Walker AEC looks to the next generation of it’s family owned business

Walker AEC are an established supplier of landing gear, hydraulic and actuation components and assemblies to the aerospace industry. The company was first established by the Walker family in 1974 as Walker Engineering (Poole) Ltd then became Walker AEC in 1994 after merging with Aircraft Engineering Components Ltd of Byfleet whilst owned by the Fairmead Group. In 2002 the company was subject to a management buyout and has traded independently ever since.

In 2020 CEO Martyn Walker made the tough decision to retire, handing management of the business on to the next generation of the Walker family. For 41 years Martyn navigated Walker AEC through it’s evolution and use of technology, something he has continued to champion the importance of.

“Being a family business, the age range of the key players ranges from 21 up to 64 years old and despite this vast difference in ages, all players embrace and push the limits of today’s technology and see investment in this area to the success of Walker AEC in the future” Martyn shared.

“Walker AEC supplies the aviation industry worldwide, so having the most up to date technology available for both things such as remote video calls from home or the office really does keep Walker AEC ahead of its competitors. The same can be said from a mobile office point of view when overseas visits to North America and throughout Europe is concerned.”

Closer to home Walker AEC operates across four separate facilities, each within a five-minute walk of each other. Connectivity is shared seamlessly between sites using a managed wireless connection.

“Hard-wired communications just aren’t an option” Martyn continued. “The solutions introduced by Grapevine have been both cost effective and ultra-reliable to support our internal and external communications, the Smart Vision MRP and Sage Accounting systems. Add to this the requirement for Shop Floor Data Collection and rigorous Quality Management Systems, failure to perform is just not an option which is why the relationship between Walker AEC and Grapevine has to work”.

The more recent addition of IT solutions to Grapevine’s portfolio of services offered an opportunity for Walker AEC to overcome their past frustrations. In early 2020 Grapevine completed a project to consolidate Walker AEC’s multiple legacy systems into one streamlined server using virtualisation, which both reduced their costs and improved productivity across the business.

“The marriage between the end user and the right provider of IT and Telecommunications, is a little bit like any other marriage” observed Martyn. “Sometimes you can get it right first time, but in some cases it takes several attempts to find the right partner, which is where we find ourselves at Walker AEC today thanks to our relationship with Grapevine. Whilst they have provided support with our telecoms for almost two decades, the final tying of the knot only came to fruition just over a year ago when the decree-absolute took place between Walker AEC and our previous IT provider”.

To learn more about Walker AEC please visit walkeraec.com


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