Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

Lean and Clean

One of the questions you are asked each year in our annual plant survey is whether you are clear about what is expected of you.

Years ago, when I was an HR Pro, I worked with supervisors and managers to find a way to summarize what we look for from our employees.  We came up with a list of 10 Commitments that we would like each team member to embrace. You may have seen them printed up somewhere in your facility.

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Posted in: Improvement, Inspiration, Leadership, Lean, Maintenance, Motivation, Production, Quality, Safety, Strategy, Teamwork, Training, Uncategorized

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Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

Do you know what is expected of you at work

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being high, do you know what is expected of you at work?

That’s the first question on our annual employee questionnaire. Fortunately, most of you report that you understand why you are on the team.

But, there’s a percentage that will say they aren’t exactly sure. If that relates to you, we need to address it.

People who understand their expectations play fast.

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Posted in: Communication, Improvement, Inspiration, Leadership, Motivation, Quality, Teamwork, Training, Uncategorized

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Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

“Pain Points”

What are the “pain points” of doing the business with us?  What are the “pain points” of doing business with you? What are the “pain points” you deal with each day?

Being “easy to do business with” is a guaranteed success strategy. “Pain points” are what you attack to make it easy to do business.

We were talking about customer service issues that we face in the retail centers we serve with treated lumber.

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Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

“You reap what you sow.”

“You reap what you sow.”

In the Bible, they call that the Law of the Harvest. The idea is that we can only expect the fruit that comes from the seed you sow.

Sowing is a planting term. It suggests that you “cast” seed “broadly.” So, the harvest we receive someday will depend on how much and what kind of seed you sow today.

So, what kind of harvest/results are you looking for?

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Posted in: Business Climate, Gratitude, Improvement, Inspiration, Leadership, Motivation, Production, Quality, Safety, Strategy, Teamwork, Training, Uncategorized

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Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

After Action Review Part 1

An “after action review” considers what was supposed to happen and what actually happened. The third question is “why was there a difference?”

If you study “lean management” very much, you learn that “asking why” is an intricate investigative and learning technique. Done appropriately, it drives you to a deeper understanding of your task and a developed plan of action.

A popular lean technique is to “ask why 5 times.” The idea is that when we ask “why”,

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Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

Organization Coach

There is a common perception these days that the path to mastery includes putting in 10,000 hours of practice.

The theory includes a couple of qualifiers.  The 10,000 hours is best when the practice is the focused as compared to going through the motions. Focused means striving with specific improvement in mind. The 10,000 hours are also more effective when a “coach” is involved. Someone who watches. Someone who guides. Someone who challenges.

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Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

Clarksville Team

I spent the day discussing the integration of the new Clarksville facility into PalletOne.

There are many challenges. We’ve had more than a dozen folks on site there since the merger occurred.

As a “standard setter” in our industry, you can imagine what an effort it is to teach what we expect in terms of safety, engagement, maintenance, operations and housekeeping. We appreciate the willing and responsive efforts of the Clarksville team.

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Posted in: Leadership, Motivation, Production, Quality, Safety, Teamwork, Training

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Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

“Waste”

Our lumber is markedly more expensive than a year ago. In every phase of our business, we are spending more for it than we were a year ago.

When lumber is more expensive, the cost of waste rises. It’s the nature of our business that material that goes in the dumpster may be ugly, but we paid the same for the waste as we do for the good pieces.

The more expensive our raw material,

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Posted in: Financial Performance, Improvement, Lean, Quality, Teamwork, Training, Uncategorized

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Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

Happy 16th Birthday PalletOne!

PalletOne is 16 years old!

When we started, we had 12 pallet manufacturing locations.

Since then:

We added six pallet locations.

We entered the wood treating business and expanded to four locations.

We added a trucking operation.

We closed one location. We opened then closed another.

We grew our team to 1,400 people.

We have a stellar reputation with our customers,

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Posted in: Business Climate, Production, Quality, Teamwork, Uncategorized

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Daily with HQ

Notes from PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace

“Tour Ready”

“Tour ready” all the time.

If I popped in your work area tomorrow with a visitor, would you be proud to show us around?

Is housekeeping the way you like it?

Safety rules in order?

Equipment in working order?

A healthy level of productivity?

The whole team engaged?

I learned a long time ago that you can’t fake it for a tour.

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Posted in: Business Climate, Housekeeping, Improvement, Leadership, Motivation, Quality, Safety, Teamwork, Training, Uncategorized

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