"Operations management is an area of management concerned with overseeing, designing, and controlling the process of production and redesigning business operations in the production of goods or services. It involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient in terms of using as few resources as needed and effective in terms of meeting customer requirements"(Wikipedia).
As you can imagine, running an Operations team is no easy feat. Without this department, L.D. Davis would not be able to manufacture or ship product. They keep our company running like a well-oiled machine!
To continue our "Meet The Team" series, we sat down with our Operations Manager, Barry Barto. Continue reading to get an inside look into the L.D. Davis plant.
How long have you been with the L.D. Davis?
I have been the L.D. Davis Operation Manager for 21 years.
What is your role within the Operations department at L.D. Davis?
As Operations Manager, my role has been a very unique one within the Operations department. I have been part of, and witnessed, many significant changes in the plant and company over the past 20 years. I have a strong mechanical aptitude, a Bachelor’s in Chemistry, and an MBA. With this background, I can understand how systems work throughout the company. Managing people, and learning how to manage them, has been the changing challenge in my position.
What does a typical day look like in your department?
To the untrained eye it may resemble organized chaos. Our plant is very unrestricted visually. The multilevel open field construction style allows someone to stand in one spot in the plant and witness everything, from unloading raw materials to the finished goods at the packaging line. A normal day has a logical flow. It starts early beginning new production previous day's plan. Once the progression begins, attention is turned to incoming demands. Plans are then made to cover any raw material or packaging needs. Man power and equipment is assigned, and then directed through the priorities of the day, week, and the following weeks. The question “what do we need to be able to handle the demands?” is probably the most difficult one to answer. This is a business so we do not have an endless supply of money or manpower. It's important that all aspects of the day are controlled so we get the biggest bang for our buck. My eldest daughter visited the plant many years ago. While looking over a sea of cooling cakes she asked “Doesn’t this get boring?”. I simply answered, “We pray for boring, Darlin'”.
What do you feel is the best way to describe the team in the plant at L.D. Davis?
The word that comes to mind first is "flexible". We can adapt very quickly to the changing business environment. We respond quickly to the requests of our Customers. Changes in Sales orders, priorities, raw material demands, and personnel all add to the puzzle we put together every day. We accomplish this through cross training in critical positions. Key individuals can fill in any number of roles in the Plant in order to prevent stumbling blocks.
What qualities do you think hold the team in the plant together?
Without a doubt, I would say respect holds our team together. The team knows I respect them as individuals, and will listen to each of their feedback. They also understand that doesn’t mean that situations will necessarily be able to change to what they specifically want, because when all is said and done, Operations has to fill the gap between the Sales and Quality Groups so L.D. Davis can satisfy our customer’s needs. My crew knows I won’t ask them to do something that I cannot or have not done myself.