Attitude, it’s Everything to Everyone

What is attitude?

Dictionary.com says this about attitude;

manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind:

position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.:

the way a person views something or tends to behave towards it, often in an evaluative way

a position of the body indicating mood or emotion

If we take the time to think over what these words are saying, and sometimes that’s hard to do. We have been known to read over things so fast and without thought that we don’t ever see the trees because all we see is the forest, and think we’ve got it.

Not every customer is the same, one size fits all doesn’t work. Really, it never did. Not every prospect is the same. I know there are many books on the market about “finding their pain”, ” use these scripts”, or whatever else may be in the book stores. It’s all B@#!&hit. That stuff doesn’t work. It’s a gimmick. It’s teaching people to lie, mostly to themselves. No one can do it for you or me. We have to come up with a compelling story about who we represent, what we do, and why we do it. Then ask the proper questions to see if we can help our customer/prospect accomplish what they do.

I’ve heard more times than I can count, “if I ask them that they’ll think I’m/we’re stupid”. WRONG!!!! Questions are a form of directing the conversation. We can direct our questions to get to the real issues of why our companies aren’t already working together. We’re equals, no matter what title goes behind our name. In order to stay in business and meet our goals both of us have to grow and expand. My/Our job is to see if we can find ways to accomplish that for both of us. If you know what you’re offering others, in other words, if you know you’re business, this becomes much easier.

I have an answer to my prospects most important question. What do you do? 4 words that could take a lifetime to answer. WRONG! I’ve worked on that answer, bringing it down to the least number of words and using it for all our marketing. It takes me less than 10 seconds to give that answer and it’s the truth and not some “fake” or contrived answer. The answer I’ve come up with is honest, concise, truthful, short, and to the point.

What do we do?

Fabricate process pipe and the structural steel that supports it.

 

Why our Customers Continue to Work with General Fabricators

I can say, without hesitation, that most of our customers come back time and again because we do what we say we’re going to do, when we say we’re going to do it.

Now we all know that “stuff” occurs along the way of all projects. It really doesn’t matter who’s decisions cause delays in a project. The true character of our company shows when we do everything possible to bring everything back on schedule as quickly as possible. Sometimes that cost is absorbed by us, sometimes it’s split between our customer and us, sometimes it’s passed on to our customer, with backup documentation and fair billing to both sides.

With all that said, there are so many “little” things that our customers appreciate about working with General Fabricators, Inc. Little things that they may not even realize are being done specifically for them, but none the less they are being done.

Most people don’t realize what goes into making a Project Document, we do. That process begins when the project is assigned to a Project Manager, from the start of the project. Our Document Control Specialist begins that data package the moment she assigns a job number to your project. These documents are being copied, scanned and placed in a document binder every step of the project. MTR’s, delivery tickets, shipping manifests, equipment data, weld maps, welding procedures, painting data sheets, and the list goes on. Most Document Data Books are delivered with each shipment of pipe we send to the field. Then at the end of the project a Final Data Book is completed and submitted to our customer when we finish the project. No delays, so you have everything on hand for your customers. Our data packages are some of the best I’ve ever seen. We send out electronic and printed copies, depending on what our customer requests.

Document control is a critical aspect of every project and our document controls specialist is diligent in her work and is one of the best in the industry.

A job well done is a job we only have to do once. Thank you Jamie.

Over the next few months I’ll be bringing up different departments in our company and share how they are working hard for our customers, YOU!

Our Business is Based on Our “Customer’s Success”.

When we’re preparing a proposal there are so many situations, circumstances, clarifications and assumptions that need to be made, contemplated, accessed, assumed, and acted upon.

There are 3 main concerns I have at the beginning of any proposal process. Especially if it’s our first time submitting a proposal to our “new” prospective customer. We do want them to be a  “real” customer from the experience they receive from our handling of this proposal.

  • What’s the time line constraints of this RFQ?
  • What are the expectations of our customer?
  • What are the expectations of their customers?

These are 3 questions we have to answer before we begin preparing a proposal. Then we need to determine what’s our next step.

  • Do we call them from a “sales” perspective?

You know, thank you for the opportunity. Confirm due date of our proposal. Are there any special circumstances that we should be aware of? Are you aggressively going after this project? Do we need to submit our proposal with over time in it, or not? Does this project require expedited time frame? Is this a customer you’ve already worked with? How are they to work for? Will you have an inspector on our site for the duration of the project? Or will your customers representative be here? For the sake of brevity, you get the point.

The answer to some of these questions impacts our cost to do this job. Answers to some of these questions may not have an impact on our cost, but do have an impact on our delivery. Some answers just give us a better understanding of how our customer works with his customers so we can give him everything he needs along the way once the proposal turns into a job for both of us.

