Young Employee Profile – Chuck

As part of a preparation for a local High School Open House (Kane Area), I put together profiles of all of our employees under 30 years of age.  I never expected how much I would learn about the employees who represent the future of PC Systems!  I couldn’t resist sharing these profiles on our blog, so our customers can get an idea who is actually building their product.

In no certain order, I’ll put a profile up of all the employees.  This post will focus on Chuck, who is a 1st shift “Jack of all trades” for us.  After speaking with our General Manager, we cannot seem to come up with a concrete title for Chuck.  We can count on him to be a Production Setup on Monday, run the Rectifier department on Tuesday, build Production Harnesses on Wednesday then finish the week with some Engineering Samples and Wire Cutting.  He is a very talented employee with a special gift for understanding mechanical systems, so he is very valued.

Chuck has been working at PC Systems for over 6 years and has held many different “jobs” within the plant.  He understands all of our processes while also maintaining a keen sense for cost and manufacturability.  I often find myself bouncing ideas off of him while I am out on the floor and I trust his intuition as much as I do my own.

Chuck is famous (maybe infamous?) in the plant for having a dry sense of humor and carrying a facade that he doesn’t care much for the work that he does.  If you look a little closer though, it is obvious he has a lot of pride in the work he does.  He makes sure that he understands the customer requirements and application, closely watches his control limits, and is a hawk when it comes to wasted resources and capital.  You would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated employee, although he would laugh at you if you told him that.

When we asked Chuck what his future goals were, he said he would like to own and operate his own gun shop.  He is an avid outdoorsman and has the mechanical/business skills, which would make him an excellent candidate to do just that.  He currently has various side jobs, including backyard mechanic, which I can personally vouch for.  Working at PC Systems provides a unique opportunity since we are still a private company and Chuck is exposed to some of the pros and cons of owning your own business.

All of the profiled employees were asked to give some advice to future high school graduates.  Chuck said simply “College is not for everyone.”  This is coming from someone who I personally know has the intelligence to succeed at any university, so I think it is clear that you need to define your expectations before you take the plunge on a four year degree.  Chuck’s success without attending college provides evidence of that.

 

Why I wear a tie to work everyday!

Somewhere around the turn from 2011 to 2012, I had a slight epiphany.  Kevin and I had decided that we had too many ties in our closet to only wear them when we were wearing suits.  He had a good excuse, he went to a Catholic High School requiring ties.  I guess I am just hard to buy for when Christmas comes around.  What started as a little bit of a joke and we called it Tuesday/Thursday Tie Day turned into a daily routine for me.  That wasn’t because I had too many ties (I had to go buy some more), rather, I realized that I was sending the wrong message.

You don’t see people in the office wearing ties anymore, especially in Manufacturing.  I realized that I would often throw a jacket and tie on when I was meeting with external customers, but you could find me in a polo or open collar shirt any other time.  What kind of message was I sending to all of my internal customers?  They weren’t good enough me to put a little more effort into how I looked?  I figured it was about time to rectify that and decided I would wear a tie everyday (almost).

There are some problems with my methodology, which I will admit.  First, I don’t have the discretionary funds to buy a bunch of sport coats and suits, so I often look like the kid at Blockbuster selling videos in his baggy shirt and tie.  I hope it isn’t so much the “look”, rather the “effort” that is recognized.  Also, it is a safety risk.  I am around moving machinery often when I am out on the floor.  Most times, I will temporarily take the tie off if I am out there.  Finally, it serves absolutely no purpose other than decorative, which really drives me nuts.  If I could define “waste” in clothing, the necktie would be it.  To combat this and make myself feel better, I occasionally wipe smudges off of my safety glasses with the back of my tie, which I find is a great solution.

So there you have it, that is why you’ll find me in a tie most days when you walk into the office.  It is really about sending a clear message to both internal and external customers that they are worth dressing up for.  I am keenly aware that how I am perceived is directly linked to how I can motivate and lead, so I try not to make it an afterthought.  What kind of non-verbal messages are you sending?

Young Employee Profile – Charlie

As part of a preparation for a local High School Open House (Kane Area), I put together profiles of all of our employees under 30 years of age.  I never expected how much I would learn about the employees who represent the future of PC Systems!  I couldn’t resist sharing these profiles on our blog, so our customers can get an idea who is actually building their product.

In no certain order, I’ll put a profile up of all the employees.  This post will focus on Charlie, who is currently our 2nd shift supervisor.  I would list Charlie’s responsibilities, but they are endless, and he does a pretty good job of doing them all well.

