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Meet Kim, Shop Manager at Spec Fab

Kim has spent 10 years in the metal fabrication industry and most of those years here with us. She knows her stuff and is largely responsible for our customers getting quality, consistent products delivered on time. Read our spotlight on Kim and learn more about how Spec Fab’s ‘woman behind the curtain’ orchestrates our shop and keeps things running smoothly each day.

Your role has evolved since you first came to Spec Fab. How has it changed and what is your day like now?

When I started with Spec Fab I was one of a few of us who were overseeing different aspects of operations on the shop floor. I’ve since taken on that entire responsibility. That’s been a huge positive shift for our welders and fabricators. They have one person to come to and one person to report to – just that single change has made a big difference in the flow of the shop and our ability to get good work done efficiently.

Day-to-day I’m focused on two things with my team – quality and being on-time. If we can get those two pieces in place, the rest falls in line a lot more easily.

What has been the shop employees’ response to the changes so far?

Well, they’re on time and doing quality work, so my priority expectations are being met. Beyond that, everyone for the most part really enjoys what they’re doing. I spend time taking care of my team and a part of that is bringing the right project to the right person. If people enjoy what they’re doing they’re going to be happier and will end up doing better work.

I’ve also started pairing them with other people in the company who are experts at what they do. So, if we have a new welder who’s enthusiastic, I may partner him or her up with one of my expert welders. This has created an environment that’s almost like an apprenticeship. And that’s improved collaboration and overall morale. We’re all pulling in the same direction.

How does ensuring quality and on-time deliveries fit into your role as shop manager?

Once a product is fabricated, I work with our QC manager, Zach, and oversee the inspection process so I can traffic products for delivery. For product delivery, I make sure our driver has all of the information he needs, even how much time he’ll be on the road so he and I can coordinate the routes and create less back and forth for him.

You’re juggling multiple steps in the process and overseeing a project’s full life-cycle from metal parts to fabricated products delivered to the customer. How have you managed to orchestrate the shop successfully in your role?

I’ve created efficiencies by communicating with our machinists and fabricators so they know what’s to come and so they get excited about new products. By finding opportunities to improve our team’s skills and get them on projects that interest them has made a huge difference. Basically, my job is to take care of my team. I’ve taken care of them and they’ve stepped up and have done the rest.

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To learn more about Spec Fab, our team and our ability to fabricate quality projects on time, contact us today. We look forward to working with you on your next project.