60 Years Farrat – Steve’s Story
12th Jul 2019
QC&E CONTROLLER, STEVE GARDNER
Areas Of Expertise: Quality, Compliance, Environmental
Education: MBA BSc(Hons) C.Mgr MCMI MIET
Time at Farrat: 1 Year
What’s your role at Farrat?
I am Farrat’s QC&E Controller, which stands for Quality, Compliance and Environmental.
Within the Quality side of my role, I make sure that NCR’s (Non-conformance Reports) are raised, monitored and addressed efficiently to help maintain the highest quality standards across the business. This includes educating and training teams how to spot and raise NCR’s and ensuring that quality remains at the forefront of our operations.
From a Compliance perspective, I ensure that Farrat processes and procedures are fully compliant with the appropriate nationally recognised standards, and that we continue to meet the requirements of regulatory bodies and our clients.
On the environmental side, I monitor and control any hazards and report to the wider business how to address and mitigate any risks. I also look after the management systems, including our ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO14001: 2015 certifications, which are Quality and Environmental standards.
Importantly, I also have a responsibility for Health & Safety at Farrat.
That sounds like an all-encompassing role! Can you tell me about your career to date, leading you up to this position at Farrat?
Yes, so after school I went to Rochdale Technical College to obtain an OND, which is an Ordinary National Diploma.
I did 2 years full time OND and then began looking for a full-time position, alongside any potential work placements that were available. I was 18 when I managed to land a position with Wylex Ltd. in Wythenshawe as a Laboratory apprentice, which was exciting for me as an ambitious and eager teenager! During my time there I also studied part-time to achieve my HNC, High National Certificate.
After 2 years I went on to work for MEM Ltd. In Oldham as a Test Engineer and completed my HND, Higher National diploma part-time. I was promoted to Senior Test Engineer and during that time I studied with the Open University to do my BSc(Hons) Engineering Degree part-time.
I then became Laboratory Manager, a position I held for 10 years at the company – in total I stayed there for around 16 years. Towards the end of my time I became a Project Manager responsible for New Product Development, during which time I completed my MBA master’s degree in Business Administration part-time with MMU Business School.
Since then I’ve held various positions in Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety Management within Renewable Energy and Engineering organisations.
So, how long have you been a member of the Farrat Team?
I have been a part of the Farrat team officially for just over 12 months, but I also worked with the team as a Consultant beforehand on a separate occasion.
What are your Core Achievements so far during your time at Farrat?
I managed the transition from ISO 9001: 2008 QMS and ISO 14001:2004 EMS Certification to the 2015 Standard externally Audited by our Accreditation Body TÜV Nord UK Ltd.
I’ve also introduced Operational Excellence / LEAN to the organisation starting with 5S as the foundation and introducing Problem Solving tools and techniques as part of “The Farrat Way!”
Upgraded the CAD Software Packages to standardise on AutoDesk Product Design & Manufacturing Package including Inventor 3D.
Are you a team leader at Farrat?
Yes, my role as team leader involves being responsible for the Drafting Design Team, which includes managing workloads of the team, ensuring individuals well-being and monitoring the precision of the documents that they produce – essentially, I make sure that everything runs smoothly!
I am also responsible for resolving any major issues that may arise, looking at root cause analysis using A3 Problem Solving techniques as well as being a LEAN Practitioner within the organisation.
And as a team leader, I also form part of the Farrat Leadership Committees (both Construction and Industrial).
With such varied responsibilities, what drives you on a daily basis?
I would say that every day is different at Farrat, which for me, makes it very interesting.
There are always challenges, so I never get bored – I’m always pushing myself to solve problems and drive improvements wherever I can.
Alternately, get in touch with Steve to discuss Quality, Compliance and Environmental on: +44 (0) 161 924 1608.