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The Gantrex "Introducing" Series #16

Quality achievement is a mindset and one which must be shared by everyone.  

Introducing Angelique Lecomte, Group Total Quality Manager who started with the organization almost 20 years ago, and is currently playing a key role for driving quality commitment and best practices across all Gantrex operations around the world. From customer service, to sales support, logistics to quality, Angelique has had first-hand experience of many aspects of the Gantrex operations, so there are few better placed to share their views on what quality looks like – inside and out.

Angelique, you have enjoyed a long and varied career with Gantrex. What is it about the organisation that has kept you loyal to the brand for so long?

That’s right, I joined Gantrex straight out of university in 2005 and have been fortunate to work across a variety of roles within the organization that have given me a great insight that I am able to use in my role today. Since 2020 I have held the position of Group Total Quality Manager, in which I am responsible for the continuous quality improvement functions across the Group, looking specifically at process management, business practices and operational excellence.

So, what’s kept me here for so long? Being part of the Gantrex team has given me great opportunities, gaining so much experience of international business, meeting and learning from colleagues across the world. And with those have come the challenges and opportunities that keep my role diverse, ever changing and most of all motivating.

I also am very proud of the work that I do. Looking back on my career, I am fortunate that I can pinpoint a number of times over the last 17 years where I have worked on projects that make me really proud. One of the more recent ones was the creation of a new library of Group Policies and Procedures that we developed. This has been a significant project in terms of size and complexity involving multiple stakeholders. We’ve only been able to complete it by coming together and working across the organization to define our business processes, identifying optimal solutions, assigning responsibilities and accountability, and finding synergies across the Group. Learning from others is always interesting, however trying to cover all scenarios was not without its challenges too.

What are the key market forces that are driving your activity at the moment?

In the current context of rising costs, logistics shortages and production breakdowns, our main challenge is to maintain optimum quality delivery and experience for our customers. Our ability to provide accurate and timely quotes and responses to tenders, investigate alternative sourcing opportunities, reorganizing logistics flows, meeting delivery dates and job completion commitments, these are all areas which directly impact the quality experience we deliver.

The intrinsic quality of our products is, of course also key. Alongside quality service and installation, our products must do the job they are designed to do. That is a given and we know that the replacement of rail tracks is costly, timely and detrimental to the operational efficiency of any project.

How do you motivate your team and colleagues to make sure quality stays a top priority?

Quality is very top down and bottom up within the business. Gantrex is committed to continuous improvement, whether it be through our technical, operational or customer service delivery. Every department is tasked to continuously strive for better, finding new and innovative ways to do things and keep quality front of mind at all times. We are continuously searching how to do better. The knowledge sharing across the Gantrex Group is key, as well as strong training program given to new employees .

For my part, I see my role as one where I inspire or train my colleagues to be the very best, to produce the very best work and to build quality into our culture. Quality achievement is a mindset that must be shared by everyone.  Every single employee must understand what “quality” within their scope of responsibility looks like. When everyone is aware about the role that they play in building a quality product or service, and what they must deliver to allow quality to continue in the next stage of a process, then  we create quality through the value chain. Ultimately, customer satisfaction, within and outside of our organization is our motivation.

And what do you think quality means to our customers?

From the customers perspective I believe that quality means security, efficiency and cost optimization across their crane rail operations.  Poor quality product means risk to the workers’ safety.  Poor quality service, such as when a delivery date is not achieved, installation is delayed or products are not compliant, has a direct impact on customers’ operations. In such instances quality has a direct bearing on cost, both good and bad, and the most common scenarios of poor quality are those where production is affected, operations are disrupted and the financial impacts can be very severe.

As you approach two decades with Gantrex what are you most excited about in the next few years?

I’m really interested in the development of the Gantrex Group, be that through acquisitions or new company start-ups. I am excited to see how new opportunities are integrated into our worldwide organization: the worldwide spread of new technical knowledge and products, defining a new operating model, aligning processes and all other aspects of business growth. I’m also in charge of the “Gantrex Greenhouse” project. The scope of the project is to measure  and reduce our carbon footprint.  What makes it so exciting is that this is not a “green washing” announcement, but facts based actions with concrete objectives and deliverables. This challenge is totally in line with my personal values and one which I am very much looking forward to helping embed throughout the business.