In Your Own Time. Just in Time
But this chilled hippy vibe belies incredible production focus and structure. Production Manager, Matt O'Keefe is probably the world's best best boss. Period. Calm, supportive and obviously 100% nurturing of his factory staff. He explains that Seven took their production principle for Toyota's 'just in time' code. That is to say machines are relatively cheap but people are expensive. So each worker is trained to a high level to accomplish as many tasks as possible concurrently. This helps each part of production arrive on time for the next phase.
We watched Jonathan juggle three spinning machines, that were cutting, butting and machining a set of Axiom SL tubes simultaneously.
One of the things that we liked is that the workers, to a degree at least, set their own hours. As long as they work their shift they can be flexible - as long as it fits in with the production schedule at the time. And talking to Matt it became clear that this consensual style allowed happier and more natural working rhythms. Simple.
Precision Welding - Steph Adams Style
"Designer, Welder, and Painter (but not all at the same time)"
In many companies the welder is the super-star. In Seven they are all equal. The crew are encouraged to be as multi-skilled as they can or want. We watched ex welding sculptress Steph (pictured), perform the most perfect beads on an Axiom. But she is just as happy designing frames or painting them. Like many of the Seven crew Steph came out of art school and also worked at Merlin.
Controlled Creative Calm
To sum up Seven is the epitome of controlled creative calm. What a wonderful working environment.