3 April 2024

1M13, April 2024 – Samba NIANE, Industrialization Manager

The port of call for this month’s interview is the Crusta C L'Isle Jourdain site, where we introduce you to Samba NIANE! 

He first arrived at Crusta C on an internship towards the end of his studies in 2011. He later joined the Quality department and then R&D-Industrialization. He now occupies the position of Industrialization Manager. 

How would you describe your typical working day?

My working days vary a great deal depending on how much progress has been made on the various projects I’m currently working on and whether I’m travelling or not. I could be at the office all day, working on a preliminary study to assess a product’s suitability to be mass-produced, looking at another project, drawing up specifications, approving technical drawings, meeting contractors etc. Then there are days spent ‘in the field’: industrial trials, pre-acceptance testing of equipment, testing out new technologies or methodologies with a view to improving our processes and procedures, testing process parameters etc.

What projects are you currently working on?

Amongst other things, I’m working on more eco-friendly packaging: replacing EPS (Expanded Polystyrene), ensuring our packaging is in line with changes in regulations and even keeping ahead of the curve in this field. 

I’m also working on implementing a new process in the raw products workshop on the Boulogne-sur-mer site. 

In a few words, describe your role to us.

  • Balancing: I try to balance the wishes and demands of partners with the capacities and specific characteristics of our processes and our sites. 
  • Supporting: I always put my experience at my teams’ disposal to help them understand where our processes have not worked as they ought and to make improvements to these processes. 
  • Anticipating: using stringent test protocols so there are no nasty surprises awaiting our teams when using products or materials for the first time. 

What are the key challenges or goals you have at work?

  • Maintaining standards in terms of process control and applying this across all sites for greater efficiency,
  • Helping to ensure our products are of the best possible quality (reducing salt content, keeping on top of microbiological risks…). 
  • Staying ahead of the game as environmental standards change and technology advances. 

If you could choose anyone at all to be your mentor, who would it be? 

From a career perspective, it would definitely be Pierre Pont, (Director of the Boulogne-sur-mer & Arras sites), who taught me lots of things, three of which are particularly helpful: be methodical (even when under pressure), stay rooted in facts and be clear, never tell yourself that something is impossible. 

In my personal life, my mentor would be Ahmadou Bamba who built a society based on discipline, hard work, cooperation and humility. These are my guiding principles. 

What do you like best about your work? 

My work is like a never-ending journey towards the unknown, whether we’re talking about implementing a new process (we never know how long it will take for it to work as it’s designed to), analyzing a process that’s not working as it should or using a new material (organic or non-organic). I like this journey into the unknown, so I like everything about my job. 

Which professional achievement are you most proud of? 

I don’t know if I can really speak of professional achievements given that I haven’t yet got where I want to be. However, I’m proud of having played a part in implementing the process control policy which was started by senior management at the Boulogne site and which helped us improve our performance in key areas (output, microbial safety etc.). I’m also proud of having contributed to getting the Arras site up and running, but above all, I’m proud of implementing new mono-material packaging! 

What advice would you give to new team members? 

I would advise new team members to take the initiative and be curious about how things work. To use their own intellectual powers to find out the truth, not to be put off at the first obstacle, whilst acknowledging the work and achievements of those who’ve gone before you. 

April’s question: Easter falls in April this year – which delicious treat are you unable to resist? 

Coming from Senegal, when you mention Easter, the first flavour I think of is a dessert called ‘Ngalakh’. It’s a millet-based dish made from baobab fruit, nutmeg, milk, sugar, peanut paste and raisins. It’s not just tasty, it’s also a symbol of unity and solidarity between Muslim and Christian communities in Senegal. 

We’d like to thank Samba for agreeing to take part in our April interview! 

If you would like to read more interviews, take a look at our blog

If you would like to join our team, feel free to check out our vacancies. If you’d like to send in a speculative application, just click here.


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