Center for Quality & Process Improvement

Student Spotlight - Alan Parsley


Alan Parsley

Imagine building a machine with 20 people who all spoke different languages. For Alan Parsley, human resources manager at Saft, every day can emulate this very scenario.

Saft, a French company, has been a world leader in high tech battery systems for more than 100 years. With headquarters in Paris and offices in operation in 19 countries around the globe, its workforce is as dynamic as its product line. Though the company has operations in aerospace, military, rail, transportation and telecommunications, the Jacksonville branch focuses solely on lithium ion energy storage.

“We work with municipalities and corporations,” explains Parsley. “Greening is what we call it: wind and solar energy development, helping to stabilize the grid.”

To ensure exceptional service and product performance, the company rolled out “Saft World Class,” a continuous improvement program aimed at raising performance and providing customers with better products and services.

“Bringing in all of our industries to work together under our World Class program…we needed a common language,” said Parsley. “That’s where Bob [Wood] stepped in to help.”

When Saft sought out new office locations, among the many reasons the company chose Jacksonville were the public-private partnerships between local businesses and public organizations.

“University of North Florida’s role in the community, the City of Jacksonville and JAXUSA partnership really enticed the company,” he continued. “As members of Jacksonville Lean Consortium, we met Dean Wood. He’s good at what he does and immediately started working with us to figure out what we needed.”

Within a few months, the company was offering ISO 9001 classes in conjunction with the Saft World Class program. The results began to show.
“We’re seeing common language and active problem-solving teams,” Parsley shared. “It’s an additional tool in the toolbox.”

“Saft has limitless potential,” said Robert [Bob] Wood, dean of the Division of Continuing Education. “Alan [Parsley] already understood what continuous improvement programs should look like, having worked for Toyota for 20 years. He just needed a resource to help add it to his team’s toolkit. That’s what we are here to do.”

-Written by Jessica Scott