Manufacturing can be a very clinical, mechanical word that can conjure up images of machines, metal, and blue collars…but behind each of those metaphors at Glanbia Nutritionals are people, passionate about producing healthy, natural dairy products enjoyed by people around the world. In honor of National Manufacturing Day this Friday, we sat down with George Chappell (VP of Dairy Operations) to learn more about the Glanbia Nutritionals’ manufacturing team, their tenacity and how this group provides the backbone to the Glanbia Nutritionals business.
GN: In the spirit of National Manufacturing Day, what do you love about Dairy Manufacturing?
GC: Dairy manufacturing is unique; it’s constant, it’s complicated and it’s close to the farm. Cows never stop producing milk, therefore our operations must operate as efficient as possible. At Glanbia, this wave of milk requires an extra tenacious workforce. We have more than 1,000 people focused on driving the best in operations not to mention our colleagues that work across all functional aspects of the business from milk procurement, human resources, finance, environmental health and safety, quality, technical services, R&D, supply chain to marketing and sales. We all collaborate together to ensure our high quality products meet our customers needs.
GN: You grew up packaging and making cheese working in your family's plant and now head up operations that reach consumers in more than 130 countries. What has this journey taught you?
GC: First and foremost, the value of good people never ceases to amaze me. It is my privilege and inspiration to develop, coach and mentor good people in a purposeful industry. Secondly, manufacturing opens doors to new markets and new opportunities and connects people. What we do every day helps provide better “nutrition for every step of life’s journey”, which is the overarching purpose of Glanbia. This is very real within dairy manufacturing. From infants, to those that are middle age or elderly, the products that are produced in our dairy manufacturing sites support healthy living.
GN: What makes manufacturing as a career exciting to you?
GC: The challenge to wake up every day and do better. Our operations team is well-known for our operational efficiency. We focus on doing the right things and driving quality, sustainability, safety and housekeeping. This underpins our operational success. We leverage lean manufacturing principles and tools through our tailor-made Glanbia Performance System (GPS). This continued focus on improvement allows us to routinely improve across our key performance indicators, while managing costs and supporting growth.
GN: Last question. Would you encourage others to get into dairy manufacturing?
GC: Dairy presents a unique opportunity. The industry has a lot of upside. There are a lot of global mega trends to which dairy is a natural fit. People are looking for natural and nutritious products. That’s dairy! Within manufacturing there are a lot of opportunities to look for interesting new ways to make new products and reinvent processes. If you want a challenging purpose-driven opportunity, dairy manufacturing is a good path to achieve that goal.