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Michael Mitten, CEO of Houghton International

Who are you?
Michael Mitten, CEO of Houghton International.

What does your company do and how many employees do you have?
Houghton International is a specialist electro mechanical repair shop and coil manufacturer based in the UK. We work across multiple sectors, in multiple industries and export our products and services to over 25 countries worldwide. We employ 100 members of staff.

Are you an EASA member or EASA affiliate member?
We are active EASA members.

When did your company become an EASA member?
Around 17 years, I think.

Which challenges our industry is now going through or will go through in the future?
As an industry, I feel we have a huge challenge to attract talented engineers and other key disciplines that are required to grow. We need to encourage new talent into the industry and support the development of the specialist skills required. This is an industry wide challenge we must embrace. We all need to do more to promote the industry as an attractive place to work and
to attract and retain the skills and experience we all need to succeed.

What about Trainings?
We invest heavily in apprentices and in the development of all our people. I feel, as an industry, we could all invest more which will help to attract the talent we need

Who are the emerging competitors of our industry?
Developments in condition monitoring technologies and the emergence of robotics in equipment services are both exciting developments. As an industry we need to keep up with change and adapt the services we offer in line with these technologies.

Which Opportunities do you see? Where do you think our industry should invest?
I feel we need to invest more in the promotion, development and attraction of talent within the industry. EASA has a huge role to play in this and should lead the way, the range of training and support it offers members is key to this, as well as widening our networks with other industries and organisations.

What kind of EASA services do you use? (Training programs, webinars, consulting service, Technical resources, accreditation, networking etc.)
We have been active EASA members for many years now and use the whole range of services offered. We particularly see benefit in the technical resources and get a lot from attending the networking events. Feedback from staff who have attended the recent Root Cause Analysis training also found this incredibly useful and would recommend this to others.

Which services do you want EASA to develop/offer in the future?
I’m a member of a Roving Chief Exec group in America and have found this very useful in terms of understanding the similar challenges businesses in our industry face and working together to overcome them. It would be good to see more participation in a Region 9 RCE group, in a more structured and formal way to support business development in our chapter.

To a potential new member how would you promote EASA membership?
I definitely believe the more you put in the more you get out. Members who get involved, utilise the resources available, expand their networks and are active benefit the most from their membership

What is the last advice you gave to a new employee in our industry?
Never stop learning!

Will you propose a candidate for the next EASA Karsten Moholt Exceptional Award?
Yes – it’s a great way to support the development of younger talent in the industry.