Marshall of Cambridge was one of these family-run British aerospace and defence companies that just "got on with it" for decades, building a sizeable business in heavy-duty overhaul and conversions of military and civil aircraft. It also runs the airport adjoining its premises and one of the UK's largest car dealership businesses - a multi-franchise parade of showrooms sit opposite its building on the edge of the small university city. Several generations of Marshalls have sat in the chief executive's chair since the 1920s and collected gongs along the way.
I spent much of Monday finding out about the company's new strategy. It hasn't massively changed, to be honest. But the business has become much more focused, concentrating on what it does best and delivers the biggest return and exploiting under-used assets such as its airfield, which sits on the doorstep of one of the most affluent and high-tech regional clusters in the country. The company has also got better at telling people about it too. Part of the reason is the government's ramp-back in defence spending, which has put on hold or scrapped altogether a number of highly-lucrative upgrade projects Marshall might have hoped to profit from.
I'll be writing about the strategy in Flight International in our 22 May issue, and our 8 May edition has a story about the plans for the airport.