An All Around Approach. Part 1: Human Resources

This post is the first in a 7 part series entitled ‘An All Around Approach’. We will focus this series on how we provide cost reductions for our customers throughout the entire organization.

Our technical approach to fastening is one of the main reasons our company has grown 20% year over year since 1990. We’ve grown 6 times faster than the industry average.  We provide year over year cost reductions for our customers; we contractually guarantee it. In this series we will be taking a deeper dive into each of our functional areas here at Field and showcase ways, that DSC00250-2as a team, we provide cost reductions year over year to our customers. As you, the reader, follow us we hope that we can accurately portray for you the all around approach we take in finding these savings.

The cost reduction process starts right at the beginning, before someone gets hired.  At Field, average isn’t good enough when it comes to the recruiting and hiring of new team members.  In our blog series “Who is Field?” We state that we hire to our Core Values: Integrity, Commitment, Teamwork, Flexibility, Innovation, and Fun. We use our Core Values as the guiding principles for seeking individuals who possess the ‘DNA’ to make them successful at Field. We know that we can teach people about fasteners, we can teach someone about marketing or purchasing, but we can’t teach integrity, or commitment.  So by hiring to our Core Values we reduce the costs associated with recruitment, hiring, training, and retention.

To hire the right people we utilize a broad network of resources from internal referrals to strategic postings, to an informative website. We are constantly seeking top talent even when a defined need has yet to be identified.  By “building a bench” of talent, it is possible to decrease the amount of time it takes to fill an open position and minimize the cost of recruiting fees.  Additionally, by recruiting to our Core Values, the caliber of team member is significantly higher, meaning lower turnover, and a greater capacity within each team member to educate, engage, and empower them to provide the very best in service to our customers.  In turn this helps us fulfill our Mission Statement: To have everyone who interacts with us LOVE us!

Aided by a unique culture that has at its foundation the Mission Statement and Core Values, people quickly sense the value that is placed on our team members, customers, suppliers, and the community at large.  We have hired bank tellers, retail sales people, restaurant servers, and those employed in businesses other than fastener distribution. All of these people have one thing in common: DNA that drives them to succeed by taking pride in their work, and by embracing the values that raise the bar to where excellence is the standard.   This excellence is even evident in the safety performance at Field, where we have surpassed two consecutive years without a work-related injury. So not only have we avoided the costs incurred with medical treatment but also the costs incurred due to lost time from work.

Cross functional training is a big part of human resources. Once we’ve found the right person who fits the Field DNA we start the training process. Field has a development program that is anywhere from 12-24 months. We cross train our team in several areas of the business to give them an all around, well developed knowledge of each of our functional areas. We do this so that when our customers call, they know that ANYONE at Field can help them and that the team member they are speaking to is well trained and knowledgeable on the subject.  Providing cross functional training is crucial to retention and lowering the cost associated with turnover.  When we have team members who are cross trained we can plug them into a functional area that is best suited with their strengths which results in more productivity.

The cost reductions for our customers that are associated with human resources are: lower turnover, higher levels of customer service, improved delivery, an excellent safety record, highly trained team members, and a team that feels empowered to make the right decisions for our customers. This may be hard to quantify in dollars and cents but a great human resources program is the foundation that enables Field to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.

Author: Tim Firm |Director of Human Resources