Putting together an RFQ isn’t easy, fast and definitely isn’t free to us. Each proposal costs our company from $1,500 to $5,000 or more depending on what kind of project it is. (Not counting the straining of relationships of our material suppliers. Guys we understand you don’t like jumping through hoops to get us price and delivery fast on every project.) So the answer to these and other questions is important and can impact a project from the start.

We appreciate our customers working with us on every level of the proposal phase. If we can communicate well during this phase, once the real project begins we should know each other well enough to work with one another successfully and with ease and confidence.

All this is said for a very basic, but much overlooked reason. Our business is to make sure you deliver a successful project to your customer. One your customer has positive thoughts about and is more than willing to award you their next project.

When we say we want to “partner” with you, this is part of what we mean.

Let General Fabricators, Inc – New Iberia, La. – 337-685-2585 be a partner in success with you.

 

 

Start of a New Project

Our business is supporting construction companies across the USA by fabricating process pipe and the structural steel that supports it, then shipping it to the field for installation.

This is a challenging business, making sure the customer supplied materials are up to code, delivered in a time frame that allows us to meet the priority listed items on time. With the challenges its also one of the most rewarding businesses to be in.

Everything we do encourages employment for our own community as well as the communities the pipe we fabricate ships to. When we’re busy that means we’re helping others to be busy. When we’re busy we need welding supplies, NDE services,  consumables, trucking companies, as well as skill sets from those in our local area.

It is a great feeling to be able to hire someone into our GFI family. Knowing we’re helping someone feed his/her family and give them the things they need. And at the same time they are contributing to the sustainability and growth of our company. We all win and it just makes everything else work so much better in our lives.

We’re in the beginning stages of a new project. This one is going to Texas. We’re in the finishing stages of the project going to Georgia, maybe 2-3 weeks left. Waiting for AFC drawings.

Thought I’d share a few pictures of our lay down yard and the materials that came in Monday morning.

We’re here for our customers, GFI is a “service” company. That means everything to us, we’re here to do whatever it takes to get your business and keep your business so we can continue to help you and your company sign more contracts to keep us all working through out our big beautiful country.

Working as individuals we can accomplish some things, working together we can accomplish just about anything!

Call us to see how we can help you grow your business.

Welding is a Beautiful Thing

I’ve been reviewing some of the pictures I’ve taken in the shop recently and decided to put some up on the blog this morning.

Some of these pictures make welding look so cool. It’s hard to put pictures of welding process pipe up on the website or on the blog because it always looks like the same picture. Kind of like taking pictures of a blade of grass, they all look alike.

Fusing steel together is an “art”, not just anybody can do it correctly. Procedures are critical to success. The weld is stronger than the original base metal, when it’s done correctly.

We do it correctly!

Call us to find out how we can help you with your process pipe fabrication.

Working on the Next Project

Busy week this week. Making progress. We have 3 new prospects, 1 has sent a proposal already and has 3-4 more coming in the next few weeks. One has a proposal coming in the next couple of weeks. One of these is in the industries we normally work in, the other two are in totally different industries. So a successful week. We’re looking forward to working with all our customers, and are pleased to have 3 new possibilities.

The opportunities are out there, we just have to “work” to find them and keep them. Diversifying our customer base is essential to building our company.  Timken Company made lemonade from the lemons that were handed to them, in the 1890’s they were making roller bearings for horse drawn wagons. Their products, with a little work, would do fine for the automobile industry. They are still enjoying their place in business world today, successfully with $684 Million in revenue last year. Bet they didn’t make that kind of money with horse drawn wagon bearing sales.

Thinking outside the box is critical for all businesses for the foreseeable future. What’s outside the box? You’ll have to figure that one out. It can mean many different things to many different people and businesses.

There are a few books that I seem to read over every year or so and I’m glad that I do. I always find something I either forgot or just didn’t catch the first time or two that I read them. Good to Great and Blue Ocean Strategy, both are great books to help with perspective and forward thinking. Also helps me see what I did in the past that I have forgotten to continue doing today. Re focus on the basics.

We are the only ones who can limit our opportunities for our selves. We are the only enemies who can beat us. What we do with what we have is what we’re being judged by.

 

Prospects and Customers Are People Too

Prospects are not always the easiest group to find. Why? Because it takes hard work to do the proper research to find them. It’s work finding the kind of prospects you would want to work with and would want to work with you. So I always remind myself and everyone around me that they are people first, prospect second and customers is the end result of careful and honest interactions with them. Transparency in any relationship is key. Never lie to get a shot at work, or a job. You will always be “found out” if you lie to anyone for any reason. Plus it shows you lack character. Who would want to work with someone who has a bad character? No one in his/her right mind.

What do I mean by “prospects are people first”? That’s simple really. They have a life outside of their place of employment. They may be an estimator, Project Manager, Vice President, CEO, President, File Clerk, Administrative Assistant, Shipping/Receiving Manager, or any other profession. They could also be mountain climbers, drag racers, NASCAR fans, love gardening, maybe poker is their game. Get to know one another so the trust factor can be build honestly. Not fake, not because you have to, but because you want to. Everyone deserves respect, no matter who they are, what they do, or how they may treat us.

