An investigative success
Lorena was part of a big investigative win recently, related to the expansion of the Dromont ADU system we use for the central dispensing of components that go into some of our products.
"Expanding the Dromont ADU system will help AkzoNobel become much more efficient," explains Lorena. "But because our success is dependent on being able to consistently maintain the highest quality, all departments must work together to identify any gaps in the process."
Lorena continues: "Recently our site received two consecutive customer complaints on batches made using our Dromont system. While researching the customer complaints, I determined the panels did not match the results from the retains. I set forward an action plan to test all drums filled for similar products – and immediately caught errors consistent with the customer complaint results. So there was a larger scale issue with the equipment."
Lorena met with the management team and system operators to perform a root cause analysis and determine next steps.
"One of the action items included re-calibration of the scales in the system," says Lorena. "During the re-calibration, we found the root cause of the errors: an unsecure wire that hit the scale and caused the dosing weights to be inaccurate. The issue was only apparent in products containing small doses of colorants. We secured the wire and now calibrate the Dromont ADU scales on a more frequent basis – and we've received no more complaints."
Passion for quality
Leading this effort to prevent poor quality product from being produced and sent to our customers is one example of how satisfying Lorena's work can be. "My passion for quality came to life on a time-sensitive, large-scale issue," says Lorena.
"With the help of my team, we made a difference and I was grateful to have the support of upper management. This investigation showed our true passion for excellence and winning together mindset at the Columbus, Ohio site."
Growing with AkzoNobel
Lorena says that AkzoNobel has provided her with interesting training opportunities, including most recently Continuous Improvement Advanced Practitioner (CIAP) training. She's just received her certification as an advanced practitioner in July. She's also been able to visit vendors, customers and other AkzoNobel sites, which has given her insight into the way things work in different areas and allowed her to build relationships with more people.
"I've always been an introvert but becoming a leader at AkzoNobel has helped challenge me to become more extroverted," says Lorena. "I try to genuinely get to know my employees and co-workers. It's an important part of building successful relationships within the workplace, and my team knows they can depend on me."