For much of the manufacturing world, the past two years have been defined by the challenges we’ve all faced. At Minco, we’ve decided to define them by how we’ve overcome those challenges – and our team is the greatest example we have of our longevity.
Jamil Ben Abdallah has been with Minco since 2018. Now a production manager for all three of Minco’s business units, Jamil has been an integral part of the Minco team as we’ve navigated the manifold challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic – thanks in large part to a person-first approach to building and maintaining teams.
“Manufacturing is very simple,” he says. “You have input, you have output, and there’s a transformation in the middle.” In contrast, he says, manufacturers are more complex: “People are not like machines.”
Jamil says his first job every day is “to make sure everyone is safe” – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. “I want to make sure everyone goes home happy at the end of the day.” He says his dedication to fostering a great work environment, especially when times are tough, is an investment in his team: “I talk to my team to see how they feel. They feel appreciative that someone is actually listening to them. When people feel appreciated, they will take extra steps for you.”
That includes masking and social distancing, but it also includes regular gemba walks and check-ins with our team members. That feeling of appreciation, Jamil says, makes every member of the team want to achieve personally and as part of Minco. You can see it in their work: when passionate people are empowered by their workplace, they feel more confident in their contributions to their team.
And that’s crucial to managing cost, optimizing production, and maintaining quality – all things Jamil’s work at Minco helps ensure: Empowered employees who genuinely feel heard want to pursue knowledge of their own to simplify the way they work while improving the value of their services to their company and customers.
Jamil believes that “all knowledge is connected” – that when you learn something, you can build on it with new understandings to innovate in process and product alike. It’s what binds teams like Minco together.
He says that confidence leads the teams he supervises to better quality work in less time, with less stress, and with less waste. “Lean has taught me that the more solid a team is, the easier it is to keep going,” he says. “When you get closer and say, ‘Let’s work together,’ then we can share expertise.”
And here’s the best part: our spirit of collaboration doesn’t stay inside our walls. Our engineer-to-engineer (E2E) approach breaks down the siloes between our customers’ engineering teams and Minco’s to design better, more innovative solutions quicker.