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Cobham plc





VP Operations, Cobham Defense Systems Division

As the VP Operations for Cobham Defense Systems division, I have a great virtual team to draw on. I work closely with HR and Finance to drive continuous improvement, change and innovation. By combining these resources with Operations and Quality, and by participating together in various training programmes, clear goals are set with insightful action plans. Working in this way has enabled us to consolidate various sites and convert ERPs.


It's all part of continues improvement - a big part of my role. For example, in Davenport, the Engineering department wanted to develop their knowledge base product development (modeled after the Toyota System), which has yielded great results. As significant projects present themselves - such as acquisitions, site consolidations, and large bid projects - the team matures and progresses.


To influence change or communicate corporate initiatives, you have to persuade and convince others to change their behaviours or processes. It's much easier to tell someone what to do and take the responsibility for the outcome. If you're right, it's a success, and if you're wrong, it's a failure. Either way, it's your responsibility and you can influence change quickly.


The most exciting and challenging thing about my role is finding the balance between corporate support and day-to-day P&L management. You find yourself acting as the ambassador and communicator between the Executive group and the general managers. Achieving this balance is critical to success.

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