Refocusing Life with Mud Pit Burpees

This past weekend I decided it was a great idea to sign up for another event through GoRuck.  In case you aren’t familiar with GoRuck they were founded by a retired Green Beret who wanted a way to test the gear he was making and selling.  These events have since expanded to a very extensive team building and fitness event.   The event this past weekend was located in Columbus, OH and was hosted by four Cadre, each from a different branch of military Special Ops.   It is truly amazing what each cadre brought to the table as they shared a sliver of their experiences and expertise.

The event was, so far, the hardest physical event I have done in my life.   The outcome and what I carried with me from the event was worth every bit of the pain.   While most that are on the outside looking in may think this is purely a physical exercise, it is much more than that.   These events not only help you to test yourself physically but mentally as well.  They are designed to get everyone out of their comfort zone and  teach each participant that while one person may be able to complete all the tasks, it only matters if everyone completes them together.  So they also teach an incredible amount of team building.

The event I took part in I only knew one other person there, I came away knowing roughly 32 people and having a better understanding of what it takes to make sure everyone has the same goal in their mind and that everyone knows what needs to be done to get to that goal.

The best part of all is this event was only the LIGHT version.  It was like the sampler of what their main events are.   The biggest reward of everything that happened that day is the fact that there were 72 people from all walks of life that got together in a park and everyone walked away a better person.  GoRuck prides itself in building better people and so far, I haven’t seen anything but 100% delivery on that.

Whether, you are doing a burpee in a mud pit.  (see below)

Mud Burpee
Nothing better than a mud pit Burpee – I wonder if I could convince my co-workers to join in?

Or trying to make it through a seemingly endless leg lift with a ruck on,  the only thing you have to worry about is making sure that you keep the person next to you going because they will in turn do the same.   You’ll be impressed with what you can do when you get rid of the “can’t and won’t” from your vocabulary and learn to ask for help, you can and will achieve the impossible.

ABSOC Light Columbus.jpg
I’m the guy the cadre is walking right behind.  I promise my feet are 6″ off the ground and my legs are straight.

As for me, an event like this allows me to refocus and makes me see the forest through the trees of day to day life.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager / GoRuck “Weirdo”
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

The Best Lunch Is One Prepared For You

This past week was another celebration here at EXAIR, in case you didn’t notice, we like to do that here.  This wasn’t a birthday, anniversary or someone leaving the team, it was another record breaker for the EXAIR team.   I know we have talked about cookouts before and these only happen for special occasions.   Nonetheless when you have the EXAIR management team, including the owner and President, grilling everyone’s lunch –  it is a great day.

You can see our Production Manager doing some quality inspection here.
You can see our Production Manager doing some quality inspection here.

This builds so much camaraderie through the ranks of EXAIR that I don’t know any way to do it better.   The entire time we had the cookout there was still no hiccup in our standard operations either, that means if you called in, you still got to speak to a live person and not a recording.   That is the level of service that we provide every day, every week, every month, and every year.   That is what sets us apart from any of our competition and allows us to continue to reach higher goals than we have ever reached before.

MMMmmmmmmm!!!!!    Steak!
MMMmmmmmmm!!!!! Steak!

Now if you will excuse me,  I need to go take a jog and try to work myself out of this food coma from the steak.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Cookouts Are Awesome

Here at EXAIR we truly are a team.  When everyone bands together and gets everything done right it shows.   Yesterday we had the luxury of getting lunch cooked for us by the President and owner.  Whenever good things happen around here they treat us with a belly filling cookout. Heck, even if it’s been a while since the last cookout they will come up with a reason to serve us.  We can order our choice of different style burgers and even have a few special orders which facilitate different diets.  They have been cooking out for us for so many years that the process is down to a science and we are always sitting down to lunch exactly at our normal lunch hours. The spread is deliciously nice and it’s always good to see everyone from all departments getting together for a nice sit down lunch.

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(Pictures are of what is left after everyone made their way through.)
(They also don’t show the other half which was salad bar and of course deserts!)

In many ways the cookout process resembles the way we treat customers… We never need an excuse to treat you well, we can make custom products for your unique processes – if we don’t already make what you need, our products have been shipped 99.9% on time for a ridiculously long time (ever since we started tracking it 18 years ago), and we are confident you will be pleased with the products. I guess you could say EXAIR’s company culture serves both internal and external customers.

