I’m from a small farming community in Michigan, and if you look at my background, I should have become a statistic. Instead I took a hard look at my challenges and worked to make changes.
As a teenager, I dropped out of high school, but as an adult I went back and achieved my GED and then a Bachelor’s degree, all while being a single parent and working full time. I took the opportunities that were provided to me and utilized them to succeed.
I’ve gone from being a press operator to managing a plant that supplies 1.5 billion fasteners a year to the automotive industry.— Sherry LeeDirector, Michigan OperationsI’ve gone from being a press operator to managing a plant that supplies 1.5 billion fasteners a year to the automotive industry – STANLEY® Engineered Fastening has anywhere from 1-20 parts on almost every car made. I’m proud that through a team effort, our plant recently received a General Motors Supplier Quality Award, which is very hard to achieve.
Early in my career, I saw an opportunity to move off the shop floor when a planner position opened up. I decided to go for it even though I wasn’t sure I was qualified.After my interview, the hiring managers called me “a diamond in the rough” in part because I was more blunt than I am now! They gave me the opportunity to temporarily do the job while they looked for an external candidate. I held that interim position for six months before they hired someone – and then instead of sending me back to my original role, they created another planner position so I could officially continue in the job.
I think I’ve succeeded in the manufacturing industry because I feel kindred to the experience. To see processes change time and time again, until it is the best it can be, is just one of the remarkable aspects of this industry. Manufacturing is an opportunity for innovation to be stretched until you think it cannot be stretched any further, and then you do it all over again. This is particularly true as we become more automated.
The plant I manage is one of three plants chosen to be a Lighthouse facility. This means we are one of the plants leading in Industry 4.0 with Smart factory initiatives. I was both apprehensive and excited to help lead this program. Apprehensive as to how we were going to roll out and keep employees engaged; excited because STANLEY was driving the way for this technology in the industry. I embraced the challenge and thought, “If we don’t do this our competitors will and we want to be the leaders for change.”
Industry 4.0 has had an amazing impact on our plant. We achieved an 8% increase in overall equipment effectiveness and an 11% increase in labor productivity.— Sherry LeeDirector, Michigan OperationsIn just a few years, Industry 4.0 has had an amazing impact on our plant. We achieved an 8 percent increase in overall equipment effectiveness and an 11 percent increase in labor productivity. Plus, the automation we are working on now will help enhance activities so employees are more comfortable and efficient. Non ergo-friendly jobs, where people have to manually install the same parts repetitively, are being moved to press automation. It’s very difficult on hands to do the same movement over and over and press jobs allow employees to have more skills and responsibility.
We also have a paperless initiative that will give employees a more interactive experience. We deal with a lot of checklists, so we are eliminating paper and putting everything on tablet PCs that will automatically check-off steps at each station