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Craig Gibbon, Production Manager Campact Limited
Highest level of education: University Degree in Chemistry with Industrial Experience
Since 2003 at EGGER:
I studied Chemistry with Industrial Experience at university, as I was keen to spend some time in industry and this particular degree included a placement year in France.
Following university, I began working for a company which was similar to Campact, making resins and glues and I worked there for nearly 4 years. I applied to EGGER for the Technical Manager role within their subsidiary chemical plant Campact, based at Hexham. Following my initial interview I was given a site tour and was very excited about the direction that the Company was heading in and the facilities and equipment that they had.
Once I joined EGGER in 2003, I worked as the Technical Manager until 2011, during this time I learnt a lot about the production process within Campact and helped to develop the process to ensure that it remained as efficient as possible. Following this, I was given the opportunity to join the EGGER side of production as a Technologist. This role involved working on technical projects; one specific project was reviewing the resins used in the impregnation stage of production. This review lead to me managing a change of resin, which helped to ensure efficiency and quality within the production process.
I was the Technologist until 2014, before returning back to Campact as the Production Manager, helping to support the plant through the upgrading project.
My key responsibility is production management, which means ensuring that the demand from our customers is met in an efficient and safe manner; this is especially important and challenging during this transition period with the upgrading of our current plant.
There is also a people management aspect to my role, therefore I have to support my team in any way I can, which can mean offering guidance or through answering queries, it really does vary. However, my team’s enthusiasm and dedication to meeting our targets makes it a great atmosphere to work in.
For my role, I think having a technical/chemistry background is essential, as it helps you to understand the product, how it is manufactured and how it works. This knowledge is key in ensuring that the production is as efficient as possible. You must also be able to think logically, using this to work through issues and come up with practical solutions.
I think it is also essential that you understand the different roles of your team members and what their contribution is, alongside good interpersonal skills with the ability to talk to your people and help with issues.
The ability to network effectively is also a key aspect in my new role, having an understanding of who to talk to about specific topics/issues, which is something that working as the Technologist helped me to develop.
I really enjoy working alongside the team at Campact, both within management and also with the operators. The enthusiasm the team shows for their careers at EGGER and the dedication to meeting their targets makes it a great atmosphere to work in.
I am also really enjoying being involved in the construction of our new plant and the challenges that this brings, it is a very exciting time at Campact and this is making my new role very enjoyable.
Currently, the biggest challenge is keeping the old plant running to full capacity whilst managing the transfer across to the new plant. This is proving difficult as we have changed our approach to maintenance from proactive to reactive, as time is now tied up in the new plant.
I also find the people management aspect challenging, as this is something new to me. However, I am enjoying it as it is all about building relationships and getting to know the individuals in the team to help manage them best.
EGGER was initially recommended to me by my previous manager, who was actually a former employee of Campact and had really enjoyed his time at the Company.
When I came for my initial interview, the interviewing managers were very complementary of the Company and their experience, which gave a very positive picture of the organisation.
When I was shown around Campact I had a great feeling about it and EGGER felt like a very secure employer.
Although I had performed similar roles in the past, the role as Technical Manager at Campact was a development step within my career and a new challenge. I also got a clear understanding that EGGER invested not only in their production process but also their people and this was important for me.
EGGER is a good employer for a number of reasons but one of the key things for me is the security that working here offers, the knowledge that there is a long term plan and that the Company are here for the long run.
EGGER wants to be the best in their market and they demonstrate this by investing heavily in their people and production processes. This is something I have experienced during my time here and it is something I find very positive.
Whilst at EGGER, I have become a Charted Chemist and this became possible with the support that EGGER provided. The Campact Director was assigned as my mentor and my immediate manager provided the references I required. The quality and variety of the work that I was given, the opportunity to oversee and be involved in during my time at EGGER, helped ensure that I was able to achieve this qualification.
I have also been given opportunities and challenges throughout my time at EGGER, which have pushed me out of my comfort zone, helping my personal development and building my confidence. I have had the privilege of working alongside people who are experts in their field giving me the ability to learn from their experience and expertise.
When I started at EGGER Campact, the Technical Manager role was relatively new and therefore I was able to make it what into what was needed, this enabled me to develop both personally and professionally. I have found my time at EGGER challenging and enjoyable, the varied roles and responsibilities I have had have helped me develop confidence.
As I am new to my current role, I understand that there is a lot to learn and I am looking forward to working within the new plant and the challenges this brings. I believe this new plant and the changes to our management structure will bring with it exciting opportunities. I would like to settle into my new role and continue to develop within EGGER.