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

Social Media Finds Lost Dogs, Helps Save Compressed Air

Lost Dog – Her name is Molly

 

The versatility of  social media is one of its greatest assets. If you have an interest in something you can most likely discover others with the same interests on one of the social media platforms. From Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube to Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram and Reddit – you will be hard pressed to NOT find something you are looking for.

The other day, we lost our dog, and it was a traumatic experience for us.  She saw some deer in the backyard; and in her crazed state, she knocked down the pet gate.  Molly went after the deer into the woods behind our place.  Being that it was raining and approaching the evening hour, I mentioned that when she gets done hunting, she will come back home.  We placed her bed and food onto the porch for when she returned.

The next day, Molly was not on the porch.  We were disheartened.  Being that I am a bit “old” school, we decided to print some flyers with Molly’s picture.  After I returned from work, we started in my neighborhood and worked our way out.  We drove to all the neighbors to see if they had seen her, and we stapled the flyers to telephone poles and community boards.  We were going at it for hours, and it seemed to be getting hopeless.  (Now, I would not have written this blog if it had a sad ending.)

As we continued to make our journey, I went up to a house and knocked on their door.  A gentleman answered, and I gave him the story of how our dog got out of her pen.  As I was still speaking, my significant other rolled down her window and shouted to me that she found Molly.  I was a little confused as I headed back to the vehicle.  She told me that a picture of Molly was on her Facebook.  (Of course Molly was making herself right at home as the picture showed her laying on a couch).  We were extremely happy that we had finally found her.  Apparently, a lady that found Molly posted her picture, and tagged her friends.  Her friends then sent it out to their friends, and before you knew it, we had her picture on Facebook.  With a friend request, we were able to receive her location and start our way to pick her up.  Believe it or not, Molly was over 2 miles away from our house.

Being curious, I looked at the timeline of the post.  I noticed that she posted the picture at 6:44 p.m., and we were looking at Molly at 7:28 p.m. that same day.  This was definitely much quicker and easier than hanging flyers and knocking on doors.  I was amazed at how fast and simple that this social networking reunited us with Molly.

This got me thinking about social media.  Facebook is the largest social network with almost 2 billion users throughout the world.  In looking at the nature of Facebook, it is more than reuniting with friends or finding lost dogs.  It also unites companies.  EXAIR has a Facebook page in which we post videos, photos, and blogs of compressed air solutions.  We can show you how to save money by using less compressed air with our products and how to solve every day problems with your compressed air system.  We would love to have you as a friend at www.facebook.com/exair.  We may not be able to find your dog, but we sure can share some stories, solve compressed air problems, and become good friends.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

 

Merit Badges

My oldest son has been a Boy Scout for about six months now. I’ve gone on and on (and on and on and on) about the virtues and benefits of the Scouting program. If you haven’t guessed yet, I intend to go on a little more, right now.

Along with several of his friends in his troop, he’s actively on the hunt for Merit Badges. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the program, Merit Badges are – and aren’t – tied to a Scout’s advancement. There are certain Merit Badges he’ll need to make rank (there are twelve specific ones required to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout), but any Scout can pursue the requirements for any Merit Badge at any time, regardless of age or rank. The only thing he needs is enough interest to start, and enough drive to finish.

There are, at latest count, over 120 to choose from. They include activities/interests that most people associate with Boy Scouting, like Camping, Hiking, First Aid, and Indian Lore. There are some that are obviously in line with the Boy Scouts of America’s commitment to shaping tomorrow’s leaders – they can earn three different Citizenship Merit Badges (Community, Nation, and World), as well as American Business, Scholarship, and Public Speaking. Some are geared towards things they do for fun – Cycling, Skating, and Golf…which may rival the Cub Scout’s Pinewood Derby for “level of father involvement.”

There are some that I was surprised to see on the list. Turns out, Boy Scouts can earn Merit Badges for Composite Materials, Dentistry, Pulp & Paper, and Nuclear Science. The newest one is Robotics, and several Summer Camps are even incorporating it into their schedules of activities. I’m secretly hoping that my son will pursue the Home Repairs and Plumbing Merit Badges, but I’m not holding my breath…

The key person in the Merit Badge Plan (aside from the Scout himself) is the Merit Badge Counselor. This is an adult with a keen level of interest, knowledge, and experience in the specifics of a particular Merit Badge. His or her responsibility is to:

1. Assist the Scout as he plans the assigned projects and activities to meet the merit badge requirements.
2. Coach Scouts through interviews and demonstrations on how to do the required skills of the craft, business, or hobby.
3. Certify the Scout after determining whether he is qualified for the merit badge.

 “A Guide for Merit Badge Counseling,” http://www.scoutmaster.org

This system of Merit Badge Counseling, in and of itself, is a terrific way to teach these Scouts another valuable life skill: Networking. When you have an interest you want to pursue further, who do you call on? When you have an endeavor you want to take to the next level, whose aid do you enlist? Whenever we can, we turn to those whose passion or profession (or ideally, both) is in line with our quests, right?

That’s the way it should be, and I’m glad my son is part of an organization that recognizes and promotes the value of networking, or, as they call it, the Patrol Method.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
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