We’ve been having a little fun too
BUILDING POWERFUL ALIGNMENT WITH CHARLOTTE PIPE
Matt McGeehan, Management Trainee, San Antonio
Anyone who has been with Hajoca more than a week probably knows that one of the habits of world class leaders is building
powerful alignment. We work to align ourselves with our customers, teammates, and vendors. In
May 2018, management trainees from around the country were invited to North Carolina to strengthen
our relationship with one of our strategic partners, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry.
According to Rick Fantham, the full power of alignment comes when the partners adopt each other’s goals as their own. “People
will work harder for their own ideas than yours.” Throughout the week, we were visited by top
executives who made it clear how important it was for Charlotte Pipe to help Hajoca reach our
goals. Their commitment of information and resources makes it clear how highly they value their
partnership. Charlotte’s product knowledge trainers, Brian Connor and Brain Helms, were amazing
hosts. Their excitement for cast iron and plastic made a potentially dry subject into a very
entertaining education. The mix of classroom instruction and hands on training helped us become
more valuable partners to Charlotte and our own customers. We got the chance to put our knowledge
to the test by plumbing a mock house. Judging by the number of leaks, it is probably for the
best that we don’t have to make practical use of our new knowledge for a living.
The highlight of the trip was touring the manufacturing facilities. The only thing more impressive than the towering cupola
and state of the art injection molding machines was the Charlotte family at the heart of the
processes. Whether teammates were stamping their name on freshly extruded pipe or bragging about
how many times they had been splashed by molten iron, the passion for their product was obvious.
The tours really underscored the importance of hiring the right people and showed it is the foundation
of success in any industry.
Thanks to our wonderful hosts at Charlotte Pipe and Foundry! It was a great chance to exhibit our shared values and find
ways to strengthen our relationship. Not only was this trip a tremendous opportunity to strengthen
our partnership with one of our key vendors, but it was also a chance to...
Network with the leadership at Charlotte Pipe. You never know when you will need to ask some of these key players for advice
or help in the future.
Share experiences and seek advice from other trainees helping me to refine my sales strategy
as I develop an account base in Austin.
Develop the contacts and resources for the times when we have questions about products. In
dealing with our customers, it’s not always about having the right answer all of the
time but knowing where to find the right answer.
See and hear about the similarities in core values and culture that both our companies share.
It was evident that they also invest a great deal in the people part of their business
and take pride in their track record to retain their employees.
VENDOR MEETING AT HORSESHOE BAY
In October, 2016 I had the distinct pleasure of attending our strategic vendor meeting at the Horseshoe
Bay Resort in Marble Falls, TX. This was the perfect venue for hosting a group of individuals
that included our PCMs, Management Trainees, and our closest vendors. The overarching theme of
the three day conference was to work together in developing a pathway to achieve our mutually
beneficial goals. I'm always amazed and encouraged by our company's emphasis on the importance
of relationships, not only with our customers, but also with our vendors and manufacturers.
Our week started with a friendly competition among the management trainees on the Horseshoe Bay professional
18 hole miniature golf course. The camaraderie is second to none; we always have a blast when we get
together even though we are spread out across the state. We spent the following morning with a few of
our strategic vendors discussing the importance of vendor-supplier relationships focusing on how we can
better serve each other's strategic priorities. The afternoon comprised a trade show where we were able
to spend more time with vendors as they showcased their products. The evening ended perfectly with a
catered alfresco dinner with the entire group.
The final two days of our vendor meeting consisted of round table discussions with our key vendor partners.
I have never seen such willingness and commitment by so many organizations to find mutually beneficial
pathways to growing business together. This is what makes our company unique. We realize it's not just
about us and that it takes the entire supply chain working together to be successful. I can't forget
mention that the trip wasn't all business and we always find a way to infuse some fun into our trips.
In between round table discussions, we had our choice of playing a round of golf on one of Horseshoe
Bay's four beautiful courses or competing in a skeet shoot - no poor choices there.
Rich Stokes, Management Trainee, Austin
DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR VENDOR PARTNER, DELTA FAUCET CO.
This month I had the privilege of traveling to Indianapolis, Indiana to visit Delta Faucet Company
with a large group of trainees from Moore Supply Co. Personnel from the sales teams of Delta
Faucet and Southwest Sales, a rep agency in Texas, served as our hosts. The goal for the visit
was to introduce us to the Delta Faucet Company, its values and its culture. After our group
flew in from different areas around the region we met for dinner. This dinner included the CEO,
CFO, and many members of the Delta Faucet Executive team. At this dinner it became very evident
of the value Delta Faucet placed on the business relationship between our two companies.
On day two in Indianapolis our group boarded ground transportation to Delta Faucets home office. As we all
walked into the foyer of their building, we received a standing ovation from those on the Delta team
that were in the building. This represented well over 150 people and lasted for several minutes. We all
felt the genuine desire to continue to grow the relationship between our two companies. The bulk of the
day was spent learning more about their vision and their future. Not only were we given a total overview
of all the lines of faucets they manufacture but we were given a behind the scenes tour into their research
and development departments. After signing confidentiality agreements we were allowed to visit with the
design team and see what faucets they were working on. We held the mock up models and looked at sketches
of new ideas they had. We heard about the methods in which Delta Faucet comes up with new designs to
enhance their offerings to better serve their customers. We were given the ability to see working faucets
side by side and understand the features and benefits of each one. Delta Faucets product offering has
a bright future based on what we all saw and learned.