Charlie has been working at PC Systems for 5 years and has steadily increased his level of responsibility.  It didn’t take us long to realize after he started that he was very efficient with his hands, but also had great problem solving skills.  I am starting to get used to coming into work in the mornings with a note from Charlie detailing his latest idea to “do it better”.  For you LEAN folks, he is close to the Gemba and he often comes up with some of the best ideas.

It would do Charlie a great disservice though to speak only about his ability to produce parts and ideas, because his true talents are his ability to lead and motivate others.  He has a “servant” leadership style that is very difficult to teach.  He deals with issues with honesty and fairness, regardless if it is bad or good news.  You would be hard pressed to find an operator that had a cross word for his leadership style.

When we asked Charlie what his future goals were, he said he would like to receive some more education with regards to Automotive Customization.  We recognize that we have opportunity to help him with that here at PC Systems and will make an effort to improve that skill set for him.  At PC Systems, we also recognize how much potential Charlie has and are very grateful that he has chosen to work here.

All of the profiled employees were asked to give some advice to future high school graduates.  Charlie said “Research every school thoroughly.  Find one that meets your need and apply for as much financial aid as you can.”

Young Employee Profile – Allyson

As part of a preparation for a local High School Open House (Kane Area), I put together profiles of all of our employees under 30 years of age.  I never expected how much I would learn about the employees who represent the future of PC Systems!  I couldn’t resist sharing these profiles on our blog, so our customers can get an idea who is actually building their product.

In no certain order, I’ll put a profile up of all the employees.  This post will focus on Allyson, who is currently working in the office, taking care of administrative duties such as Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, among many other tasks.

Allyson is a really neat story for us.  While she was getting her Accounting/Business Administration degree, she worked for us in the Harness department.  Although she has only been working in her Administrative role for a little over 4 months, she is definitely not a stranger to PC Systems.

When we asked Allyson what her future goals were, she said she hopes to continue working within her degree that she now has.  I am not sure if she dislikes entering timesheets into our ERP enough to go back to building harnesses, although it isn’t one of her favorite jobs.  She is doing a great job for us and we hope that PC Systems remains part of her future.

All of the profiled employees were asked to give some advice to future high school graduates.  Allyson said “Definitely get an education – High School and College.  When choosing what to study in college, make sure it is something you enjoy and it is something that interests you.”

If you call into PC Systems, you most likely will get to hear Allyson’s voice before she redirects your call.  Don’t be afraid to quiz her some on the product, she knows it!

Addition of Andy Gahr To The Team

What an exciting time to be part of PC Systems!  Not too long ago, I introduced you to Kevin Genevro, a new Engineer to our team.  I have similar exciting news on the Quality front as Andy Gahr joins our team as Quality Manager.  Andy carries a stellar resume and we consider his addition a big step in our growth as an organization.  Take a look at his LinkedIn profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/andrew-gahr/7/956/7a0

Andy has been certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt, Army Veteran, and is well known locally for his excellent Quality background.  More importantly, he has immediately contributed and had an impact at PCS.

With Andy’s guidance, we have rewritten our Design and Development procedures to provide more value to our customer.  This was a follow-up to some of our Value Stream Map exercises to get rid of Waste in those processes.  Hopefully you get an opportunity to feel the benefits of these improvements on your next RFQ with PCS.

Please help me welcome Andy as we continue to transition our company into a solutions provider for all of your electrical interconnect needs.

An additional note, some of you who have had the pleasure of working with Dave Gillen (former QM) in the past may wonder what his status is.  He is still here and will be working with Andy in the Quality department helping in all the ways he has in the past.

Addition of Kevin Genevro to the Team

In a recent interview that featured PC Systems in Wire Harness News, I made the comment that PC Systems was dedicated to providing solutions for customers rather than commodity product.  This answer was a response to a question from the interviewer in which he asked me why I was trying to come up with a Lead Free solution for window glass connectors, rather than their R&D teams finding the proper alloy and specifying it for us.

As evidence of that commitment to providing solutions, I would like to introduce Kevin Genevro, an Engineer, who is the latest addition to our Engineering staff.

Here is a link to Kevin’s LinkedIn profile:

http://tinyurl.com/3czcegv

A Mechanical Engineer by training, Kevin has been with us for about 3 months so far and is already making major contributions to our team.  His primary responsibilities at PC Systems will include a wide range of activities, including new product introduction, tooling design, raw material acquisition, back-up Quality Auditor, LEAN facilitator and recipient of mild hazing, to just name a few.  All jokes aside, we are very proud to welcome this local Engineer to our team and we hope that you have the good fortune or working with him on a future project with us.