The Great Migration

Just as the Sandhill cranes migrate together at this time of year, so too have we… into a much larger space!  Over the course of the last year, our plant has been busier than usual.  The smiles in this photo were not always present on the faces of this hard-working team; it has been a stressful year.  But as is true with the most efficient of teams, anything is possible when we fly together.

A few weeks ago, we asked all of our salesmen and all of our team leaders from the plant to gather for our Annual Team Meeting and to celebrate a job well done.  It took every person in this photo to orchestrate the plan, build and migrate into our additional facility.  Imagine for a moment moving 300 employees and all of the equipment required to do each of their jobs into a new space while simultaneously not interrupting daily input and output or closing the shops for any given amount of time.

It looked and felt a little like those numbered, hand-held tile games, the object of which is to slide the numbers 1-10 around until they’re in order without picking any up.

Those numbered tiles were our many production and pre-finishing departments.  As well as fourteen major pieces of equipment, hundreds of specialized work tables, many more ancillary pieces of equipment, industrial shelving (more than we can count) and five brand-new pieces of equipment, which were invented specifically for our space and needs.  All this had to be shuffled here and there, around the corner and a few inches to the left.  The icing on the cake?  Three technology systems required to run the new equipment had to be installed and taught to play nice with each other, as well as take orders and report back to the existing business software.

Each of the individuals above has at minimum, a team of five, working alongside them and they were all part of the miracle.  The 2014 President’s Choice Award goes to the “Operations and Facilities Transformation Team.”