Homework features AHAM members’ insights on careers, success, life outside of work, and AHAM membership. This month, we spoke with Tom Siwek, Vice President, Safety, Compliance and CORE Quality, SharkNinja Operating LLC. For AHAM, Tom serves as Chair of the Portable Appliance Division, and AHAM’s Floor Care Engineering Council.
Looking for past issues of HomeWork?
Name three goals (personal or professional) you are pursuing in 2018.
1. I’m striving to improve efficiency in executing international product certifications. Anyone doing business internationally understands that the requirements are more voluminous and complex than those for domestic products. Couple that with the national deviations that many countries still hold and the scheme becomes very complex. I want to get more strategic and efficient in bundling and executing these activities in order to optimize time and money spent.
2. I’m a big believer in global harmonization and have been working as an advocate on AHAM’s Floor Care Engineering Council on global harmonization of the floor care safety standards (UL/CSA/IEC). Designing to a (nearly) common set of standards for the global market will simplify product design and make certifications less complex. We’re going to start exploratory work on this soon and I would like to see us make great strides on this topic in 2019.
3. I stated playing bass guitar in 2018. I am pleased with my progress and look forward towards continued improvement in 2019.
How do you jumpstart your morning?
Because so much is happening overnight in China, I start my morning with a quick glance at my phone to see the latest info and if any early morning meeting requests came though. During my commute, I’ll typically organize my thoughts on to-dos for the day or I may have to jump directly into conference calls with our China team to discuss topics that are critical for the upcoming workday in the U.S.
Predict an innovation that will revolutionize the next generation.
I think we will continue to see great advances in machine learning and behavior prediction. Today, everything from mobile phones to cable boxes to thermostats collect and analyze data to predict likes and anticipate actions based on our daily behaviors. I believe future growth in the efficacy and scale of information collection and analysis will permit great leaps in predicting consumer behavior and responding to it in a value-added way. In time, I believe that most all of our appliances will be functionally centered around analyzing and responding intelligently to our behaviors and patterns. Couple that with IoT connectivity, and products will be able to be continuously improved in a manner that’s transparent to the consumer. This will bring great consumer benefit if done responsibly.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
There are two things that stick with me to this day.
1. The five Ps: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
2. Don’t rush to judgment. Go out of your way to get as many of the facts that you can before passing judgment and/or making a decision.
What home appliance can you not live without?
I don’t have a glass of water or a beverage that doesn’t include a nearly full glass of ice. I’d go nuts without my refrigerator and its top-notch ice maker. This was a major purchasing point when selecting our current fridge.
What do you gain from your involvement with AHAM?
It is great to work with a dedicated group of industry colleagues and AHAM staff that advocate for advances that are centered around the consumer, particularly on the topic of consumer safety. With the legislative and regulatory landscape constantly changing, it takes a group of committed people to monitor, assess and act to ensure that regulations are sensible and appropriate for the marketplace. and the manufacturer. There is strength in numbers, and AHAM plays a central role in mobilizing and guiding the industry to tackle these challenge.
What is your best advice you have for somebody who wants to succeed in the home appliance industry?
Adaptability and resilience are key attributes for succeeding in the consumer appliance industry. Technologies and consumer tastes are evolving constantly, which drives shifts in strategy and planning. You have to be able to roll with the punches and correct course quickly to stay relevant and bring value to an organization. Also, if you enjoy summer recreation, the consumer goods industry would probably not be the best industry to choose. Production ramp-ups for the holiday season mean your summer months will be a very busy time professionally. Not much free time to spend at the beach.
Paulo da Silva