Q&A with Gary Chivers – A peek behind-the-scenes at Roger Lewis as we work on our brand new collection.
Q&A: Gary ChiversAfter the whirlwind that was Clerkenwell Design Week, our team is back at Roger Lewis HQ, working on our brand new collection, Kyoto (more on that coming soon!).
When it comes to launching a new product, it takes the involvement of everyone in the business to make it a success. From our design director Nick Lewis working with collaborator Richard Jones to develop the concept, in the case of Kyoto, to the master upholsterers on the factory floor fitting the fabric.
Considering that there are so many people involved in the day-to-day operations, there must be someone at the helm to steady the ship. To make sure that everyone is happy, productive and, as a result, the output is the best it can be.
That’s where Gary Chivers comes in, implementing operational excellence here at Roger Lewis. Gary works closely with every member of our team to ensure the business runs like clockwork.
As we approach Kyoto’s official unveiling, we wanted to offer you a peek behind-the-scenes at our preparations.Now, over to Gary…
CAN YOU BRIEFLY TAKE US THROUGH YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND TO DATE?
- “Starting my career within the ‘Custom Choices’ department at Herman Miller as a project engineer, specialising in furniture manufacture – I’m a mechanical and production engineer by trade. “I’m a great believer in lean manufacturing, as well as being an experienced planner and operations manager. For Roger Lewis, I am using these skills to create efficiencies in lower overheads and a higher, better quality output. “When it comes to operations, I’m passionate about creating cultural change for the better, while developing people both professionally and therefore personally – something I get a great deal of satisfaction from.”
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE ROLE AT ROGER LEWIS?
- “My initial interview with managing director, Marc. His energy, enthusiasm, values and drive were overwhelming. “Having previously worked for PLCs, the culture Marc described at Roger Lewis was very appealing. It is very much a team effort, rather than orders being given from the top down. Plus, working with a product you feel an affiliation with is a huge bonus!”
WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS FOR YOUR ROLE HERE?
- “To ‘create change for the better’ in every area of the business; introduce modern operating methods whilst creating measure to manage our business to, drive down costs and increase productivity.”
HOW DOES THE CURRENT ROLE DIFFER TO OTHER BUSINESSES YOU HAVE WORKED WITH?
- “The level of honesty and transparency is refreshing; I have a level of commitment that I’ve not felt in previous roles. My time is spent adding value every day, not procrastinating. Plus, you cannot help but love the product!”
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
- “People, people, people. The majority of my time is spent supporting and developing the team, whilst refining processes, creating cultural change and ensuring output.”
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING?
- “Seeing confidence grow in people, allowing them to achieve goals they never thought possible.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE OF ROGER LEWIS FURNITURE?
- “I’m still undecided! However, I do feel an affiliation to the Kyoto privacy sofa.”
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
- “Everything! Literally everything. But high on the list is supporting the introduction of a manufacturing planning tool, along with creating a robust structure that restores functionality to the business.”
AND WHAT’S NEXT?
- “Increased sales to fill the capacity gaps that will be made through efficiency gains!”
AND, FINALLY,TELL US SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOURSELF
“I’m a keen triathlete and have done several Ironman events. My passion is cycling along with running – I often run marathons and do cyclosportives.
“I’m an avid ‘TV box set’ watcher and love nothing better than a beer with my feet up watching a favorite episode at home.”
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