What is your role at Cox Powertrain?
As a Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA) engineer, I focus on assessing potential suppliers to ensure they meet our requirements for manufacturing. I gain a list of potential suppliers from our procurement team and travel to the suppliers’ company to assess them. We have a specific form and scoring system which allows us to fairly and un-biasedly assess their fit to our company. The areas are split up, into sections such as management, sub suppliers, problem solving, inspection, general facilities, etc.
It’s not just about measuring their performance, or under performance, but also considering triggers and indicators for where improvement can be made, and how we can help to improve them. If we are going to be working with a future supplier, we need to give them guidance and coaching to improve them prior to manufacture and help in any way we can. Whilst I am primarily a SQA engineer, this type of work pushes me into a Supplier Development engineer type role also. This is something I am happy with and enjoy doing as I think whilst it’s important to indicate the areas where a company is under performing, it’s useful to give them guidance on how to improve these.
I also work as somewhat of a mediator between the design team and suppliers, to ensure we are clear in what we want the component to look like, to do, sizing etc. We need each part to be fit for purpose.
What first attracted you to Cox Powertrain?
I was actively looking for a new role when I found out about Cox Powertrain. I had my CV online and an agency contacted me directly about the company and the job they had on offer. Firstly, there was a manager here which is someone I knew from a previous job. This attracted me to this company on the first-hand because I had a good impression of him from the previous company. Even though we weren’t working closely together, he took the time to give me feedback on work I had done which I thought was a good approach to managing staff. Finding out he would be my manager at this new job was an attraction as I had faith he would be someone I’d be happy to work with.
Secondly, from speaking with the job agency and doing some of my own research, the premise of the company and the innovation was intriguing. It looked like it would be a challenge and somewhere where I could keep learning and learn off others experiences and knowledge. The opportunity to work on my own and set up my own processes and have such high responsibility really appealed to me. I’d love to be able to leave a legacy behind of being involved in a project like this from start to finish and know I was a part of it.
How has Cox Powertrain changed and developed since you started?
I think the growth in size of the company has been one of the most obvious developments and changes. Cox has grown by more than 50% in less than a year, having to take on a new office to accommodate all the new employees. We are currently split across two locations and waiting to move to the new combined offices and manufacturing site.
What have you gained since working here?
I have done this job for many years so a lot of what I have done is very transferable to my current job in terms of how you go about assessing companies and relating them back to the companies’ requirements. However, learning about all the parts that will be specific to our outboard has broadened my knowledge on the processes of manufacturing certain components. I look forward to learning more about this the closer we get to the manufacturing stage.
Since starting here back in November 2016, I have met so many new lovely people. They are all so knowledgeable with a range of skills I can learn from. There is such a range of ages, backgrounds, cultures, work experience – it’s a nice balanced place to work.
What is your most challenging moment/event up till now?
In all my years as working as an SQA engineer, having to decide between suppliers will always be difficult as the performance results can be so close. Also, understanding where they need to improve can be quite clear, but being able to explain how can be quite challenging.