Focused on business improvement

The Engineering Technology Group (ETG) has appointed Robin Mitchell to the new role of Operations Director with the aim of creating a seamless process from machine order to delivery at the customer’s premises. His areas of responsibility at ETG include logistics, pre-delivery inspection and applications engineering, and he is a member of the operational board. He also has a wider remit to drive through a structured process improvement programme that includes customer satisfaction targets such as ‘Zero Defect Machine Installations’.


Robin spent 19 years in manufacturing at Land Rover and has extensive experience as a consultant helping SMEs with continuous improvement plans and lean manufacturing. He started working with ETG as a consultant earlier this year and, having identified opportunities for business improvement, is now tasked with turning them into reality. He says that his automotive industry experience has provided a good basis for his approach to process improvement, and he is very much applying an automotive industry methodology to what he is doing at ETG.


“The big thing for me has been customer focus. In this business, as in the automotive business, what is important is your reputation. What we do has to be very much biased towards customer satisfaction and how we deliver on our mission statement ‘to exceed our customers’ expectations’.” To be able to do that you need to have everything in place culturally and structurally.


“That’s where the business improvement plan comes in,” says Robin. “It is going to tackle some of those cultural and structural issues and fundamental manufacturing problems such as how do we get to having no faults when we deliver a machine to the customer.


“I am a great believer in applying lessons learnt. We have done a lot of looking back at past projects to see where things go wrong and how we could change the process and do it differently, and that is now paying off in the projects that are coming through.


“The mantra for me to get through to people is ownership, accountability and discipline. People have to take ownership of what we have to do, be accountable for delivering it, and have the discipline to follow the processes to get it right. Then we can get zero defects on installation, because that is the measure of us, that every machine goes in with 100% customer satisfaction.”


ETG sales director Martin Doyle said: “Since joining us on a consultancy basis in January Robin has been instrumental in highlighting areas of our business that are in need of improvement and focus. His skill sets and approach fit perfectly with our mission statement to ‘exceed the expectations of our customers’.”

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