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34. Maintain A Healthy Work/Life Balance. | Jerry’s Message

Jerry’s Message:

This fundamental is important to me because it separates Famous Supply from other employers. This fundamental proves the company cares about us both personally and professionally.

It is up to each of us to be healthier and physically fit. With gym membership reimbursement and Kaitlyn’s coaching and recipe ideas, the company has given us the tools to be healthier. This can help us on the job and at home.

Encourage your peers to get involved in a group or organization that they’re passionate about. This will help them and their community. It gives everyone some time to forget about the stress of work and focus on something else that you enjoy.

To me, the most important part of this fundamental is family life. I try to support this with the associates I directly work with as much as possible. I encourage managers to spread the time off on holidays around. Example: Associates that are off Memorial Day weekend, work Labor Day weekend.

Also, ask your team if they have something going on at home before making the Saturday schedules. I believe this approach is working in Canton and the Sebring Counter. We all know that there will be times where we need to have each other’s back, because someone else had yours a couple weeks ago.

When I came to Famous Supply, I left a place where work was the only thing that mattered to the company. Paid 1/2 days and time off around the holidays were not allowed. When you’re working instead of at your kid’s game, or at the hospital with a sick family member, you’re probably not going to be effective because your mind is elsewhere. Famous provides paid wellness hours, community service hours and vacation days. They encourage us to be where we need to be when our families need us, and when we need them.

Thank you,

Jerry

Jerry Hollback/CSM Famous Canton

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33. Always Remember That We’re A Family. | Lisa’s Message

Lisa’s Message:

The associates at Famous Supply are a group of more than 700 incredible people who come from diverse backgrounds. Many are completely different from one another. A lot of us have grown up with totally different traditions from one another and live in homes that have diverse rules and varied styles. While these very differences have helped to define the culture in the environment that we spend most of our time in, it is the very thing that has brought us together and shaped us into one very special large extended family. Always remember that as a group, we are a family that supports one another, listens intently to one another, respects one another and shares the same passion to continually strive to be better together. Thank you for being a part of my Famous Family.

Who at Famous embraces this fundamental?  The Multi-Family and Studio33 teams gets my shout out for making me feel like family from the first day!

Thank you,

Lisa

Lisa Terman

Showroom Manager

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32. Show An Attitude Of Gratitude. | Jennifer’s Message

Jennifer’s Message:

Did you ever watch the Mary Tyler Moore episode where Mary is in a funk because her life is a boring routine? She feels defeated as she mumbles “Every day I wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner and go to bed.”

So, what does Mary do? No, she doesn’t buy a new pair of shoes or find a new job. Instead, she develops an attitude of gratitude about what she DOES have. With a song in her voice and a dance in her step, she enthusiastically declares that “Every day I wake up! I go to work! I come home! I eat dinner! Then I go to bed!” A simple concept, yet profound.

Sometimes we can all benefit from stepping back and appreciating our lives as they are. I personally am grateful for the welcome and open reception I received coming into the Famous Family. I especially want to acknowledge Christine Longville for hiring me and Michelle Morgan, Sheila Messner, Malissa Ware and Randi Moser for training me. Betsy Semisorrow, Lisa Terman and Andrew Grover also have given me so much emotional support in helping me find the “right seat on the bus” here at Famous. 

My last grateful nod is to Marty Hyatt who, without being asked, didn’t hesitate and started answering phones with me on a day he could tell I was overwhelmed.   

Most of us will never receive what seem like life’s big prizes:

  • A Super Bowl ring
  • The Pulitzer Prize
  • An Oscars

But we are all eligible for life’s true treasures:

  • A bon fire
  • A beautiful sunset
  • A high-five
  • A delicious meal
  • A kiss on the cheek from a loved one
  • Looking up to see a falling star

An Attitude of Gratitude is contagious – be a carrier!

Jennifer Sebe

Outbound Sales Account Executive | Famous Enterprises

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31. Be Obsessive About Organization. | Karly’s Message

Karly’s Message:

I grew up with OCD and perfectionism; all of my belongings had a “home”. Whether it was clothes being color coordinated in specific drawers, or toys being in specific colored bins, I felt at ease knowing exactly where I could find what I was looking for. Organization felt natural to me.

