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Manufacturing by the Mile: On the Road with SCMEP’s Technical Specialists

September 24, 2014

SCMEP has long served as a vital resource for South Carolina Manufacturers. In doing so, SCMEP has built a team that brings decades of expertise and passion to the field. Key members of the SCMEP team include our Technical Specialists (TS). They travel to all corners of the state (and even the country) to help manufacturers improve in areas like workforce development, sales, marketing, and sustainability.

Jim Woody
Jim Woody has nearly 30 years of manufacturing experience

Jim Woody, who joined SCMEP as a TS in 2012, has much to share about this dynamic position, which he aptly calls “the transferring of knowledge”. Jim, himself, is no stranger to transferring critical know-how to companies. He has over 26 years of experience in high volume manufacturing and more than 10 years of consulting experience as a Lean Six Sigma Expert. Jim has also worked in a number of industries, ranging from electromechanical manufacturing and job shop manufacturing to pharmaceuticals and tier one and tier two automotive.

So, what else does Jim have to say about his job as a TS?

SCMEP: What is the job description of a TS in your own words?
Jim: It is transferring knowledge; ‘teaching someone to fish versus fishing for them.’ It is providing good quality knowledge and strong experience.

SCMEP: How many companies do you visit in a typical year?
Jim: It may depend on the nature of the project, but I can deliver projects for 20 to 25 companies in a year. I will also visit an additional 8 to 10 companies with other team members throughout the year.

SCMEP: What is your favorite part of your job as a TS?
Jim: I like seeing different processes and learning something new. I like working with different groups of people and seeing their improvement. That is very rewarding.

SCMEP: What is a notable challenge in your role as a TS?
Jim: It can be challenging to help others understand that Lean is a cultural change that helps long-term success. Don’t focus on the immediate results you get ‘today’. Lean is a tool that improves ‘tomorrow’.

SCMEP: What advice would you give to a new TS?
Jim: I would tell the TS to truly try to understand your client before you start working in their plant. You must really understand the client’s cultures and philosophies. This helps you develop the best approach to help the client and achieve the desired results.

SCMEP: Where do you see SCMEP in 5 years?
Jim: I see SCMEP leading the effort in working with companies that are re-shoring. As companies start coming back, manufacturing will begin to transition in the US. SCMEP will help make that transition successful!