Meet the team: Stephen Crabb, Head of Operations, Salt & Bicarb
In the first interview in our new ‘Meet the TCE Team’ series, we caught up with Stephen Crabb, Head of Operations for Salt & Bicarb, to find out more about his first 20 months in post.
Tell us about your day- to-day responsibilities?
I manage a diverse organisation and work hard to ensure the safe and efficient running of the sites and the production of a consistently high-quality product.
How many people are in your team?
Where did you work previously and what has this previous experience brought to your current role?
I previously worked at Baker Hughes, a leading oil field services company. Key aspects of that role that I’ve brought to TCE are the importance of investment in people and attention to detail in all aspects of safety management.
What have been the key initiatives you’ve been involved in since you joined?
I’d say a substantial increase in production across both bicarb plants and at British Salt – we’re building for both the present and the future. I’ve also introduced some new safety procedures in line with my previous experience in the Oil & Gas sector where there is a strong safety culture.
What did you see as the biggest challenges when you joined the business and how have you tackled them?
I didn’t see any challenges – only opportunities!
What has been the most memorable high point since you’ve joined?
The high point for me has been breaking the bicarb production record last year. This was great success story.
What are the specific areas (so far) where you’ve contributed to the business?
I’m very proud of our safety performance. We continue to see a positive engagement across all sites and our staff continue to be very supportive of the safety initiatives.
Have you won any awards while you’ve been in this post?
Yes, we’re proud to report that we won the EU Salt Award for Safety 2018 in March this year.
How do you believe you have re-energised operations both for British Salt and Bicarb?
I believe there are three key areas that have contributed to this:
- People engagement is a key focus. We are empowering our people to have more responsibility and I believe this is fundamental to a well-connected organisation.
- We are a cohesive team, working together and importantly we are ensuring management are spending more time on the shop floor, listening to the views of the people who are involved in all aspects of the day-to-day running of the sites.
- Development and growth of our people are an integral part of our management strategy and we’re keen to encourage all team members to develop their skill set and progress to new opportunities wherever possible.
How has the business developed in the time you’ve been with us?
We’ve challenged the traditional ways of working, which has been a positive step for the business, to move it forward and we now share a sharp focus on the longer-term perspective. We have our investment strategy in place and some big projects in prospect – these are exciting times for the business.
On your video interview on the company website you say that you see your job as leaving everything in a better state for a future me. So, how do you think it’s shaping up?
I would certainly reiterate that! We owe a debt to the future especially in British Salt and Bicarb. British Salt’s 50th anniversary is approaching and it’s a good reminder of the importance of the impact individuals can make to secure a better future. Things are shaping up well and it is a long term investment in the future which enables us to do this and secure our business in Cheshire for the long term.