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Meet Operations Manager Russell Forbes

RussOperations Manager Russell Forbes has worked with us since 2012, so we thought it was time we asked him a few questions about working at Excelsior.

Tell us about your career before coming to work at Excelsior.
I’ve worked in production my whole career as a production management professional: 20 years in paper making, five years in vacuum forming, two years at a metal company before moving on to Excelsior where I started as a production manager before being promoted in 2015 to Operations Manager.

How did you get into the plastics industry?
Production management has allowed me to work with different materials. The production management techniques are the same even though the processes can be very different. I’d previously worked with Mark Leah, Quality Manager at Excelsior, who gave me the opportunity to move into plastics from paper several years earlier and now I’m working alongside him again. It’s a small industry where your reputation speaks volumes and recommendation goes a long way.

What does your role entail?
I’m responsible for the day to day management of the shop floor from staff, planning, health and safety input, quality control, stock levels to sharing responsibility with the assistant operations manager. I look after 40 staff in total, ensuring they are kept busy and customer deadlines are met.

I also work with customers on new product development to ensure issues don’t arise during production which could cause delays and have a knock on effect with other jobs.

My overall goal is to ensure that the client receives a product that is fit for purpose.

What is the most interesting / challenging aspect of your role and why?
I really enjoy problem solving, that’s my forte. I like to be given a problem to resolve and see it through from conception to completion, whether that’s a new tool or new job. It’s a good job really as in production you’re never short of a problem to solve!

The most challenging aspect has to be some of the tight deadlines, we’re such a busy company and sometimes there’s a rush to complete an order on time. However it’s also very rewarding to see the job go out the door on time.

What do you like about working at Excelsior?
The people make it, it’s a family run business and everyone is really friendly. This will be the third family run business I’ve worked at and I really like the environment. I know I have more scope to make an impact in a smaller business and I’m also seen, heard and listened to here and given credit for the work I do.

How is Excelsior different to other places you’ve worked?
I think we’re a really forward thinking company, Giles, the Managing Director is always looking for ways to improve and expand, they never stand still!

Why do you think customers choose Excelsior?
It’s simple, because we supply good products and a good, honest service.