Neil Chipps is our production manager. He’s the man behind our production processes – making sure everything runs like clockwork and that our canopies reach our customers on time.
In this latest ‘Day in the life of…’ post we speak to Neil about what his day-to-day role involves working at the UK’s leading canopy manufacturers. This is what he had to say:
Q. What does your role involve?
A. Making sure our sales and installation departments are co-ordinated so that their deadlines and our customers’ deadlines are all aligned. My role also involves a lot of planning, as well as dealing with staffing requirements and sorting them accordingly.
I’m also continuously on the lookout for alternative production methods and techniques that will enable us to continue to build upon our existing ways of working and deliver quality and cost improvements.
Q. Which part of the business do you work in?
A. I work within our production and health and safety areas and monitor our quality management system to make sure measures and procedures are being adhered to by all departments.
Q. How many other people do you work with?
A. Quite a few. There’s our assistant manager, Steven Sims, supervisors, Neil Chatburn and Jazz Higginson and 12 production staff.
Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. I tend to arrive at work at around 7.30am, so that I can meet with my colleagues and review the previous day’s production work first thing. Once that’s done, I then focus on reviewing our new and existing orders on SAP and planning them into future production work streams. My time’s also spent reviewing the relevant documentation, such as general risk assessments, health and safety records and efficiency figures, and making sure it’s all up-to-date. If it’s not, I’ll update it.
Q. What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
A. Collating and planning demand into an achievable production schedule. As the middle part of the supply chain, the production team deals with demands from sales, installation, warehouse and dispatch, who are all working to their own priorities and deadlines. Add maintaining a high level of efficiency and balancing these competing demands to the equation, and things become very challenging, to say the least.
Q. What’s the most rewarding thing about your role?
A. Successfully collating and planning demand in line with customers’ requirements. When this happens, it means our production levels and processes are operating effective and efficiently and our canopies are reaching our wide range of customers within the required timescales.
Q. How do you see your role developing over the years?
A. By training and developing our existing staff to take over the day-to-day work, I’ll be able to spend more of my time focusing on method and system development and alternative manufacturing options for our current and future manufactured products.
Q. What’s the key thing to being an effective production manager?
A. Being able to juggle multiple workloads, working flexibly and gathering and planning information effectively.
Got any questions or want to discuss your outdoor canopy requirements with us? Contact us on [email protected] or 01254 777 002. In the meantime, for more details about the Canopies UK family and why we’re leading UK canopy manufacturers, check out, ‘The Canopies UK journey: Our journey so far…’