GKN sets sights on progressive future through ‘Innovation Culture’ vision

A company’s success in a progressive industry requires future-geared thinkers. Team members like Taylor Lacey, Quality Engineer, position GKN Powder Metallurgy for an innovative and prominent time to come.

Close up picture of Taylor Lacey

Lacey has grown with GKN over the last two years through the GRAD program, positioning herself as a problem-solver within the company’s processes. Her go-getter attitude was a perfect fit to GKN’s Innovation Culture environment.

Working at GKN locations in Salem, Pennsylvania; Conover, North Carolina; and San Francisco, California, she has developed a mindset to improve global systems so solutions can come quicker.

Taylor Lacey

 

As GKN positions itself as an industry leader, engineers like Lacey help the company progress in innovation and diagnostics. Lacey explained GKN’s innovation atmosphere and steps toward growing as a future-thinking company.

What inspires you?

This company and my team here inspire me. GKN allows me to do my own thing and learn in every aspect I can. I’m very interested in data because we collect so much of it. My team encourages me to look outside the realm of everyday business. I need to be able to visualize in a productive fashion to work successfully, and GKN inspires me to do that.

How has GKN Powder Metallurgy begun to stimulate an innovation culture?

Connecting with partners like RocketSpace has been a way to challenge ourselves as a company and a great start toward innovation. RocketSpace introduces us to tech startup companies who can help us improve our systems and processes. A large company, like GKN, funding small start-up companies is such an innovative move.

When I look back on previous and present procedures in GKN, we are starting to use a lens of ‘in the future, how will I be able to access this data? How can we get this information to a different place for a useful analysis?’ We need to use less paper and record our information in a digital way. We’re starting to look at these processes in an innovative mindset.

What is the ‘tomorrow problem’ GKN Powder Metallurgy needs to begin working on today?

There are two areas I think GKN can start to work its way into for the future market:

  • Autonomous cars – We can position ourselves in the market to help with our customer’s needs. For autonomous vehicles to make a large impact in our society, they must have smart engines. GKN could consider tapping its feet into this field in the future.
  • Artificial intelligence – The automotive industry will always be relevant in our society, but this could be more than vehicles driving on the roads. I think GKN has potential to tap into the future of how and where we will operate our vehicles. Whether that’s through underground railways, traffic lights, or self-driving vehicles – there’s a place for us in the business.

In your opinion, what does GKN need to stay on top?

In my opinion, GKN needs to get into the field of electrification more. We now ask questions like ‘how can we get into that market?’ and ‘what is a way for us to position ourselves an electrification company made our powder metallurgical parts?’ I think there’s room for us to grow in this aspect of the industry. We could get into the software business or technology-based programming. I don’t think we always have to make parts – we’re smart enough to make software that could help other areas of the business.

Imagine it’s the year 2020 and GKN has been nominated as the most innovative engineering company in the world. What are three things we did to earn this award, in your opinion?

In my opinion, GKN has the potential to become that innovative of a company in coming years by doing these things:

  • Remote company - I see a great value in our employees having the ability to see how certain locations and processes work without having to physically be there. This eliminates unnecessary time and effort, while still working efficiently.
  • Open office space – I love collaborating with RocketSpace because of their office space. A change in company culture by working in projects allows us to be open to more ideas and possibly notice changes we wouldn’t have if we were just sitting in our cubes alone.
  • Different business realms – GKN has great potential to grow into other avenues than industrial and automotive applications. With the right processes and people, our company could grow even larger than it is today.