Meet Lead Inspector, Shane Ford

hercules slr employee spotlight shane ford

Get to Know: Shane Ford, Lead Inspector at Hercules SLR in Brampton, Ontario 

Shane Ford, Lead Inspector, @the_inspector_guy, the guy who keeps you safe…You probably know Shane Ford, our Lead Inspector in Brampton, Ontario by at least one of these names. And you don’t, you should. We sit down with Lead Inspector Shane Ford in Brampton, Ontario, to find out why he made the switch to rigging from the telecommunication industry (yep, really!), what he loves about his role at Hercules SLR and the biggest mistakes he finds out in the field.

Tell us about your educational background:

Originally, I worked in telecommunications. I made the transition to rigging after I met someone who worked in the field and learnt a bit about it.

Now, I’ve been in the industry just over 13 years—I started on the floor in shipping & receiving, and now I’m the Lead Inspector at our branch in Brampton, Ontario.

Tell us a about your role at Hercules SLR—What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts at 8AM, usually on the warehouse on the floor where I inspect chain slings, add chain to chain blocks and whatever other rigging hardware needs to be looked at. Then, on an interesting day, I might get an emergency call for a project, like a windmill inspection. (Editor’s note: did you know there are approximately 3,800 blade failures each year?) The windmill is about a 2 1/2 hour-drive away, and a 365-stair climb when I get there.

Once I’m through inspecting the windmill, that’s a day. Often when you’re working on huge structures, like a crane, they’ll have an elevator on the ladder—Not on windmills! There are rest-points, but in all honesty I’m usually so eager to get to work, I climb the entire structure in one-go.

windmill inspection by shane ford at hercules slr
Windmill inspected by Shane Ford.

In fact, a lot of my days look quite different. For example, tomorrow I’m off working for the City of Toronto, today I’m working in the shop, and then I’m heading to a business that sells industrial tarps. These tarps aren’t actually meant to cover things like you might think, but are used for specialty fall protection and lifting & hoisting applications to move things on-site.

Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?

Like I mentioned earlier, I originally worked in the telecommunication industry. I worked in a hobby-shop and then in management. I managed different cell phone branches in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and was responsible for sales, helping with technical issues and customer issues. This experience definitely helped me deal with customers when I’m in the field doing inspections.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Really, I just wanted a career change and was looking for something that offered a stable, steady income, was hands-on and also ‘pushed the envelope’.

I’m definitely more mechanically-inclined, and wanted to pursue a field that challenged that aspect of myself.

As an inspector at Hercules SLR, I get to work with equipment like air hoists & manual hoists that I didn’t have a chance to work on before, which has pushed my interests a lot.

Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR, and where did you enjoy traveling to most?

I’ve got to travel to so many cool places, a lot of them in my own backyard! Can I say more than one? (laughs)

One of the places I’ve enjoyed the most has got to be Shelburne, Ontario to work on wind turbines (a large vaned wheel which rotates with the wind to generate electricity) in the facility there. They don’t let many people up and inside them, so it feels like a big privilege—And the view is amazing!

Sometimes, I get to observe the people at work and what they do when I’m out on a job. Another cool place I’ve traveled for work is the GM plant in Oshawa where I got watch them manufacture cars from start to finish.

General Dynamics is another cool place! To work there, you need security clearance, a variety of official background checks and a guard to accompany you—It’s intense but very cool. There, I had the chance to watch them manufacture amoured personnel carriers for the army from start to finish. It’s pretty cool to see a piece of sheet metal turn into an entire vehicle right before your eyes!

However, I think the coolest project I actually worked on are the Zip-lines at Niagara Falls. I was one of three Hercules SLR Inspectors who prepped the wire rope with hooks and sockets on each end, tested it in-house, and installed it with specialty 1/2 lock-strand—It went ‘live’ in 2015, and is always cool to see people using.

niagara falls ziplines installed by hercules slr
Zip-lines at Niagara Falls, installed by Shane Ford and a team of Hercules SLR Inspection Technicians.
Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

Honestly, I couldn’t imagine anything more fun or crazy. I get to go so many cool places, that I didn’t even know rigging was used before I started working with Hercules SLR. A really good example of this is the Bank of Canada, who uses wire rope. A lot of people might not think of rigging equipment in a bank, but it’s definitely there. At the Bank. an armed guard stands by a gated door while I head in and inspect the wire rope they use. It’s neat to get a behind-the-scenes look at places I normally wouldn’t!

