Kerry Devlin, Operations Director, shares her story this International Women in Engineering Day
The theme of this year’s International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is ‘Engineering Heroes’.
Kerry has a wealth of knowledge and experience in plant management and operations, including time spent in Texas, USA establishing a CNC machine shop.
She enjoys problem-solving for her clients as well as the variety of her role. Here she shares more about why she enjoys working in engineering:
Tell us a bit about you and your job.
Problem-solving is a big part of my job. Manufacturing is always about having a Plan B, things can and do go wrong, schedules change, capacity fluctuates, and you often need to come up with a short-term solution very quickly to ensure deliveries are met. The key to improvement is following up with a long term corrective action, reducing the risk of the problem repeating.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Every day is different. I enjoy problem-solving and finding solutions to new challenges from our customers. It’s satisfying to deliver excellent products that are being used in industry-leading technologies.
What does your job entail day-to-day?
Managing your metrics is critical, we divide them into Safety, Quality, Delivery, Cost, and Continuous Improvement. Understanding what affects your metrics and being able to predict deviations will help you to take action as soon as possible to avoid any one metric slipping.
The most important thing to remember in leading a manufacturing and engineering facility is ensuring people have the right resources, time, and support to fulfil their role to the best of their ability, and providing help and assistance when it’s needed.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career such as yours?
Find a mentor as soon as possible, someone you can learn the softer aspects of the business from. Most formal training is focused on the technical elements of operations management or the positive side to managing growth, but leading through the bad times and managing conflict are also key to creating a stable business.