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A quick chat with…. Dave Coley, Warehouse Manager at RDD

To say Dave comes to this role with a wealth of experience is somewhat of an understatement. He joined Artform in 1993 as a CNC programmer and over the years has dived into development, prototyping and print. During this time, he’s learned AutoCAD, stock systems, allocating materials to jobs, procurement… all incredibly useful skills.

But it’s his health & safety background that’s really driving his new role here at RDD.

Dave! How have you found your first 12 months at RDD?

It feels good to be part of the RDD family, I felt welcomed right from the start, given the help I needed. I’m happy to be here, much more than other places I’ve worked. It helps that RDD is only 10 minutes from my home…

Let’s back-track a minute, how did you come to be here in the first place?

When Artform shut down, I didn’t look for vacancies, just went for places I liked the look of. I joined another business but after nine months the culture fit just wasn’t right. So, I spoke to Phil (our Ops Director) to see what he had for me. At the time he only had a workshop role, so I came back where I started on the CNCs. I was quickly shifted to look after the line on a manufacturing project and then seconded into the prototyping department. When the Warehouse Manager role came up, I was encouraged to apply.

Are you happy you did?

Yes, it’s a very broad role – I’m still finding the edges of it really. In such a busy site it’s important to make the space work, handling stock in and out, managing the facilities and keeping everything well maintained. The warehouse really is the heart of the business, everything goes through my systems and I’m grateful to have Flo (Warehouse Supervisor) who knows the stock management system so well.

What do you bring to the role?

My wide experience in the industry over many years. Having been involved in production manufacturing and prototyping for industry I know my way around materials, processes and options that we may have for a project, I’m familiar with costings… and my overall nature, I just get on with people!

So, your personality fits the job?

Exactly, being so personable makes talking to people about health & safety much easier. I’ve been told my calm, approachable, nature is a huge help with that!

Any you enjoy talking about health & safety?

Well, it’s my health & safety knowledge that makes the difference here. I know what the H&SE look for and have a good measure of what we need to do to keep people safe, whilst remaining practical. I have a strong background in risk assessments and COSHH, so refining the system for RDD should be pretty straightforward and rewarding.

I was pleased to see safety data sheets were all in order when I took on the role, so there’s a good grounding for me to build up from. I’ve just completed the initial roll out of of Toolbox Talks, begun by my predecessor, and now I’m working on additional training guides and risk assessments for each piece of kit. I love that the 5 Axis CNC I learned on at Artform is now physically in our workshop here (I’m not the only thing to have been snapped up when they closed!).

What’s next?

Well, this is a new-ish role to the business as RDD have grown so much in recent years. I’m going to build on the existing health & safety processes, defining responsibilities fully.

Then the future is all about aiding in efficiencies for every department, making sure the flow of parts to line is JIT. I want to expand on the Lean activities in conjunction with each department. It’s a busy floor so finding extra efficiencies in flow and space management can make a significant impact.

Basically, I’m central to everything, which I quite like.

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