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

I’m most proud of what I’ve accomplished and how far I’ve been able to advance in my career at Hercules SLR in 2 1/2 years. I came into this trade from a completely different industry, and now I’m certified by organizational bodies like LEEA, Columbus McKinnon, Crosby, Samson Rope and more and always have new learning opportunities.

Another thing I’m proud to have accomplished in the securing, lifting and rigging industry personally, is the trust I get on a company-level and from customers’ onsite. I work out of our Brampton branch, and help out Hamilton and Brampton. I actually live almost exactly between these branches, so I’m able to travel between both of them to provide service, and also travel to our branch in Sarnia for inspections which gives me a good spread of Ontario.

Another thing that makes me happy is knowing that I help keep people safe. I like going to help, solve people’s problems and making sure ***that I’m keeping others’ safe. I can’t help but think of my own family when I’m on a site, and how everyone around me has a family, too—I want to go home to my family, and I want them to go home to theirs, too. 

What do you enjoy most about the securing, lifting and rigging industry? 

Honestly, I enjoy the challenges the most. I love going to help & solve mechanical challenges for people. We might get a call that a piece of machinery is stuck, and it’s delaying an entire project. You have to diagnose and think about it on-the-spot, and often the work we’re doing can prevent something disastrous from happening, and can actually save lives.

For example, on one call we had an inspector notice a 200-lb hoist about 50-feet in the air that was having operational issues. We had to take the hoist out of service and into our shop. Yes, it’s 200-pounds, but an object falling that high can deflect and cause a lot more damage than you might think. The more experience you have, the more it helps you do this type of job.

“Don’t put on an act when the inspector’s around, and actually make it habit to perform visual inspections.”

dangerous modified rigging equipment
Modified rigging equipment that came across Shane Ford’s desk—This would be very dangerous if used in the field.
What’s something clients/customers often don’t know about inspections when you visit them onsite? A mistake? 

Well, it’s not necessarily a mistake, but I always like to say “seeing is believing.” I’ve done break tests for customers’ who don’t think that a piece of equipment will break under certain conditions or applications.

Honestly, the main thing that clients or customers’ don’t realize about inspections are how important they are. A big misconception people have is that they have to check their equipment only when there’s an incident, or they are completely unaware of when or how often inspections need to be done.

For example, sometimes a piece of equipment like a sling fails, and I’m called in to inspect it. I’ll ask, “when have you had inspections done last?” Often, they can’t answer, even though it’s important information to know. I’ll usually explain how often that piece of equipment needs work on, and you see their eyes bulge out of their heads. Then, you end up going through when and how often it should be inspected, and you can sometimes tell they haven’t been following those steps. Instead of having inspections done when an accident happens, have inspections done regularly to prevent accidents from happening.

Another thing I often see are people grabbing the wrong piece of equipment, or something that’s failed, or picking up a piece of equipment like safety harness or sling and not conducting a visual inspection first. It’s important to make it a habit, so your equipment doesn’t fail from something that could have been easily prevented if you just looked.

So I guess my biggest tips are: don’t put on an act when the inspector’s around, and actually make it habit to perform visual inspections.

Shane Ford with his son.
Give us your best tip for passing inspections:

I can’t stress this enough—Training, training, training. Everybody needs training! Even people who say they’re confident and know can always use training, or even updated training to keep them fresh. Training, and keeping the importance of safety top-of-mind for your team will eliminate the mis-use of equipment, equipment failures & lots of accidents.

For example, we had a technician who specialized in fall protection (harness’, lanyards, etc,) and found that a lot of gear passed inspection and was being used, and it was not safe to use. The employee that originally told us our equipment was safe to use (and wasn’t), and was actually hired for health & safety, but didn’t have specific training for fall protection. They passed some harnesses that were cut, lanyards that had tears and hooks with defects that would typically never pass any inspection, and employees were using it. This gear  would not arrest a worker if a fall happened—But training for health & safety personnel would help them understand the risk, and what safe equipment actually looks like.

What’s a big misconception businesses have about inspections?  

I think I mentioned this, but a big misconception people have about inspections are how often they need to be done, and this needs to be common knowledge.

