Back in the 1990s, I taught a Junior Achievement class to eighth graders at Tarrant Middle School, here in the Birmingham area. This was not the “project” many people associate with Junior Achievement, but an actual 50-minute class once a week for an entire semester with curricula offered by Junior Achievement. The regular Social Studies teacher remained in the classroom to help, but it was truly a “teaching experience” for me.
Tarrant is a “working class,” mixed-race suburb of Birmingham, and my classes consisted of boys, girls, black, white, motivated, not-motivated kids, just as you would expect. Some were from single-parent homes and some were from homes with both mom and dad. But many of them hadn’t had the advantages that other kids their age have had.
I started teaching this class not knowing what to expect, but soon found that most of these kids were bright, inquisitive and really interested in economics and “home business” (how I described balancing a checkbook, creating and sticking to a budget, paying taxes and getting and keeping a job). Continue reading The Learning Curve→
Did you ever notice that when the future is portrayed in movies (especially in dystopian sci-fi movies), nothing gets properly maintained? There are no corrosion consultants specifying abrasive blasting, containments, chloride removal, 3-coat coating systems, spray application, etc?
Perhaps in the future there will be limited budgets for all the elements of a successful coatings job that people have come to believe are necessary. However, those elements are not always needed for a great coatings project.
I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of selling and feel that every job has some sales aspect – even if it’s just selling yourself to your boss. A teacher is selling education, a minister is selling religion, a politician is selling… well, you get my point.
I started out my sales career thinking all it took to be a good salesman was to treat your customer like you would like to be treated – the “Golden Rule” of sales. Then one day, it dawned on me that Customer Service was a big part of selling. So I started putting more emphasis on Customer Service.
Recently, I talked to a potential new customer about how great Induron’s customer service was. I felt I had made a strong presentation, but it didn’t convince the customer to switch.
Shortly after that I read an article from Alister & Paine entitled, “Do You Need a Customer Service “Spring Cleaning?” It came as a big surprise when I realized that I had at least three of the five bad customer service habits described in the article. It was a good reminder that even people who have been in this business a long time can always make improvements.
For example, probably my greatest fault during my years in sales has been that I worry too much. I worry about not getting orders shipped on time or my customer blaming our products for a failure that wasn’t our fault. This article made me realize that spending more time solving a customer’s problems – rather than worrying about things I can’t control – will make me more productive.
At Induron, our Customer Service department is a key component in ensuring our customers get the products and information they need. Ricky Germany is the newest member of our Customer Service department, and we’re glad to have him on board!
Ricky has been with Induron since October, and in the few months he’s been here, has really become the “voice of Induron.” When customers call us, he’s usually the first person they talk to, whether they need to place an order, get a product recommendation or ask a question.
Learn a little more about Ricky:
If you were any animal, what would you be and why?
The animal that I would most like to be is a Fossa. It is highly intelligent and adaptive, lives in a tropical environment and has no natural predators.
What is your biggest professional mistake and success?
I cannot think of a professional mistake worth mentioning – either I have not had one or have selective memory suppression (I vote for the latter). As far as success, the following of clientele I achieved during my retail career – having people drive out of their way to come and deal with me exclusively – was very satisfying. Continue reading Induron Family Q&A: Ricky Germany→
As a general rule, I’m opposed to PACs (Political Action Committees) because of the “secrecy” of their membership and undue influence in our nation’s political process.
However, I am also opposed to a lot of the everyday activities that I regularly participate in. What do I mean? I’m opposed to paying unfair sales taxes on groceries and medicine. I’m opposed to participating in the “free-rider” aspect of volunteer organizations. And I’m very much opposed to the game I grew up playing – football – being deteriorated by the NFL on a year-by-year or even week-by-week basis. But I digress.
But a recent article from PaintSquare has me cheering for (or at least, considering cheering for) the success of the new NACE PAC in Washington.
Look at the numbers: 3.1 percent of our nation’s GDP is spent on corrosion repair and prevention. And it is estimated that up to 30 percent of that cost could be eliminated with proper design and maintenance.
That’s about 1 percent of our GDP, or, in layman’s terms, $120 billion.