Painting: A Production Manager’s Q&A
Production managers are usually passionate about systems, symmetry, and productivity — but we wanted to know more about their approach to achieving amazing painting results. New Approach sat down with our production manager, Karlynn, to get an insight into a typical day of and what it takes to create a painting environment that promotes growth and motivation while reaching ambitious production goals.
Karlynn was born in London and lived there for a good portion of his youth. He now resides in Ayr, Ontario and commutes to KW after taking on the production manager at New Approach Painting in January 2019.
Karlynn: I have been with New Approach on and off for five years this August, and I’ve always kept a close relationship with Jordie and other crew members throughout the years. The team has always supported me and coming back to this position and I have the full trust of my bosses who share in my wins and losses equally.
What does your typical day look like as production manager?
My typical day will actually start the night before. I will look at all the projects that are either scheduled to begin or finish the next day, and I begin allocating our crews to the jobs.
On the day, I will arrive at New Approach before the crews to develop a smooth and clear plan for each team member as they walk through the door. I’ll let each person know where they are headed, what they are scheduled to do for the entire day, and how to best succeed. Once all the crews arrive, we pack supplies and then head out to jobs with clear, concise work orders in hand.
Throughout the day I’ll go from project to project with one main task in mind — remove deficiencies and help make the team’s jobs easier. I personally put a major emphasis on ensuring our team artisans only need to focus on the task at hand. Any roadblocks that present themselves are mine to deal with so they can focus on nothing but their craft.
Once things are running smoothly, I will meet with our GM for site tours, interviews, and game planning for the days and weeks ahead.
Communication is key so I make myself available to the crews for the rest of the day and into the evening, when the cycle starts again.
How do you ensure quality across all phases of production?
I ensure quality production through all phases by developing a clear game plan. I try to give the crew a detailed bird’s eye view of the entire project start to finish. After they see the whole vision I will spend time going over the details with each individual crew member and lay out their specific role in accomplishing the project.
During production, I encourage each member to make note of at least one thing we can improve going forward.
After we wrap-up a project, I will book a meeting room where team members can write anonymous tips on the communication board outlining any deficiencies so we can tighten things up the next time around.
Communication, careful planning, and hardworking, positive teammates help production at New Approach.
What are the top three tips you give to new painters in order to succeed?
When on-boarding New Approach painters, we look for character and personality over skillset. Good people can learn the skills. Skilled people learning how to work as a team is much more difficult.
I encourage new hires no matter the skill to do a few things, including:
- Remain positive
- Respect each other
- Try hard
How do you motivate your team?
I don’t think that you can’t motivate an entire team with one blanket method. What I try to do is continue what this small company has been built on — strong long-lasting relationships.
If I have an independent relationship with each member of our team and can find ways to make us work for them and tap into their search for happiness, then I can motivate them.
If we work together and New Approach can help them with their goals, then we can be motivated together.
I love seeing people take initiative and realize their efforts mean something. At New Approach, the person you are and your track record of honesty and integrity matter.
What is the best way to manage your time effectively as a painter?
Be prepared, have all the tools and supplies on your person, and develop a plan of attack and communication. You need to communicate with your team and management. If everyone knows their role, then time is a much easier thing to manage.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I was fortunate enough to travel to South East Asia for all of 2014-2015. It was a great experience, full of character-building and irreplaceable memories.
Do you have a secret skill?
I can speak enough Thai to order a meal and carry on a basic conversation at a Thai restaurant — this is always a hit with the wait staff.
What are you addicted to?
I am addicted to self-improvement. Sometimes I’m overly self-critical, but it’s part of the reason I was so attracted to New Approach Painting. New Approach provides me with a way to constantly try to improve and help others do the same.
What personality trait do you value most?
Loyalty and honesty. If someone shows me even the slightest bit of loyalty I will give it back tenfold. Someone who is honest with me (even if the information is hard to hear) is very difficult to come by, so I appreciate that.
If you are looking for beautiful results for your next painting project, contact the experts at New Approach Painting. Our amazing production manager will make sure your project looks fantastic.