As this blog article was being posted, only a few precious hours remained in the year we called Two Thousand and Sixteen. We were thinking that many people in business and every other facet of life probably have been or soon will be undergoing some form of mental multitasking, going back and forth in their minds with reflection about the year about to end and anticipating — we hope with eagerness — about the year about to start. Continue reading 2016 was a busy and good year for Tucker Paving; we’re expecting a repeat for 2017
No company is going to do well or even be a company for long with a track record of poor customer service. In this highly competitive business world, there’s very little room for shoddy treatment of the people who support the bottom line in a big-time way.
At Tucker Paving, Inc., in Winter Haven, we know construction best and we’ve learned how competitive this industry can be — how competitive it is — right here alone in our own big backyard of Central Florida. We also think we’ve learned a few key things about good customer service and how to provide it. Nearly 22 years in business (with steady growth along the way) is a good indicator of that. Essentially, quality customer service is a combination of consistent small extra services, devotions to detail, common courtesies, and applications of the business Golden Rule — the “stuff” that keeps existing customers coming back to you with their projects and gets potential new customers to take notice of a good reputation and check you out.
Occasionally on our Facebook page — www.facebook.com/tuckerpaving — we’ll post interesting quotes from notable leaders and motivational speakers about superior business ethics, work quality, and customer service. In keeping with the theme of this article, here’s a baker’s dozen worth of brief quotes we like about customer service. Maybe you’ll like them, too.
1. “Every great business is built on friendship.” — James Cash Penney, Jr., founder of the JCPenney department stores company
2. “The customer’s perception is your reality.” — Kate Zabriskie, author of Customer Service Excellence: How to Deliver Value to Today’s Busy Customer
3. “Make a customer, not a sale.” — Katherine Barchetti, founder of K. Barchetti Shops, an upscale retailing company in Pittsburgh
4. “Here is a simple but powerful rule: Always give people more than what they expect to get.” — Nelson Boswell, author of Inner Peace, Inner Power
5. “Customer service is just a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate type of activity.” — Leon Gorman, the late L.L. Bean president and chairman of the board
6. “Your customers are responsible for your company’s reason for existing.” — Marilyn Suttle, president of Suttle Enterprises, LLC, a personal and professional growth-training firm
7. “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” — Roger Staubach, Super Bowl-winning quarterback (Dallas Cowboys) and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
8. “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” — Donald Porter, vice president of British Airways
9. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States
10. “Make it easy for your customers to do talk to you.” — Kevin Stirtz, author of More Loyal Customers: 21 Real World Lessons to Keep Your Customers Coming Back
11. “Either you follow up or you fold up.” — Bernard Kelvin Clive, personal branding coach and Amazon best-selling author
12. “He profits most who serves best.” — Arthur F. Sheldon, co-founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs in London
13. “Good service is good business.” — Seibel advertisement
On June 30, Tucker Paving Inc. happily launched the very first issue of its new monthly e-newsletter (email newsletter) and delivered it to email inboxes all throughout Central Florida. In an obvious play on our company name, the e-newsletter is titled Paving the Way. Joining our website, this blog section, and our various social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest), the e-newsletter is another vehicle we have to share all the good things happening at our growing construction company and with our team members.
This e-newsletter content will include links to selected blog articles on our website, photos, and various tidbits of information that we hope will be interesting and useful to a wide and diverse audience. The first e-newsletter includes links to blog items about our community involvement and the goings-on in 1994, the year our company was founded; and a photo capturing a recent safety training event for several of our employees. (In the business sector we’re in, there can never be too much safety training!)
If you weren’t on the email list to receive the first issue of Paving the Way, you can see it in a Web browser format at http://bit.ly/2967AGU. If you would like have future issues of the e-newsletter sent to you by email, it’s easy to sign up; just click over to http://www.tuckerpaving.com/contact-us/ and provide us with your name and email address in the “Subscribe to our Newsletter” box in the middle of the Web page, on the right-hand side.
We hope you’ll enjoy Paving the Way and the links it provides to Tucker Paving-related digital content on the World Wide Web. Comments are welcome via the contact Web page referenced above.
If you enjoy good American business success stories (no, we’re not going to brag — this time — about Tucker Paving Inc.), we have one for you.
It’s about YETI Coolers. That’s the company that makes the insulated bottle we’re going to give away — and soon, we hope — following our Tucker Paving “Road to 1,500 Likes” event on Facebook. (For event details, click over to www.facebook.com/tuckerpaving. Look for a post with a gold background and a picture of the bottle.)
The need to accurately name and describe the beverage bottle — it’s a 36-ounce Rambler model — had us going to the YETI website (yeticoolers.com) for details. We got stuck there for a few minutes, reading the YETI story. Here are some highlights:
• “YETI was born out of frustration,” by fishermen brothers Roy Seiders and Ryan Seiders, “and molded by experience.” The brothers typically use ice chests as casting platforms during their fishing trips.
