Meet Pierre Seynhaeve, Shop Foreman
When it comes to the role of elevator interior shop foreman, Pierre Seynhaeve is responsible for a lot.
From overseeing production of the metal, panel, ceiling, CNC, and custom departments, to staff training and scheduling, participating in daily Gemba walks, and improving efficiencies with the quality assurance, maintenance and engineering departments, Pierre does whatever it takes to keep things moving forward.
But, with his calm and humble demeanor, he takes on the complex role with ease and appreciation.
“I love a good challenge,” he says. “Every day there is an opportunity to come to work and make things better. We want to manufacture high-quality products in an efficient and safe way. It’s fun to work on improving our processes and getting the flow right.”
Pierre’s focus on creating and providing quality products started at an early age. Originally from France, Pierre graduated from a specialized trade school called Les Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France. While there, he pursued cabinet-making and woodworking and was selected to work as a high-end cabinet-maker for a company in the United States.
In 2013, after several years honing his impressive skills in the workforce, Pierre joined SnapCab and became part of the research and development and production teams.
“That position became very busy,” he laughs. As SnapCab grew, so did Pierre’s role and soon he was offered the position of shop foreman.
“It’s exciting to know you’re leading a process,” Pierre says. “One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing my teammates grow their skills. When I see people getting better at their jobs it means we are doing the right things.”
SnapCab General Manager and Pierre’s direct supervisor, Joe Danko, mirrored this sentiment and credits Pierre for his leadership and mentoring skills.
“Something that I really admire about Pierre is his humility,” Joe says. “He’s so humble for someone who is so experienced in his craft.
“When I first met Pierre, I was absolutely impressed by his knowledge and skill, but what struck me, even more, was the way he coaches others,” he adds. “It speaks highly to his willingness to be extremely supportive of employees. He wants to make sure employees have what they need to be successful.”
Coincidentally, that’s exactly what Pierre said he likes most about working for SnapCab.
“SnapCab is supportive in many ways, including always making sure I get the training I need to do the best job,” Pierre says. “They didn’t just give me the position and tell me to go. They provided me with six months of lean manufacturing training, and I’m part of lean business group that meets once every two months.
“Plus, two years ago I had the opportunity to learn more about lean manufacturing in Japan,” he adds. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and amazing training. I’m now trying to support everyone in every way I can.”
Pierre continually draws upon his lean training to improve processes and educate others.
“Lean manufacturing is not only about big machinery or general flow,” he says. “It’s also about the details. Small improvements that take two minutes to complete can sometimes have a bigger impact than purchasing expensive equipment.”
For example, recently a technician developed a lean solution by creating a specialized tool from a scrap piece of plywood and some strategic cuts. The tool will help him properly measure a specific product from here on out. In only a few minutes of creative thinking, the technician now has a mistake-proof process.
“Lean manufacturing only works if everyone is engaged through the company from top to bottom, left to right,” Pierre says. “At SnapCab, we have a lean mindset.”
When he’s not at work, Pierre spends his time with his wife Shannan and daughters Isabella and Ariana, as well as swimming and playing soccer.
And, you can rest assured that whenever Pierre has the opportunity to take an elevator – whether it be in a hotel, mall or office building – he takes it.
“There’s no taking the stairs for me,” he laughs. “When I’m in an elevator, I’m looking at every detail for possible improvement. But, if I’m in a SnapCab, I don’t have to worry because it’s always perfect.”