Meet Lewis, a man who has worked in project management one way or another for almost his entire working life. For the last 6 years he has been an essential part of what keeps our company growing quickly and running smoothly.
Tell Us a Little Bit about What You Do.
My job can basically be split into two parts. The first is in project management which means I oversee any new building work being done or equipment being installed. I make sure things get up and running efficiently before our busy period in September. The second aspect of my job is about finding new ways to improve throughout the company.
I look at all sorts of different projects. For example, something we’ve recently finished is a system improvement in the litho production stream. We now have defined overs prepopulated in our litho press systems which reduces the number of touch-points our press operators have to deal with.
No day is the same for me. I’ll start the day with a walk around the factory, talking to all the relevant teams for any ongoing projects. That could be external contractors, the production department, or any of the internal systems teams. I’ll then go to the daily production meeting but after that it’s anyone’s guess! Mostly, I do a lot of chasing people up on things.
What is Your Biggest Challenge?
I’d say that hardest part of my job is finding solutions which can be scaled to rate at which we are growing. We install at least 1 or 2 new presses every year and often we are installing new machinery in the knowledge that, after only a few years, we’ll be wanting to upgrade it with a new model that can cope with the increased demand. So, we have to constantly be looking to future.
We need to find something that works for the demand we have now and for the demand we know we’ll have later. For example, it’s no good having a press that needs five people to operate, and will eventually produce lots of work, but initially is only creating one operator’s worth of work. We need a machine that can gradually grow from coping with a small demand to coping with a large demand.
It’s a challenge but it’s also exciting to know that the company is growing so quickly. It’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed working here for so long!
What has Been Your Proudest Achievement While Working Here?
Possibly the biggest project I’ve managed was the factory move, when we relocated to the factory we’re in now. As you can imagine, that was a very complicated process but we managed to prepare the new factory then move the entire of production over in just a couple of (very busy) weekends.
First, we got the new factory and we completely stripped it down until it was just brick and mortar again. We then respecified all the internal workings, the electrics, network and compressed air, so that it met our specific requirements. In the end, we created what we believe to be a state of the art production facility. We then moved in all the large format equipment over one weekend and worked out of two factories for a week before moving in the small format equipment over another weekend. Thankfully, everything went very smoothly - the truck carrying the guillotine broke down for a while but that was it!
What, in Your Opinion, Makes Route One Print Stand Out from its Competitors?
For me, it’s the fact that we use the best technology that integrates to create one great overall system. Everything that we do in production is about seeing the big picture and making sure the factory as a whole is producing high quality work as efficiently as possible. No matter how efficient a piece of machinery is, if we can’t integrate it to any of our other equipment and systems, it’s not going to be as good as a solution which does integrate. We make sure that everything in our factory works together to create an amazing system.
Find out what Lewis has been working on recently with our blog all about the investments we’ve been making over the summer!