Jeff came to DENTALEZ just a few short years ago, though some might say they were the longest of years, globally! In August of 2020, he joined our family as the VP of Operations. We asked Jeff to share with us what similarities and differences he’s experienced since his start at DENTALEZ, and what he likes most about his current work.
Tell us a little bit about the path that led you to DENTALEZ …
I’ve been very fortunate to have two careers. I’ve been in manufacturing for the past twenty-eight years, including Vice President of Operations roles the past eight years. Prior to that I was in the accounting world in various positions up to Group Controller. I’ll admit it, I’ve been around long enough that at my first job, we didn’t have desktop computers!
I’ve spent a lot of time in residential and commercial refrigeration, the steel industry, and as a supplier into the food service industry; everything from high-volume to make-to-order products. I’ve led facilities that made Dishwashers, Riding Lawnmowers (for Sears), to the manufacture of plastic trays, glasses, or stainless products used in restaurants.
I have learned a lot along the way. And, you would be surprised how many similarities there are between those seemingly disparate industries! Behind the products, the processes to improve safety, quality, etc., are much the same. I keep in touch with many past coworkers, and all are experiencing the same supply chain issues of inconsistent supply.
What brought you to the world of dentistry from manufacturing, and what do you like about working in this industry?
It’s exciting to see technology entering the industry. Aeras is one example. It’s amazing how much technology has entered the Dentist’s office in the past five years. That’s what drew me to the industry, the product is truly undergoing a technological transformation.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
I enjoy developing and sustaining improvement processes. Applying intense focus on a burning issue is necessary at times. However, we want to operate in the “planned” improvement world, vs. the “reactive.” Short-term wins are important, as is developing and deploying a sustaining improvement system with the teams at our facilities. The strategy side must be both short-term – solving all the supply chain issues as an example – and long-term, developing our teams to systemically eliminate poor quality, improve safety and provide excellent on-time delivery.
What’s your favorite DENTALEZ product and why?
Rather than a product, I think the variety and uniqueness of each of our product lines is interesting. We have a wide variety of Make-to-Order, Configure-to-Order and Make-to-Stock products. Each product line comes with its own puzzles and challenges.