Before I became an Administrative Assistant, I worked in the culinary arts. We have a saying, “Mis en Plas”, which means “everything in its place”. We would set up everything we would need to prepare a meal before getting started so we wouldn’t have to run around the kitchen in a reactive way. I feel this motto is the same for any role. When working in the office, I make sure to “Mis En Plas” at the end of each work day to make sure my next work day goes as smoothly as possible. Time management is a BIG help in this aspect.

This fundamental is an important one when it comes to being an Administrative Assistant, no matter how big or small the company is. Administrative Assistants at Famous deal with numerous different aspects of the company, but organization throughout the whole company is key – from Warehouse, Counter, Inside and Outside Sales, everything has it place!

When you aren’t organized things can become hectic and messy. We want to be fast and efficient when it comes to pulling an order in the warehouse, writing a sales order or anywhere else in the business. If we aren’t organized, picking an order costs more time and can lead to errors. This can cost us our reputation and customers!

 I am so proud of how hard we work as a team in the Toledo branch to stay organized. Heather Gilmore and Ryan Owens do an excellent job at doing just that! They’re here early in the mornings maintaining an organized warehouse by unloading our truck’s materials into the correct spots. They go above and beyond throughout the day to ensure all items at the counter are “Mis En Plas’ed” so contactors can find exactly what they’re looking for in a timely manner. 

Karly Fulton

Administrative Assistant
Famous Supply – Toledo

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30. Practice Transparency. | Mary’s Message

Mary’s Message:

This week as we Practice Transparency, we are working to be understood with our communication and actions. Not only are we practicing transparency but also Getting Clear on Expectations, Speaking Straight, Communicating to Be Understood and Sharing The Why. As we Practice Transparency we develop trust and respect with our fellow associates and customers. They come to understand that our main goal is to be honest and do what is best for everyone.

Here are six key actions to help develop transparency and build better relationships:

  1. Don’t be afraid to admit failure
  2. Have conversations to understand and explain the why
  3. Have discussions with respect and dignity
  4. Tackle real issues; don’t just have the conversation. Put forth the effort and take action
  5. Follow up with everyone involved
  6. Be a team. We cannot achieve our goals without the help of others within the organization

Practice Transparency to let others know your true intentions, with respect and dignity. Transparency helps to foster trust, teamwork and open lines of communication. When your intentions aren’t pure they are much easier to see through.

Over the years I’ve developed relationships with many people at Famous that are completely transparent with me. They Share the Why and offer tips for how to prevent mistakes from happening again. I turn to Bruce Raff, Cheryl Violet, Julie Wysocki, Jennifer Vanke and Kim Schiman when I have questions because I know they will help me continue to grow by being transparent.

MARY K. QUEEN
Customer Service Manager / Famous Supply Newark

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29. Be An Expert. | Jon’s Message

Jon’s Message:
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that has businesses in the HVAC industry. I learned a lot from my father when I started working for him part-time in my teens. I also worked a full-time job in the automotive/mobile electronics industry. Eventually, I went to work full time as a HVAC tech and installer. Throughout my travels to the various distributors in the area, one of them stood out the most. I bet you can guess which one…. Famous Supply! While I learned a great deal from my father, I always wanted to learn more. I wanted to gain as much knowledge as I could to become an EXPERT.

This is one of the many reasons Famous quickly became my go to distributor. I was impressed by the wealth of knowledge the associates had about the industry, and the classes they offered through Famous University. One person that helped me the most is John Frase. He is truly an expert at what he does. Not only did he offer his knowledge, he was (and still) is committed to offering top notch service and solutions to deliver the Perfect Order.

Now that I work for Famous, I still go to many people, like John or Jeff Rosenblum, when I have questions. Even though I learned enough in the field to be able to serve customers, working at Famous has still been a humbling experience. I thought I knew a lot! But shortly after starting I realized that I barely touched the tip of the iceberg. I strive to learn as much as I can every day and be a lifelong learner. I simply ask questions… MANY questions.

Famous is a very diverse company. We offer many services and products, and are expected to be experts in everything we offer. Education is key. Take the time to learn everything you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and learn from those who have the experience and knowledge. Famous University and ASA courses are great tools available to everyone. Your mind is the best thing you can offer someone… take ownership for your personal development.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Jon

Jon White
Warren Customer Service Manager

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28. Think Safe. Work Safe. | Josh’s Message

Josh’s Message:

What is safety? Safety is about more than going through checklists and keeping things clean. It’s not about making sure everything is in its place, memorizing regulations or using scare tactics to get others to comply.

