Head Of Supply Chain
00.01 I’m Tony F, my job title is head of supply chain and I work for Auto Windscreens. We have a manufacturing plant that manufactures about a quarter of a million windscreens a year. They supply into our distribution centre so I look after those two functions or sites, if you like, and then we obviously then purchase a number of external pieces of glass from four or five big suppliers. So I look after those suppliers as well and manage the contracts and things like that.
00.30 I think what I was like as a kid, I enjoyed playing and watching football. I had a lot of friends, we met on a regular basis. We hung around on street corners and we had a lot of fun and I have to say, it was a, I look back on those times quite fondly. I left school at the age of 15. I went to a number of primary schools as my parents moved around. My Dad was an ex-miner and ex-steelworker so we sort of went to where the work was at the time. I left school out of necessity more than anything else.
01.00 My Dad had been made redundant a couple of times, my Mum was a factory worker and I suppose, in blunt terms, the family needed the money and I was one of three brothers and I went onto a YTS scheme so I would have, if one of the things I were going to do differently, it would be, I probably would’ve extended my time into college or maybe even into university. But at that point in time it wasn’t the right thing to do.
01.25 When I left school I went into pharmacy for two years as a dispensing assistant in a chemist. But then very quickly moved into the construction industry with a tool manufacturer and supplier. And the business that I was working for at the time, a construction business, Hilti in Manchester, had a fantastic logistics manager there who pretty much said, “We know you can do the job that we want you to do, but we need a piece of paper that says you have a brain.” So I went and did a part time business studies degree for five years, which at the time I have to say, was quite painful. Painful in the sense that as a 21 year old you didn’t want to be sat in a classroom two nights a week, but it’s one of the things that I’m really glad that I’d gone back and did.
02.07 The logistics manager, a guy called Brian Wilcox who I worked for at Hilti, who I describe as I owe my absolute career to him, because he was the guy who saw some potential in me, who really told it me straight and made me listen. I went through a factory closure with Trebor Bassett, which was emotionally and physically draining. There were 245 people in the factory and they were fantastic people. It’s made me much more determined to have any teams who I work with perform as well as they possibly can.
02.45 Where I would hope to be in 20 years time, 10 or 20 years time, I would want to be doing some charity work, in particular for the Alzheimer’s Society. My Mum is an Alzheimer’s sufferer. She’s suffering, she’s deteriorating and that really has made me look at myself as a parent. It’s made me look at myself in terms of, you know, what I do on a day to day basis and the work/life balance that I have or don’t have.
03.10 Every Friday I will come home from work, get in the kitchen, I like making curries from scratch. So I’ll stuck chucking a curry together and I will stick the music on loud. My kids will get out of the way and say, “I’m not listening to that rubbish.” And it’s how I relax and it’s what makes me chill out and it’s one of those hobbies that’s very easy and not particularly expensive.
03.32 I look back now on some of the things that I did as a child, 13, 14, 15 year old. Snotty nosed kid in Manchester and the pain that I caused my parents and, yeah, if I could undo that I would undo it tomorrow. I wished I’d listened to my Mum and Dad a lot more, because I now realise as a parent myself and getting older and having jobs and a career, how important some of that advice was when I was 16.
Tony F is the head of supply chain at Auto Windscreens. He’s glad he was persuaded to do a part-time business studies degree twenty years ago. “As a 21 year-old you don’t want to be sat in a classroom two nights a week, but it’s one of the things that I’m really glad that I’d gone back and did.”
More information about Production managers and directors in manufacturing
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Liaises with other managers to plan overall production activity and daily manufacturing activity, sets quality standards and estimates timescales and costs;
- Manages production to ensure that orders are completed to an agreed date and conform to customer and other requirements;
- Monitors production and production costs and undertakes or arranges for the preparation of reports and records;
- Oversees supervision of the production line and its staff, ensures targets are met.
Related career stories
From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way