Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Silver Lining

By Davies Hood, Induron President

I’ve heard it said that it is often darkest right before the dawn. I’ve also heard that every cloud has a silver lining. In this article from the May 2012 edition of Municipal Water & Sewer, the City of Americus, GA, learned that even during hard times – such as rebuilding from the destruction of a tornado – efficiencies and improvements can be made.

Instead of taking the easy route and just rebuilding what had “always been there,” the City of Americus actually took a step back, hired an engineering consultant and had their entire water system put through a Hydraulic Modeling process. The results revealed several previously forgotten about underground water pipes, unknown valves (some of which were closed) and realization that some of the existing pipe was significantly undersized. This modeling allowed the city to not only replace what was damaged in the storm, but provided information used to build a new water infrastructure system that would assist in growth and “provide greater certainty in day-to-day operations.” Continue reading The Silver Lining

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Turning Back Time with America’s Pastime

By Jeff White, Induron Sales Manager

Here at Induron, we are huge baseball fans and very patriotic. Yesterday was Memorial Day, when we honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. And tomorrow is another Birmingham event that will honor The Greatest Generation through a baseball game.

The Rickwood Classic is an annual event played in the oldest active baseball stadium in the country – Rickwood Field. Each year, the clock is turned back to the Golden age of baseball to honor the history of the game. The theme this year is from the WWII era. The Birmingham Barons and the Chattanooga Lookouts will don the uniforms of Army and Navy in honor of those who served.

Induron had an opportunity to donate paint to the stadium to ensure it looked its best for the big event. I’m glad we could participate in a small way.

I think a quote by Napoleon most aptly describes those of the WWII generation: “Victory belongs to the most persevering.”  Thank you to all who have served and are serving our country for your sacrifice.

Play Ball and Go Army!!

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Wearing Many Hats in a Small Business

By Allison Searcy, Induron Sales Support

Working for a small, family-owned company like Induron means that I wear many hats. I began working at Induron four years ago in sales support, but since then, my duties have grown to include all kinds of things – from invoicing and accounting, to purchasing the raw materials used in our products.

It’s different every day – I never know what the day will bring.

That’s the key to working for a small company – flexibility. You have to be flexible and be willing to take on any number of tasks that “aren’t your job.” It’s very different from the large company I came from. At Induron, everyone does what they need to do, and when there’s a problem, we all pitch in to get it solved quickly. Many times at larger companies, you find that each person – or department – functions as an island. But not here.

Induron’s 14 sales reps definitely keep me on my toes. They count on me to invoice their clients, get them catalogs or other printed materials or even help them troubleshoot their computer woes. We’re all a team, and it’s a great environment in which to work. Continue reading Wearing Many Hats in a Small Business

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Communication: Your Key to Success

By John Anspach, VP Operations

By John Anspach, VP of Operations

In a paint company, as in most companies, there are multiple departments that must work effectively together to ensure the success of the organization.  In a nutshell, there are a lot of moving parts (both literally and figuratively). It is easy to become “compartmentalized,” meaning you get focused on your one job in your one department, forgetting the “big picture. This can quickly result in delaying or altogether missing key communication between departments – a critical component for success.

At Induron, we have reaped big benefits in opening communication channels.  A key example lies in three distinctly different parts of our organization:  Manufacturing, Technical (R&D) and Sales.  These are three very different departments, with specific roles in the organization, yet each one is dedicated to the same overall mission of increasing the sales and profitability of our company.

These three departments work closely with an open communication approach.  Weekly sit-down discussions between these areas provide the most current “state of the business.”  Through this approach, we’re able to have accurate information regarding progress on a key project. This has gone a long way toward eliminating a reactive approach, and instead collectively acting together to ensure success.

Another key benefit lies in “intra-communication” within larger departments, where different areas of one department communicate with each other.  Our Manufacturing team interacts with the Manufacturing / Quality Control area on every production batch, where any process and performance issues are quickly identified and resolved.  This effective and efficient process is a “test analysis and correction,” not just a “test.”  Continue reading Communication: Your Key to Success

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Water (tanks), Water (tanks) Everywhere!

By Davies Hood, Induron President

I remember well my first site visit to an elevated water tank painting project. I was driving down the road with an older salesman who was pointing out all of the different styles of water tanks.

We saw fluted column tanks (large flashlights), standpipes (tall, skinny tanks w/ out legs), Taurus-bottom tanks (made famous being depicted as aliens in George Orwell’s War of the Worlds) and a couple of single pedestal tanks (golf ball on a tee).

