What does a Quality Control (QC) Manager do?
I oversee the analytical evaluation of the essential oils, aroma chemicals and natural extracts manufactured and handled by Treatt to ensure that all products coming in and going out are compliant with all necessary specifications and legislations.
Together, my team ensures that the products that we purchase are fit for use. We help to direct the right material to the correct application. I also work with the QC team members to help them grow and develop within their roles.
A common misconception when it comes to Quality Control is that the suitability of material for use is a straight forward ‘yes or no’, and that it simply has to pass specification to be considered acceptable for use. However, there is a high level of analytical interpretation required when evaluating products and it is important that we are extremely thorough with our analysis to review all aspects of the material to ensure it is compliant and does not exhibit any signs of adulteration.
How did you get started in Quality Control?
I studied Forensic Science where my passion for chemistry and problem solving became apparent. I was really keen to utilise these skills in the workplace. My first role at Treatt was an analyst position within the QC laboratory where I enjoyed testing the products that we work with and built the foundation of my product knowledge.
I later became a Quality Team Leader where I continued to further develop my product knowledge as well as leadership skills and relationships with individuals across the business. In 2019 I moved into my current role as Quality Control Manager.
What have you been working on recently?
A significant focus of mine is working on the QC evaluation of new products coming online and ensuring that we have the right technology to effectively evaluate the quality.
We continue to look out for new technologies within the industry to maintain the analysis we are performing is to the highest standard and to help us learn more about the natural products we handle and develop.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is the wonderful team that I get to work with on a daily basis. There is a great sense of morale, and although challenges are common, there is nothing we cannot achieve when we pull together and work to ensure that a high-quality output of work is sustained.
I enjoy the broad variety of products that we create and work with at Treatt, and the specific challenges that we face when evaluating natural products.
What are some of the biggest challenges for the industry?
Changing climates is one of the biggest challenges that we face within QC when it comes to procuring and evaluating natural products. Plants of course are natural, living things so temperature fluctuations and environmental phenomena can impact the growing seasons and cause changes in the quality and profile of products.
Working with raw materials from across the globe, we keep abreast of these changes, working closely with other departments at Treatt globally to ensure we continually provide customers with the best quality ingredient solutions they require for their beverage applications.
Any advice for someone thinking of working in Quality?
An enquiring mind is one of the most important qualities a Quality Control analyst can have. If you love problem solving and facing challenges, then working within QC could be for you.
A number of the core competencies required to carry out the analysis are taught, however the desire to delve deeper into the results generated is most definitely a requirement.
While the procedures might apply to a number of product groups, no two days are the same given the variety of products we work with. Having been with Treatt for nearly 8 years, I still feel like there are opportunities to learn every day and there is never a dull moment.
What’s your favourite drink?
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