You are invited to connect at The Victorian Vernier Society monthly meeting was on Thursday the 8th of November at Kooyong Tennis Club:

Martin Merry – Moving from  a Global Manufacturer, General Motors, to APV Corporation, a privately owned Australian manufacturing company

Over 30 years’ experience in Manufacturing and Operations Management at GM (Director of Vehicle Operations) including Management of GMH’s Engine Plant from 2013 to 2016 and the Elizabeth Vehicle Production (2017).

During Martin’s career he has managed Tool Room operations, Maintenance, Manufacturing Operations, Plant Management with full operational responsibility.

Martin is an experienced Lean manufacturing auditor across Asian manufacturing plants and operations.

Australian Performance Vehicles Pty Ltd (APV) was established in 2004 and is a wholly owned Australian Company that is a global supplier of products and services, with local representatives in North America, Europe and New Zealand.

Their core mission is to provide industrial testing services, seat belts and harnesses across the Automotive, Defence, Mining, Industrial, Infrastructure and Government market places.

The company derives approximately $15 million in turnover with exports to North America, Europe and New Zealand. The company employs over 50 personnel in Australia, USA and NZ. APV is a global supplier of safety and performance critical products and turn-key vehicle solutions for tradesperson and industrial requirements.

APV Safety Products Pty Ltd is a global supplier of Seat Belts, Harnesses, Snatch Straps, Tow Straps, and related products. SP is a market leading supplier of safety restraint and seat belt systems for Coach, Defence, Industrial, Fork Lift, Motor-Sport sectors and the Automotive Aftermarkets. SP is also a significant supplier to the North American safety restraint and military vehicle sectors.

Synopsis of the Day – Speaker shows value of Automotive expertise

There were many who saw the automotive industry as the engine of the Australian Manufacturing industry and so when it finally left these shores, there would be an inevitable loss of power in the sector; yet the industry is accelerating. One of the contributors to this performance is the new availability of well-trained engineers and disciplined manufacturing people to transfer their horsepower to Victoria’s more traditional manufacturing companies.

The Vernier Society’s November meeting’s guest speaker was an excellent example of this; Martin Merry, formally Director of GM Holden’s engine plant and now the new GM of APV Australia Pty Ltd.  APV is a wholly owned Australian company and global supplier of industrial testing services, seat belts and harnesses for the automotive, defence, mining and industrial markets.

Martin enthralled Vernier’s members and guests with what he called his “Basic Presentation”, which was a candid presentation of how he is transferring to APV, his extensive manufacturing management expertise, founded on GM’s “Lean Manufacturing” philosophies and processes.  The term ‘basic’ for his presentation was ambiguous, for it was far from basic and showed a real depth of lean knowledge and practice that is synonymous with the automotive industry (and most of Japanese industry as the methods were first developed by Toyota in the late 1960’s).  While he stressed a non-disclosure agreement on how he found APV’s manufacturing facilities upon arrival, it is not hard to appreciate that many Australian companies still, somewhat surprisingly, have a way to go on the lean manufacturing journey.

Speaking from experience on Lean transformation, it is not just about the processes and disciplines; it is about leadership and teamwork and this is the lasting impression that Martin left with his audience – his willingness to lead from the front – down on the manufacturing floor demonstrating a personal commitment and asking it of all of the APV employees.  He stated his 6 overarching principles – Safety, People, Quality, Responsiveness, Cost and the Environment and how management need to embrace all of these principles but accept that change is a journey, achieved ‘bit by bit’.  One of his most meaningful messages was on ‘broken windows’.  Quite insignificant in the overall scheme of a manufacturing facility but in a parody of the leadership maxim “the quality you accept is the quality you just walked past” Martin explained how fixing long-standing broken windows sent powerful messages to the workforce that change will occur.

Martin left his audience with, not only little time for questions, but with strong understanding of his passion and energy for manufacturing, for doing the right things, doing them right and how the future of APV and importantly, their customers, is in safe hands.

Jack Parr Vernier Member

The Vernier Promise!

At Vernier you will:

• Connect and Network with business leaders
• Associate with people who share your interests
• Gain insights and knowledge from authoritive keynote speakers
• Develop and grow your leadership and business prospects
• Promote the sustainability of the Australian manufacturing industry