Jeff Snopkowski joined the Rochester Precision Optics team in April 2015 after 8 years with another optics company. When he heard about the open position at RPO, he was excited about the opportunity to join a company that was poised for growth. We spoke with Jeff about how he’s improving manufacturing processes at RPO and what customers can expect.
What do you bring to RPO that’s most impactful?RPO is a small company that is working to become a big company. My focus has been on improving our systems and assembly practices. So much of the industry is a job shop. We can’t do that if we want to achieve real growth. My job is to spot what’s needed in different departments and make those improvements. It’s about developing repeatable processes.
What are some new or growing areas of the company?
Optical assembly is one of the most important areas of the business, and plastic optics is a big area of growth. Just in the last year, we doubled our number of molding machines. We have a full team of dedicated people in assembly, helping to assemble the optics and plastic parts to make the systems.
What is the payoff to customers?Process improvement supports on-time delivery and quality of delivery. If we don’t have good parts, we don’t make our delivery dates. We are working to get ahead on customer programs and catalog lenses, to ensure we can meet emerging demands. We currently carry safety stock for some customers, and we do have inventory for catalog lenses so we can ship quickly.
As an ISO certified company, are you making any changes to your quality systems?
We just completed our ISO audit successfully. Currently we are certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standards. We’ve looked at the 2015 standards and are already in great shape to transition. ISO provides the basic parameters, but we are working to far exceed them.
What should customers expect from a manufacturer?
Good communication is essential. There should be clear communication about specs as well as delivery expectations, and the manufacturer should inform the customer of any changes or issues with their product. On-time delivery should also be expected.We work as true partners with market leaders, from design to prototype, through high volume production. Our ability to scale is critical, and we have proven it on some of the most visible programs in the field today. Our improvements in the past year have been to ensure that as we grow, we can bring that same level of excellence to every program that we take on.