As a newer member of the RPO team, Kelly La Due has had a big impact since taking on the role of Master Scheduler. Described as a planner extraordinaire, Kelly is preparing RPO for the next stage of their growth and managing their high volume optics programs.
What brought you to RPO?
I worked in the optics industry for years as a Planner/Scheduler, but then moved to Custom Ingredient Manufacturing. I liked the work, but I realized I missed the pace and the complexity of the optics industry. When looking for chances to get back to working in optics, I kept my eye on RPO. I knew they had made a significant investment in their ERP system and that I would be able to apply my previous learning and experience.
After joining RPO, I quickly recognized that they understood the impact and difference a strong organizational system makes. Manufacturing companies need a rigorous ERP system to plan the manufacturing floor in order to meet customer needs and cost demands. If you can’t see it step by step, you’re missing many hidden cost drivers and quality issues. By identifying these pressure points, we can streamline and continuously improve how we get great product out the door.
What are you working on right now?
We’re ramping up, so our focus right now is on strategic planning. We’ve been modeling some new scheduling processes to improve accuracy of lead times and capacity forecasting.
This also helps us to more proactively plan for capital investments in the areas we’re innovating.
We've been working on this for a little while, and it's exciting to see it implemented.
How are these actions improving customers’ supply chains?
Our initiatives are always aimed at improving both internal processes as well as customer supply chains. We’re not looking for a band-aid or quick fix. We know that we are adding value to customer supply chains by ensuring we are operating as efficiently as we can. Every day our team is examining current processes and offering fresh perspectives or new schools of thought on how we're doing things.
Will these changes impact lead times?
We're consistently examining manufacturing floor efficiencies and working to identify constraints. Whether it's eliminating bottlenecks or implementing new guidelines to make certain processes more efficient, we make the changes that are necessary to improve.
By speeding production and improving capacity forecasting, we are improving lead times and improving quote accuracy.
What is your favorite part of your work?
Every day is different and presents a new challenge, which makes my job very exciting. I love that I constantly learn new things and then I get to teach others. The best part is that everything we do is something that makes a person's job easier, and to see their excitement of learning something that makes their day run more smoothly is so satisfying.
I really appreciate how open RPO is to new ideas. When changes are implemented there is always a chance of pushback, but the team at RPO understands that change means improvement. We're constantly redefining what is possible.
When Kelly is not working to improve RPO's efficiencies and operational processes, she's heading to the YMCA, trying her hand at amateur photography, and spending time with her husband and three children. Kelly has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and is looking to get her Master's within the next 3 years.
If you're interested in joining RPO as they ramp up and work to meet the demand in optics, learn more about current career opportunities: