We’ve been having a little fun too
WHO SAYS PLUMBING
CAN’T BE FUN?
I’m a former Supply Officer in the United States Marine Corps. And when I say former, I mean I just got out last year. One of the things I was afraid I would miss as I said goodbye to all my brothers was the comradery, the closeness, the bond that Marine Corps brothers share because of the service we’ve done and the experiences shared together. While it would be close to impossible to emulate that type of bond just because of the circumstances that create it, my transition to Hajoca and this team of work brothers is pretty darn close. And it’s trips like the one we took last month to the Nibco plant that make me realize this. What a fantastic time together as a group of trainees and an incredible learning opportunity as we learned about the Nibco products, company and culture.
We spent some time with Ken from Nibco who did a fantastic job talking about how the Nibco products are made and also shared his passion for his company and the culture. It was great to see how closely Nibco’s values and overall culture parallel that of Hajoca’s. I love to be hands on and experience things, not just read or observe. So when we toured the factory and learned how to solder, it was exhilarating for me. We broke down ball valves and learned how to properly install them. This was a great experience to learn how time consuming it can be to install basic copper fittings. And I’m going to feel really cool when I can” talk shop” with my customers who come into the counter next week picking up copper fittings. It’s great to be that knowledgeable when I talk with customers. After actually using the fittings we then got to tour the factory where they are made. The tour was incredible and allowed us to see the quality of the raw product that Nibco puts into their finished product and the care that they put into the finished product. There are a lot more steps in the process of making a basic copper 90 than I could have ever imagined.
Our leadership team is great about orchestrating a trip that has learning combined with some fun. We had a great dinner one night at a local tap house and then did a tour of the local breweries in the area the next night. I work at the Corpus Christi location and am the only trainee with the team there in Corpus. So it’s awesome for me to get out and talk to all of the other trainees who are also going through the training program, just at different locations. We crosstalk about different experiences we are all having…sharing funny stories, best practices and blunders that we’ve all had. I joined the team in January of 2017 and this was my 2nd trip with this group.
What a great time and a huge success this was. Grant, Ken and Kevin from Nibco were outstanding hosts. Every day I gained a new perspective on different aspects of the business both from our vendor partner and the other trainees.
James Andrews, Management Trainee, Corpus Christi
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