Date: 16th December 2020
Meet the team at Communisis
Introducing Christina McMinn, our Executive Director of Manufacturing and Logistics. Christina shares with us her passion for operational excellence and problem solving, and calls out the importance of listening.
We ask Christina McMinn, what does it take to be an Executive Director?
Name: Christina McMinn
Role: Executive Director of Manufacturing and Logistics
How long have you been working in your field?
After leaving school at 16, I worked briefly in a typing pool. This is where I had my first experience of having my productivity measured.
I then found my way back into education via a role working as a lab technician with part-time study, which saw me through Uni and back out into the working world as process engineer.
What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your role?
First and foremost, I am a listener – I have worked in various industries in different roles and levels and I know what it’s like to not be heard. The irony – generally the people doing the job have the best ideas and the answers to the challenges!
I strive for operational excellence; I love operational process and I am a problem solver at heart.
What’s the biggest proof that you’re good at what you do/your greatest professional achievement?
While working as Head of Operations at a large chemical manufacturer, the closure of the main site necessitated the re-engineering of the plant that I was responsible for.
A rapid review of the operations was required to identify how to set up a new raw material supply and novel process. This was to enable smooth transition of chemicals from another site whilst ensuring no lost productivity or disruption to our clients.
The team and I worked around the clock to see the change through and were successful in maintaining high-value jobs and key client relationships.
The move was technically challenging and had it not been possible it would have been a huge detriment to the business.
I am particularly proud of the transformation of our Liverpool site, my first Communisis site, which is a highly productive jewel in the crown.
Customers have commented on how we distinguish ourselves from our competitors; the operation looks and feels efficient and the team are welcoming and engaged.
All the elements that make a fantastic factory! I have an incredible team who are bringing about this transformation in all of our locations.
‘Nurturing the skills and knowledge we have and investing in – and developing – our people is high on the agenda.’
– Christina McMinn
What is the most important thing you want people to know about you (and/or your company)?
About me – I love factories. As mad as it may seem I love to see the output and the value we add. I strive to deliver operational excellence, continually improve and drive efficiency and reduce risks.
This is a journey and certainly not a one-woman job; the team are the key to our success. Nurturing the skills and knowledge we have and investing in – and developing – our people is high on the agenda.
Tell me why you decided on your career. Why not something else?
I am a Chemist and achieved a First Class Honours in Applied Chemistry, and after graduating I decided I wanted to lecture so went on to get my PhD in Theoretical Physical Chemistry. However, I was advised that work experience within the industry would give me some credibility as a lecturer, so I took a role as a process engineer.
I didn’t make it to lecturing but put my skills to good use coaching and mentoring instead.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
When I am not donning my hi-vis jacket and walking the factory floors, I like to take long walks in the countryside and knit (not at the same time!). I am also Grandma to two beautiful grandsons; Noah, five, and Parker who is 18 months old.
Tell us one random fact about you that most people won’t know
I am Chair of Governors at our local school. I benefited so much from my education that I wanted to give something back to the next generation.