In her own words: Debbie Neal, President, Franklin Industries
What or who fueled your interest in manufacturing?
My dad worked in manufacturing. As a certified public accountant, I wanted to see all aspects of business. These two things moved me into the manufacturing field.
What is your current role in manufacturing?
My current role is President to assist the CEO. I have been with Franklin Industries for 23 years. Over those years I have established digital processes in the company. For example, barcoding and inventory reporting directly from ERP software instead of by spreadsheets. Today as President, I review results of production and sales. I help keep the managers moving forward to achieve department goals and prepare the company for future improvements and adjustments with technology, workforce, processes, market share, and reduction/expansion.
Describe your path to get to where you are today.
I have had the opportunity to be a part of all aspects of the company moving from Controller (safeguarding the company assets) to Chief Financial Officer to President.
What is your Superpower?
Persistence and determination. Persistence to get projects completed despite obstacles. Persistence in communication and asking questions, and to drive everyone to achieve assigned goals.
Why is your role important to others – like to customers or end users?
The company needs the role of President to help the CEO accomplish the daily needs of the company that he’s not able to devote time to. This role also creates structure for all the employees and managers, and has the perspective of what all the parts of the company are doing. I help keep duplication to a minimum among departments and processes with a lean and continuous improvement mindset. If a company cannot keep up, it will not survive. My role is to make sure the company stays competitive and strong in the market.
What do you think the future holds for your career or others you inspire?
My future goal is to get Franklin Industries established as an ISO 9001 company, to upskill interested people to move to the next level in their abilities, and make Franklin Industries the company who creates the best employees in the area. To move the company forward into smarter work processes, not harder. This path will make the company profitable and continue to provide great jobs that support the community.