• “… (T)he coolers that were out there just weren’t up to our outdoor adventures — the handles would break, the latches would snap off and the lids would cave-in,” the brothers write on the YETI website. “Not only was it a hassle to replace our coolers after each season, but these cheaply built, ordinary ice chests were limiting our good times. And that frustration led us to a solution.”
• “In 2006 we founded YETI Coolers with a simple mission: build the cooler we’d use every day if it existed. … One that simply wouldn’t break.”
• The company later ventured beyond just hardy ice chests and now also manufactures vacuum-insulated stainless-steel drinkware (like the Rambler bottle we’re giving away), soft coolers, and other outdoor gear and accessories.
Built on sturdiness and quality, the YETI coolers were launched at a price point much higher than regular ice chests, but that didn’t keep the new brand from taking off in the marketplace. A headline and subhead in Inc. magazine put it this way: “How Two Brothers Turned a $300 Cooler Into a $450 Million Cult Brand. When two frustrated fishermen set out to reinvent the cooler, they didn’t expect to upend an industry.” (www.inc.com)
The brothers sold their company to Cortec Group in 2012, but Roy Seiders still runs it today as CEO from headquarters in Austin, Texas.
How’s that for a success story? Two brothers wanting solid coolers to pull double duty as fishing perches decide to build their own and go from frustrated to flush with cash — proving once again that quality in product and business has its own reward.
Whoever he or she is, the Facebook-using winner of the YETI Rambler from Tucker Paving will get a quality product, and we can’t wait to give it away.
Both at the employee level and at the team level, multitasking is SOP (standard operating procedure) here at Tucker Paving, Inc. It has to be if we want to keep up with the demand for our services (we do), if we want to fulfill our commitments in a quality and timely manner (we do), and if we want to see continued growth in our company (we do on that, too).
Multitasking can take on many forms. In construction, its most visible form usually means working on more than one job on more than one site at the very same time. We’re thankful that our growth through the years — in the number of employees, in the depth and breadth of our mechanized assets, and in the scope of our services, among other things — has given us the ability to do just that: The ability to work on several jobs at one time.
If you had been given the opportunity to drive all over Central Florida in May, you could have found Tucker Paving crews and equipment on several job sites, including the following:
• The new campus for Our Children’s Academy in Lake Wales.
• A public parking site in downtown Auburndale.
• The rising public parking garage facing the Polk County Courthouse and the county’s Neil Combee Administration Building in Bartow.
• The Oakwood Estates mobile home community in unincorporated southwest Winter Haven.
• The new Waterside Village subdivision in southeast Winter Haven.
• A Bancroft Boulevard improvement project near the new Wedgefield K-8 School in east Orange County.
Some of those projects have been completed. The others remain under way.
Multitasking is an art form — most certainly in construction — and we’re fortunate to have excellent artists (project managers and site-work supervisors among them) on the Tucker team.
(NOTE: If you want to keep tabs on Tucker Paving projects almost daily, click over to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tuckerpaving and “Like” us.)
In detail or in passing, in this online blog or on Facebook (facebook.com/tuckerpaving/), we’ve mentioned Tucker Paving’s association with several business, economic development, and professional organizations. Among the ones we haven’t touched on in any kind of digital depth so far is the Florida Transportation Builders Association, Inc. (FTBA).
Tucker Paving, Inc., is in the paving and road-building business, of course, so it makes perfect sense to belong to this association.
Like many other large construction-related organizations — those having members involved with public and private projects costing millions and sometimes billions of dollars — the FTBA is big into political lobbying, government and legislative oversight, and advocacy on behalf of members and the industry.
The Tallahassee-based FTBA — “Florida’s Voice for the Road & Bridge-Building Industry” — states on its website (www.ftba.com) that “members are at the forefront of industry decisions.” The association further states:
“FTBA represents its members with one collective voice before the Florida Legislature. FTBA works with various agencies, including the Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration as well as the executive branch to keep them informed of the needs and concerns of the transportation construction industry.”
The FTBA is affiliated with the national American Road and Transportation Builders’ Association. It also maintains liaisons with several other transportation-related organizations, including Floridians for Better Transportation (www.bettertransportation.org).
The FTBA isn’t all about politics and government affairs, though. It provides members with educational materials and up-to-date construction and design specifications. It provides bid information. It has a scholarship program for young people and supports regional Construction Career Days for high school students. It produces a quarterly industry publication, FTBA Magazine. It sponsors a wide range of conferences, seminars, workshops, and member social events. And it awards and recognizes quality, innovation, and achievement in construction work and design.
A must-attend event for any FTBA individual member or member group is the association’s annual convention. This year, the FTBA convention will be held Aug. 4-7 at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grand Lakes resort. As you might expect, meetings, speeches, presentations, roundtable discussions, and an awards event are all on the convention schedule, but also planned is a heavy dose of fun time — lots of good eating, a pool party, a party for children and teenagers, and tournaments for the adults in golf, tennis, and fishing.
The FTBA is a fine association, and the Tucker Paving team is pleased to be a part of it. We look forward to having a good group from the company at the 2016 FTBA Annual Convention and expect it to be a real treat.