Model Electronic Railway Group

Leading Model Railway Electronics since 1967

Over 50 years of Innovation: 1967-2019

MERG - Vacancies

The Group continues to expand to offer the benefits to an ever wider cross section of railway modellers. The benefits include the web site, technical bulletins, kits, quarterly journal, area groups, training, and readily available assistance, together with the opportunity to meet other members. New ideas are emerging that require extra help to deliver even more benefits for our members. Could you contribute to our continued success by volunteering some time and skills to help the team that runs MERG?

We welcome help from all ages but volunteering can be particularly fulfilling for those who are retired.

It is not just for the annual election of the full Committee that we need new volunteers. The Committee has decided that for reasons of continuity and security the various tasks can be broken down to offer opportunities to participate or to act as understudies for the main positions. In addition, there are sometimes opportunities during the year for less formal help to be given to smaller projects.

The main roles have formal "task descriptions" and others are more flexible to match the time commitment and skills of the individual.

New volunteers are essential both to bring new ideas and to lessen the burden on those who have already donated many hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of hours in making the Group what it is today. It is essential to preserve the work/life balance of people providing the services as the workload for existing officers is inevitably increasing as MERG gets bigger.

So, if you would like to explore what is involved in a specific role, or simply want to investigate whether you could contribute in some way, why not get in touch?

Current vacancies are shown below.

Technical Support Manager

For the last 12 years this important Committee role has been undertaken by Martin Perry, firstly as Kitmaster and latterly as organiser of the Kit Locker Team, manager of Kit Production and Technical Support to the MERG membership, this after the devolution of Kit Sales to Judi Rastall. It is expected that further devolution of Kit Production management will take place towards MERG’s new Inventory Manager and Martin considers this an opportune time for Technical Support to begin transition to a new pair of hands.

In general the Technical Support Manager (TSM) will

  • Manage the process of introduction of new kits including the commencement of production by the allocated Kit Producer (elf).
  • Oversee the form and standard of the kits and their documentation in liaison with the kit designer. This will include custodianship of the range of kits, the kit building instruction library and its style.
  • Liaise with the Inventory Manager and Kit Sales Manager over matters concerning kit production and inventory control. This will include management of the production team and required skill sets in liaison with the Inventory Manager.
  • Support the kit production team and Inventory Manager over technical matters of component selection and sourcing.
  • Support to MERG members experiencing kit building problems, the use of the kits and provision of technical information where requested.
  • Support to the Technical Bulletin Editor in introduction of new Bulletins, managing the library, standards and updates.

The Technical Support Manager must have a working knowledge of electronics and be aware of other sources of skills and information both through MERG, its kit designers and outside the Group. He should ideally have experience of people management. Since the bulk of MERG’s technical base rests in Microsoft Office aplications, the TSM should be proficient with the use of WORD and EXCEL. He/she should ideally be familiar with Printed Circuit Board CAD applications such as DesignSpark which is progressively being adopted throughout the Group for kit PCBs.

This is an interesting and exciting role in MERG and it ought to appeal to any number of people with a technical background. It goes without saying that it is fundamentally important to the success of the Kit Locker as it continues to grow.

If you would like to volunteer for consideration or to get more detail of the role then please contact Martin Perry, Vice Chairman and Technical Support Manager

MERG Kit Locker Growth

Sales of kits has long been a central part of MERG’s provision to members and the volume of sales has grown inexorably in recent years. This is as a consequence of the increasing range of kits and of the increase in membership numbers. Last financial year sales exceeded £90,000 and can be expected to continue to grow year-on-year.

At our 2018 stocktaking we not only counted what we had but we also thought about what we were doing and how we were doing it. We have subsequently removed the majority of the components we have carried because of the disproportionate amount of time and space these consumed, they are now easily available from a range of commercial suppliers and from eBay in small quantities.

However, we are concerned that the current position is unsustainable. We consider it essential that the workload is divided up so that each person handling and distributing the kits will have a more reasonable workload consistent with maintaining an efficient distribution. The current occupant of the Kit Sales Manager would like eventually to be able to relinquish the role knowing that it could pass into new hands without the service to members suffering. To that end, we propose appointing one or more Assistant Sales Distribution Managers who would take on the stocking and distribution of part of the total range, such as the 3D printed accessories. The exact amount transferred would be subject to negotiation and agreement with the prospective candidate(s).

Requirements for the role would include the following:

  • Space to stock the range of kits or accessories to be handled,
  • Being comfortable with e-commerce,
  • Willingness to receive, process and post orders daily.
  • The Assistant Sales Distribution Manager(s) would be part of the Kit Production Team comprising Martin Perry (Technical Support and overall responsibility), Judi Rastall (Kit Sales Manager), and Terry Lawson (Inventory Manager). IT Support is provided by Martin Sebborn (IT Manager).

    Anyone interested in this new role and joining the Team should contact Judi Rastall in the first instance with a summary of how you see the role and what you would bring to the role.

News Editor

The MERG Committee wishes to establish a news service for members and readers in the public domain. This would be a service to make available headline detail of newsworthy activities, events and developments involving the MERG Group, as well as technical features in the model railway press. The sources would be postings on the MERG Forum, articles in the MERG Journal, area group meeting events, exhibitions, the model railway press and any other source deemed appropriate to the Group’s activities.

The news in the form of text, images, or video would be published bi-monthly or as required and would be featured on the MERG Group website, the MERG Journal and a News page in the Forum together with pages on the MERG Facebook and Twitter pages where appropriate. It is planned that it would also be made available to every fully paid up member by email. Publication via the MERG Publicity Officer would be needed for the MERG Facebook and Twitter pages and for submission to the Railway Modeller magazine. A working relationship with this magazine has been established and a free copy of the magazine will be provided as a source of public information and news.

To manage this service a vacancy for a News Editor has become available which would work under the auspices of the MERG Publicity Officer. The individual concerned would be prepared to spend time searching out articles of interest across the MERG Community.

The person appointed would have been a user of the MERG Forum for 3 years, a user of the MERG web site, and would need to be at least familiar with electronic matters if not an expert. They must be able to use and create information in all types of media and remain of independent mind to avoid bias. This is an opportunity for an individual to be at the centre of news distribution, to work closely with the Technical Support and IT Managers and be willing to help develop the service for the benefit of the membership.

If you would like to volunteer for consideration or to get more detail of the role then please contact Martin Perry, Vice Chairman and Technical Support Manager

MERG Web Assistant

MERG’s online facilities are becoming increasingly important and we are therefore looking to bolster the IT facility by the addition of a person responsible for managing the content of various areas, specifically:

a) the public website – the role will be responsible for updating, extending and the ongoing maintenance of the technical resources section, as well as managing the homepage content in conjunction with the Publicity Officer and his team;

b) assisting with the ongoing creation of the LaunchPad area – the role will work alongside the Membership Secretary to help create and manage content aimed at new joiners and beginners; it is hoped the person undertaking this role will lead with cataloguing the various data sources available;

c) moderating and managing the MERG Wiki – the role will be expected to oversee the MERG Wiki, ensuring data is updated and relevant and minimising duplication – this will be in conjunction with the many contributors to the Wiki.

The candidate will need to have comprehensive web skills, specifically a good working knowledge of HTML and associated technologies. They will also need good communication skills in order to manage the liaison with the various members currently handling aspects of our online presence relating to this role.

The role is not a committee post but will report to the MERG IT Manager, with whom they would be expected to work closely.

If you would like to volunteer for consideration or to get more detail of the role then please contact Martin Perry, Vice Chairman and Technical Support Manager

Last updated: 16-May-2018