A day in the life... with Katrina Slade, Quality Manager

January 3rd 2023

Katrina says she fell into a career in Quality, completing an apprenticeship in Business Administration and starting out in Document Control before working her way up in the field. Katrina joined Selwood two years ago as a Quality Officer, before being promoted to her current role of Quality Manager.

“I got a feel for it, and really enjoyed it. I’ve worked in Quality for 10 years now, in manufacturing or engineering of some variety.”

Katrina’s role applies anywhere in Selwood’s Pump Rental or manufacturing facility where product processes and systems are concerned.

“My role covers anything where Quality applies, whether that’s in the product, process, or system. Quality hits every department of the business in some way or another, so my responsibility is to oversee that we are using the best practices and operations.

“Every year we carry out branch audits to check each branch is working the same way, adhering to the standardised approach set across the business. We check all systems and procedures, and it gives us a chance to chat with the Branch Managers to identify and work through any challenges they face.

“I’ve recently been to Leeds carrying out an audit of the branch. The next audit I have lined up is in Wales. I spend a lot of time at our manufacturing facility in Head Office helping to improve their product and procedures. I review the quality issues that have been raised, whether that’s in a branch or a product.

“If any quality issues are raised during this process or in general within the business, we look at what can we do to improve our systems and procedures and where training can be implemented to give the team an understanding of them. It’s also a chance for us to work with the whole business to streamline processes and offer our support.”

Processes and procedures

“This year I managed a project for manufacturing, for a new process release. One of the final stages a product goes through before it joins our fleet or goes out to a customer is a final inspection process. We used to do this on paper – I took this system and made it all electronic. The team can now carry out inspections on a tablet, where it is all recorded and traceable. This way, they can add in more detail and upload photos, giving complete visibility and improving historical clarity of the process.”

“When a process like this one is finalised, I will run a training session with the team, which was Quality Inspectors in this case. I’ll get them together in small groups, work through the process, what it says and how it applies to them and their roles – we make sure they have full understanding of it.”

“We are certified to ISO 14001, 45001 and 9001 which is Quality, Health and Safety and Environmental Standards and there are certain requirements within those standards that dictate what we need to adhere to as a business, this drives the process approach we take within Selwood.

Katrina often writes processes with managers and will offer support and offer guidance to review any new or existing procedures implemented across the business. 

Working for Selwood

“I love the variety of my job – I have a real mix of being in the office and going out to visit other branches. I find the challenging aspect of my role really exciting, logging on in the morning and not having each day completely pre-planned keeps me on my toes as no two days are ever the same!

“What I enjoy most about working for Selwood has got to be the people, everybody I’ve met has been so helpful and willing to go that extra mile to help even if it sits outside their role. There is a real family feel about working for Selwood.”

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