Blog Series: What’s Your Why, Chris Mauldin
By Chris Mauldin, Senior Operations Manager.
As someone who has been heavily involved in almost all aspects of our business, I would have to say that there are two things about this job that keep a smile on my face day to day. First, I’ve never worked with a better group of people. From the bottom to the top, Firmatek is full of excellent individuals who would give you the shirt off their back without a second thought. They’re fun to be around and full of antics—anyone who has seen the incredible amount of aluminum foil in my office can attest to that. Second, I love that we are a full-service company. Service is a key function of Firmatek’s business and one of the largest values we provide to clients. When you get inventories from Firmatek, you aren’t just getting numbers, you’re getting an experienced individual behind each set of data. We provide business insights with each inventory. Often-times, there’s a lot of turnover at the plant manager position. When that happens, we can be one of the steadiest points of information for a client. If they need to go back to 2016 and learn the history of the site, we can help with that. Providing that level of knowledge is one of the best parts of my job.
From an early age, I’ve always felt a strong drive to be a protector and supporter. I get to live this out at work with the autonomy given to me to put the right people in the right place to succeed. When my team shines, I’ve done my job properly and I can be proud of the work we’ve done.
I grew up in a family where hard work and integrity were crucial values to “being a Mauldin.” I’ll never forget the lessons I learned that have been formative in my life and help me on a daily basis to live out my why. “Play through pain” are words that I hear my father say every time I have to admit a mistake or correct something that me or my team has done. It’s easy to brush things under the rug when they go sideways but playing through pain means having integrity and owning up to mistakes or having uncomfortable conversations. We do that here at Firmatek, and that’s why people trust us with their inventories.
How my Why Connects me to Firmatek
Knowing my own personal why helps me stay focused in good times and in bad. In good times, when things are slow, I’m focused on the details we can improve on, preparing for the busy season and making sure we’re ready to help our clients in the most efficient way possible. During the rough times, it helps me put my head down and lead my team to do what needs to be done, at whatever the cost.
Relating to Firmatek’s “why” has a serious impact on the way I work. It’s the reason we’re all here. When clients succeed, we succeed. When we have an opportunity to provide clients with a business insight instead of just data/numbers, we are living out Firmatek’s why. It’s a great reminder of our focus and the value that we can provide.
One of the single most important things we do here at Firmatek is build relationships. I’m extremely proud of our team and I think they do a wonderful job connecting with our clients on a real level. When one of our processors calls a plant manager to go over a pile or material that’s been giving them issues, that’s the beginning of a relationship. That plant manager knows he can call us up and we can look over data with him at any time. When our field technician reminds a plant manager about a pile they measured at the previous inventory that was left off the list this time, it saves him time and a headache. We’re here to work WITH people and developing relationships is part of how we provide confidence to the amazing companies that build the world. I’m proud to be a part of that.