Another big misconception is that just anyone can perform inspections, which is not the case. Inspections must be done by a competent person, and it has to be the right person for the right job. Like with the case of the health & safety employee who passed torn and broken fall protection equipment, he may have had a lot of knowledge about general health & safety, but when it comes to human life, that’s often not enough. It has to be the right person for the right job, or a collaboration with someone who is a competent person in that specific field.

Inspections are a great career choice if you’re curious, love to learn, solve problems & are mechanically-inclined. I get to work around food, pharmaceuticals, automotive, manufacturing and so much more. I’m able to learn so much about businesses and jobs here in Ontario that I’d have no exposure to otherwise. It’s actually pretty cool when you start to see all the different industries who use rigging & fall protection gear, and how many lives are affected by a piece of equipment running well.


NEED A QUOTE? GET INSPECTED. STAY SAFE. HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.   

Employee Spotlight: Isabelle Bulmer, Territory Sales Manager

hercules slr territory sales manager blog header

Get to Know your Territory Sales Manager, Isabelle Bulmer

What’s it like to work at Herc? Meet Isabelle Bulmer, our Territory Sales Manager (an avid gym-goer!) based at Hercules SLR in Moncton, New Brunswick.

When Isabelle’s not at Hercules SLR, she love to be at the gym and has a huge passion for health, fitness, self-improvement and spending time with her family.

Read on to learn more about what Isabelle’s role at Hercules SLR and what she loves about the rigging industry.

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

For the past 17 years I’ve worked in managerial roles, with 14 years spent in the contact center industry.

Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?

Before I joined Hercules SLR, I worked as an Operations Manager for United Rentals, and before that I spent 10 years at VitalAire.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

I decided to work for Hercules SLR because it was still a job that served the construction industry, which I find very interesting and challenging. And, the learning opportunities with Hercules SLR are endless!

Isabelle Bulmer, Territory Sales Manager in New Brunswick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR, and where did you enjoy traveling to most? Anywhere you’d like to travel in the future with Hercules SLR?

I’ve been to Dartmouth a few times for training, but I’ve since taken on the new Territory Sales Manager role at Hercules SLR where I’ll see clients outside the branch—I look forward to hitting the road. meeting new clients and travelling to different cities in my territory.

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

Within a few months, I was able to move into the Territory Sales position—I can’t wait to begin my journey, since sales have been a passion for me and I’ve been wanting to move into this type of role for awhile. I’m so thankful Hercules SLR could give me this opportunity!

What do you enjoy most about working in the rigging industry?

I enjoy the unlimited amount of product and knowledge there is to learn in the rigging industry, and the never-ending learning opportunities.

Why do you work safe?

I work safe because I have 2 children at home who require more than your average care, so it’s important for them to have the support & love they need and deserve. Coming home to them each day keeps me motivated.

I’m passionate about my health & always working to become a healthier, stronger & better me, so I can be there for my kids and have the energy to keep going, and feel GREAT while doing it!


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US IN NEW BRUNSWICK—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.   

Employee Spotlight: Olivia Whidden, CSR

hercules slr customer service representative in new brunswick

Get to Know Olivia Whidden, CSR in Moncton, NB

Get to know the team at Hercules SLR in Moncton, New Brunswick! Meet Olivia Whidden, a Customer Service Representative (and newlywed!) who’s recently joined the team at our Moncton branch.

When Olivia’s not at Hercules, she enjoys spending time with her husband and family—The most important thing about her? She’s a champ at using chopsticks.

Read on to learn more about Olivia’s role at Hercules SLR and what she loves about the rigging industry in New Brunswick.

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I recently graduated from Riverview High School in New Brunswick! I’m getting my feet wet at Hercules SLR

An interesting fact about Olivia is…

I’m a newlywed, so I love spending time with my family (old and new!) But the most important thing about me is that I use chopsticks really well!

Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?

Before I starting at Hercules SLR, I did a lot of customer service work—This led to a role as the Maintenance and Technology Manager for McDonalds.

Olivia Whidden, CSR at Hercules SLR in Moncton, NB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

I decided to work for Hercules SLR because I wanted to work for a company that provides a challenge for me and is people-centered.

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

Even though I’m newer to the team, I’m really proud of how much I’ve picked up in such a short amount of time—I caught on how-to navigate Streamline, our CRM & Logistics software quickly, which I’m happy about.

What do you enjoy most about working in the rigging industry?

I love to discover new things, so I love that there’s always something new to learn each day.

Why do you work safe? 

