Manufacturing Leader

Start date: March 2007
Location: Cornwall

“I started at Samworth Brothers in March 2007, after leaving University half way through my second year of a sports science degree at The College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth.

My plan was to work here for a maximum of 18 months and then go back to complete my degree but opportunities presented themselves to stay with the company and I have been here ever since.

In the 10 years I have been with Samworth Brothers, I have worked in Preparation, Packing and Production. I started work as an operator in the mix and vat room, preparing fills for the products on the lines. After 18 months, I moved to the production department as a stand in Technical Operator (Team Leader) to cover maternity. I had to learn a new set of skills and work with a new team. I progressed well with this and, when a role came up for a full time position in the packing department, I put myself forward and got the job.

I worked in high risk packing and, once again, had to learn a new set of skills and integrate into a new team. After six months in the role, I had the opportunity to stand in as the Manufacturing Leader for high risk packing, which I did for two months. This was a great opportunity for me and gave some really good experience.

After this I moved back to production and worked as a Technical Operator once again. Part of the Technical Operator programme was to undertake a training passport to show all the areas that we worked in, including engineering maintenance and line management. After completing the Technical Operator training in 2012, I applied for – and got – the position of Manufacturing Leader for 3 Nights Production.
In the five years I have been in the role, I have moved the department forward to be one of the best performing departments. This has been through on-shift collaborative working and team development. My most recent project has been continuous improvement, where I completed ‘yellow belt’ training; the project that I worked on was to reduce variability with our deep filled peppered steak slice. As part of the project I got together a cross functional team and helped to improve the standard deviation, average weight and also reduced complaints; I was awarded a distinction for this project.”

Ian Rooke