Medica Packaging

Operations, a little background

As Medica grows and opens its doors to new clients and new employees, we wanted to share more on some of our team. Before the end of 2018 we hope to have profiled most areas; read on if you work with Medica or are considering a career in printed cartons.


Andy Mayland


Name: Andy Mayland


Title: Operations Director

Year started: 2017


So what does an Operations Director do?


An Operations Director uses a strong knowledge of what it takes to run a Lean Enterprise plus strong interpersonal skills to lead an Operations team to deliver the required quantity of product/service to the expected quality standard in a safe, environmentally compliant & timely manner while controlling the costs of the Operational activities to ensure that financial targets are met.


Key to this is the use of standardised working principles often in the form of Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs (best current practices for achieving the quality standard safely and within the business basis costs) and excellent adherence to the SOPs. Skills development, appropriate management ownership definition for critical issues and an organisational learning culture for the team to consistently perform are all deliverables for the role. Delegation is a core skill in this too which in turn involves people development, coaching and support to help team players gain the confidence to deliver with high levels of consistency and without continually seeking guidance as they grow into their roles properly.
How does that help deliver quality product on time to the clients?


An effective Operations team will try to predict what could go wrong before it does thus avoiding costs of failure. In the case of manufactured products if they cannot influence the design authority to completely eliminate manufacturing risks (via design for manufacture) they will build into their manufacturing SOPs the appropriate controls to minimise errors so long as the SOPs are followed.


They will also work closely as a team and engage effectively with other stake holders (e.g. Sales, Customer Services, QA) to steer the Operations activity to meet timely delivery of products/services to the clients.


Successful use of standardised working and other Lean tools reduce the risk of errors and waste in all its forms (meet my not so good colleague TIM WOOCN and the 8 Deadly Wastes):


T – excessive transport charges (late, split deliveries)


I – excessive inventory storage charges and obsolescence risk


M –unnecessary motions in the production and warehouse processes



W – waste materials/process rejects/ waste energy, etc.


O – over production, making too many that cannot be sold


O – over processing, carrying out unnecessary operations to a product beyond those required


C – correction via rework


N – not utilising human resources effectively.



What can go wrong? What challenges do you face?


There are several traps that can stop us meeting our targets to include:

Manufacturing feasibility: Difficult to manufacture product designs close to the edge of what is feasible can lead to slow make ready times (unpredictable and subject to the varying skills of different operators), slow running speeds and also higher waste levels. Today we ‘flag-up’ such high risk jobs and carry out process trials first as part of a product realisation process. Even with such efforts we still face several hard to run jobs.


Increasing demand for flexibility: The nature of our business is changing to shorter and more frequent runs with reducing lead times. This has been happening for a while and the business is changing to meet the challenge. Nevertheless this places pressure on planning and production and it has exposed several opportunities. We are running projects to address these and we are procuring new very rapid make ready plant that can assist with this ‘paradigm shift’. The new equipment is being installed now and lean methodologies are being employed to organise our labour to make short make readies feasible.


Skills gaps: Critically skilled people leaving the business have not been replaced until recently. We have reinstalled a skilled player who, after supporting the training and volume ramp up on a new machine, will be focused on increasing the skills base via further training and proper skills monitoring. Improving our factory skills will greatly help with the flexibility issue too.



What is an example of a great day?


Meet plan, deliver 100% on time and in full with zero defects, below target waste and below basis cost, with no HSE negative impacts – a profitable, safe & ‘green’ day, followed by a well-earned beer down the local! A bit of sun also helps!


What was your position when you started? 


Operations Director


What did you do before Medica?


European Operations Manager – Avon Dairy Solutions


What did you want to do when you were growing up?


Be an Engineer.


What motivates you?


Leaving a lasting solution in place.


What have you learned while at Medica?


Medica has a very good management team with a strong work ethic in general and a great deal of knowledge. The whole team without exception are very customer focused.


Although most aspects of the business are well controlled there are many opportunities for improvement. Proper delegation and management ownership of key activities needed to be improved (feasibility issues) also training is needed in several areas. Enforcement of standards is getting a boost and this year should set the scene for a lucrative future.
Fun fact: 


I have given you two!!

I was brought up in a village called Potterne, near Devizes in Wiltshire. The house I bought near Medica in 2017 was first purchased from the developer in 1984 by a guy from Potterne which is over 160 miles away. What are the chances of that? I managed to find people in Potterne that knew him and he now lives in the USA.

Why read endless long winded text books on management when you only need three:

  1. The Serenity Prayer (1 page long).
  2. The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey (so short you can read it before catching a plane).
  3. Sun Tzu’s Art of War, 95 small pages written 2,500 years ago.


Go check them out and see where you are getting it right (or wrong).


What does the future hold?


A lot of promise. We have recognised our strengths and weaknesses. Now we are on a journey of never ending improvement. New machine investments are part of this journey but we are also investing in our people to change the way we work to improve our performance for the long term through better knowledge, better procedural adherence, better management ownership of critical issues and strong team-working.


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Medica’s Lean Team

Over the last two years, 40 employees at Medica Packaging have successfully completed their Lean Education and Development Technical Certification.

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