When we put people first, we can start understanding safety. Safety is about going home at the end of the day to your family and friends. It’s about helping others do the same thing. It’s about doing the right thing always. It’s about improving our processes, our environment, and ourselves.

People, relationships, and learning are all at the heart of safety. Safety is about living and learning. We must always follow regulations, make sure everything is in its place and get everyone educated on how to be safe. We have to put our people first and remember that everything we do is so they can be safe.

The CDC is a great example of safety being a learning experience. We have come such a long way in Sebring, and it’s exciting to see associates and friends take ownership of safety because they genuinely care about each other. Have we attained Safety Nirvana? Of course not! It can always get better! Safety isn’t an end goal, it’s a journey. It’s not something in your hands, or a process. It’s the mindset you bring to work each day!

Stay safe!

Josh

Josh Anderson

Famous Distribution Sebring

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27. Share The Why. | Jeff’s Message

Jeff’s Message:

I love the fundamental “Share the Why”. It is absolutely crucial to anyone’s growth. I use this fundamental everyday while on the phone fielding technical issue calls and at home with my kids. Explaining “The Why to my kids will help them understand what was done so they can learn from it. (Think: Don’t stick a fork in the outlet because…)

Famous Supply as a company embraces this Fundamental. “The Why is always shared as it relates to company growth, business ideas, new products, technical training and more. It helps everyone grow because they get a better understanding for why decisions are made. As part of the HVAC Technical Support Team, we are always explaining “The Why”. If all we did was give answers, nobody would learn. We want to teach as we investigate the issue. The most rewarding part of my job is finding out why something is not working properly and sharing what we learned.

I’ve told many technicians; everyone has an “aha” moment, it’s when something they have been struggling with starts to make sense. however, the technician’s job is not done. Now it’s their turn to share “The Why”. to help educate our industry.  

If I had to pick one person at Famous who demonstrates this fundamental well, I would say Mark Ham.  I get to sit next to him and he is always willing to explain to the contractors not only what is happening but why. 

It is so easy to get stuck in a rut where you just want to do it yourself. Everyone has heard the old saying “If you want something done, you have to do it yourself”. While sometimes this may be the case, the true test to see if you understand something is, rather than doing it, explain it, and The Why! 

Jeff

Jeff Rosenblum

Technical Support – Training

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26. Work With A Sense Of Urgency. | Jen’s Message

Jen’s Message:

Have you ever been in a situation where you are the customer and have an issue with your order? You gather the details, take it to the proper person, and explain what is going on so they can help you. Everything that needs to happen to make this situation right is dependent upon the person you’re talking to. How would you want them to react? Do you want them to move slowly, or solve the problem with accuracy and speed? Whether this is the 10th issue that day or the first, you feel your issue is most important and requires immediate attention. 

Each of our customers deserves us to work with the same sense of urgency that we would expect if our roles were reversed. To our customers, their orders, questions, and/or issues are the most important ones and we must treat them that way. The more we practice this fundamental, the more our customers will come back to us because of how important we handled their situation.  This is crucial when forming relationships with our customers. It shows that we are willing to treat their emergencies as our own emergencies.

When practicing this fundamental, don’t forget about our internal customers as well. Our co-workers deserve this same level of urgency. Laura Burgess is a perfect example of someone who embodies this fundamental. She responds to every request and follows up to make sure everything gets taken care of. This is all done with speed, accuracy, and friendliness every single time.

Jen

Jen Heischman

Order Management Lead

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25. Be Relentless About Continuous Improvement. | Taylor’s Message

Taylor’s Message

When I think of continuous improvement, I think of the improvements recently completed at the CDC. We are constantly trying to achieve a level service that is beneficial to everybody who relies on the CDC functioning at its best.

One example of this fundamental in action is the new dock layout for our shipping/staging lanes. When the loading team was having issues loading trucks with speed and accuracy, everyone came together and developed a new approach for our dock layout. The dock now has numbered grids with bar codes within each lane to help our associates locate and verify the right product. This helps us load orders onto our trucks more accurately and efficiently.

While the lanes helped with accuracy, what truly has helped us with our goals of continuous improvement is the open line of communication that now exists between teams at the CDC. The associates picking and staging orders and associates that load product from the dock into the trucks give the other constructive feedback so they can improve their efficiency and accuracy.

The CDC team is being Relentless About Continuous Improvement!

Taylor

Taylor Gascon

Warehouse/Famous Distribution Sebring

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