Operations Leader

Job Title: Operations Leader

Company: Nestlé UK Ltd

Professional Qualification(s):
M.Eng Chemical Engineering

Degree studied at

Imperial College, LondonBrief job description

I am in charge of 2 departments which make Rowntree Jelly pots and Sunpat Peanut Butter.

My career so far…

I was on the Nestlé Graduate Scheme from 1996-1998. I then moved to the Yorksite where I was chocolate manufacturing Team Leader. At Girvan I was a Manufacturing Technologist, the at Hayes I was in charge of Engineering projects on Gold Blend and Nescafé. I then moved to Halifax/Castleford as a Continuous Improvement Facilitator and now I am based at Hadfield as Operations Leader.

What does your job involve in a typical day?

Responding to problems is where a large chunk of the day goes, these can be process problems(like breakdowns) or people issues(like illness or personal problems). How you respond to these problems can make all the difference, so technical knowledge is just as important as man-management skills. Getting the right person involved at the right time can save you time and money. Communication with your teams is an essential component of good manufacturing management, so your ability to convey important messages plays a big part. You should have the confidence to be able to talk to a large group of people(in briefings for example) without feeling intimidated, although this is something that you develop with experience. Planning for operator training and maintenance activities is another facet of the job and will help to ensure that the department carries on running effectively and efficiently. Looking for ideas from your teams to maintain Continuous Improvement to your departments is something that goes on all the time, as you can’t afford to stand still, or you risk being left behind. Organisation of your resources(both people and plant) also requires some consideration and can be time consuming, but is necessary to make sure you are getting the best out from them. Making sure that your department runs within the budgets set( e.g. for ingredients usage, overtime and costs of improvements to your department) is something that requires a lot of attention to detail and a good head for numbers does help.

What do you like most about your job?

The buzz you get when your departments are running well and your teams are happy and enjoying what they are doing.

What skills are required in your job?

Communication, Interpersonal, Leadership, Creativity, the ability to able to think on your feet.

How many people work for you?


What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food and grocery industry?

It is a fun industry to be in, but it can be tough and it is certainly very challenging.

A day in the life of an Operations Executive:

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Operations Manager Job Description

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