Our Director of Technology and Development joined to run the technical services team. Two years on, Karl moved from the technical department into our sales team, specialising in the transport sector before taking the first Business Development Manager role for our new range of high performance products (HPP). In this position he undertook an MBA (part-funded by Zotefoams) and expanded his remit to include product management for nylon materials. In conjunction with major investment in this new division, Karl was promoted to Business Unit Manager where he set up the new team before progressing to his current role. We are a highly technical, innovative business and making good decisions on where we focus our efforts in this area is critical. Through his career path, Karl is able to leverage a broad understanding of the business, market, and customer base to direct the efforts of our technical department.
People in all areas of our organisation can do well, and diversify through different areas of the business as well as moving up through the ranks. We regard our home grown talent and the breadth of knowledge and insight they can leverage as they move through the business as one of our best assets. These are a few examples of how people have progressed at Zotefoams.
Dhrupal qualified as a Polymer Engineer and started with Zotefoams as a Technical Support Engineer in our technical services team, providing technical support to customers, scheduling tests, tracking KPIs and organising work flow. After 2 years he moved into an international commercial role as Business Development Manager for a new material aimed at the sports market. In this role he travels throughout Europe, Asia and the US, encouraging manufacturers to rethink the materials they use. Dhrupal has expanded his role to include many aspects of Process improvement and Product Management and continues to assist customers with specialist knowledge. Dhrupal’s business and product knowledge enabled him to make a smooth transition into a sales based role, a well-trodden path at Zotefoams for people who prefer a commercial career to progressing through the technical ranks.
Wayne joined Zotefoams’ fabrication team, initially as a temporary job on leaving College. He was interested in the technology and became a competent operator of all the machines in the department whilst at the same time studying for an electrical installations qualification. Once qualified, he was offered a role as Maintenance Assistant where he built up his electrical servicing experience. Two years later, he was seconded to Maintenance Planner, a role that combined planning with back up hands on support to the maintenance team. Today, Wayne still retains his planning function but in the role of Reliability Engineer where his primary focus is to take a proactive approach to servicing and optimising the machines in Zotefoams production and fabrication facility. Progressing through the business has given Wayne an insight that enables him to easily differentiate machine faults from user or product driven problems.
Dustin joined Zotefoams’ US factory operations team on a temp to perm basis and was offered a permanent role after 2 months. When a vacancy arose for a Night Shift Lead only a few months into his employment, Dustin was asked to stand in. Within 6 weeks he had demonstrated his capability at this level and was appointed as Shift Lead for the production team. Dustin expanded his responsibilities to include the fabrication team, and was promoted to Production, Expansion and Fabrication Co-ordinator. Experience in the night shift team helped Dustin develop a responsibility and self-reliance that goes with sometimes being the most senior person on the premises. Most recently he has moved over to the day shift where he is enjoying a greater involvement with the business.
Fabrice started with Zotefoams as a Business Development Executive with the remit to explore potential new markets for a material designed for the aviation industry. With technical support from the business, Fabrice identified potential in the semi-conductor market, resulting in a £1.5 million international business in this sector. Zotefoams supported Fabrice’s talent for new business with training in business marketing strategy and Fabrice took on the challenge of developing a market for our first novel foamed material. Having established market potential, Fabrice set up sales channels throughout Europe and employed a direct sales person in Germany before moving on to Zotefoams core business as Business Development Manager for Europe. As AZOTE Global Business Manager, Fabrice now manages our largest value portfolio and the AZOTE Sales Team. Fabrice has been able to draw on strategies learned across different markets and geographies to grow the core business and has had the satisfaction of seeing some of the opportunities he helped to open up grow into significant business units.
Sam was already an experienced production manager, PhD qualified in Chemistry when he joined Zotefoams. His first role was in our technical department as a Process Lead, engaged to set up a new and technically challenging production line. Within 18 months Sam had progressed to Process Team Manager and was leading up a cross discipline team of five people. Through this role Sam consolidated a technical overview of Zotefoams’ entire process from the chemistry through scale up into routine manufacturing, and was ideally placed to become Plant Director in 2015. In his current role, Sam has led an Operational Excellence programme across the production facility as well as dealing with the ongoing demands of an expanding operation.
Michelle’s first position at Zotefoams was as Quality Manager running the quality lab, QC testing and quality systems. Later, she expanded her responsibilities to become Quality and Production Manager, looking after the expansion and fabrication facilities in addition to Quality. Michelle joined with her professional qualifications already (including six sigma black belt), but with Zotefoams, she completed the final 2 years of her degree for which the company provided full funding. Michelle is now the Vice President for Manufacturing and Supply Chain and a member of the US senior management team. Michelle will be drawing on her broad knowledge of operations and leveraging her links with the UK team in this role, where she will be key to expanding the US production site to deliver the full Zotefoams production process.
Liz originally took a 3 months fixed term contract with us in our customer services team where her potential was quickly recognised and she was offered a Team Leader position. In this role she demonstrated her leadership capability, broadening her knowledge and remit to include responsibility for export documentation and progressing to supervisor level. Liz is currently our Customer Services Manager where she manages the department and a team of seven. Customer Services is a great training ground at Zotefoams and Liz takes special interest in developing her people, helping them to identify their strengths, grow their roles and move on through different areas of the business.
Darren originally joined our fabrication team as a temporary job after completing his degree in industrial design. Darren liked the manufacturing environment and stayed, developing his understanding of our manufacturing process as he moved through our high pressure and extrusion departments before becoming a team leader. Through this breadth of knowledge he was well placed to move from the “shop floor” into our planning team when an opportunity arose, before progressing into his current role of business analyst in our Systems team. Here Darren has been key to a major ERP implementation and works with all areas of the business to improve business information and IT systems. Darren enjoys the breadth and variety of his current role and is able to add value through his hands on knowledge of our manufacturing process and his many connections throughout the business.