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James Smith: Today we`re talking to John Knox about the structure of Biopaints plc (public limited company). John`s the General Manager of the Bath factory. John, do you think you could tell us something about the way Biopaints is actually organized?
John Knox: Yes, certainly. We employ about two thousand people in all in two different locations. Most people work here at our headquarters plant. And this is where we have the administrative departments, of course.
J.S. Perhaps, you could say something about the departmental structure?
J.K.: First of all we`ve got four main divisions. There`s the production division which, as the name suggests, is responsible for production operations. We`ve got two factories – one here in Bath, and the other in Lille, France. Philippe Rochard is the other General Manager, there in Lille.
J.S. And you`re completely independent of each other, is that right?
J.K. Oh, yes. Our two plants are fairly independent. I mean, I am responsible to Bill Williamson, the Production Manager, and we have to cooperate closely with Helga Meier, the Marketing Manager.
J.K. But otherwise, as far as day to day running is concerned, we`re pretty much left alone to get on with the job. Oh, I forgot to mention the most important division of all – that`s finance. The Financial Director is Fred Rasmussen. His task is to make sure the money-side of things is OK. The accountant and such people, they report to him directly.
J.S. Is that all? Um.
J.K. Oh no! There`s personnel.
J.K.That`s quite separate. David Hopper is Personnel Manager. And the Training Manager reports to him of course.
J.S. But I imagine that a firm such as your own has smaller departments within the divisions?
J.K. Oh, yes. That`s the case. I mentioned that we are fairly independent.
J.S. What about Research and Development? Isn`t that a separate department?
J.K . Well, in terms of the laboratories, there is on at each production plant. But it`s a department in the production division and it has a single head. And that`s Piet van De Geer.
J.S. Are there any other features worth mentioning?
J.K. Well, if we take our division, which of course I know best, we`ve got several other departments, which al report to Bill Williamson and which I am responsible for on this site. Now there`s the Planning department. Ray Wood is in charge of that. And a purchasing department. They buy in the materials for production.
J.S. Yes, and what about the board of directors and the chairman?
J.K. Well, they are at the top, aren`t they of course? I mean a couple of the executives are directors themselves
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