Communication & Connection Is Critical

I’ve heard it a thousand times… Communication is the key to success. No matter what avenue of industry, work, or even personal life you are in, this statement rings true. At home, communication between my wife and I, as well as our network of friends is always the easiest thing to forego and not want to spend time on. Once this easy path is chosen the work kicks in because one side of the team doesn’t know what the other side of the team is doing.  Most of the time this works for us, when it doesn’t I quickly realize it would have been a better solution to discuss everything rather than assume or just make a vague attempt at what I think we need to do.

My Rucking Community

As for the network of friends, one of the best things I have learned is, we are not alone… Chances are, if you enjoy doing something or talking about certain topics, even if you are struggling, there is someone, you probably even pass them every day and don’t know. Heck, I even found a group of people that like to get outside of their comfort zones and exhaust themselves physically and mentally through rucking. The fact is, my network of friends is like my council on tough decisions or even daily life recaps, as humans we need other people and interaction is in our being.

At work, this need for communication is just as important. During times like we are currently experiencing thanks to the pandemic, we may be seeing a worst-case scenario when it comes to communicating since we have split into shifts and moved to remote work.

We have blogged before about our response as a company, we have successfully been ahead of the curve on response and how we handled our staffing as well as social-distancing before these “rules” were put out. The largest hurdle for my team was the separation and not being able to easily discuss together due to separating into two shifts. Sharing applications, or problems customers may be experiencing with each other is one of our strong suits. To be able to collaboratively use our experiences to build the best solutions or see improvements was cut in half.

So how have we been able to keep helping customers the same as before when we are divided among two shifts? In case you can’t guess, it is an abundance of communication. We use every tool available to us every single day to effectively discuss what is going on between shifts as well as seamlessly transition notes so a customer who may need contact with both shifts isn’t re-explaining themselves in the afternoon.  Is this easy? No, in fact, we haven’t performed flawlessly this entire time yet we have always kept one focus at the forefront.

We do not want our customers to experience anything different or have any additional hurdles to getting the product they need to maximize their compressed air operation.  In fact, if you have noticed a change I would love to discuss it with you personally. You see, we can’t improve without evaluating the methods, just like the 6 Steps to Compressed Air Optimization, you have to know where you are starting, then fix the leaks.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

When To Ask An Expert

With the Springtime comes many outdoor activities in our house. Sometimes they are new, such as archery which just came about in our house in the last couple of weeks.  The other item that it is time for is our family garden. While we have not started any plants from seed this year, and the opportunity to get to a garden center to purchase plants may not happen, we still want to be prepared.  To do that, we prepared the same plot we have used in years past and laid down some landscaping fabric to try and kill off any unwanted weeds that have already started to sprout up through the dirt.

The next activity was to get the tiller out and perform a tune-up/maintenance on it. Sure enough, first, pull and the cord on the trusty engine lets go. The cord didn’t merely break, it looked like something from the Three Stooges as I almost fell backward from my pulling momentum and very nearly punched myself in the face. I proceeded to disassemble the pull-cord cage and found myself in unfamiliar territory.

Pull-Cord Assembly aka Punch-self-in-face-maker

Had this been another part of the engine, the carburetor, electrical kill switch, engine internals, or even the final drive to the tines, I would have been okay. Oddly enough, I have never had to replace one of these recoilers or the rope that comes on them. When you go to YouTube and search for a topic like this you will find a rather large amount of ways to perform a task like this.

Rather than doing that, I enlisted the help of a close friend who has worked for a lawn care/landscaping company for over a decade. He maintains every piece of equipment the company owns and uses. Needless to say, he has replaced quite a few pull ropes in his time.  When I called, due to social distancing we couldn’t meet in person, he, of course, asked several questions about the tiller and in the end helped me to make sure I had the correct replacement rope.

We then set off to walk through the process and the entire thing took less than 15 minutes.  When it was said and done the pull-start felt better than it had ever since I owned the piece of equipment and after sitting since last year still started on the second pull. Thank God for ethanol-free fuel that is still available at certain locations.

All repaired and ready to till!

The point of this story is, what is received and viewed as a simple task for one can be a monumental task for someone else. While my mechanical aptitude was sufficient, I lacked the training and understanding as to why you would perform this process in a given order. My friend, the expert, did not lack that at this point in time. This process was something that was second nature to him.

