Day in a Life of Operations Director Peter Thompson
In many ways, I’m not an archetypal Operations Director: I do a bit of everything and enjoy being involved in quite a few different departments. I think it’s very helpful to have knowledge of the whole business as it helps me function better in my role. I try to get as many people in the business involved so that they feel comfortable with all aspects of what we do and the style of how we do it.
I start my day by reviewing the plans for all three sites so I know what we have going on that day and what stock we are holding. This enables us to respond quickly to product enquiries from customers. We regularly receive enquiries from customers who require stock urgently, so being on top of what we have available means we can respond quickly and look to have the product with the customer on the day they request it. It’s important that we are incredibly customer focussed.
Unlike many in my position, I prefer not to have one big daily or weekly meeting with the heads of department. I find it works better to be more fluid. That way, I can quickly adjust to any change in demands from inside and outside the business. We often receive requests for new product development (NPD) trials, so it’s important that we manage space in our plans to service the other departments within the business.
As we move into the end of the year it’s vitally important that we manage our stockholding closely. I review this regularly with the Warehouse Manager and Purchasing team to ensure we are maximising space with the right balance of ingredients and finished product. This isn’t unusual as we approach the end of the year as maintaining stock levels allow us to plan a “bonus” shut down between Christmas and New Year as well as ensuring that we cater to all of our customer’s needs. It’s also important that that the staff can have a well-earned break, funded by the business.
This afternoon, we have one of our main seed suppliers on-site to discuss various plans and propositions for 2022 and beyond. We’re lucky to have such close ties with suppliers, and it’s always good to sit down and talk with them. We also have an audit taking place, so I’ll stop in and check with our Technical Manager, Martin, if there is anything I can do to help and support him with that.
My final meeting of the day is with our Engineering Manager to review the progress of a member of staff who has been awarded an apprenticeship with us. This is something that we have been looking at for a while and we are incredibly happy that we have decided to promote within. To be able to offer a current member of staff the apprenticeship has been fantastic, I can’t wait to see how he develops and grows as part of the team.
My last job before heading home is to look at the plans for tomorrow and check the warehouse, ordering and purchasing systems. Once that’s done, I can turn my office lights off and head out the door.