Times like this are when I know I am a part of the right company, one that not only is the leader of Intelligent Compressed Air Products, but also a company that is based on a solid foundation that takes care of its employees.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

The Patrol Method Still Works

Something doesn’t feel quite right about this past weekend. A few hundred Boy Scouts gathered along the bank of the East Fork of the Little Miami River from Friday to Sunday for our District’s Spring Camp-O-Ree…and it didn’t rain once. It totally went the wisdom of great American author, philosopher, and truth-teller Dave Barry:

Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds, for the opportunity to rain on a tent.

The beautiful weather, though, was just the icing on the cake of a glorious weekend. We set up a series of team-building/problem-solving exercises for the Scouts to perform. One of these was known as “The Hot Chocolate River” which consists of:

(2) lengths of rope, staked to the ground about 15 feet apart…these are the “banks” of the river.
(5) 2-foot wooden squares…these are the “marshmallows” that the team uses to cross the river.

Here’s the deal: each 8-Scout Patrol attempts to reach the opposite bank by placing the marshmallows in the river. At least one Scout has to be in physical contact with each marshmallow in the river, or the unattended marshmallow is removed from play, and they’re left to cross the river with just four marshmallows. Or three, when they find another way to leave one unattended. And some of them did, with alarming quickness. One Patrol (the one my youngest son belongs to) successfully crossed the river in 1:14 (min:sec). The next fastest was 1:44. Another Patrol lost three marshmallows almost immediately, but were able to get all eight members across in under seven minutes, using only two marshmallows. A couple of Patrols “timed out,” being left with only one or two marshmallows after ten minutes, with members still on the starting bank.

One thing I noticed…from the quickest (did I mention that was my son’s Patrol?) to the slowest, was that their success (or lack thereof) was tied to their teamwork and communication (or lack thereof.) These are key components of “The Patrol Method,” which I wrote about once. Well, twice.

That was a couple of years ago, and the Application Engineering team at EXAIR STILL practices The Patrol Method. It’s indispensable, whether we’re looking for a solution to a challenging application, training a new member of the team, or just getting everyone one the same page…no sense in just one of us learning something if we can ALL learn, right?

How are teamwork and communication contributing to your team’s success?  Something to think about.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Service Your Internal Customer to Build a Strong Team

A lot has been written on the importance of good customer service. Hands down it is the cornerstone of a viable business. Satisfying your customer’s wants and needs cheerfully and expeditiously leads to repeat business.  

But…have you ever considered your internal customer, the people who you work with? When they come to you for assistance  do you view this as a burden and an encroachment of your space? Or, do you respond as you would to your external customer going out of your way to see that their needs are met?

 Internal customer service is to building a strong efficient team as external customer service is to building sales. In sports, a team that works well together wins games.  A workforce that works together wins customers. In the end everyone wins. The customer’s needs are satisfied and the employees jobs are easier and more satisfying.

EXAIR is well-known for its customer service and ease of doing business with. That is because we have a strong internal team. While we all have job descriptions, they do not limit our activity but just describe the core of our activities. Serving the customer is everyone’s job description. How accurately and timely we each perform our core duties translates into serving our customers.

For example, we are proud of our 99.9% ontime deliveries. To accomplish that, our people will move from their jobs to help with any bottlenecks. There is no such thing as “that’s not my job” around here.

Much is touted about ISO 9000. We at EXAIR live it. We are all human and humans will make mistakes. The key is to correct them before they get too far. Everyone at EXAIR is on a constant vigilance for anything that does not seem copacetic. We have had shipping folks question why a customer is ordering a given component that does not match the function of other components they are ordering . A quick call to the customer to verify has saved them a lot of grief and delay.

EXAIR has introduced many new products. These were driven by customer inquiries not some scientist in the R&D department.  Our application engineers talk with hundreds of customers across all business sectors. Sometimes we do not have a product that will fulfill application needs. These are duly noted and put on a list for future consideration by our engineering staff.

 So you can see EXAIR’s success is centered in servicing both its internal and external customers. 

 Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
joepanfalone@exair.com