COO of Merson Group, Donna Wilson explains why effective work-flow management starts on the factory floor

9 November, 2023
COO of Merson Group, Donna Wilson explains why effective work-flow management starts on the factory floor

With more than sixteen years’ experience working in manufacturing I’ve seen the Merson Group from all angles. Starting as a Production Coordinator for the factory and now COO, the journey has been incredible. Still living in Uddingston, now with a young family, I feel totally honoured to be working in such a forward-thinking company who focuses on excellence in all they do.

I can’t express just how much I learnt when working with the factory floor and in the production office when I started out. It’s not only the production flow, but also each nuance of the workings of the products. From the reasoning behind the design, to the production and in fact everything until they leave the building. I may add that I also made countless trips back and forth from design rooms to the floor, keeping super fit, which is something I still like to do.

 Now as COO, I am immersed in the full workflow process including delivery, installation, and feedback from the customers of course. It’s often discussed that COOs should forge a strong connection with their front-line workers, but in our sector of manufacturing, it’s simply imperative. One of the key tasks for me over the last few years was to streamline processes to increase productivity and, in turn, profit. 

In every business there are multi layers of processes, and sometimes they need analysed and changed. With our varied suite of products and services, Merson has a complex workflow and we discovered that there was simply nothing on the marketplace that would work for us. So, we decided to build our own workflow management system, as we knew that ineffective workflows not only affect companies commercially, but they also might affect team’s productivity and morale. This matters to the team at Merson, as we are a people-focused business with a long history of staff retention, of which I am a prime example.

Understanding these workflow journeys has allowed us to develop our new work-flow management system, Tetris. It really has been a labour of love over the last few years. The aim of Tetris is to ensure a smoother and more cost-efficient workflow, saving the company time and money. It also helps us to also improve customer communications by offering real-time order status and can alert us to any potential defects or risks, allowing us to resolve them quickly and effectively. 

All these positive outcomes of course then in turn boost morale and lead to a happier, more effective team. This all started with me talking to the team on the factory floor, my first home here at Merson Group and still the beating heart of the company.