facility in Moncton, New Brunswick – a major milestone for the team and a significant step towards the further growth of the business.

Key members of the management team for the new site are already in place, including Chris Driscoll, Operations Manager. Chris joined the team in June 2021 and is responsible for getting the new facility up and running.

Chris – tell us about your role as Operations Manager in Land Systems – what does it entail?

I was hired to fulfil the role of setting up our new facility and running it, and everything that goes along with that. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been involved in a similar set-up project before – it was a lot of work but so rewarding and lots of fun, and this time around with Marshall it’s on a whole other level, in a really good way.

How does this differ from the activity that will be undertaken in the UK?

The Land Systems team in the UK is going to play such an important role in supporting the facility in Canada, with regard to engineering and design capabilities and expertise, and I’m really looking forward to the teams working closely together to deliver extraordinary things.

The UK production facility will focus on programmes that are technically more complex, by having both facilities we will be able to meet our growth plans for the business which would have been limited otherwise.

Can you tell us about the new facility at New Brunswick – how will it make the business extraordinary?

The new facility is crucial on so many levels, enhancing the capabilities of our Land Systems business with significant new manufacturing capacity for both domestic and international customers when it opens early next year.

For us to have a presence in New Brunswick is hugely important to the area – we’ve been welcomed with open arms and expect that Marshall will become a leading employer in the region, creating many high-quality employment opportunities and helping to grow a thriving economy.

The significance of this really drives that will to succeed and that ambition from the team to make it something extraordinary.

What stage are we at with the new site?

We received the keys at the beginning of April, and at the moment it’s a great big empty space -about 80,000 sq ft of manufacturing area. We have our plans in place – floor plans and layouts, we’re working on office renovations right now, upgrading all of the facilities – everything from washrooms to breakrooms. We’re going to overhaul the facility and create something world-class, which is really exciting and something for us to live up to.

What are your plans to recruit and build a new team of extraordinary people?

We’ve actually started to recruit and we’re looking for our second employee at the moment (the first being myself). We’ve just started interviews, which are going well. It’s likely to be December – January that we start getting our first group of employees in to start training and getting ready for when we open the site early next year.

What do you envisage as this most significant challenge over the next 6 to 12 months?

We’re operating in a different world to the one we were in a couple of years ago, which adds an extra layer of complexity to everything, but I’m really confident in our plans and that we’ll overcome these challenges to ensure that we’re set up for success. One of the hallmarks of the new facility will be to never settle and never give up.

What opportunities does this new facility present in terms of roles available?

We’re going to be looking to build a team of around 45 to begin with, with lots of room for expansion, depending on the needs of the business.

Can you tell us about your experience prior to joining Marshall?

I’ve been in manufacturing for a long, long time, in a variety of industries – everything from the locomotives business to defence and the nuclear industry.

This is a really exciting prospect with Marshall and another thing that drives me to want to deliver extraordinary, quality products for our customers.