VCU Center for Corporate Education

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As one of our favorite success stories, Fine Metals Corporation out of Ashland, Virginia, sent multiple members of their small but mighty staff through the Center for Corporate Education for Lean Six Sigma training. Read more from their production manager, Lori Seay, about their experience and how investing in professional development has taken their team to the next level.

What is your current career path, and how did you get there?

I am currently the Production Manager at Fine Metals Corporation. I’ve been employed here for 20 years this coming January. I started in the shipping department and helped wherever possible, building to my position today.

Please describe your organization or business and the role that you play within it.

Fine Metals Corporation provides products to the specialty metals market that meet or exceed industry standards. These products are used in a range of fields to include semiconductor, medical, aerospace, defense, and many research and development activities for colleges and universities. I provide direct supervision of the production staff. I schedule and maintain workloads for each department and update our office staff of lead times and delays. I have been involved most recently with the implementation of new ERP software.

What impact did participating in Lean Six Sigma have on your office or organization?

We completed several projects using Lean Six Sigma. We have improved shipping and delivery schedules by alerting the shipping department ahead of time what and when items will be expected to ship. We have optimized material usage on various size aluminum targets by producing at an optimum quantity.  Our most recent project calculated the cost of Fine Metals doing in-house work versus an outside contractor performing some of the work to be more cost effective.

What advice would you have for someone considering participating in a CCE course? 

I feel everyone should participate as often as possible in any CCE course. Taking education as far as possible benefits your employer and yourself. It is such a blessing that Fine Metals is a strong advocate of continuing education.

Describe a “lightbulb” moment you’ve had on your personal career journey. 

I’d say after my children were born, I knew I needed a career that not only provided an income for my family, but one that truly cared about my family’s well-being. Work became more about the love of what I was doing with flexibility that allowed me to be both the best employee and mother I could be. Once again, I give credit to my current employer for allowing me to learn new skills, grow in the company, and still not feel guilty when I have to be off with my family when I need and also have some time for relaxation.  

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