AMI Robbins Road Building
What will you be working on in your new assignment?
I will be supporting the operations team with compliance, training, best practice and improvement. I will help plant operators figure out how to streamline items and issues. As well as helping with onboarding new employees or bringing on new facilities. I’m excited about being able to work with all facilities in this new role.
What types of things are you most excited about in addition to visiting various facilities?
Our terminal managers and employees have come up with some great ideas and I want to make sure the entire network is aware of them. I also want to help influence the company’s safety culture.
It will be a great experience to help solve problems or tackle challenges they are facing. Interacting with all facilities instead of just a certain region will help ensure we are sharing important learnings and best practices.
Continuous Improvement Mentality
You can always find room for improvement in everything we do. We want to ensure everybody has the same training, information, documentation, and templates.
We all work from similar data, so it becomes a site-by-site interaction to determine the best path forward. Our facilities and team members are doing an impressive job with what we have provided but, since things have changed quickly over the last few years, it’s getting difficult to standardize our approach.
My goal this year is to help with that. I don’t want people to get the wrong impression that we are looking to add things. We may identify areas where we can simplify or remove nonvalue added items.
Onboarding & Training
In addition to the advantages I’ve already outlined, we also expect to find areas where we can save time. We can improve on the way we bring new team members on board, the ways we cross-train and educate should improve. We need to have clear direction and meaningful training and procedures.
This should create a deeper bench at our facilities so there isn’t just one person that has expertise in an area. This will also take away any excuses of “we couldn’t do this”, or “we didn’t do that because we didn’t know something”. It will help us keep our teammates. We spend a lot of time and money bringing in a new team member, and these initiatives will help us lower our turnover.
A Culture of Safety & Compliance
We have a strong culture of safety and compliance which current employees have worked hard to create. I am excited to have an opportunity to ensure we add to this culture in a meaningful, measurable way. Our preparations, actions and reactions are what make up our culture.
Build a Library of Resources. Training. SOPs. Acronyms.
We need to reduce the amount of noise that’s out there. We need to minimize and eliminate variation so that everybody has a standard process. We need to keep in mind the perspective of the new manager, somebody that’s coming from outside of the company.
They are not going to know anything about the asphalt business. They may know plant management, manufacturing, and compliance, but they don’t know the unique aspects of our business, the culture, or our approach necessary to make it a success.
We need to guard against speaking in code! We have so many acronyms, we can’t expect someone new to pick up a new language without giving them the translations! Some of the information we share will help team members know where to go or whom to contact to find the information. We need to explain the why behind why we are doing things as well.
Love of Asphalt
This is a simple business as far as the manufacturing piece. It is simple, but it is amazing when you think about it. You’re taking two elements that don’t like each other; water and oil and you are putting them together and building things that are designed to last 15 to 20 years!
“That’s amazing. The plant employees are the wizards behind all of that. They take whatever they are given and make it work. They are the reason the wheel turns.”— Mike Capuano
The Culture of a Winning Team
Something I say all the time is, “Culture is everything”. I use Alabama football as the example. They remain at the top of college football because of their culture.
They explain what they want and expect from their team. They train and set the example. They determine what are the most critical items for success and do them better than anybody else and they hold the team accountable for the outcome of those expectations.
If you do that, your chances of winning improve greatly. Be a good coach. Be a good communicator. Be clear about the things we expect, and then ensure we all are doing the right things- always!!
- Born in Canton, Ohio.
- I’ve lived in Provo, UT, Louisville, KY, and Wilmington, DE. Moved to Indiana in 1992.
- Wanted to go to college at USC or Colorado but, ended up at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
- Summer intern at the Indianapolis plant in 1988 while I was in college.
- Started at the Indy plant in 2005.
- Received a master’s degree in Management while working full-time.
- Married (Brenda), 2 children (twins, 24 y.o.) Emma and Noah, and yellow lab Lucia (3 y.o.).
- Enjoy spending time with family and friends, music, and being outdoors.