Everyone has likes, dislikes, hobbies, families, or whatever. They are people first and foremost. Treat prospects and customers like they are people first. We have to always keep in mind that they want to know what’s in it for them if they work with us. Well, I know I’m biased and so do you. I’ll just say it, we are the best process pipe fabricators anywhere. For a multitude of reasons. (And in my next few posts I’ll explain what I mean more clearly.)

I’m judged by the character I have, so are you. All I am is what I chose to be. Everything is based on choices the way I see it. I have the choice to ask you to work with us or not. You have the choice to work with us or not. We have to find a mutual benefit for working together or what’s the point?

We want YOU to get a promotion because we helped you get the job done on time and under budget. We want YOU to get that promotion you’ve been working for. We want YOU to get as much out of working with us  as we get out of working for you.  We know you have goals and dreams for yourself and/or your company. We get that and understand that, as well as keep that in mind as we build our relationship of trust with you. It’s a two way street, we both have a lot at stake working with one another. We have a reputation to uphold and so do you. We have a business to run and so do you.

Oh, another thing, fabricators are people first too. We’re not a commodity and don’t supply commodity items.

We all need to show respect, honor, understanding and empathy, even a sense of urgency to one another when it’s due. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t hold our feet to the fire to produce what we said we would, by no means. However, it also means we can hold your feet to the fire when you don’t perform in the manner you committed to us. It works both ways, a two way street, a partnership. That’s how we can make your project shine enough to get that next job, promotion or raise you’ve been working so hard to get. Neither of us is a “commodity” and we can’t treat one another as though we are. We’re both people and deserve to be treated like a person first.

We all work to make a living, but we can make “making a living” much more enjoyable working together. We can accomplish greater things working together than working against one another or not even working together at all.

 

 

Being the Best is Hard Work

Whoaaaa, Nelly! What kind of statement is that?? Are you asking for trouble??

No! We’re asking you to take a closer look at what we offer!

A partnership with the best pipe fabrication company anywhere. We’ll take it one project at a time until we build a trust in one another. Then we can begin truly working as a partnership with your company. We will help/assist you in being awarded more work, by giving you the deliveries and economics to win more projects. With a company like General Fabricators, Inc. you don’t need your “own” fabrication shop, with all the headaches and overhead that it would bring you. We work as an extension of your capabilities and offerings to your customers.

With our fabrication facility located in the middle of the southern United States we’re strategically located to deliver your fabrication just about anywhere in the country. We’re already shipped fabricated process pipe to ND, NM, Texas, GA, Penn., Florida, and LA in the last year.

Working with General Fabricators, Inc. is “user-friendly” for everyone. From Project Execution and fabrication to invoice processing and material tracking for data books.

We’re here for you, and we mean that literally. Give us your schedule and we’ll do our level best to get you what you want, need and have to have delivered so you can get this job done and get the next order under your belt.

We work hard to build relationships of trust with all our customers and their customers. We both have a customer to please, your customer is our priority in customer relations.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Getting the Right People on the Bus

I started re-reading the book, “Good to Great”. This book is a valuable tool to keep oneself centered on the solution to everyone’s problem.

First Who…Then What.

“We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, then the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats-and then they figured out where to drive it. …”People are not your most important asset. The right people are.”

When was the last time you read this book? I highly recommend it to everyone. It’s a great business book, but it’s a better book to remind us what’s important in life and how to work with others.

My last quote from this book this morning.

“Every good-to-great company embraced what we came to call the Stockdale Paradox: You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

We all have to be brutally honest with ourselves in every aspect of our lives. Are we doing the right things? Are we treating others in a manner that helps them or hurts them? When we can be brutally honest with ourselves we can then be brutally honest with others correctly and in humility. We can all grow and become better people through whatever we’re going through and because of it. I know there’s a lot more to it than that, however, we have to start somewhere and this is a better place than most.

General Fabricators is the best place to work! We’d love to say we never make a mistake, if we did, we wouldn’t be being brutally honest with ourselves. What I can say is that we do better than any other company to make right what we got wrong. I can say that it’s not often we have these things to deal with, when we do, it’s a fast and furious race to make the solution that brings the least amount of harm to the project.

Being honest with ones self is crucial to personal growth. We have to see our shortcomings before others have to point it out to us. Then pride gets in the way, we just don’t want to admit we have room to grow when someone is pointing out where we need to improve.

We need to stop being busy, “being busy”. Evaluate what we’ve done and what we’re about to do BEFORE we do it. Is it the right thing? Is it the best thing? Is it what this particular situation needs? Right now? Don’t do things because it’s what we’ve always done. GROW UP, take responsibility for what we do or have done. It’s our position in the company or in our lives that I’m talking about. We have it, earned or not, now “own” it, make something great out of it.