Credit Given Where Credit Is Due

 

Our company is currently building a 700,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Sweetwater, TN. This project is for Red Stag Fulfillment. They are a third-party warehousing and fulfillment center for E-Commerce.  It’s a cool thing: basically, you make a product that you want to sell online but don’t want to have to store and/or ship said product.  That’s where Red Stag comes in with automated warehousing, same-day order fulfillment, inventory tracking, etc. Anyway, that’s just the set up, not the point of this post. Last Wednesday was the official “groundbreaking” ceremony for the first building on its 420-acre campus. Here is a link to a Knoxville News Sentinel article with photos and descriptions of the event.

Along with around 250 people in total, it was attended by lots of dignitaries, including Red Stag investor Jordan Mollenhour of Mollenhour Gross and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. Bringing 3,500 jobs to the area is a fairly big deal, so many other politicos were there as well as developers, architects, engineers, and media.

Our superintendent on this project is named Jesus Magana. Jesus is a terrific superintendent (I wish I could clone him) but typically at these types of events, the people doing the actual “work” are mostly afterthoughts compared to the VIPs in attendance. Well, not last Wednesday… the owner Jordan, is very involved with this and other projects Jesus has worked on.  He also takes an actual interest in the workers on his projects, providing them things like a small building at every project with complimentary beverages (coffee, sodas), microwaves, etc.  Over time, he has come to appreciate Jesus’ talents as a job superintendent doing quality work and getting things done on schedule despite typical construction delays like inclement weather and supply issues. During his groundbreaking speech, when thanking those involved, Jordan made sure to specifically mention Jesus by name. Then when Governor Lee spoke, he also mentioned Jesus!

Next on the agenda was a somewhat unique ceremony where several dignitaries lined up behind some small concrete panels we had poured just prior and pressed their handprints into the concrete. These concrete sections will later be cast into the floor to memorialize the event. After the initial group had finished, we noticed there was one additional square that hadn’t been used. It was suggested that Jesus put his prints in as well and after some gentle coaxing, I managed to wrangle him over there to do it. His smile was beaming by that point as reporters came over to talk to him. Then, before loading up in his SUV, Governor Lee came over and shook his hand and made a picture with all the guys of the small crew we had present.

We will probably need to get Jesus a new, larger hardhat for his big head but it was nice to see credit given where credit was actually due.

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There are 13 comments.

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  1. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Great article!  You are right, many times the people who are actually responsible for success don’t get much or any credit.

    (May I suggest more paragraphs?  :-) )

    • #1
  2. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    EB (View Comment):

    Great article! You are right, many times the people who are actually responsible for success don’t get much or any credit.

    (May I suggest more paragraphs? :-) )

    How about SOME paragraphs!  lol   Good criticism.  :)

    • #2
  3. B. W. Wooster Member
    B. W. Wooster
    @HenryV

    Terrific post.  Thanks for sharing.  I have so much respect for guys like Jesus that just show up and do great work.  Champion to see him getting some props – for him and those he represents.  

    • #3
  4. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    Thank you very much for this story.  At a time when it seems that half the country neither understands nor respects America and its history of individual opportunity and achievement, it is great to hear about Jesus and his well earned appreciation by others.

    You brightened my day!

    • #4
  5. danys Thatcher
    danys
    @danys

    Wonderful story! Congratulations on winning this project and having a great crew.

    • #5
  6. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Well done, indeed!

    • #6
  7. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    The 3PL model is a killer one, I haven’t been keeping up with this for a long time but back in the late 1990s when at IBM we used 3PLs to store, pick/pack, and ship microelectronics equipment in Singapore and in Vimercate, Italy.

    I can only imagine this market is a giant now, with the way distribution has been revolutionized.  

    Thanks for sharing that story, particularly Jesus.  What’s really encouraging is that the VIPs aren’t taking the people doing the real work for granted.  Those people in the trenches getting the work done, they are the critical path to success.  They are largely overlooked by corporate.  And they are the first people called when something goes sideways because they’ll know how to fix it.

     

    • #7
  8. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    The 3PL model is a killer one, I haven’t been keeping up with this for a long time but back in the late 1990s when at IBM we used 3PLs to store, pick/pack, and ship microelectronics equipment in Singapore and in Vimercate, Italy.

    I can only imagine this market is a giant now, with the way distribution has been revolutionized.

    Thanks for sharing that story, particularly Jesus. What’s really encouraging is that the VIPs aren’t taking the people doing the real work for granted. Those people in the trenches getting the work done, they are the critical path to success. They are largely overlooked by corporate. And they are the first people called when something goes sideways because they’ll know how to fix it.

     

    Yes the 3PL model I really an interesting development.  It’s cool to see that kind of innovation.  Could be an entirely separate post

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Cool!

    • #9
  10. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    B. W. Wooster (View Comment):

    Terrific post. Thanks for sharing. I have so much respect for guys like Jesus that just show up and do great work. Champion to see him getting some props – for him and those he represents.

    Thanks we have some great superintendents!  It’s important to remember those guys are the face of our company, not owners or project managers.  Those are the guys that directly impact our company’s success.  

    • #10
  11. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    As a former Distribution Center VP, I give you a big thumbs up!

    • #11
  12. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    This is the type of concrete reporting we need more of.

    • #12
  13. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Tip of the hard hat!

    • #13
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