Ian Rees: How Quorum Was Started
Ian’s life story is a testament to the power of dedication and a deep understanding of the complex world of Supportability Engineering. From his youthful fascination with motorcycles to a distinguished career in the military and his leap into the world of ILS/IPS, Quorum’s journey is a compelling narrative of tenacity, innovation, and the pursuit of Excellence.
To understand Quorum and where we are headed, it is important to understand the company’s history and, thus, the founder. The foundations and principles that built Quorum will be crucial in navigating the path ahead. So, let’s discuss Ian and why he decided to start Quorum.
Early Passion for Mechanics
Ian’s journey into mechanical engineering began in his youth when he was drawn to motorcycles. Not only did he ride them, but he also became the go-to guy for fixing them among his friends. These early experiences ignited his fascination with machinery, planting the seeds for his future endeavours.
At 16, Ian started his apprenticeship at the Army Apprentices College. This marked the initiation of a remarkable 20-year career with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). During his tenure, Ian meticulously honed his skills and forged a profound understanding of equipment, a foundation that would later serve as the bedrock of his career.
A Vision of Change: Ian aspired to become a management consultant following his military career. His pursuit of new challenges led him to diverse locations, including Kuwait, where he played a significant role in the tri-service Kuwait Liaison Team
GKN Defence and Transition to ILS
In 1994, Ian embarked on a new chapter by joining GKN defence in Telford. His journey began as a training analyst, but his passion and expertise soon led him to transition into supportability. Ian played a crucial role in high-impact projects, such as the Warrior programme for Kuwait and the Piranha programme for Oman, where his dedication to improving military logistics shone brilliantly.
The Birth of Quorum
Ian’s pivotal career moment arrived when he co-founded Quorum Logistic Support in September 2000. His vision was to bridge a critical gap in the market. As the first supportability consultant at GKN Defense, Ian recognised the dire need for a comprehensive approach to Integrated Logistics Support (ILS). He firmly believed that ILS should be a holistic package, saving both time and resources for companies.
A Trailblazer in Logistics: Ian’s vision rapidly took shape as Quorum Integrated Logistic Support LTD grew into a team of 30 professionals. They embarked on ambitious projects, including a £20 million Support Vehicle programme, catering to esteemed clients like MAN Trucks and offering invaluable support to larger firms.
The biggest challenge was becoming known: At a time when Quorum, a new venture, was competing with some of the largest firms in the country, Ian was asked why Quorum should be given a contract to work with MAN; Ian’s response was, “You do not have to use Quorum, but you have seen what we can do on previous bids.”
After that interaction, Quorum went from supporting larger ILS consultancies to managing entire projects.
A Hands-On Maestro: Ian’s hands-on approach extended to projects like the Boxer programme, where he played an essential role in implementing design changes that significantly improved efficiency. He recognised the often-overlooked importance of supportability during the design phase and took it upon himself to rectify this.
Ian did not shy away from burning the midnight oil, sending emails to potential clients at 2 a.m. his tireless dedication paid off, propelling Quorum to new levels of success. That said, this dedication proved valuable, as he would get replies almost immediately, meaning he was not alone. Quorum’s clients could always count on receiving support whenever they needed it.
A Humble Leader: Ian’s leadership philosophy was anchored in humility. He firmly believed in reporting to those more qualified, even if it meant relinquishing his directorial role. This ethos fostered an environment of continual learning and growth.
Today, while Ian has retired from Quorum, his legacy endures as he serves as a trustee; he will be there if the company needs him. His philosophy will guide us as we transition into a business model that is focused on delivering more value to our clients
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