Chas joined British Steel as a graduate in 1986. Over the years since he's had a range of interesting roles and now works as Continuous Improvement Manager. Find out more...
Please give a brief overview of your first role with British Steel and the journey you’ve taken to your current role
My first role was a 3-month placement at Redcar Coke Ovens in 1986. This was followed by a placement at Teesside Beam Mill, which turned into a 25-year career! My initial role was in the Rolling End as a trainee shift manager and was followed by roles in the Finishing End, covering order progressing, customer services, warehousing and contract management. I then moved to the Business Excellence team, which covered the whole of Tata Steel before moving back to where it all began at British Steel, initially in the Transformation team but now as the Continuous Improvement Manager.
How many years have you been with the business?
I’ve been with the business for 32 years, starting as a graduate in September 1986 – so this September will be my 33rd year.
What does your day-to-day role involve?
My current role involves facilitating, challenging, focusing and influencing people at all levels to deliver improvements in a structured and sustained way through the use of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and DMAIC (Defined, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) methodology. I’m a trained LSS Black Belt and deliver all the internal training that supports our lean journey.
Each week, I travel from my base on Teesside to every part of British Steel, changing attitudes and developing a completely different culture.
Why do you enjoy working for British Steel?
I love the people and especially their motivation and loyalty to our company. It’s something that as senior managers we forget, but we have some of the best people working for us whose attitude is always so positive in the face of adversity. And my objective before I retire is to support that motivation but remould it using proper foundations of Daily Management and Workplace Organisation supported by structured problem solving in Lean Six Sigma.
What advice you would give other people considering a career at British Steel?
Learn from those around you. They have so many life experiences and knowledge that is often lacking in businesses that have a much greater turnaround in staff.