Editor’s Note: Regular readers to our blog know that we frequently highlight our employees in the Employee Spotlight series. Today, we bring you a new occasional series focusing on our individual departments. We sat down with Zach Fothergill, Operations Support Manager, and three members of his team: Edgar Audelo, Morgan Burris and Ryan Stephenson.
Tell us what your team does on the Assembly side.
Zach: On the Assembly side, we start from scratch. We’re the first people to physically touch a job. We take the parts and the prints from the engineers and make sure we’re all ready to go. We examine the prints, and if something looks off, we contact the customer to ask questions. We might also suggest changes that are more ergonomical for wiring and for the end user’s access. We bounce ideas off of each other about the best way to solve issues. None of us is as smart as all of us.
Ryan: I’ve worked on panels that had a lot of stuff in it and nothing would fit. When that happens, we will turn to each other.
Zach: My team is really team-oriented. When we hit a roadblock, we’ll get together and brainstorm ways to work around a problem. I’ll take a screenshot of the issue and email it back to the engineers and see if they like our proposed ideas. Most of the time, they will go with our suggestions.
What is a typical day like on your team?
Edgar: I would say that most jobs take more than a few days, so we usually start the day picking up where we left off before. If we are beginning a new job, we feel it out and try to determine what we need and how long it might take.
Ryan: One of the reasons why I like it here so much is that this work gives me satisfaction at the end of the day when I build a panel and see it coming together. It’s pleasing to the eye when a job is complete.
This job suits me. I’m pretty savvy with the Steinhauer CNC machine . We have figured out how to write a lot of the code for it, and to manipulate the machine beyond its basic functions.
Where do you think your team shines?
Evan blogged recently about our shop visitors. We’ll get engineers into the shop who know their industry well. But outside of their industry, thing are done differently. I get to show the engineers other panels with perhaps different components, and they seem to enjoy looking at things from a different perspective. It’s a value add to what we’re already doing—showing our customers additional technical options.
Edgar: We approach customer service seriously. When we take the customer’s schematic, it’s our job to make sure what they’ve designed fits in the appropriate panel. We double check and suggest options to make things fit a little better. Sometimes, we come up with two or three solutions. I think the customers appreciate that we’re thinking ahead.
Morgan: I’d have to say, we have a great process where we see everyone’s side of things. If I hit a roadblock, I can present it to Edgar and Ryan and they can give me their input. It helps us to solve things faster and easier, working as a team as we do.
What are the personalities like on the team?
Edgar: I’m the funny one. I try to keep everyone in a good mood. It’s nice to come to work. I can call my coworkers my friends.
Control panels are everywhere, yet most people really don’t know what they are. How do you answer the question, “What do you do?”
Morgan: I don’t think I’ve found a good way to answer that question. It’s rare for anybody outside of here to understand what I do. I’ve used this line: “I build the things that control the machines that build other things.” [Team laughs.]
What are some skills you personally want to learn in your job?
Edgar: Every day there is a new challenge, and I am constantly learning something new. I guess one thing is that I’d like to be a better team member. Sometimes, we tend to stick with what we’re comfortable with. We need to spread that knowledge around and perhaps do other things we’re not as comfortable with.
Morgan: I would like to learn more about the various industries we work with; component functions; everything. You are never done learning. The more you know, the more you grow. I would also like to improve my CAD skills.
Do you have a team motto?
Edgar: “Teaming up with teamwork, together as a team!”