I work safe so I can go home to my husband….Instead of asking him to pick me up at the hospital!


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US IN NEW BRUNSWICK—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.   

#HercAtWork: Madison Parkin, Inside/Outside Sales

worker standing by fall protection equipment

New #HercAtWork Alert: Meet Madison Parkin, Inside/Outside Sales 

Meet Madison Parkin! Madison Parkin has just joined the Hercules SLR team in Sarnia, Ontario as our Inside/Outside Sales Representative. Read on to learn a little bit more about Madison & discover her answers to 10 fun questions—Welcome to the Hercules SLR team! 

What was your first job?

My first job was as a camp counselor.

Have you meet anyone famous?

I’ve met Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir at a skating competition.

Who’s someone you really admire?

I really admire my dad, because when he is faced with challenge or adversity, he faces it head on and works so hard to overcome them.

What’s your favourite family tradition?

My favourite family tradition is to have a “Secret Santa” gift exchange on Christmas eve, where we buy each other pajamas, make Christmas treats, and have hot chocolate. We watch Christmas movies together and it’s such a great time!

What is something you want to do next year?

Next year I want to have my wedding go off with no problems (and If you’ve ever planned one yourself, you know there’s always something that goes wrong!)

madison parkin inside/outside sales rep

What’s your favourite movie?

My favourite movie is Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax”. My 2-year-old nephew and I watch it together and I love to spend time with him!

What’s your favourite place you have visited?

My favourite place that I’ve visited is definitely Krakow, Poland. I went there in 2016 for World Youth Day.

Have you had your 15 mins of fame?

I definitely have not had my 15 minutes of fame, but I like to live a quiet life!

What’s your favourite quote?

My favourite quote is “Though she be but little, she is fierce” – Shakespeare (I’m fairly short, so during my time as a freestyle wrestler for 10 years, I lived by this)!

What’s your favourite cereal?

My favourite cereal is my childhood favourite, Cinnamon Toast Crunch!


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.   

Get to Know your Regional Sales Manager, Steve Hanes

rigger next to giant wire rope spool

Get to Know your Regional Sales Manager, Steve Hanes

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I worked my way through school and was learning to become a computer technician and programmer. With some help from the economy and getting married, my path has taken me to sales.

Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?

For over 19 years, I worked in the automotive industry—I started in the wash bay at a car dealership, worked my way up to Service Advisor, then Assistant Service Manager. I spent eight years as a Service Manager for Honda, Toyota and Saturn dealerships. After this, I spent three years as General Manager in aftermarket sales for import cars.

This was the stepping stone to learn outside sales, and how to operate in more than location. In 2006 I was hired by Unalloy IWRC and became a Technical Sales Representative, and this was when I finally became part of this great, ever-changing industry! 

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR? 

Hercules SLR presented me with an opportunity to move from Sales Manager at another branch to become Branch Manager at the newly-opened Hamilton, Ontario branch.

With responsibilities in both Operations and Sales, this was an excellent opportunity to grow in the rigging & lifting industry. 

Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR, and where did you enjoy traveling to most?

With Hercules SLR, I’ve had various roles in our Ontario locations—Brampton, Hamilton, Sarnia and Sudbury, and several times to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for meetings & training, which was the first time I’ve been to the East Coast.    

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

I hope to eventually visit all the branches and cities Hercules SLR has coast-to-coast! 

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

Hercules SLR has helped me grow my career in operations, sales and travel. 

Did I mention when I was hired over 12 years ago as a Technical Sales Advisor, and had no technical experience in this industry? I had the drive to learn, train and ask for help, and now I’m confident in my title. 

Hercules SLR has also let me coach and lead other staff, which is so personally rewarding. I’m still learning to be the person I want to be at work, and most importantly, at home. 

What do you enjoy most about the securing, lifting and rigging industry?

I’ve been asked this several times and since I moved industries, what I’ve learned is it’s not about selling from a catalog or taking orders, it’s about making orders.

We have a sign that says ‘Value Added Service’ and it’s not just a poster on the wall. I’ve worked in the steel mill, marine, towers, quarries, forestry, windmills, assembly plants, mobile/tower cranes, construction sites, and they all need to move something, whether it’s building materials, furniture or parts.    

One thing I’ve enjoyed over the years is the customers and relationships I’ve built—They’re some of the most solid I can imagine. I’ve even kept in contact with some after they’ve retired! #notjustasalesguy. 

