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Q&A With Interim Consultant

Robert Jeakins MBA, BSc. (Hons) has 29 years of extensive manufacturing business experience in the UK, Central and Eastern Europe, Denmark and China.

For ten years, he has worked in strategy to operations for an international management consultancy, where he has completed many time critical projects that required ‘best practice’ or ‘automotive standards’.

Previously, he led the start-up for three factories fostering lean operations as Operations Director he led 1,650 people, five factories and the supply chain into profitability. He has excellent training and experience in factory design, operations and sourcing.

He has also managed and developed tier 1 automotive factories with complex assemblies and processes. This includes the crisis recovery and development of a Chinese automotive factory with 800 people. As Management Coach to the factory MD, he advised on upgrading LEGO Production s.r.o. in Czech.

We sat down with him to discuss his history and experience.

Why did you choose to pursue a career as an interim consultant?

It was not by design. In 1990, at the age of 24, I stumbled into it when I joined Lucas Industries to work in their manufacturing research and development centre in Birmingham. However, when I started, I was told that their design for manufacture R&D unit was being merged with their, then new, Lucas consultancy business.

I worked at Lucas for seven years, during which time I was focussed on lean manufacturing and the new product introduction process. This also included concurrent engineering methodology and IT driven integrated design and manufacture tools and techniques.

It was the great results I achieved at Lucas that persuaded me that I was not only very good as an individual at what I was doing, but wanted to pursue a career as an interim consultant

How did your corporate career prepare you for being an Interim Consultant?

I learned a lot from some very clever people at Lucas and had defined new ways of designing and managing manufacturing and new product development. Their training had also included appraisal training, organisation design, multi-site management and other really great stuff. The experience of having people rely on me for the answers and knowing how to analyse in detail and make the new big picture prepared me well for my career as an interim consultant.

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.