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Our General Manager for sign manufacturing shares his thoughts on his time at the company, sign-making, and his vision for the future. He even tells us who he would most like to meet, all we're going to say is he had a wand of a right foot.
General Manager (Manufacturing)
Part of the company since:
20th May 2019
Running, cycling and food
Random fact about you:
Who would you most like to meet and why?
Great question, Matt le Tissier, he played for Southampton and there was a documentary about his career on VHS, given to me by a family friend. I can always remember watching it at a young age and thinking I wanted to be able to play football just like him.
Best part of working at William Smith:
The people. Even though it’s a hugely successful long running business it still has the friendly family feel and something new happens every day.
What is your biggest career achievement to date?
Achieving my BA (Hons) Degree in Business Management, not only did I achieve this out of work hours, but I was also a first-time dad.
Your role is new to Smith Sign & Display, how do you think it will impact the business?
The role of General Manager will bring a focus to improving the manufacturing operations and the sales office, by establishing and driving improvements to production, developing sales goals and organisational structure.
What do you enjoy about your role?
There are so many things to choose from. Every day’s a school day, whether that be learning the William Smith way or in my own development.
Currently, being part of the changes being made through Lean are truly enjoyable, they do not only help the business but also make the working day easier for all involved.
What is the most challenging thing about your role within the company?
Developing and building my people skills so I can be a better leader and make sure I’m in the best position to support the team. After that, it would be ensuring that I always communicate effectively with the different teams.
What’s your vision for Smith Sign & Display? / What potential does it have?
The vison I see for Smiths is operational excellence! Operational excellence is a mindset that embraces certain principles and tools to create a sustainable improvement within the team.
To achieve this there will be a focus on staff, concentrating on things such as taking the already high level of skill and developing it further, by acknowledging, understanding, and implementing effective lean management skills for continuous improvement. This will be realised in enhanced productivity, decreased downtime and by cutting waste where we can.
I believe what Smiths has accomplished a lot of late which is fantastic, and by continuing to work together the possibilities are endless.
Do you see any future investment within Smith Sign and Display?
We're continuously investing in our staff, allowing them the opportunity to up-skill and develop their trade further. This not only has benefits to the individual, the team but the business also, as it gives us flexibility with having a multi-skilled workforce.
You may already know but we now have a dedicated Business Development Manager working for the Smith division. Ian Spence, once an External Account Manager for material distribution, is now helping to grow the business further and is perfectly suited to do so with his wealth of experience in signage and warm personality.
Investment in site development through Lean will continue, to create a production process which operates in a seamless and efficient manner.
What is your prediction for the future of the company?
I’d like to see us:
Improve on the first-class customer service level we offer and taking that experience to another level. Offering a low friction customer experience.
Make a streamlined and transparent process from sales through to product completion, offering a clear path along the way.
Make the production process smooth and lean, allowing for the people to be focussed on the job in hand rather than being bothered by things of no concern, doing so will give our customer a high-quality product in a timely manner.
Sum William Smith up in one word:
One word I struggle with, top 3 that come to mind are:
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