Give us some advice for people who work, or want to work in an industrial environment:

This industry has something for everyone, at every level, from work in the shop to manufacturing slings that move & lift the world, to inside sales, outside sales, rigger, inspector, trainer and operations. I could go on, but if someone wants to be a part of a team to help and partner with every other industry. 

Don’t miss out on rigging expertise at Hercules SLR—Join our Fundamentals of Rigging Course in Hamilton, Ontario and learn how to rig it right with Steve Hache and gain practical, hands-on experience. Learn more here, or e-mail sbohm@herculesslr.com or call (905) 790-3112


FOR RELATED READING, CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

TRAIN WITH THE BEST IN HAMILTON, ONTARIO

WELCOME TO HAMILTON, ONTARIO: MEET RIGGER, JIM CASE


HERCULES SLR PROVIDES MAINTENANCE, INSPECTIONS & REPAIRS FOR RIGGING EQUIPMENT

NEED A LIFT? DROP US A LINE, OR GIVE US A CALL!

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (877) 461-4876

 


Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com

Get to Know your National Program Manager, Lisa Barkhouse

hercules slr program manager

Get to Know your National Program Manager, Lisa Barkhouse

What’s it like to be the National Program Manager at Hercules SLR? We talk to Lisa Barkhouse, who trains and develops learning programs for Hercules SLR branches across Canada. 

We sit down with our National Program Manager, Lisa Barkhouse, to discuss her role at Hercules SLR, learning styles and why she’s passionate about training. 

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I made the principals list in high school and received a bursary to attend Mount Saint Vince University, however for me, learning has been a continued process.

I’ve completed many programs like Dale Carnage, Life Coaching by Eleanor Beaton, ISO training with BDC, Steven Covey Leadership Coaching, and Woman in Business sessions, and this training has been so valuable for me to improve in my role. 

Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?

Before starting at Hercules SLR, I worked at a variety of places! My very first job was in customer service as a cashier at Canadian Tire in 1985—This experience was key to learning how I wanted to treat other people. 

My first full-time job was at a family-run trucking business, ‘County Trucking’ doing manual accounting and using a two-way radio to communicate with the truckers. This was an interesting experience as we made the switch from a manual to digital system, which was called Business Visions.

In 1991, I left this role to work for my a family’s business, Darose Controls, which my uncle owned at the time. During this time, I had two kids, and decided to take 3 years off to enjoy my family, leaving this role. 

When I decided to re-enter the work-force, I worked as a bookkeeper for Gartec Industrial—Ann Kelly, one of the owners was a huge influence for me, as a mentor in business and leadership. Eventually, I went back to accounting then made the shift to sales in Gartec—In this role I built relationships and realized I loved getting to know people, which was a nice change from accounting.

I ended up working for a company called IMP Marine, now ‘Spartan Industrial Marine’. For the next 3 years, I learned about rigging, inspections and inside sales, and built great relationships there.

What made you decide to go into this industry?

Well, in high school, I had the best marks in was accounting! I was drawn to the start and finish process accounting provides.

But, I truly believed customer service chose me! Growing up, at the supper table my father would talk about his day building furniture, and later, as manager of trades at a university and tell us “You can do anything if you put your mind to it.”

He really instilled in me to learn, and take training and education on in all forms, in each roll I was in.  Accounting was just the start of my business understanding—Leading, influencing and getting people to see how they impact business in every roll is what excited me about leadership.

When did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

I needed to work for an organization that challenged me and I could put all I learned to work. I understood rigging practices and inspections from IMP, and Hercules SLR stood out as an opportunity to improve even more. 

I actually frequented the same coffee shop every day, where Matt Corey (Hercules General Manager for the Atlantic region) went to. After seeing him there over a year, I asked him one day “What’s exciting at Hercules SLR? I’m interested if there might be an opportunity for me there.” He told me he’d be in touch, and the rest is history—I’m a firm believer that it never hurts to ask a question! 

Soon after, in October 2009, I started as a CSR (Customer Service Representative). I wanted to be the best CSR in the world—Yes, in the world! In my mind, if customer service was what life had in store for me, I’d do it with greatness.

3 months in to the roll, I was meeting all my KPI’s! Matt knew I could do more to help the branch and I was offered the role of Operations Manager. 

