In our blog series on the "staying power" of longtime RESCUE!® employees, we turn the spotlight on Paul. As our Operations Manager, one of Paul's biggest responsibilities is making sure we have the best quality raw materials and equipment to manufacture our products in-house, and that we source them from USA-based manufacturers.
What is your title? Operations Manager
Since you've been at RESCUE!®, have your job responsibilities changed? Definitely! When I started at RESCUE!®, I mainly focused on trying to learn the production side of the company, collecting data by doing time studies, and looking for ways to reduce labor costs. The progress was slow. I asked our shop to build fixtures and ramps for assembly workers to test to see if it helped them work faster. I would also help build prototype traps in the shop for the lab to test if I had an idea for a better design. The owner was open to new ideas from anyone to make improvements, and I was looking to contribute wherever I could. I used my AutoCAD skills to draw an emergency evacuation layout of our building to post at all of the exits. Occasionally I would work in shipping when orders would bury the crew, and it would be all hands on deck to help get the product out the door!
Over the years I took on purchasing raw materials for production, scheduling for production and molding, purchasing new manufacturing equipment to help automate old manual processes in assembly, running a weekly management meeting, and traveling to trade shows to find new suppliers and learn about new innovations in manufacturing. I became a manager for the first time and learned how to be a servant leader rather than a “boss”.
Communication has become key in my position as the pace of business has accelerated. I’ve seen the progression of email and the smart phone as vital tools keep up with the pace of my growing circle of contacts both inside and outside the company. I use my phone constantly to text coworkers and sales contacts, and send pictures with business information. So yes, a lot has changed!
What do you enjoy about your job? I enjoy the people I work with at RESCUE!® the most. We are a tight knit working family who work hard, know each other well, give each other grace, and fight to grow the company one day at a time. We all have high standards, and yet we know how to keep the mood light with humor when stressful situations happen. I enjoy the variety of my job and the opportunity to find ways to help the company and celebrate wins when my coworkers find ways to make improvements.
What makes RESCUE!® a special place to work? I know that I’m valued, and so is my family. The company held baby showers for my wife before both of our daughters were born. I like working for a company that values its employees, is extremely generous to its employees, and cares about helping the less fortunate in our community. I like our company traditions of a Good Friday potluck, employee summer picnic, serving at the Union Gospel Mission, and our Christmas party. I appreciate that all of our jobs are in the United States to keep our economy strong. We only sell products that we innovate and are proven to work -- which has been the hallmark behind the RESCUE!® brand. We help people, and we have a great reputation of integrity in the community and the industry.
When you were first hired, did you ever think you’d be at RESCUE!® this long? No. I was just happy to have a job after being laid off at my last job, and searching for work for five months after the dot com bubble burst.
What kind of changes have you seen at RESCUE!® over the time you’ve been here? Growth! When I was first hired we occupied half the building we rented, and we sold a handful of products. All departments were under one roof. The company began to launch new products steadily over the years, and as the sales grew so did our need for space to store material in the warehouse, Shipping, the Lab, Production, and the front office. We eventually took over the other half of the building and then expanded into a second building for our shipping and injection molding departments. Production added permanent swing shift to handle the growth of sales. The company added new managers in HR and Accounting and the permanent staff in Production assembly grew from less than twenty when I first started at the company to over fifty people. We went from one injection molding press that was purchased for research and development to eight presses just to support our business.
Still, with all this growth, RESCUE!® has not changed its core values and its mission to make pest control smarter. We have never wavered from our ideals of tenacity, integrity, compassion, and an entrepreneurial spirit!
Paul appeared in two of our "How-to" videos last year. Below, he demonstrates the Yellowjacket Repellent GoClip® -- an essential for his active family!