In this blog series we talk to our power industry experts here at Bowman Power Group, to provide our readers with an insight into the diverse range of talents and expertise that make us proud of our team. Today we speak to Darren Smith, Production & Site Services Manager, to understand how he helps to ensure that our customers get their deliveries on time.
To see the rest of the posts in this series, please click here.
What’s your background, and how did you come to join us at Bowman?
I am one of the longest serving employees at Bowman with 18 years behind me. I went from school into a mechanical apprenticeship at Southampton City College, and then to the company that put me through the apprenticeship where I did engineering, maintenance and development work.
After nine years, in 1999, it was time to move on, and an exciting little company called Bowman Power Group got in touch. There were only about 10 people in the company then. I started as a development technician, a real hands-on position.
In the early days of the company, I did a lot of travelling, to many European countries, but as far as Indonesia and Australia. I have been very fortunate to have had that opportunity and spend time directly with our customers.
What’s your role here at Bowman and what are your responsibilities?
Primarily, I am responsible for making sure the customer gets their delivery on time – and we have achieved this 100 per cent over the last 18 months. It’s a very big target so we are very proud of that.
As well as day-to-day running of the shop floor, I look after on-site services including health and safety. I have just joined IEMA, the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, so I am looking after the environmental aspects of our work as well.
I have a very can-do attitude and just get on with things. I would never ask anyone to do anything that I hadn’t done myself!
How does your work impact our customers and the development of the Electric Turbo Compounding system?
For me our product is all about saving our customers money. There’s a lot of waste exhaust energy lost from engines all around the world and we have demonstrated that we can give more value to the customer.
Reusing waste energy also has a big impact on the environment and benefits future generations when we make cleaner, more efficient engines. It’s all moving forward.
We are working on developments all the time. Our ETC product has always been effective but we always work to make improvements that will increase the benefit to our customers and open up a bigger market for us.
What challenges have you been faced with/overcome in your role?
For me, a major part of my personal development has been learning how to manage teams of people. In my previous role I manage activity myself, but at Bowman I manage and support many people as well. My experience has made me fairly rounded – it’s been a continual learning curve and I still learn something every day.
Continuous improvement is a big thing for us in operations. We’ve made real investments over the years, looking for better processes, quality, and making sure the customer gets what they want when they need it.
What’s your favourite aspect about your role?
To be honest there is no single thing I can point to, it’s just the whole culture. As we have grown we have seen people come in from all over the world, and it is just such an interesting place. I am very passionate about Bowman, the people and the technology. It may sound corny, but I really enjoy my work.
From the top down it’s a very supportive culture. If there are issues we fix them. We’ve all got our goals and targets to achieve, but we’ve got the support of everyone around us to help us get there.