After plenty of lengthy discussions and management meetings, our owners, Bev, Stephen and Ginny, have decided to appoint an Operations Manager who will oversee the future growth of Classic Blinds and Shutters.

We met with Ross, our new Operations Manager, to discuss his new role and gain some insight into his plans for the business.

What is your role at Classic? Tell us a little bit about it.
I am the newly appointed Operations Manager at Classic Blinds and Shutters so my role encompasses production, finance, supply chain management, customer services and the fitting side of the business. So basically, I oversee everything except for sales and marketing! I have been in the role for a month and am already beginning to implement some drastic changes, specifically in regards to both the supply chain and the fitting side of the business. Whilst the fitting component is hopefully being rectified this month in terms of asset utilisation and the utilisation of resources, the supply chain is a little harder to fix, especially when it comes to the traceability of purchase orders and inventory, supply management and credit terms.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Currently, there are three main challenges. One of the challenges is the fitting side of the business and asset utilisation. We need to improve how we are booking our fitters in order to increase our capacity as a business. This month, we’ve done this through using all five of the vehicles that have been available to us and ensuring that there are always five vehicles or actual jobs that are being scheduled. So far, that’s our biggest improvement. Also, there still needs to be traceability surrounding purchase ordering with external suppliers for blinds and shutters. This leads me into the biggest challenge in the business which is the lack of traceability surrounding our ordering systems.. Currently, there’s a large project underway that will take between three and six months and should improve our ordering systems. On top of that, production seems to be ticking along quite nicely and the paperwork is also quite good. OHS needs to be improved and we have already implemented some minor improvements in terms of safety glasses and ear defenders. However, there is still plenty of work to be done in the next six months. Ultimately, one of the biggest challenges so far has been keeping Stephen, our Managing Director, under control!

Do you have a background in Operations Management? Tell us a bit about your employment history.
Yes, I do. I’m an aircraft maintenance engineer by trade and education. I used to be in the air force in my younger days but left and took myself overseas instead. I travelled for over three years, saw the world and then came back to Australia and started my career. Initially, I was promoted into middle level management with Boeing in Australia where I worked for quite a few years. From there, I moved to Bosch as a Production Manufacturing Manager. Then I moved to Allight Sykes as a Production Manager and revamped their whole business unit level in terms of power, which gave me a promotion as a Strategic Manufacturing Manager. This role involved implementing process improvements and continuous improvements in the business at a global level, whilst also mentoring both Dubai and the USA. From there, I moved into supply chain where I stayed for three years until I took a redundancy after the business couldn’t really sustain the drop in business caused by the mining downturn. Now I’m here!

Tell us a bit about your family. Do you have any children? Pets?
I’ve got a wife and three children. They keep me extremely busy outside of work. The children are aged seven, five and three. We don’t have any pets because the three year old’s a pet! It’s a pretty busy lifestyle outside of work but it’s good fun.

What are you looking forward to this year?
The amount of projects happening at Classic! I’m looking forward to making some big changes in supply chain to begin with, and also the fitting side of the business in terms of the utilisation of assets.

Tell us a surprising fact about yourself!
I’m a Kiwi!

Thanks for your time, Ross! We are very excited to see what you bring to Classic Blinds and Shutters!

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