I will start my blogging with a short introduction. I’ve been at the company for 12 years and I’m the "Lean and Continuous Improvement Manager", which means that I support the business to improve our safety, quality, productivity and competitiveness. It can be challenging at times as continuous improvement (CI) is really difficult, but it’s extremely rewarding to see how far we’ve come and the opportunities that we still have ahead of us. I also cooperate with colleagues in Holmen’s other mills in Sweden (particularly our ‘sister’ mill in Iggesund), to share what we’ve learned and get ideas for further improvement. We even set up a group with ~20 other businesses across our county to share improvement ideas; as Lean & CI apply to all kinds of organisation; including healthcare, making biscuits and even building nuclear submarines.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my son & daughter (though they’re adults now and are at/heading for university) and mountain biking with friends or fellwalking with my girlfriend as the mountains are only a few minutes away. This really is a wonderful place to live if you enjoy spending time in the outdoors.
Some colleagues and I are actually travelling to Iggesund early next week for some Lean training, so I’ll hopefully be able to send my next blog from there!
On Tuesday I was in Sweden, to present Lean and Problem Solving training with my colleague Malin, who guides the Lean work at our sister mill in Iggesund. Our audience was Iggesund Paperboard’s ‘Technical Services’ team – about 20 people who work closely with our customers, to support them with expert advice on how to use our paperboard in the best way. They were very engaged – asking questions about how Lean can help them and their customers and telling us about the situation out in the market. We were also joined by some of our production leaders and both our Mill Directors presented their perspectives, which is important as it shows their commitment to Lean improvement. Overall it was a valuable and fun day during which Malin and I learned a lot and I hope our audience did too!
I mentioned in my first blog that I’ve been at Holmen Iggesund’s mill in the north of England for 12 years now and I enjoy working here for a number of reasons… The team of people I work with - both at the Workington Mill and across Holmen - are friendly, skilled and committed to doing a good job to make the business better. The virgin fibre paperboard that we make is a high quality, renewable product and the result of a surprisingly complex and high-tech process – not ‘just anyone’ can make a product like it! The Holmen company is as sustainable as they come – a series of linked business areas right from the forest to the final board, paper & timber products, using wind, hydro and biofuel energy. And finally the challenge – there are always new things to do, new projects, new tasks, new improvements to make and that keeps me engaged and learning every day. It’s a great place to work 😊
After travelling to Sweden last week, I’ve been in the Workington mill all this week and have been busy with several different things. We always have a lot of focus on problem solving work, eg. working to reduce the risk of cut injuries in our mill or tackling some quality issues. Also I’m coordinating eight project teams who are working together to make our processes more stable, which is improving our safety, quality, productivity and competitiveness. Overall, challenging & rewarding, just as I think most of us want our jobs to be. It’s now the end of my time as the ‘Holmen blogger’, so I’ll say good-bye and thanks for reading. And why not check out the ‘Career’ section of the Holmen website – you never know where it might lead you!