Erin McMullen wins 2013 PACE Zenith Young Achiever Award

PACE Zenith Awards 2013: Young Achiever category sponsored by SICK

WINNER: Erin McMullen
From: Unilever

Following three years in the Unilever Future Leaders Programme, Erin McMullen was promoted the role of Engineering Manager at Unilever in North Rocks (NSW) in January 2013.

Erin became the first graduate of the Future Leaders Programme to be promoted directly into a management level role upon completion of the three-year program.

In this role, she has taken on responsibility for all aspects of Engineering activities of the North Rocks factory, including leading Focused Improvement, Planned Maintenance, and Early Equipment Management (Innovations and Capital Expenditure).

Erin also has a team of seven Engineering and Maintenance staff reporting to her directly, as well as the responsibility of managing an additional team of nine mechanical fitters and five electricians to support the site.

As Engineering Manager of North Rocks, Erin has an opportunity to help shape the high performance culture of the site. Through her leadership, and in driving the continuous improvement mindset Erin is helping North Rocks (NSW) deliver safety excellence (zero accident), quality excellence, improved productivity and cost reduction.

During the UFLP, Erin took on various, challenging roles across different functional and operational areas of the Unilever business including Materials Planner, Process Engineer, Production Leader for Deodorants in addition to a 6 month rotation in the Sales and Marketing team.

As Materials Planner for key packaging materials for the production of Aerosols products at North Rocks, Erin played a significant role in helping the North Rocks team achieve 98 per cent customer service case fill for the Deodorants category in H2/2010.

David Duncan (L), Managing Director, SICK, congratulates Young Achiever Award winner Erin McMullen of Unilever.

As Process Engineer, Erin was assigned to lead the implementation of the significant process changes relating to the launch of a new angled-neck Domestos toilet cleaning product in Australia. The North Rocks factory needed to install new packing and processing equipment to In order to be able to produce the new product. The project was delivered on time and in full, within budget.

In her role as Production Leader for Deodorants over a 15-month period, Erin helped the North Rocks factory maintain its zero lost time accident record (the site is now at 0 LTA for the past seven years). She also helped the site deliver 5% increase in volume growth and a 2% reduction in production cost per tonne.

All this was achieved in a highly challenging environment as North Rocks was under pressure to deliver a significant liquids transformation program (to include capital expenditure, innovation and cost savings – all in 12-month period).

In her role as Production Leader for Deodorants, Erin gain leadership experience in a fast-paced and highly-changing manufacturing environment. Erin was responsible for a team of 40 people running production 24 hours per day, six to seven days per week, for one year.

Being in an early stage of her career, this was a daunting and challenging, yet highly rewarding experience for Erin as it provided her with an excellent opportunity to develop her people and team leadership capabilities at the coal face of operations and to deal with tough day-to-day people issues, safety and quality problems.

In addition to achieving all relevant KPIs, Erin maintained a significant focus on costs to ensure the factory remained competitive. Erin’s high level of maturity, intelligence, diligence, as well as her engaging personality, enabled her to flourish in her time as Production Leader.

In awarding the win to Erin, the PACE Zenith judges said, “As engineering manager, Erin is playing a key role in shaping the high performance culture of Unilever's facility. Still in her twenties, Erin has demonstrated leadership in helping the plant deliver safety excellence, improved productivity and cost reduction.”

The 2013 PACE Zenith Young Achiever Awards is sponsored by SICK.
Read more: SICK is committed to investing in the next generation of engineers.

SICK sponsors 2013 PACE Zenith AwardsSICK Pty Ltd
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