This is one of my favorite Fundamentals, because it speaks of working as a team, and “Teamwork” is one of our Core Values. By definition Collaborate means “the situation of two or more people working together to create or achieve the same thing”.
As we partner with our industrial customers and larger mechanical contractors/fabricators, it’s critical that we properly provide them with the correct MTR’s. An “MTR” is a Material Test Report that shows the manufacturer, country of origin and the chemical composition of the pipe, fitting or valve. In most cases, the customer cannot perform any work on the material supplied until the MTR is verified. This allows them to ensure the heat number corresponds with the material supplied; verification that the material meets the customer’s AML, Approved Manufacture List, specific country of origin and the grade and wall thickness of the material.
To ensure we have effective processes in place, we organized a “collaborative” meeting that included as many as 16 people from all facets of our organization including Jim Sage and Bruce Raff from IT, Dave Figuly, Randy Mason and Dan Reed from Distribution / Operations, Diana St. Clair, Brian Bour and myself from J.F. Good, Brad Abrams and Shawn Coffman from our Columbus RDC and others to come up with efficient solutions that will help our organization and customers for many years.
During our meetings we discussed many situations that may arise and what would be the best way to take care of our customers. This included receiving the MTR, properly identifying and logging them in our system, transferring them from the CDC to shipping branches and finally getting them to our customer.
We are still tweaking the process, and are having monthly follow up discussions to ensure that we are meeting all the requirements of our customers. We feel we are better off now than we have been in the past, and our goal is Continuous Improvement, our 5th Core Value. I do believe if we continue to collaborate and work together, we will be one of the strongest industrial suppliers within the markets we serve.