Position: Quality Manager

Date of Hire: 8/1/98

Other Positions Held / Length of Each: Production – 1 year; Pinch Hitter – 1 year; Material Handler / Warehouse – 1 year; Logistics Captain – 5 years; Logistics Manager – 9 years

Favorite Story / Memory during Time Working at Team 1: Although he wouldn’t consider it a “favorite” story, Dave recalled a time that “really helped me grow at Team 1. It was when we went through the recession.” Dave was the Logistics Manager during this time period. He said, “Seeing how the business had changed and the cuts that the company had to make and how we had to really get creative and try to figure out how to make this company run on a lot less than what we were used to – that’s where I learned a lot … not only professionally, but I learned a lot about myself during that time.”

Forced to reduce staff meant that the Managers had to do the tasks that they normally would assign to other Team Members. He recalled, “We really came together and would do anything that was asked of us – whatever needed to be done to keep the business running. We all just jumped in and did whatever we could. For example, in the Logistics Department, I was building orders. All of the Managers helped in Assembly. We would try different schedules. We got real creative with how we structured the shifts so we could keep as many of the core team together as possible.” Dave said that they even ran production with the lights out. He explained, “We had a few presses that they hooked up so that we could get notified on our phones if they ran into any problems.”

He shared how difficult it was to be involved in reducing staff. “Tim [Henry] and I had quite a few meetings where we had to let people go. That was difficult because they did nothing performance-based to deserve to be let go – it was just because times were tough.” He added, “Some of the Team Members were people that had trained me when I first started. To have that come back around, roughly 10 years later, that was difficult.”

Reflecting on the memory, Dave said, “Not knowing how long the company would actually last was challenging. I think we came out a stronger company at the end. We found out what we were capable of doing. It definitely taught me to never say that you can’t do something, because I think during that time, we proved that we can do just about anything that we needed to do. It was really great learning experience; but, hopefully, one I never have to go back through again.”

How has Team 1 helped your Personal and/or Professional Development? Dave said that Team 1 has “taught me to challenge myself, and they’ve assisted me with going back to college.” He explained that when he first started at Team 1 Plastics in 1998, it was supposed to be for a three-month summer job between high school and college. But, as he put it, “Here we are 18 years later!” Dave’s college educational pursuit has been stop and go – some years, he has attended college full-time and some years hasn’t taken any classes. But, he said that Team 1 has supported him throughout all of it. He also said that “Team 1 has given me the room to grow and experience different aspects of the business. I’m in Quality right now, but I could go to other areas and help out and explore those departments and see what it takes to run the business as a whole and not just be pigeon-holed in one department. I like to learn more and more about the business as a whole and not just one particular area.” Thinking about what the future might hold for him at Team 1, Dave mentioned that he might be interested in exploring other departments. And, he said, that if Team 1 grows in organizational structure, “and Craig and Gary step away, I’d like to get to the next level” of management. Dave concluded, “Every position that I’ve had, I’ve enjoyed. I enjoy coming to work every day. I like the challenge.”

Favorite Aspect of Working at Team 1: Dave’s favorite aspect of working at Team 1 is to be able to work with different people, and he said that working in Quality affords him that opportunity. “There are always different problems to work on and always room for improvement. There’s never a day that you can sit back and honestly say that you’ve got nothing to do.” Dave works with both Team Members and customers in solving and preventing quality issues. “I’ll be the first to say that zero defects is impossible, but we can limit the amount that we make and ship. Hopefully, we ship zero bad parts to the customer. Being in automotive, our customers expect zero defects, but I’ve found out that a lot of the customers are willing to work with you. They understand that nobody’s perfect.” He said that he does see improvement in Quality. “We’re starting to turn a corner as far as quality goes. Our score card reflects it. Our internal sort has dropped drastically. We are making progress, but we have a long way to go. There’s always a challenge and something to work on.” Laughingly, Dave said, “Being a Quality Manager, you won’t get a phone call from a customer telling you, ‘Thank You for all the good parts.’ They’ll let you know when they get the bad ones.”

What do you want to share about your life outside of Team 1? Dave said that he likes to be “on the go. I like to be outside whether it is fishing, biking, backpacking, kayaking, or golfing – doing anything outside.” And he likes to help others. “I help my family and my friends and friends of friends. I’m always willing to help. I make sure that they are doing okay and that they get what they need, and I’ll worry about myself later.” He said that he just can’t sit still and do nothing. “I have a feeling that there’s always something that needs to be done. Just sitting back and doing nothing seems like a waste.”

Piece of Advice and/or Encouragement for Future Team 1 Team Members: “Take advantage of all the different in-training programs Team 1 Plastics has. Just because you’re currently in a position that you might not think is ideal or you don’t like, there’s no reason why you can’t move up. Team 1 is all for promoting from within.” Dave said that he has talked to Team Members who wanted to go into the Quality in-training program that the company offers, but their concern was that there wasn’t a quality position open right then. Dave’s response was to remind them that “within the last year, we’ve had 100% turnover in our Quality Assistants. Just because there’s not a position open today doesn’t mean that next week or next month or in three months, there won’t be one. And if you already have that training, you’ve shown initiative to step up. And, then, we’re willing to work with you. You need to do the pre-training first and prepare for what you want. You can’t stand around and do nothing and expect to get promoted.”

Dave said that he often uses Tim Henry and Dave Seedorf as examples. “They’ve taken basically the same route that I did. Look at us now. We are all Managers, and we’ve all taken advantage of what Team 1 has to offer. The company has helped all three of us professionally and personally.”

Random Question: Which is better & why? – bungee jumping or skydiving? Dave laughed when he heard this question. He said that while fishing last summer with one of his buddies, the two of them were talking about a question just like this one. Dave said that “bungee jumping is better. With bungee jumping, if something goes wrong, you have less time to think about it. If it goes wrong, it goes wrong. With skydiving, if you pull your parachute cord and it’s goes wrong, you have too much time to think about it before … yah. For that reason, I would say bungee jumping would be better.”

Contact Info

927 Elliott Road
Albion, Michigan 49224-9506

Phone: (517) 629-2178