Q: You originally came to BRPH as a Project Manager for aviation clients. What was your favorite part about working on Manufacturing projects with these types of companies?
A: The first time I walked into a 787-fuselage facility, just the overall scale of the product, equipment and facility was a bit intimidating but also fascinating. This was my first project with BRPH and seeing and gaining the understanding of the overall aircraft assembly production process was incredible. But my favorite part of the position is having the opportunity to work with such innovative companies and incredibly smart people in the overall team environment. It is all about the people both internally and externally to the project and I have the fortune of working with the best in the business.
I also enjoy the fact that at BRPH, we utilize lessons learned on one project to benefit the next – and we like to challenge our clients’ initial assumptions going into a project, which always results in the best outcomes for everyone.
Q: As our VP of Manufacturing, where do you think the industry is headed in the years ahead and how can AEC firms like BRPH help?
A: Lean and smart manufacturing are where the industry is headed. Today, it’s all about efficiency – getting a facility up and running quickly and with minimal impact to the bottom line. Also, the emergence of “smart factories.” These facilities are getting more and more automated, which can greatly reduce production times and costs. The ‘Speed to Market’ mentality will continue as we are seeing more and more clients approaching us needing turnkey solutions with the request of how fast can we deliver the design and implementation of a facility. Helping our clients as early as possible with the site selection, conceptual and process layout, and initial cost estimating services is advantageous helping to jump start the project delivery and help educate our clients with upfront planning when it comes to schedules and budgets.
Q: Are there any manufacturing clients you’ve worked with in your time at BRPH that have had a unique approach to lean manufacturing? Can you tell us a little about them?
A: Our manufacturing clients are transforming their factories continuously. Production lines that used to contain static are now moving to fully automated, modernized lines, with increased efficiencies and in turn increasing rates. For example, when we designed Boeing’s Charleston-based Final Assembly Building, we worked hand in hand with Boeing engineers and tooling vendors for full integration and a facility design that allowed for future expansion. This effort and process implemented for Boeing Charleston is now being translated into their facilities in Everett, Washington.
Q: What do you think makes the BRPH approach with clients unique?
A: We have a true partnership with our clients – we don’t simply design and execute plans. We help clients evaluate the logistics of a project before any design takes place and provide recommendation to best deliver their project. For example, we often start by helping them find the right site and assist with determining the most optimal way to flow their product in and out of a facility with the greatest efficiency. When it comes to the client customer and workforce, we work with our client stakeholders to fully understand day to day operations to provide the best possible experience for how people will interact with the facility, the product and the production process.
We know how our clients’ businesses work and what they expect. Companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Gulfstream and Embraer trust us and have confidence in the fact that we bring value and can deliver and in what will best serve their stakeholders.
Watts is an industry leader with over 20 years of experience in design and project management. As Vice President and Director of Manufacturing, she manages opportunities for the company within the rapidly evolving manufacturing market. She oversees BRPH’s extensive aviation, industrial and automotive market sector projects and clients across the globe.