In this Q & A interview with Beth Fenlon, a Project Manager, we discuss some of the highlights about working at Osgood Industries, LLC, a Syntegon Company.
We learn some of the in’s and out’s of what it takes to become a project manager for Syntegon, how we push for the best results for our customers, provide insight about packaging sustainability goals, and what it’s like being a woman in the manufacturing industry. This article also serves as an opportunity to recognize and thank all of the women at Syntegon for their contributions to the manufacturing world for National Women’s History Month.
- Hi Beth! Can you share with us a little bit about your job as project manager at Osgood Industries, LLC, and what a typical day looks like for you?As a project manager, I am responsible for our machines from conception to install at our customers site. This entails working as a line of communication and a liaison between my Osgood team members and our customers to ensure that everyone is on the same page. I am responsible for keeping the project on track and on budget. Weekly, I monitor the timing of tasks as well as the budget, and I track where each internal department is with their aspect of the machine delivery. Additionally, I work with our sales team on project timeline estimates for customer quotes. I believe it is important to involve all the necessary departments so that there is a cohesive understanding between Syntegon and our customers as far as expectations, possibilities, vision, constraints, and what that means for lead times on orders.Every day really is a different surprise though. I do have some typical job duties, which include checking e-mails and voice messages to see if anything new came up throughout the evening. My customers come first, so I prioritize responding to them as quick as possible, which really helps keep them up to date with their projects. It is vital that I work with all of my team members in order to get answers to my questions as they arise, attend meetings, gathering information through the appropriate channels, and drafting reports that really help improve all aspects of project management.
- What are some of the challenges you’d like people to understand about your profession?One of the biggest challenges in my profession is communication and getting team members and customers to understand the importance of it. If I am not aware of details of the project as soon as something comes up, I cannot react as quickly as I would like. It is essential to understand the risks and affect any issue or opportunity has on the project and the customer. As a project manager, we are the representation of Syntegon, and we often have to face the customer with difficult and exciting news, but I really enjoy these challenges.
- As a women in the manufacturing industry, what attracted you to this career? What can you share to empower other women to enter this industry?All I can say is cars! As a young woman, I wanted to work for an automotive manufacturer. I went to school to become a mechanical engineer, but as my career shifted, I started working for a construction company as an office engineer. This is where I gained my exposure to project management and I really enjoyed the work involved in managing a project and estimating new projects.As a woman in the manufacturing field, my advice to other women is do not let your gender stand in your way. I think that women tend to be hesitant when it comes to applying for jobs that are typically male dominated, but know that you have so much to offer. Studies show that women assume that they should fit in to every aspect of a job description before they even apply, whereas men will apply even if they only fit about 40% – 60% of the job description. It is my hope to encourage other women that they too would be a great fit for the engineering and manufacturing world.
- Research has shown that women in the STEM fields, do better if they have a mentor or internship? Did that play a role in the success of your career when you first started?When I first started out, I was lucky enough to earn an internship in college. I worked throughout all four years of schooling while earning my degree. I found that both the men and women I worked with were very willing and supportive to mentor me as I learned to work alongside them. I highly encourage other students to engage with their professors and internship mentors and really take a deep dive into the world you will be working in. Building those relationships helped prepare me as a professional. We even have some interesting internship options offered on the Syntegon website.
- As an expert in your field, what trends or global topics are currently in the spotlight for customers seeking packaging solutions?One of the most interesting trends we see is the shelf life and sealing materials for our dairy and food products. Working with new materials is part of every project we do here at Osgood Industries. We run sealing tests on the new materials in our state of the art laboratory. Our test lab and engineers are ready for the demands of these new materials, and this really helps each customer with their advanced film solutions and sustainable packaging goals.
- What are the wishes you hope to see for the future of the packaging industry?We are always striving to meet the demands of towering topics like global sustainability with our customers. Packaging materials, shapes, and sizes is an ever-evolving world and we really aim to help our customers stay top of mind to their consumer base. It is my hope that with project management, we see exciting changes that help our customer’s brands take their products to the next level with an Osgood Industries packaging solution.
Beth Fenlon’s Bio:
Beth Fenlon’s experience began in September of 1999 when she joined The Timken Company as a mechanical engineering intern. She worked as an intern throughout college and the year following her graduation from The University of Akron in 2002. She has held different types of positions with companies such as Evernham Motorsports, Northrop Grumman, Alcoa, Siemens, and Doosan Bobcat. As she advanced in her career, she also completed her MBA in 2011, with a focus in project management, from the University of Colorado. Beth completed her PMP certification and has gained great experience as a team leader at Osgood Industries, LLC, a Syntegon Company.
Osgood Industries, LLC:
Osgood Industries, LLC, is located in sunny Oldsmar, Florida, and belongs to the Liquid Food division of Syntegon. As the leaders in filling and sealing technology for liquid and viscous food for cups and pre-formed containers, Osgood Industries offers more than 40 years of experience in the food packaging and product safety industry. Supporting our customers to find the right packaging solution for their products, Osgood Industries is at the forefront of packaging technology development in order to help our customers protect their brand with the most stringent hygienic levels available in the market. As a development partner with our customers, we share the journey to a more sustainable future for everyone.
Visit our website to view the Osgood Industries machine portfolio to get more details on a cup-filling machine that will fit your application specific needs.