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6 Things You’re Overlooking as a Plant Manager

 In Industrial

The best Plant Managers are continually looking for ways to improve professionally. You may not even realize that you are stuck in a rut; especially if you’ve been in the industry for a long time. But, if you haven’t made many changes at work in the past few years, you probably should take the time to re-evaluate your current plant processes. 

Are you doing what you can to maximize safety, increase productivity, and improve quality at your chemical plant? If you are overlooking these six things, then it might be time to make some minor changes at the plant. 

Provide Meeting Documentation

If you attend meetings and do not take notes, you are making a mistake. When you meet with employees, taking notes about their performance and expectations should be a no-brainer. 

Employees do not always remember the details of the discussion, so you should follow up by sending them your notes via email. 

After the meeting is over, condense your notes into a bulleted list. Include the most important things you want your employee to do and email it to them. You should also include a follow-up meeting so you can see how your employee is progressing. When you take notes and share them, your meetings become meaningful for you and your employees. 

Also:

It’s incredibly helpful down the line to have a paper trail of important employee conversations. You don’t want to try to remember the details of a conversation from six months ago, do you? 

plant managerEnsuring Full Compliance

One of the Plant Manager’s most important jobs is to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local requirements. You should have a digital flowchart that helps you manage the permits and sign-offs for all projects. 

Doing this will help you avoid overlooking requirements when your employees and project managers are on time crunches. 

If you aren’t embracing compliance technology, you are leading your plant down the road of compliance violations. Plant Managers are often overwhelmed with tasks, which makes it easy to miss-steps along the way. 

Make your life easier by investing in technology that lets you focus on managing the plant, rather than managing paperwork. 

Are you still wasting money on conventional tank cleaning?
See how your plant could be running more efficiently with robotic tank cleaning. View

 

Ignoring Common Complaints

Once you take on the job of a Plant Manager, you become the person who receives complaints. It’s just what happens when you are in a leadership position. Instead of giving excuses for the complaints, the best Managers solve them. 

These include complaints about temperature, refuse, and work orders. You might be tempted to shrug them off or delegate them. But, small problems tend to grow, especially if you ignore them. 

If you are getting complaints, you’ve got to develop an effective way to solve them. Your credibility falters when you ignore your employees and their working conditions. Your job is to manage the plant, which includes making it a better place for your employees and you. 

Invite your employees to help you solve the problems, as they usually have a better understanding of what needs to be done. 

Keep in mind that employees complain before they compliment. So, don’t take the complaints personally, just focus on solving them so you don’t have to keep hearing them. 

 

Doing the Work Yourself

When you work in a plant, you have a built-in team of experts in a variety of skills. They appreciate being involved, and their loyalty grows when you ask for their input. 

Even if it takes longer to delegate tasks, do it. Your staff needs to have the opportunity to grow and share their skills with the plant. When you involve your staff, you might actually learn something new. 

Once you see the benefits of delegating, the next step is to recognize employees who go above and beyond. When you see a job well done, recognize it. Your employees will appreciate being asked to do tasks, but they will appreciate it, even more, when you notice their hard work. 

On the flip side, if you are not happy with the work your employees have done, don’t hesitate to offer them constructive help. Don’t criticize and demean, show them what you want to be done in a helpful and positive way. 

Employees want to learn from their mistakes, but if they don’t know they are making them, they cannot overcome them. When you care about their successes, your employees will continue to help you. 

 

Related article: Robots vs Humans: Which is Safer for Tank Cleaning?

 

Remaining Current on Industry Trends

As a Plant Manager, your employees look to you to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the chemical plant industry. Your growth mindset will inspire your employees to learn more, too. If you aren’t looking for ways to improve and optimize, you aren’t doing your plant any service. 

One example:

Involves reducing man-hours for tank cleaning and sludge removal. Instead of wasting precious time and putting employee health at risk, Plant Managers are looking to industry trends, like robotics to do these jobs. 

Ecobots are built to enter into hazardous or confined spaces that are typically not safe for human crews. Rather than spending time and money preparing the tank environment so crews can enter safely, ecobots can start immediately. 

They get the job done quickly and keep your employees safe as they monitor the ROV remotely. These machines don’t need breaks and don’t need safety gear or extra safety training. 

When you let ecobots do the tedious cleaning, your employees can do their jobs better which benefits you, the employees, stakeholders, and customers. 

 

Staying Organized

When you are the Plant Manager, you have several moving parts to supervise. Without a strong organizational system, juggling the scope of those parts can become overwhelming. The best  Managers create a schedule that fits their style. 

The most efficient managers use technology to manage their schedules, organize projects, and communicate with their teams. With efficient technology, managers can keep everyone on the same page and ensure that tasks of all types get done on time. 

 

Making the Most of a Complex Job

Managing a chemical plant is a serious job that should not be taken lightly. With all that goes into running a chemical plant, it is easy for Plant Managers to overlook minor details like taking notes, organizing a schedule, and using ecobots. 

But, if you aren’t being proactive in controlling minor details, your complacency could have damaging effects on your company which could cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and possibly even millions.

 

Is Your Plant Running Efficiently?

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