Quality Assurance Manager

Job Title: Quality Assurance Manager

Name: James Hartley

Company: Nestlé UK Ltd

Professional Qualification(s):

BSc (Hons) Chemistry, 2:1, University of Birmingham PhD (Chemistry), University of Birmingham

Brief overview of your job:

To define the factory quality strategy, run the Quality Assurance (QA) department and implement best practice and continuous improvement in all aspects of quality management.

What does your job involve?

  • Manage QA team, including objective setting, performance management, coaching, etc.
  • Get involved in quality aspects of New Product Development, to ensure that product standards have been defined and can be achieved and that modifications to plant or ingredients have been risk assessed.
  • Make the final decision in the event of a quality issue.
  • Audit ingredient and packaging suppliers to ensure their food safety systems are up to scratch.
  • Liase with government and religious organisations, such as Trading Standards, Rabbi’s, etc. to ensure our labelling claims are suitable.
  • Work closely with the other department heads to ensure that quality is always on people’s agenda, and considered at all times.
  • Initiate quality objectives for the site, such as training sessions, continuous improvement initiatives, and specific site objectives.

What do you most like about your job?

  • Working in a cross-functional team, with high levels of accountability for the factory.
  • Being able to sponsor projects, and encourage and coach staff towards their goals.
  • Eating chocolate is part of my job description!

What skills are required in your job?

  • Scientific background, and ability to be analytical but not get too bogged down in details
  • Influencing and negotiating skills when working cross-functionally and externally

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

  • Be prepared to move around to different sites to broaden your experience
  • Understand the industry, especially the importance of major customers
  • Don’t pigeon-hole yourself – to progress you’ll need to understand the whole supply chain, so spells across technical / commercial and logistics would really help

Career so far:

York – project scientist
York – supply chain contract manufacturing specialist
York – sensory evaluation manager
Fawdon – quality assurance manager (current role)