Over the past couple of years, we have found ourselves in a state of continuous learning at Breiner Non-Metallics through the direction of Joe Lucas. Joe is the eternal theoretician, constantly reading, learning, growing. Since taking the helm in 2015, he has consistently sought improvement for the company.
At the end of August, Joe, Jake Lucas and Sean Hartman spent four intense days and evenings at an event called StratPlan. On the surface, StratPlan is similar to any other corporate off-site strategy session. Jake and Sean assumed we would go off-site for a few days with Joe to focus our efforts and energy at what we can do to improve the company and keep the momentum moving forward. Simple enough.
For this “retreat,” the plan was to work as a small group with business guru Chris LoCurto and his team in Franklin, TN, and hopefully come back to Indiana better off than when we left.
Our goal was to help develop us as a leadership team to discover improved ways of operating and organizing the company. How can we become a better company – better to our customers and better to our team members? The process seemed simple enough: drive to Tennessee, spend four days with Chris and his team, and learn some tricks of the trade. If that’s all it had been, we would have happily declared mission success.
But it was much more.
As a leadership team, we went through frustration, confusion, excitement, rejuvenation, growth and relief. They ran us through the grinder to sharpen our skills, enhance our focus, and develop us as leaders. We learned about communicating on an entirely new level. We each discovered some uncomfortable things about ourselves in an effort to learn, grow, and improve.
When we left, we left understanding ourselves better, individually and as a team. And we left with a plan. A direction. A vision.
We returned to Indy with a renewed sense of where we want to go as a company. It’s not simply about growing in terms of revenues and profits. Our Stratplan journey helped us discover where we have holes in our processes, or as Joe likes to say, “opportunities for improvement.”
We discovered that we do a lot of things right, but we have so much more that we can achieve. It has been very exciting to realize that, though we have 70 years under our belt as a company, we were still learning. Still changing.
We are really just getting started.
It’s all about growing with our team members. We are blessed to have a dedicated crew averaging 23 years on the job experience. The team spends as much or more time with us than they do with their families. Improving the workplace improves their quality of life. It helps us grow as a company, as an extended family.
As we grow, we are able to add new team members to the mix. We are able to hire someone who needs a job or needs a better place to work. And, if we do things right, we are honored to contribute to improving their lives and the lives of their families.
It’s about growing with our customers. Like us, every one of our customers is in business to be profitable. And, like us, every one of our customers have experienced poor customer service from vendors.
Although it may sound cliché, we provide very good customer service. We expect to get even better. Life is too short to not enjoy it. If, through our efforts and systems, we can make the day a little bit better for our customer by providing extreme customer service and, at a minimum, eliminate the stresses caused by late shipments, quality rejections, and mistakes on paperwork, then we are happy to be a part of that.
Ultimately, we went to Tennessee with the hopes of seeing how we can grow a company. We left creating a vision dedicated to improving the lives of our fellow team members and our customers. If our company happens to grow in the process (which it will), that’s just a bonus!
Interested in working with a company invested in mutual growth and success? Give Breiner Non-Metallics a call today.