A day in the life… the lens manufacturer

Tony Calvo is the operations manager for Optimum RX Lens Specialists, who manufacture and supply prescription lenses to opticians, hospitals and laboratories throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

What do you do? 

I’m responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly in the production process, coordinating different aspects of manufacturing, making sure we meet quality standards, stay on schedule, and manage resources efficiently.

How do you start your working day? 

It usually begins with a hot coffee while I review the production schedule and check in with the team. I make sure our managers understand their tasks for the day and that all equipment is maintained in good working order. It’s important to start every day with a clear plan to avoid any hiccups in the manufacturing process.

What do you love about your role?

The satisfaction of seeing a tricky lens product come together successfully, with all departments playing their parts in the process. My goal is to help the business succeed in its vision to enhance the quality of people’s lives by continually developing and encouraging our team to push the boundaries of manufacturing techniques.

What are the challenges?

Everyday there is a new one! But one of the main challenges is balancing different priorities. We need to meet production deadlines while maintaining high quality standards. Unexpected issues, such as  equipment malfunctions or supply chain disruptions, can also add complexity to the job. Flexibility and problem-solving skills are crucial in overcoming these challenges.

What do you end with each day?

I review the progress we made. I check if any issues arose during the day and document them for future reference. It’s important to look back at tasks that I have done for the day, carry over anything that wasn’t completed, and add anything else that the team may need my support with.

Any tips for someone looking to follow the same path?

If you’re interested in a role like mine, you need to develop good organisational and communication skills. Being able to work well in a team is crucial, as manufacturing involves collaboration between different departments. Learn about the industry and stay updated on new technologies that can improve the manufacturing process. 

Internships or entry-level positions in a manufacturing environment can provide valuable hands-on experience and help you understand if this is the right career path for you.