Nick D. - Production Team Leader-Denver, CO
Tell us about your pet, featured on the Purina Dog Chow® bag alongside you.
Khloe is a boxer my wife and I brought home when she was six weeks old. We considered getting a dog and noticed a listing in The Denver Post in the break room at the factory. We went to meet her shortly after and instantly knew she was the one. Since then, we've started a family and she gets along great with our two kids.
What is most important to you when considering what to feed your pet?
Ingredients are the number one thing I consider when feeding Khloe. I can see where it's made and everything that goes into it. If I didn't have that luxury, feeding a reputable brand would be important to me - one that has been around a while.
Tell me about your career path at Nestlé Purina.
I started with the company in 2011. A co-worker from my previous job told me about the opening and shared what a positive environment it was. I had worked in various kinds of roles before and was looking for a place where I could build a career. I started in a role where I unloaded ingredients, and then moved to working in processing. I've been a Team Leader in Production for the past few years, which means I also focus on coaching and developing my team, in addition to safety, quality, and production goals.
What makes working in manufacturing at Nestlé Purina different from other companies?
We have higher standards on both the expectations of me as an employee and leader, and also the quality of the products we produce. It's a fast-paced environment, but I feel empowered to learn on the job and attend trainings to develop professionally. A big part of my role is focusing on the quality of the products we produce. Standards at Nestlé Purina are a lot higher than other companies when it comes to ingredients and our final product. It's my job to make sure we're compliant with various stringent regulations, as well as undergoing audits from our corporate quality team and external audits.
What does your day-to-day look like in the factory?
My work begins before my actual shift start time. I typically arrive early to prepare and go through a shift hand-off with the crew before me. I use that information to prioritize goals for the next shift and share those with the next crew. From there, most of my time is spent on the floor taking inventory, recommending maintenance on equipment, and coaching the production crew. I enjoy being in the midst of the production instead of sitting behind a computer.
What unique skills make someone successful in this type of position?
The ability to learn on the fly and trial by error. I have found that not everything comes up in training. You need the ability to make sound decisions, and if you don't know the answer, ask.
Our Founder challenges us with the 'Dare to Stand Taller.' How do you Stand Taller?
My team works in a demanding environment that is always changing. It's important for me to make decisions based on the good of the team. As a Team Leader, it's my job to have clear and transparent communication with my team and uphold their best interests day in and day out.
What advice would you give someone considering applying for a role at Nestlé Purina?
It's our culture to focus on safety, quality, and production - in that order. If those goals align well with your own, you may be a great fit!
Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
My family always comes first, and I am thankful to work for a company that understands that. If I am not with them, I'm also an avid hunter. Khloe stays at home on my hunting trips - she's a family dog.