I suddenly realized that the paint being applied to all of these tanks was not being applied very close to the ground. After getting over the first round of nausea caused by my deep rooted fear of heights, I started thinking about the “how” part of the equation, as in, “how the heck do they paint up there?”

Motorized pick-boards, baskets and Bozeman’s Chairs on rope falls were the answer. I then saw this cool invention. This motorized chair looks like a great way for our high-work customers to save time and improve worker safety. It also provides a very good reminder of just how much intestinal fortitude some of Induron’s customers have!

Founded in 1947, Induron manufactures high performance coatings that serve a range of industrial applications, including the wastewater, transmission and distribution and groundwater storage industries. Learn more about us at www.Induron.com.  

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From Pencil and Paper to Computers

By David Hood, Induron CEO

I have said before that Induron has old buildings. We do. And in thinking about the history of this company, I’m reminded of something else we have that’s old – our “batch books,” or log of production batches. Believe it or not, we still have the very first batch book. The original batch (batch No. 1) of paint we made was for 10 gallons of TT-P-86 Red and was recorded in pencil by my dad, Induron founder William E. Hood. We still keep batch books today, however, now they’re in electronic form.

That original batch of paint went through the same process we use on our paint today – it was recorded in the batch book and went through quality assurance. Every batch of paint we’ve made over the past 65 years has gone through the same process.

Each batch of paint we make is tested in our Quality Control Lab to verify that its properties meet the standards set for that product by its formulator and/or our customer. The results of the tests are recorded on a record card, on the original batch record and into the computer for statistical analysis. The documents and artifacts (draw-downs, color match data, sag charts, etc.) are attached to the batch ticket and filed away. That way, if we have need to question the field performance or properties of a product, we can go back to the original record to help resolve questions.

In addition to the above, we keep a pint of the paint as a “retain” sample. These “retains” are kept for a period of time sufficient to address any and all needs (about three years), so we can help resolve potential questions. Continue reading From Pencil and Paper to Computers

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What we can learn from Chemical Engineers

By Davies Hood, Induron Executive Vice President

I recently read this article in “Chemical Processing” about the salaries and overall happiness of chemical engineers, and I found it quite interesting.

Although this article is about one particular field (chemical engineers), it can apply to nearly any professional career. I particularly like the comments, “No job is worth having if you can’t enjoy most of it. There is no good job that you will enjoy every aspect of. That’s why they pay us,” and “Stay current, the field is continually evolving and there is a lot to learn.” Do those quotes sound like they could have been made by your peers and/or predecessors? I think they’re good reminders that we all need to maintain a positive attitude and continue to try to grow through learning.

I also found the statement, “Lack of recognition remains the leading downside most respondents identified about their jobs,” to be similar to ring true in my business. Simply put, people like to be recognized for their successes… I know I do!

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What I Learned About Business from “Moneyball”

By Davies Hood, Induron Executive Vice President

Thank goodness baseball season is here. I absolutely love looking at baseball box scores first thing in the morning. I like following my team (The San Francisco Giants) through the inevitable ups and downs of a long season. I appreciate the intricacies of the game, like bunting a runner into scoring position, the hit ‘n’ run and the subtle shift in fielders’ positioning based on a certain hitter’s tendencies, as well as what and where the pitcher intends to pitch to him.

I was expecting the recent box office hit “Moneyball” to delve into these parts of my passion. However, what I got was an entertaining (thank you, Brad Pitt) business lesson. This article in QP (Quality Progress, which unfortunately requires site login) really digs into the statistical part of the movie and fleshes out some of the real lessons that Billy Beane and his Oakland Athletics learned over the years.

These valuable lessons are:

Focus on measurements to create a culture of success. Quite simply, measure what’s important, because people focus on what it is that’s being measured. In “Moneyball,” Beane focused almost exclusively on “On-base percentage,” instead of batting average and the beauty of a player’s “swing.” This leads to the second lesson… Continue reading What I Learned About Business from “Moneyball”

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Happy Birthday ACA!

By Davies Hood, Induron Executive Vice President

Induron would like to wish the American Coatings Association (ACA) a Happy 125th birthday! The ACA is a valuable organization to all of us in the paint manufacturing business (and, to be truthful, a whole mess of other businesses that use paint). It’s an organization that Induron Coatings has supported for a long time. Continue reading Happy Birthday ACA!

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