Delivering on Customer Requirements: Q&A with Nyco’s Director of Operations

Mike Hopkins recently joined Nyco as Director of Operations. We wanted to share with you his thoughts and perspectives about creating efficiency and delivering on customer requirements. Following is a Q&A Interview.

What drew you to Nyco and made you want to work for them? 

I’ve always thought Nyco was a really awesome organization. The culture is great here. I’ve known the owners (Bob and Colleen Stahurski) for over 20 years, and they are rock solid people. They have high integrity and treat people with the greatest of respect. I also noticed the people who worked for Nyco were extremely welcoming and cooperative. They were hard-working and concerned about the organization.

Can you briefly explain your role as Nyco’s operations director?

I am responsible for making sure our customers have the right quantity of a product at the right time. A big part of that involves overseeing the processes that convert raw materials into a finished product. My job involves planning, organization, staffing and decision-making — all the elements of the supply chain, including purchasing. And it’s all done through leading and organizing a group of people in order to execute on customer demand.

How does your professional background help you in this role?

My background is almost exclusively in manufacturing and supply chain. I’ve worked in customer service, sales, production, planning, quality, purchasing, logistics and warehousing. In all of my roles, I’ve had to execute on a timetable, coordinating the delivery of labor or materials in order to create a finished product.

What are you passionate about?

There are a couple things: I’m very high on productivity and quality; I like to do things fast and right. However, I believe in accountability and in having people treat each other with fairness. I thrive on hard work and getting a lot done, but in an environment where there is integrity, honesty and respect for each other.  

What goals do you have for Nyco out of the gate?

Right now, I’m working to identify what will bring the most impact for our customers and for our organization. I’m spending a lot of time talking to people here, and to customers in order to understand what they need from us.

How will your presence at Nyco impact customers?

Nyco has a rich history of taking care of its customers by producing a quality product and delivering on time. I want to continue that and expand on the progress that’s already been made. We want to achieve higher levels of performance than in the past, such as even higher on-time delivery rates. We want to be on the cutting edge of manufacturing and bottling efficiency so we can continue to be extremely cost competitive in the marketplace.

What are one or two things Facility Maintenance Directors and Mangers can do to make the biggest impact on their own operation?

  1. It’s hiring. Getting the right people is really important. It’s crucial to get the right people in the right seats, because in the end, it’s people that make the organization run. People might say that’s obvious, but you would be amazed at the number of companies I see that hire the first person they interview because they need to fill a position. Be honest with yourself if that person is not right for the job. 
  2. I would also encourage managers to create a culture of continuous improvement. Spend time learning about lean manufacturing, because there are some fundamental things that can be done to eliminate waste. Overproduction, excessive movement and excessive handling are all types of waste, and often they’re easy to spot. You can include your entire team in finding them because they’re simple and straightforward. It will help get your organization much further ahead at a faster pace, and will take care of your customers.

What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

Even though I love manufacturing, I’m actually an avid outdoorsman. I love to fly fish, and I also hunt grouse and ducks.

There you have it. Delivering quality product on time to customers, eliminating waste, and creating manufacturing efficiencies that are good for Nyco and our customers. That’s what it’s all about. We’re happy to have you here, Mike!


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