Our latest interview is with Chris Goddard: Head of Operations for TCE’s Soda Ash Business Unit.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
As Head of Operations for the Soda Ash Business Unit, I have 150 people in my team. My core responsibility is to lead the Lostock manufacturing site to safely, reliably and sustainably supply soda ash to our customers. This means ensuring we have the best people doing the right things to deliver great results.
Where did you work previously and what has this brought to your current role?
I’ve previously worked for several companies including URENCO, Springfields Fuels and Innospec.
The main thing I've learnt in my career to date is that answers to most of the challenges we encounter lie within the teams that operate and maintain the plant.
A major part of the job of all managers is to coach, develop and encourage people at all levels to be the best they can be at work. This means leading with respect and being a calming influence in the event of difficulties.
What have been the key initiatives you’ve been involved in since you joined?
I've supported my team in defining a new strategy and roll-out plan for the site and we've implemented several lean management tools, such as visual management and process confirmation.
We introduced our 10 Golden Safety rules and they’ve been rolled out across the company. We’re also adopting a greater focus on costs and we’ve launched project 'Uplift' to improve site ‘housekeeping.’
What did you see as the biggest challenges when you joined and how have you tackled them?
The biggest challenge is to change the balance of our operational activity from reactive interventions towards planned activities. To support this, I’ve redefined some roles and restructured the team which together with the lean processes should create more time to think and make the sustainable improvements in performance we’re looking for.
How have you made a contribution to the business?
I feel privileged to lead and be part of the Lostock team and by providing the right guidance and support we’ll achieve great things. I believe the key to success in any business is great leadership, so I’ve developed a profile for what we want from our Lostock leaders and have initiated a training programme for all of our leaders, that’s now being rolled out across the company.
We’ve also achieved record production rates from our Heavy Ash Plant.
Have you had an influence on the company’s safety culture?
Safety is something I’m passionate about, my number one priority. This is demonstrated in the decisions I make for the site and I’ve made everyone accountable for safety. It starts with us all having a zero-tolerance approach to unsafe acts and conditions and ensuring we look out for each other's safety.
Have you won any awards whilst you’ve been in post?
We haven't won any…. Yet, and I mean yet! Our long-term strategic goal is to complete an award- winning transformation of Lostock. We’re putting in place many of the building blocks. Nothing would make me prouder than taking a team of operators and maintainers to the CIA awards to pick up an award.
Take a look at our other Meet the Team articles here: