My Graceco Story
Writing about my experience in Graceco Limited can be likened to writing a best seller book. It is filled with tremendous events, and it entails the good, the bad and the best. I will describe Graceco as a place where the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, a crucial step on my career ladder. It is a company that helped in harnessing and redefining my technical, leadership, management skills and also, polished my relationship with staff and top management.
It all started June 2017, I joined the company as a Mechanical Design Engineer at the age of 24. At this time, I had just my first degree, 2 years of experience and five professional certificates in the bag. This role required that I design and simulate machine parts, create prototypes, oversee design and fabrication projects, interface with OEMs, manage installation and commissioning projects etc. under the supervision of the Director of Engineering, Mr. Tunji Kalejaiye. Just 12 months in the company, the Maintenance Manager role became vacant and I had to step up to fill the vacuum. It was a big shoe to fill for someone that barely understood the modus operandi of all the critical machines at that time, let alone managing people, but the Executive Director believed I could take on the role.
The Maintenance department as at that time could be describe as a “mushroom department”, it was not full-fledged, and it was set-up out of necessity, it consisted of 12 staff. Now, I can proudly say with the full support of a tremendous team and E.D, we have been able to transform the department to a full-fledged Maintenance/Engineering department practicing Reliability Centred Maintenance. As a team we grew together; for every success recorded, we had them documented and carried out a continuous improvement with the aim of improving such processes to have them standardised. We did not at all-time record success, but we never backed down, we remained resilient with the sole aim of getting it right. As a leader I had to introduce a strategy that made my team trust me and remained loyal, this went a long way, and this was with the the support of my Directors. Coaching, career development, personal mentoring were some of the strategies introduced. Structures were put in place too to drive Maintenance and Reliability best practices. We invested in predictive tools, Standardized maintenance processes and procedure (OBM, RCA, SOP, PPE usage, planned work, logs, reports etc.).
My work at Graceco also opened the way to strategic partnership and interaction with training institutes and vendors such as Automation and Engineering Academy (AEA), Institute of Industrial Technology (IIT), Fasco Fabrication and Metal works etc., to mention a few. After 5 years in Graceco Limited, my Profile and Professional Career is now more robust. I have built capacity and developed capability and this have sharpened my skills across board.
Let me take this time to introduce myself to you……….I am Obafemi Oluwatobiloba, a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional certified by the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP), United States of America. I have seven (7) years of experience across three different Industries (Engineering services, Telecommunication and Fast Moving Consumer Goods). I obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, where I graduated top 10% of my class and also bagged a Post-graduate Diploma Certificate in Technology Management from the National Centre for Technology Management where I graduated top 1% of my class with a Distinction. I am a trained Electro-Mechanical Engineer with great automation knowledge. I currently hold 16 professional/Course certificates from various international institutions. Currently, I am the Manufacturing Projects Coordinator for Seven Up bottling company (bottling for PepsiCo International), supporting all projects across the nine (9) plants in Nigeria.
It is a great privilege to have worked in Graceco Limited. Having said all, here is a piece, wherever you are opportune to work, please use the resources at your disposal to learn, and also improve the business. There is a lot you can do within your niche.