Darren Taylor-Ridge is the director of global operational excellence for Colson Group. He joined the company in April 2015 and is responsible for providing support to the U.K. production team, as well as global projects in North America and Asia to drive quality, health, safety, environment and customer service improvements. Taylor-Ridge will be based in Colson Group’s China operations and spend time at the Saint Joseph, Michigan distribution center.
Prior to joining Colson, he served 14 years in the Armed Forces Airborne Infantry and six years in the Army Reserve. He then worked in manufacturing roles at Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd. Lean Manufacturing Consultancy and in construction chemical manufacturing.
Darren Taylor-Ridge earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K. and a Master of Science degree in occupational safety and health technology from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. as well as five higher national degrees in health and safety, management, lean manufacturing techniques, teaching and currently is completing a higher national degree in human resources.
Q: What are a few of the near-term objectives you hope to accomplish as director of global operational excellence?
A: I am focusing on working with the team to identify immediate action we can take to close the gaps between existing skills and knowledge to increase the right first-time capability. With this, we will identify where each team member excels and ensure they’re working in an area that highlights their strengths.
Q: With your extensive experience, what are a few of the operational best practices you hope to apply to Colson Group?
A: I hope my skills and abilities as a team builder will assist in assuring the business’ long-term position by enabling teams to become highly competitive and efficient. It’s not the leading of teams that’s important, it’s giving guidance that helps teams to realize just how much potential they have.
I have a serious passion for safety. I have been fortunate to see the worst and the best safety standards in practice. Good safety practices, environmental practices and good quality management all work to build reputation and that reputation will sell our product. It is these practices I hope to develop with all the teams I work with.
Our markets are highly competitive and our market strength will come from our capabilities. So, through good application of lean manufacturing techniques to improve our operational efficiency, TLE, on-time delivery and loss / defect reduction as examples will assure growth and a long-term future.
Q: What is one thing in your career you are most proud of?
A: I am most proud of serving my country and working operationally alongside U.S. forces. This taught me a lot about myself and the understanding of others to bring out the best in people in the worst of circumstances.