Delta hosted dinner for us at the brand new facility, Speedway Indoor Karting and 1911 Grill. The business
is just blocks away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and next door to the Dallara race car manufacturing
facility. The Delta team treated us to a large amount of time to drive the karts around the track at
speeds up to 45 mph. Although no records were broken (as well as no bones) we all had a great time. It
was a special treat to meet the owner of Speedway Indoor Karting, Ms. Sarah Fisher, of the Indy Racing
League. For those that don’t follow the sport she was one of the youngest IRL drivers to race the
Indy 500 and had a very successful career before she became one of the first female car owners.
The next day the team from Delta Faucet Co continued to invest in us by providing a half day Franklin Covey
course. This was a huge benefit as we all want to be better stewards of our time in the business and
be able to focus on the priorities of each day. Many long term relationships were formed with the Delta
team that will benefit both companies moving forward as we both continue to grow. Thank you Delta Faucet
for treating us all to a very informative, educational, and fun visit.
Blake Westmoreland- Management Trainee
A GROUP THAT GIVES BACK
In late October I had the privilege of working with my fellow Texas Hajoca trainees volunteering
our time for an amazing organization, Habitat for Humanity. The time together was held in the
north Houston area and included an ample amount of fun, fellowship, and hard work. On the night
of the 28th all Texas Hajoca trainees met at Top Golf for a night of competition and relaxation.
The following day was to be our philanthropy event with Habitat for Humanity.
On the evening of October 28th I met 15 others at Top Golf in Spring and helped kick off our night of festivities.
Think driving range meets dart board. We took a little time to warm up and get comfortable with driving
the ball short and long distances before dividing into teams. Uh oh….teams? That means we get
to compete! We’re all friendly in the group but I’d be lying if I said we all weren’t
secretly wanting to WIN. A little healthy competition is good right? Let’s just say my team didn’t
come in first or last place. Combining the fun we had with the game and the great food, it was a terrific
night. We enjoyed the comradery and friendly competition, but it was also nice to discuss what was going
on in each of our lives personally and professionally. We had some new trainees join the team this year
and we all take pride in welcoming them to the group, learning about them and sharing our journey with
the company thus far.
Thursday the 29th was beautiful. The weather was cool with clear skies and ended up being a perfect day for
some sweat intensive labor. The Habitat for Humanity group had finish out tasks for us to complete for
multiple houses within their housing subdivision. We initially split into three different groups: painting,
assembling blinds, and yardwork. I was chosen to be part of the yardwork crew. We were tasked with creating
a level and clear yard space for new grass sod to be placed at a later date. We grabbed shovels, pitchforks,
and other tools and began tearing up the overgrown weeds. After some time working we realized there was
a large block of concrete that was poured directly in the middle of the yard. Rather than give up we
decided to grab sledgehammers and try to bash it enough to eventually break it all out. Picture a group
of sledgehammer happy guys not wanting to be defeated by a block of concrete. As we took turns swinging
the hammer we quickly realized that we didn’t have the energy or the muscles to clean out the entire
block of concrete within our limited time frame. Since quitting was not an option, we decided that the
next best thing was to rent a jackhammer, because every guy finds an excuse to play with power tools.
One trainee volunteered to grab one from a local hardware store while the rest of us found other jobs
around the jobsite. For the next few hours we continued clearing the yard, laying soil, and busting concrete
with the jackhammer until the task was complete. The other groups were touching up paint and hanging
blinds. We were all extremely satisfied with the progress we had made and that our group helped multiple
families that day. Though our impact may have been small, this event reminded me of some of the best
reasons why I chose to work for Hajoca and why I’m proud to be a part of such an amazing organization.
All of the efforts put forth that day will go a long way for Habitat for Humanity and will help grow
and develop our future leaders within Texas. It was an honor to work alongside my fellow friends for
Habitat for Humanity and I’m greatly appreciative of the opportunity. I’ll be eagerly awaiting
the next philanthropic event we have!
Taylor Gilbert- Management Trainee, Houston
In April I was fortunate enough to travel to Montgomery, AL with my fellow management trainees. The
trip was an educational and relationship building trip to Rheem’s Manufacturing plant.
The trip started off with all of the trainees from Texas flying into DFW Airport and occupying
a single plane to Alabama. It was a cool experience to have the majority of the plane reserved
for just our company. Once on the ground we headed to a welcome dinner hosted by Rheem at Firebirds.
The atmosphere and food were amazing!
On day two the education began bright and early with a recap of Rheem’s history and culture presented
by Matt McLaughlin (National Account Manager) and Jeff Reimer (Region Sales Manager). The plant we were
in had a conference room that was dedicated to the water heaters of the past. I thought it was interesting
to see how technology in the industry had advanced over the years. We continued the day with various
conversations about marketing, technical support, future changes, and a plant tour. If you have never
been inside a live running plant it is something to behold. The temperature had to be well into the 90’s
with fire and huge moving machines around every corner. We were escorted through several of the assembly
lines and saw how the products were made from start to finish. After seeing all of this first hand I
have a new found respect for the people that make the heaters we sell. The night ended with our limos
picking us up for a local minor league baseball game…..did I mention we travel in style? We had
two private suites full catered with snacks and drinks for the evening. We were even slotted for a few
of the wacky events that happen between innings. The group managed to partake in sumo wrestling and a
water relay challenge!
Our last day we headed back to the manufacturing plant for one last experience. Rheem was nice enough to
bring in tankless water heaters and let us strip them down and build them back up. Although I’m
sure those heaters will never work again after we touched them…it was a great experience to see
how these machines operate. It can be challenging to try and sell an item back at the branch when you
don’t know much about it. This experience helped me build some lasting relationships and stack
up my product knowledge on Rheem heaters. It also didn’t hurt that we were able to cut loose a
bit on the trip.
Corey Bugay- Management Trainee, Arlington