GGP Magazine Talks To Euroglaze Production Director Glen Park
6th January 2019
GGP talks to Glen Park, Production Director at Euroglaze, about his rise from shop floor operative to degree qualified director at a trade fabricator where education and training is key to its success. GGP (Glass & Glazing Products) is at the cutting edge of the window, door and conservatory market, representing the full spectrum of the industry: from installers to fabricators and from systems houses to hardware manufacturers. Combining the industry’s most respected print title with a market leading online offering, Glass & Glazing Products’ mission is to arm its readers with the information they need to enhance their businesses in what is a competitive and challenging market place.
GGP: What brought you into the industry?
Like most of us, it was just chance really. Barnsley used to be a town dominated by the mining industry but once that started to decline, jobs were increasingly scarce. Several of my family were getting involved in the window industry and especially in PVC-U fabrication around that time so when the opportunity arose for a new job away from mining, I grabbed at it with both hands and have never looked back.
GGP: Tell me about your journey to becoming Production Director?
It really was a case of starting at the bottom. I was an operative on the shop floor to begin with until Alan Nettleton, the founder of the business and the father of our current MD Martin, spotted that I had drive and a will to be in control. He asked me to become a supervisor and then a manager, but it was only when Martin took over that my real education started. I had two stints at college - the first time to get my Certificate in Management qualification and then to get my BTEC Level 7 Advanced Professional Diploma in management studies. That’s equivalent to a Masters degree and it equipped me with all the knowledge I needed to progress further within the organisation and to layer all the latest theories about manufacturing management onto my practical experience.
GGP: What has been the most valuable part of the training/education you’ve received?
On top of the college education, I’ve also benefited from really valuable in-house training from our consultants Brook Corporate Developments in the principles and application of lean manufacturing, which is at the core of what we do at Euroglaze. That has been invaluable and has given me the tools I need to be able to deliver hands on training and in house development to the rest of the team.
GGP: How are you passing your knowledge on to others within the business?
Most of the well-known lean manufacturing principles such as 5s and 7 tools rely entirely on collaborative working so it has been more about implementing these across the business and getting everyone here on board with those processes and those tools. I do that through one to one, team and management meetings, but also through our quality circles approach which is all about team work.
GGP: How do you think Euroglaze benefits from its culture of training investment?
I’m probably the most obvious example here of someone who has benefited from our policy of education and training but it does extend right across the business encompassing everything from apprenticeship training to leadership development for key employees. A better trained and educated workforce gives us the ability to move the business forward and grow, especially at times of great change in the industry. Without it, businesses can undoubtedly stagnate and fall behind.
GGP: What have been the biggest changes you have seen in fabrication during your time with Euroglaze?
Automation has to be up there generally but, for Euroglaze, it has been all about implementing the lean principles which the car industry learned from the Japanese into our fabrication methodology.
GGP: Looking ahead, what challenges do you think lie ahead for you in this role?
Even without Brexit, uncertainty in the market place is a key factor to consider, but we still do have to look to the future positively and continue to try and steadily grow the business in an efficient and profitable manner. The challenge is to ensure this happens and make sure we are in a good position to withstand any negativity in the market place.
GGP: How do you switch off from work?
Family time is my biggest motivation in life. And I love spending any spare time with my wife and kids. I like to join in with my 8 year old on the trampoline and play football in the park. He definitely keeps me feeling young and active.
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