@Work: Leland Wells
COMPANY: Briggs Equipment
TITLE: Vice President, Operations
YEARS ON JOB: 5 Years
I’ve had the privilege to be part of the Briggs Equipment family for five years. In my current capacity as Vice-President of Operations, leading our 30 branch locations as well as consolidated field support functions, it is my responsibility to ensure full engagement of our team members, a consistent experience for our customers, and efficient and profitable operations for the enterprise. Prior to joining Briggs and the Material Handling industry, I held various operational, sales, and supply chain positions with several large public manufacturing and distribution companies. This past experience afforded exposure to the impact of quality material handling solutions as well as a direct understanding of large customer needs and expectations. This knowledge was put to work through several roles of expanding responsibility beginning with leadership of the North Texas market, then Regional Leadership, and finally in my current capacity.
Communication is key to any organization’s success and something we have been particularly focusing on internally and externally for the last 12 months. As mentioned before, we regularly solicit the customers input and feedback and strive to make doing business with Briggs as easy as possible. What do our customers expect and then we work to reach that expectation. From an internal perspective, we conduct annual engagement surveys to dig deeper into the needs of our team members, create specific improvement plans, and communicate these changes throughout the organization. If you don’t communicate all the way up and down the chain there can’t be alignment. To ensure all team members remain informed, and to further solicit input, we have scheduled communication touchpoints weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly.
Any industry requires constant learning, but that is especially true with Material Handling. Manufacturers are always developing new and improved products that can change their service needs, and technician skills. We pride ourselves on having the most knowledgeable technicians in the industry so that requires a consistent approach to training, and we have a dedicated team to help us do that. But technical training on equipment is just one piece of it. Our team must also know how to use our own technology to best serve the customer and have the soft skills for a great customer experience.
Don’t assume you have all the answers and ask a lot of questions. Surround yourself with high integrity individuals who will tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear. This is a detail driven transactional business, so empower your leaders and team members to make decisions and support the customers.