A Day in the Life: Keith Shoemaker

Keith Shoemaker

In a company as diverse in people and professions as MPW, it’s easy for all employees to settle into their immediate surroundings and lose touch with what other departments do on a regular basis, even on the same campus. Per reader request to focus more upon all MPW employees, sometimes all we need to bridge this gap is to experience ‘A Day in the Life’ through our co-workers’ eyes.

Kenworth Operations Manager Keith Shoemaker looks forward every day to making, um…stuff happen! “The management team at MPW-Kenworth is the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” he said. “They will help you out no matter what and mentor you to make you a better manager. In the words of a few wise men, ‘MSH’ is a great phrase that drives me every day.”

Shoemaker said his co-workers make all the difference. “The audit, janitorial, and fabrication team works hard no matter what I have them do, and they always exceed mine and the customers’ expectations,” he said. “The PPS (paint stripping) team in Fairborn is a great team to work with. No matter how much product I ship them, they always get it turned around.”

The day begins very early for an operations manager, usually with a review of the previous night’s work. “Every morning when I get to Kenworth, I will get with the third shift team to make sure everything went well that night, read my emails, get my daily customer reports ready and report to the morning customer meeting by 6:30 a.m.,” Shoemaker said.

“After the meeting with the customer I have another meeting with my fabrication team to let them know if there were any customer requests and to get a game plan together for the day,” Shoemaker said. “And then I will make sure everyone has the proper PPE they need and take inventory on all of the fabrication parts.”

Shoemaker wraps up his morning searching for and collecting paint-covered or damaged dollies and skids. The paint-covered equipment is shipped out to the PPS Fairborn plant for paint-stripping. From there, an operations manager’s day picks up its pace.

“So, in a nutshell I will check on the various projects and quotes that I’m currently working on, including any extra weekend work that needs to be scheduled and planned,” Shoemaker said. “I’ll go through Kenworth blueprints to pull out any parts we need to repair any fixtures onsite.”

Next, Shoemaker will meet with the customers to get process and procedures in place for fixture repair or paint removal, or to help them solve any problems they have. “Then I try to get supplies ordered, repair any broken equipment and perform preventive maintenance on equipment onsite,” he said.

Shoemaker, who has been with MPW-Kenworth for 15 years, said Facility Supervisor Doug Wright inspired him to become an operations manager. “I watched Doug for years, interfacing with the customers, getting jobs scheduled and getting everything we needed to get the job done,” Shoemaker said. “After I became a supervisor, Doug took me under his wing and taught me the art of operations managing.”

Were Shoemaker to advise someone on becoming an operations manager, he’d tell that person, “Know your contracted scope work inside and out and have a positive attitude every day. I believe with the high quality of work we perform for the customer and the new contracts the MPW-Kenworth team is gaining, the future looks bright for both companies.” But, that doesn’t mean any of it can be taken for granted. “At the end of the day, I make sure I tell my employees ‘Thank you’ for all your hard work, and to have a good rest of your day,” Shoemaker said

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