Furphy's Group Production Manager celebrates 15 years
Furphy Foundry is a fast-moving, high production plant, renowned for the build quality of its products, and for the past 15 years, Group Production Manager, Todd Huggard, has played a significant role in that reality.
Managing Director, Sam Furphy, and foundry staff gathered recently to honour Todd for his service and celebrate his 15-year milestone.
Todd came to Furphy in 2003 as a qualified steel fabricator, with experience in the food handling equipment industry and motor body building. His wide-ranging expertise included 2pac painting, heavy suspension conversions and motor trimming.
His first role within Furphy Foundry was as Technical Production Manager, and over the past 15 years, he has worn many hats including 17 years in sales, giving him a strategic perspective of the business.
The changes to foundry technology and processes during Todd’s tenure have been numerous, presenting many challenges. Todd reflected that Furphy’s has risen to the occasion.
“When I joined, Furphy was predominately a cast iron foundry, with minimal steel fabrication plant/ equipment, or staff with experience in the area.
“A large investment has been undertaken over the years to ensure we have the staff numbers and skill. We have ensured that staff are cross-trained across all cost centres.
“Products, and the way they are fabricated have changed over the years. For example, when I started in the trade there was no such thing as a laser cutting machine - now they are dime a dozen.”
Specialised fabrication products, such as mild steel, stainless steel, cast aluminium and timber composite materials have been introduced over the past 15 years. Todd has been a major part of keeping pace with change, including the building of two new facilities to increase product output and accommodation increasing staff levels.
“It’s been a real pleasure to be a part of staff development over the journey,” said Todd.
“There are various levels of leadership, and most have been promoted internally. There is always opportunity for personal growth within the company for those that are eager to progress.
“Staff are definitely engaged and embrace the standards that are expected to deliver our products to our clients. There is a real sense of roll your sleeves up and get it done attitude amongst the troops.”
“Management skills have been the biggest growth for me, I have been fortunate enough to spend three years in the TEC program, networking directly with key managers/business owners of similar size/annual turnover.
“This was conducted mainly in the Melbourne region, and I then spent another two years in a similar program called the Champions of the Bush – a similar concept but with a regional Victorian approach. That and going to the school of hard knocks and learning as you go.”