Supporting Our Customers Is A Key Priority.
When I started at Royal Master in January, I was extremely nervous. I had never had a job before, and I was intimidated by horror stories that my friends had told about their own jobs. Since we are still in high school, most of my friends work at places like the grocery store or the bagel shop. Working at an office was a total mystery to me.
My first week passed quickly. I met so many new people and tried my best to remember the names and faces. I started filing and making new folders. I had so many questions but everyone was so nice and answered them all. I started learning what I needed to do, and every day that I was there I became less nervous.
Now, three days a week at three, I walk into the office, say hello to Lori, Lee and Marilyn, before heading over to Alan’s desk. Alan will tell me what I should do that day. Sometimes, I will file downstairs, other times upstairs, where I file old purchase orders. I’ve also learned how to answer the phones. Occasionally, John Jr. will have a project for me, one that will, as he says “keep me out of trouble for a while”. Those projects range from figuring out how to put pictures on the blog to setting up email distribution lists.
Some of the things I have done at Royal Master have even helped me out at school. For my computer class, we had a project in which we need to design envelopes and labels. I was ahead of the class since Lori had already taught me how to make labels for the folders.
The people are what make my job here so interesting and fun. My friends have told me how some of the people they work with are cranky or mean. That is not the case at Royal Master. The people here are so nice. For example, Lori wrote up a whole page of directions about answering the phone, like who is in what department so that I can direct the call to the proper person.
Working at Royal Master is not at all what I expected. . Though I was nervous at first, I am now so glad that I work here.
Tomorrow we build a tradeshow booth. Why you ask?
Around 5 IMTS cycles ago ( 10 Years ) Royal Master Grinders would rent a booth for IMTS. I would fly to Chicago and look at 3-4 tradeshow display companies, have a few free lunches, make polite small talk as they try to get me to spend $15,000.00 for a 40’ rental wall. Mind you this does not include graphics, and usually is an Octonorm product. Octonorm is a plain white paneled product with an aluminum extrusion uprights, nothing fancy or nothing interesting, just a wall which at the end of the day is pretty ugly.
I finally had enough.
I decided that we would build our own backwall, make it custom and look neat. With all the grand ideas we had, I still had never built a booth, nor had any idea where to start. So I shopped around. I looked at booths at other tradeshows and decided a wooden booth with laminate on the outside would be good, Tan would be the color for a neutral background and graphics would be reusable.
I made a shopping list for the lumber yard, and the Formica dealer and off I went, filled up my pickup truck and arrived with my sketches for a Saturday build. Glen our shipping manager offered
to help and off we went into the unknown, we built walls, labeled them, laminated them, preassembled and fixed any issues then assembled them for the final time. I have to be honest it did not look too terrible. After I totaled up my receipts it really looked a lot better, total expenditures WITH graphics was less than $4,500.00.
We used that booth for 4 cycles for a total “Rental” of $1,125.00. I think that this is pretty cool that we saved over $55,500.00 for a wall that you would rent and give back 8 days later.
Why am I blogging about this now?? Its time for a new one. It is time to change colors, and modify the design as we are using this style for other shows now also. Since our first version of the booth we learned about milled pine lumber, Southco Fasteners which are ...
This week I went to the local Westfield Shopping mall to return a pair of shoes that I purchased about 4 months ago. They are nothing special and not expensive, but I wear them most days and they look the part, but far from worn out. The reason for the return is the rubber soles split across the ball of the foot and I was annoyed that this could happen. I am not a return kind of person, I dislike the whole experience that it entails, finding a receipt that you put in a drawer six months ago and trudging to an overcrowded mall. Nasty salespeople are more interested in flirting with the kiosk employee across the mall, and not trying to help you. So what makes this experience noteworthy. I was in and out in less then 3 minutes flat.
Without a receipt I walked into the store, pulled out a shoe from the bag I brought, politely said “ is this supposed to happen?”, the answer was no from the very polite sales employee. He quickly offered that even though he did not have them in stock, he would order then and have them shipped to my home at no extra charge. After filling out my name and address, I was on my way explaining my 7 year old daughter the difference between good service like this and poor service like we had at chain store a few weeks back. Her simple reply was why would someone NOT give good service, and Daddy can we get a Pretzel.
I had to think about her question and I did not have an answer, as we went and got a Pretzel, Cold Stone Creamery for me.
We all live in a environment where we are genuinely surprised by a thank you when you pay for your bagel and coffee or surprised when you get a small bag of peanuts on your cross country flight. How did it get this far, I do not know but when this happened it made me sit back and just listen to Alan Schell our customer service person. Everyday I hear him on the phone as we sit close to each other, but I just decided to listen, and listen intently.
Alan has a conversation with our customers, he just does not take an order. At times it seems like they should be making plans ...
Today our granite machine bed was delivered for our centerpiece machine at IMTS. About 5 months ago we looked into the possibility of enhancing our machine as we started running into applications that required better tolerances. Two areas to address were thermal stability and vibration dampening. ( Hey every micron counts ). The granite machine bed was born.
Friday afternoons at Royal Master are funny, they either feature pure chaos as people call in last minute for parts or they are quiet, with the only calls from spouses looking for a choice between pizza or Chinese for dinner. There never seems to be anything in-between.
With the bed came a bunch of new ideas of the machine, many which without a doubt enhance the mechanical properties of the machine, but some are purely ascetic in nature. Meetings on the machine came at different times, nothing planned, usually a cup of coffee or Mountain Dew was in hand and it started out with a “What if we…. ” And ended with, lets get Todd to figure this out, it sounds good.
This bed has been highly anticipated here for the last 10 weeks as Rock of Ages in Vermont helped us develop a product that could be manufactured, but also meet our requirements. The result arrived today. When the truck arrived there was crowd, all eagerly anticipating the bedrock machined base, which arrived crated. But when uncrated, many just “Wow”
As many times as you look at a solidworks model, and visualize the end result, nothing prepared me for the relief to see the idea which started out as a “ what if” get uncrated. Looking at the certification paperwork that came with it, revealed another surprise. Just like a Born On date. Rock Of Ages who knew of our excitement to receive this, included a few photos of it in process. I have to say they got copied many times and passed around as everyone had to look at them, a lot.
After I finish writing this blog, I am out to the shop to go place a headstock, wheel guard and some other items which are finished on top of the machine ...