Each month, we sit down with a Designetics innovator to talk about his or her career, what makes fluid applications systems at Designetics special, and topics relevant to the fluid applications industry. This month: Production Supervisor Tammy Long.
How long have you worked at Designetics?
I started in 2003.
How did you come to get a job at Designetics? How’d you get your start?
A friend recommended me, so I went through Cardinal Staffing Service and (Designetics has) been stuck with me ever since! (Laughs)
Did you come in as a production supervisor or did you have a different role?
I started as an assembler, making parts at a table when (the company was located) on Centennial Road, then quickly moved into the sealing of round applicators.
I’ve seen many supervisors come and go…and over the years, people would ask “why aren’t you the supervisor?” I would laugh and shrug my shoulders…making parts was my thing, often taking parts home on a daily basis—even at my kids’ sporting or family events you could find me making parts.
Years later, I was asked if I would be interested in taking on the supervisor position. Shocked and scared at the same time, I said I would give it a shot…and here I am today. I went from working beside friends to becoming their “boss,” which, let me tell ya, isn’t the easiest transition, but with the help of Sydney Spraw, Craig Williams and my dear friend Jay Sanchez, our Quality Manager, they have helped me become who I am today…not only the production supervisor, but a better person.
What does a production supervisor do on a day-to-day basis?
A LOT! I start my day checking on my employees and seeing what they need from me. At times I work on the floor making parts to help the team get things done, and other times I need to be in my office working on paperwork.
Usually I’m being pulled in ten different directions from my employees asking questions or needing help, checking on my other departments, and dealing with any emergencies that come up. Each day is a surprise.
What are the greatest challenges in production, and how do you solve them?
Getting good, solid people and keeping them (is key). Being able to keep up gets challenging when we are short-staffed. Casey Clark has been phenomenal in getting us some great people and filling the gaps —and my team has really shown growth, stepping up to help when we are getting new employees trained.
What has changed the most in the almost two decades you’ve worked at Designetics?
The work! How busy we are now, compared to then, as well as how far we’ve come with our process and quality of product.
What will the industry look like in the next decade?
Hopefully it will include more automation to help with our industry challenges and growth.