His dream job would be to be a full time share trader and in his spare time he swims for Nottinghamshire. Meet Adam Jeacock our Quality and Innovation Manager who leads our Technical team to ensure the high quality of our tapes and manages the development of new and exciting products.
Where did you work before Advance and how did you come to be in this role?
I’ve been working at Advance Tapes for six months now. Before Advance I worked for a company called A1 Security Printing and I looked after quality and customer service operations. We printed a range of security documents for the government some which I’m not even allowed to talk about and some cool stuff such as Glastonbury tickets. While I worked for A1 Security Print, they acquired another business called Orion that dealt with gift cards and gift card fulfilment which had many large retail clients. I was seconded to Orion to assist with its integration into A1.
It has always been my ambition to get back into a more technical role as that is where I believe my strengths lie. Therefore, when this role became available, I jumped at the opportunity.
What are your main responsibilities? What projects are you working on that people may be interested to know about?
My role is to improve quality and the innovation pipeline. I’m very clear on how I want to manage this going forward. From a quality perspective there are three areas to look at – people, process and product.
Phase one is to undertake something that I call noise reduction. This is not asking everyone to be quiet. It involves looking at all of the production processes and taking out all causes of variation “noise”. It is always good to start at the beginning of a process as any variation at this stage will amplify as the product moves along the production line.
The second phase will be looking at quality performance data and relating that to key things on the asset that can be controlled. We have a great amount of quality data in the business that really excites me.
In terms of innovation my role is to look at how we get new or improved products to market quicker. I want to improve our agility in responding to research and development projects by more effectively managing resource and risk.
My top priority is to help with optimisation of our manufacturing processes which will in turn provide a good platform for innovation. However, a project I am keen to work on is looking at the change to more recyclable products. I think the social responsibility of businesses to make more environmentally friendly products is becoming an increasingly hot topic and as an adhesive tape manufacturer I want to be at the forefront of this in the industry.
If you could switch to another career what would it be and why?
What an easy question, I would definitely move into share trading. I am a bit of an amateur share trader. When I was a kid in the 90s trading was done on main frame computers that linked to the city via telephone cables. If you wanted to do a share trade you had to go to the bank, which is where I worked in the summer holidays. After 9/11 a gentlemen came in and was buying hundred of thousands of pounds in airline companies such as American Airlines, British Airways and Lufthansa.
After 9/11 the airlines took a serious hit so he was able to buy lots of shares very cheaply. I didn’t think too much of it at the time and a few years later I worked out that he had made millions from that. I have a Masters degree in Lean 6 Sigma statistics and wondered if I could use my statistical skills to help with share trading. I got my fingers burnt a few times, but I soon learnt that it is a combination of statistics and managing your own behaviour. In March this year I started short trading which is betting the opposite way. That’s been a learning curve but its worked out okay as the markets fell.
Who is the funniest person you work with and why?
That’s a tough one, it’s got to be Carl Mills (Engineering Manager). He’s got some good anecdote, that he tells in an amusing way.
What interests do you have outside of work that people might not know about?
Swimming. I swim for Nottinghamshire and have to get up early to train on Saturday morning. I also coach the Nottinghamshire youth team which my lad is on. I have been swimming since I was about 11 years old and got to a reasonable standard coming 4th in the UK juniors competition. I carried it on to university where I was the mens swimming captain. I stopped for a few years and then got back into it just before my son was born. My stroke is breaststroke. Training and competitions were unfortunately suspended in March due to Coronavirus however training recommenced in September.
If you had £10 million what would you do with it?
I would probably give most of it away to family and friends. I think my wife and I would buy a penthouse apartment somewhere with a beautiful view, and I’d think about starting my own business and also do some charity work.
If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
I would have the ability to hold my breath forever, then I could go scuba diving without any oxygen. I could even swim to France without coming up for air.
What is your idea of success?
Its three things for me. Delivering on the business expectations, making sure the team is happy and content with what we are doing and making sure the business is effectively managing risk.
What do you like most about your job?
It has to be the people I work with. When I say people, I mean everyone I have contact with in the business from my own team, the operators and the management team. There is a great blend of people who have been here a long time with fantastic knowledge and new people who have fresh ideas.
What is the last book you read?
The last book I read was actually an audio book called Never Split the Difference. The book was written by a former FBI Hostage Negotiator and outlines a number of negotiating tactics that he used in his career but can be transferable to any situation.
Who would you like to switch places with for the day if you could?
I’d be James Bond for the day.