Employee Spotlight: Geography Major to Production Planner, Pierre Lavoie

Challenges: they either make you or break you. It’s easy to shy away from them, to resist coming out of your comfort zone, to stay a course. But seeking out a challenge, meeting it head-on, and finding a way to overcome it makes one stronger, resilient, and excited to take on another.

That’s the case with this month’s employee spotlight subject, Pierre Lavoie.

Pierre is Octasic’s production planner. He works closely with the director of production, Louis Riel, to schedule and plan the production schedule and logistics to ensure that products and manufacturing run smoothly and meet their deadlines. Pierre must be aware of all projects within the company, understand when they must be delivered, and create plans for development and materials purchasing to have the correct stock required to complete an order.

Pierre’s typical day includes reviewing any new incoming customer orders first so that he is aware of any impending deadlines or requirements that must be addressed. Depending on the request that has come in from either the sales team or customer service team, he manages the production schedule so that Octasic can meet the needs of the customer. Because he is naturally a team player, being the first to raise his hand and help others, working cross-functionally within the organization is something for which Pierre is quite adept.

But Pierre wasn’t always orchestrating production. He has been with Octasic for two years, having joined the company through a former colleague who thought highly of Pierre’s abilities. That original role was as a purchaser. After a few months, his role began to change, and he took over production planning.

Pierre continues to evolve in his role. In addition to planning production, he was recently responsible for moving the production team into its new workspace. The team had outgrown the space they were in, so Pierre scoped the space needed and organized the transition. Now, he’s focused on helping to open a new Octasic office in Florida. Because Pierre is based in Montreal, this remote plan poses a significant challenge that he embraces.

As Pierre says, “Whenever there's a challenge or, a door to opens, I'll be there.”

While the role was new to Pierre and a departure from the career path he was originally on, the work was not new. Pierre’s father was an entrepreneur, a self-made man, creating a packaging company where optimized operation structure is a key to success. Starting at the age of 14 or so, Pierre worked in the family business during the summers, learning about how the company was run and how important it was to be organized, to manage production appropriately to meet demands. You could say that operations and planning are in his DNA.

What else is in Pierre’s DNA? His passion for sports. He is an avid alpine skier, the seed planted by his family’s fondness for it and engaging in it as the primary family activity. His love for the sport has rubbed off on his six-year-old son, who has been skiing since he was two, and is part of the local racing ski club. Pierre’s skiing adventures have taken him across Canada, the U.S.’s West Coast, and Europe, including the Swiss Alps. Pierre is also a cyclist, having been a member of a support team of a Tour de France team. The need for speed seems to also be in his DNA.

How does Pierre have the energy for his endurance sports? His love of food and cooking help. If he was not working in technology, he would most likely be working in a restaurant, preparing food for others. He’s taken classes and has friends who are renowned chefs in Canada to give him pointers. 

Pierre is excited to be part of the Octasic team because of its potential, its vision for the future, its persistence in becoming a leader in its category. It’s a challenge that he embraces and drives him to work harder every day, especially because things evolve so quickly. He knows his work is important to the company, enabling it to be successful. He’s been part of a much smaller organization that made its growth dreams come true, and he’s hoping to replicate that success here, at Octasic. We hope so too, Pierre, and your work is helping us get there!

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