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veronica_co.jpgContinuous Improvement Coordinator, Colombia

Using our Worker Involvement Plan and a lot of teamwork, we’re developing projects that are important for each plant and are chosen by its general manager 


Why did I join Smurfit Kappa?

I was about to finish my Bachelor’s degree and I was looking for an internship. I was interested in a multinational company that would have an opening in an area of the supply chain. I decided to stay at Smurfit Kappa because it offers training and challenges for interns. I thought I had a real opportunity to become a professional at SKCC in the near future.

My career path with the company

I joined the company as an intern in Purchasing in July 2009. For 6 months I helped to purchase imported spare parts for different company operations and got to know the supply chain at SKCC. In January 2010 I was appointed buyer of imported raw materials and paper machine clothing. I was part of a team that was responsible for delivering high quality, cost-effective and reliable inputs to our paper machines, according to their production schedules.

What I am currently working on

Our goal is to find a way to turn Continuous Improvement (CI) into a daily activity. Our company culture changed dramatically when CI was introduced in the early 90’s. Now we’re trying to bring back the momentum and get the most out of our people. We’re advising plants to include CI tools and seminars in their yearly schedules to help them achieve their goals.

Which has been the most rewarding experience at Smurfit Kappa?

To work with great people, feeling part of a hardworking and, at the same time, friendly and fun team. To have the opportunity to know many of the company’s operations, an experience that has improved my learning skills and led me to think differently in the respective areas. The final result is a learning skill that helps me obtain the most out of improvement opportunities.

What does one working week look like?

Every week has activities a little different from those of the previous or next one; in each one I accomplish the following tasks:
-  Review of the Worker Involvement Plan proposals.
-  Do the schedule, the setup and the delivery of CI seminars with plant managers (some at home, some at sites far from the headquarters, which require some travelling).
-  Support projects from other company areas (e.g.,Operational Excellence).
-  Look for new CI tools.
-  Visit plants to keep track of CI activities (especially those for 5S’s).
-  Other administrative duties (e.g., control the CI budget, release POs, etc.).

What does the future hold?

There’s still plenty to learn at CI (actually, it’s never-ending), so in the near future I would like to make the most out of my current position. Later on (down the road…) I know that my engineering background will bring new challenges and more responsibilities. I look forward to the future.

What advice would you give someone considering joining Smurfit Kappa?

You should be able to think outside the box and be on the lookout for improvement opportunities. Also, you should care for your colleagues and customers and be sure you’re doing the best you can to meet their needs. In summary, try to feel like a useful player in a team and integrate yourself quickly to the playground.

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