I joined Croda eager to learn more about the chemical manufacturing industry and the often talked about ‘employer you want to work for’ in the small rural community of Mill Hall, PA, USA. I was the 50th employee on site - today there are over 130! I joined Croda as the Quality Assurance Assistant and was responsible for maintaining and updating specifications and test methods in addition to handling customer complaints.
In January 2000, I moved from the Quality group to the Operations department and was assigned to the team responsible for ISO9000 implementation at the Mill Hall site. As the need for written documentation and standardized processes became more involved, I was promoted to Document Control Coordinator. During the time I was in this role, I was also assigned to the ISO14000 Implementation Team and we successfully received this certification in 2003. In 2004, I was assigned to the implementation team for the first Croda SAP implementation in North America.
To ensure proper maintenance of SAP data after a successful go-live was essential to our business and our customers, I was promoted to the SAP Master Data Manager position and exponentially expanded my network of Croda personnel globally. This was my first experience as a supervisor as I was responsible for overseeing the individuals performing the document control/complaint coordinator functions. I also enrolled in school at this time, seeking a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration.
In 2007, I found myself working on another SAP implementation within North America as the Atlas Point site was slated for go-live January 1, 2008. The success of this project was vital to North America and Croda as we integrated the legacy-Croda site in Mill Hall with the former-Uniqema site in New Castle. It was important to identify best practices that could be utilized to reduce costs, improve production and supply to customers, and fully integrate the sites into one Operations team. As a result, I was now responsible for SAP data requirements for both US manufacturing sites.
The year 2008 saw a flurry of activity with the Uniqema acquisition. Early in the year, I worked alongside our Croda Europe SAP team and was fortunate enough to assist the UK SAP Team in the Chocques, Mevisa and Emmerich SAP implementation projects, primarily with data compilation and cleansing, training, and rehearsals. During the several months spent in Europe, I gained invaluable knowledge of the newly expanded Croda business and was able to forge new relationships with individuals in a much broader Croda network. Cremona and Gouda visits came in late 2008 when I again was fortunate enough to work with the UK SAP team and assist with blueprinting, data, and training. I had now established global contacts across most Croda manufacturing locations but most importantly, all of these projects were successful and critically important steps in our overall integration of the business. I was able to bring some of my learnings back to Croda North America – sharing them with others and assisting with identification of best practices in SAP usage and operational ways of working.
In June 2009, my SAP and supervisory position expanded to include responsibility for the Sales & Distribution functions of SAP and the Sample Department located in Edison, NJ. During this time, I was able to gain additional knowledge of Croda Sales functions and greatly enhanced my interaction with our customers. Working with the Sales Administration and Sample teams provided a huge amount of insight into the ‘non-operational’ function’s within Croda – Finance, Marketing, R&D and Sales. I was now able to fully link all aspects of Croda into the bigger picture view required to understand how I could help with continual improvement projects and change management, as well as reinforce my supervisory skills and build upon required leadership skills. I was also appointed Project Manager for the Croda Canada sales office SAP implementation project which would bring North America business operations into a single operating system.
After five long years of work during the day, while taking night and weekend classes, I completed my studies and received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Early in 2011 there was an opportunity to advance my career and expand my responsibilities as I was promoted to Customer Service & Shipping Manager for North America. In this role, I was initially responsible for Customer Service, Shipping and Sales Administration. Through the dedication of the team and support from senior management, we have expanded the team even further and added the Import and Data Administration functions. This multi-functional, diverse team consists of an exceptional bunch of hard working individuals. Together, we have built a sales and customer support system that allows us to build stronger relationships with customers as well as improve performance.
I was very excited to be considered for the first 2020 Americas Network team! The ability to work on a dedicated project alongside many friends and colleagues from the North America and LATAM regions was a wonderful experience.
Our business reorganized into global market sectors throughout 2014. This brought with it a lot of change and the need for us to evaluate our Supply Chains across the globe to provide appropriate support to Sales teams and our customers. I was promoted to Regional Supply Chain Director for North America and now liaison regularly with my counter-parts across all regions of Croda.