Me and my factory

Crisp making boss on his mission to win over staff

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chief operating officer Manufacturing

A West Yorkshire crisp making boss says his time spent working on the shopfloor has helped him turn around a negative culture between factory workers and management.

Daniel Woodwards, chief operating officer at Seabrook Crips, told​ in this exclusive interview that it was necessary to “break down barriers”​ with staff, in order to convince them that they were all part of a single team, aiming to achieve the same goal.

Woodwards arrived at Bradford-based Seabrook in 2012 as part of a management team brought in to improve the business’s fortunes. The branded and own-label crisp supplier has since added £5M to its turnover, and in 2015 it was subject to a management buyout by chief executive Jonathan Bye.

‘A particularly tough time’

He said: “When I joined, the operation had been through a particularly tough time, and I think that did create some resentment between the operational teams and their view of management.

“I was very keen on breaking down the barriers. So, when I first joined, I went out on the shopfloor.

“At pressure times, it’s important for them to know you are sharing that burden, so I’ve done every job that they’ve done.”

To read more about how Seabrook has grown from a regional to a national supplier in the five years Woodwards has been at the business – part of our ‘Me and My Factory’ series of profiles – order your copy of the February issue of Food Manufacture magazine​.

Kendal Nutricare

Meanwhile, an infant formula producer has claimed a push towards ‘world class’ manufacturing standards is enabling his firm to capitalise on the lucrative overseas markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In this exclusive video​, Ross McMahon, owner and chief executive of Kendal Nutricare, explained how he wanted to build on the fact that his company manufactures in the UK, after rescuing the factory from closure when he bought the site from Heinz two years ago.

Do you and your factory have a story to tell? If you think you would make a suitable Me and My Factory candidate, Food Manufacture’s associate editor Noli Dinkovski​ would love to hear from you.

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Great Case Study

Posted by Nicole Thompson,

Well done to Daniel Woodwards - a great example of leadership and engagement!

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Great Result

Posted by Jason Gledhill,

A fantastic result by a fantastic team

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