This is very similar to point-of-use compressed air applications and the EXAIR team. Our team has experience from a multitude of industries and we all focus on utilizing compressed air efficiently and effectively. If we don’t know the process (which is rare) we are willing to learn and ask questions until we understand enough about your application that we can make an educated recommendation for an optimal EXAIR product. We are all here to help each other and to help our customers achieve their goals, so contact us when you need an expert.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

EXAIR Founder’s Day 2019

EXAIR celebrates Founder’s Day each year on February 22nd (or the closest working day) in order to commemorate the birthday of our founder, Roy Sweeney. He founded the company in 1983 and drove EXAIR to become the strong, successful and innovative company that it has over the years. Today would have been his 85th birthday.

We choose to make this day a celebration and a day to mark our ongoing commitment to the service of others in keeping with the values that Roy and his wife Jackie felt (and feel) very strongly about. It is now up to us to continue to look outside our company, outside ourselves and do what we can to improve the world around us.

As we do every year, EXAIR has made significant donations to organizations that are making a difference right here in our area:

• Dragonfly Foundation – supporting pediatric cancer patients and their families
(www.dragonfly.org)

• Master Provisions – supporting those in need with food, clothing and other items in the Greater Cincinnati area and abroad through mission trips
(www.masterprovisons.org)

• Cincinnati Youth Collaborative – supporting vulnerable children and young adults to overcome obstacles and succeed in education, career, and life
(www.cycyouth.org)

• Lighthouse Youth and Family Services – supporting their Safe and Supported program for LGBTQ youth (www.lys.org)

• DAV – supporting disabled American veterans and their families
(www.dav.org)

• Women’s Crisis Center – supporting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual abuse
(www.wccky.org)

To further our commitment to others, EXAIR established an Employee Volunteer Program last year that enables every full-time employee with at least 90 days of service to volunteer with organizations of their choice during the normal work week with full pay by EXAIR. I am proud to say that fifteen employees volunteered their time helping other organizations in 2018. Through this program, EXAIR and its employees can have a positive impact on dozens of organizations throughout the year.

So as we celebrate today with lunch from one of Roy’s favorite restaurants – Montgomery Inn – and funny memories, we wish Roy a happy birthday. We miss having him here. We remember what he did for all of us and for countless others. And we pledge to continue his commitment to helping those who need it.

Happy Founder’s Day from everyone at EXAIR!

Bryan Peters

Helping Within Our Community

Throughout my tenure here at EXAIR I have seen the company give to many different organizations and to the team members here.   Recently we implemented a program where employees are allowed to choose a charity of their choice to go and volunteer for a day each year.  This year for my volunteer day a group of seven members from EXAIR went to help a non-profit organization that focuses on helping students and teachers in 16 local counties.

The organization, Crayons to Computers is a free store for teachers in these counties that surround Cincinnati.  The store is stocked with donations from corporate and private entities and staffed by volunteers.  Their inventory can be anywhere from classroom supplies, books, decorations, technology equipment, even stocked book bags to give to students.  The store is the largest of its kind here in the United States and has been serving the Cincinnati area for 20 years. Their belief is that a teacher should not have to spend money out of their pocket to supply students in need with school supplies and to ensure that schools in need have access to supplies that aren’t always easily available.

They have a sales floor where the teachers shop and then a large warehouse where the donations are all sorted and stocked for easy pull to the sales floor when needed.  This is where our team spent the day.  We did jobs like sorting books by reading level, organizing / packaging chair mats, unloading trucks, and finally, consolidating over 30,000 boxes of 24 count crayons so that their valuable warehouse space was being used more efficiently.  These crayons were all donated by financial institutions here locally that had challenged each other to see who could donate more.  It still isn’t the amount of crayons that they will supply to teachers within this school year, but it helps tremendously.

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By volunteering our time we were also able to give 10 teachers who’s school would not normally qualify for shopping at Crayons To Computers the ability to go and shop for a day.  This was an added bonus that we were made aware of after the fact.  This is yet another way that Crayons to Computers gives to our community.

One of the best takeaways I have from this year is that I got to give back to an organization that my amazing wife would shop at when she was teaching students in need.  It was organized by someone here on our team that had no knowledge of my personal connection. We ended up getting more done than they had ever hoped to get out of 7 volunteers.  This was all made possible by a company that doesn’t just focus on making excellent products and providing top notch customer service.  EXAIR is also focusing on making sure our team members interests are embraced by letting them choose how to give their time and the companies time to a cause they believe will give back to our local community.

If you would like to inquire about donations or how you could help Crayons to Computers, please check out their site directly.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF
1-800-903-9247