Picture this: There’s a new lady in-charge of a rigging shop, shipping department and webbing department—At my first Toolbox meeting, one of the riggers asked me, “What can you do we don’t already know?” After 3 months I was a leader for them now, and I had to show up much different than I did before. Eventually, I moved on to a new area of the company that focuses on the marine industry, which I was familiar with. When I delivered the news to our rigging team that I was leaving, let’s just say they were sad to see me go. I knew I’d earned their trust and proved I supported them. We had good profits, moral and built relationships, and I knew I’d be missed from this branch. 

Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR?

I’ve traveled to so many places throughout Canada! As National Program Manager, I’ve travelled to train in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Calgary and British Colombia to support the branches in operations, and leadership. 

You’ve been all over! Where have you enjoyed traveling to most?

I enjoyed working and helping throughout Nova Scotia with their operations, inventory & fish shows.

Over the last 3 years, I’ve spent most of my time in Ontario teaching the operations of Hercules, building the leaders to be effective, and understanding how they can impact the business in a positive way. 

We’ve been hard at work to influence, support and teach this region—I believe their leaders are set to stand out and lead their teams to a profitable region with a culture of outstanding leadership Hercules will be proud of. 

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

This year, Hercules will take me coast-to-coast—It’s important to me build relationships personally, and in my role. I’d like to work more in the East and West coast regions, and help them strengthen relationships with their customers, and show them the impact it has on operational & sales strategies. 

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career as Program Manager at Hercules SLR?

I’m most proud to help others see their potential accomplishments—I stand for the success of others first.

When you work in service for others, you reap the rewards of success you could not have ever imagined. I love helping others be successful in their roles, but I can’t talk about my accomplishments and not share who’s given me support along the way. From the beginning with Matt Cory, Linda Kettle, Darlene Vickers, Chris Reid, Cory Young, Paul Johnston and Rose Efford are just some of the great people here that have pushed me to be better. 

Overall, my greatest accomplishment is earning trust by delivering results to the business, and be given a role to help others, and myself work in an environment that values continuous learning and growth. 

Can you give us a piece of advice on leadership?

It’s been said many times that “Leadership is a choice.”

Hercules works hard to make our roles better & easier—Each morning, I look into the mirror and ask myself “How will I help make Hercules better?” Make the team’s work easier?” I think big about my role and how I influence others to perform. 

If you’re not engaged, I think it’s important to ask why, and seek a support team to surround yourself and learn how you can get engaged. It’s way more fun to be apart of the team than sit on the bench.

As leaders, we need to educate teams on what we do each day to deliver results of the business objective. Delivering results to the business, this builds trust.

One of your core responsibilities as Program Manager at Hercules SLR is to create training plans—Can you give us some of your best tips to plan a training session? What do you focus on?

When I build training plans, I know time and learning styles can be the biggest constraints. 

It’s up to me to build something to start with—Then I share, get feedback, and build on what we already know to make it as efficient as it can be. My vision is to make training easy, useful and actionable.

This year I want to groom the on-boarding that has been built, and make sure every Hercules SLR team member, new or old, has the same base level of understanding of how our systems work.

This year, the topics I’m focused on supporting and training our staff in are:  

  • Margin building
  • Freight training
  • Inventory accuracy & adjustments
  • On-boarding CSR’s in sales, shipping & receiving
  • Branch Management handbook on roles & responsibilities
  • CertTracker training roll-out—Labour recovery, department training
  • National Sales Strategies training and score boarding
  • Quote conversion

Before you took on the role as Program Manager in a national capacity, you had a lot of success as a Branch Manager—What kind of things did you achieve? 

One undertaking that was an enormous success, was improving operational strategies by delivering 93% labour recovery in our manufacturing department during our first 6 months in business. Last year, this department hit their 85% target, improving by 10% in the last 6 months, and they did it with 1½ fewer staff members. 

Another project that was a major accomplishment was work on a CSR-confident sales approach. I worked to launch initiatives like the Air Miles program, new product programs and product & services training to give CSR’s better tools to provide the best customer experience they can. We’ve put CSR’s on the road with our outside sales representatives to learn more about our customer’s lives, actually see the sites & projects they work on and be able to build stronger relationships with them and give the best service possible. 


FOR RELATED READING, CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

TIPS FOR TAGLINES | TRAINING TUESDAY

GET TO KNOW YOUR TRAINING SPECIALIST, JAMIE ENGLAND

GET TO KNOW HERCULES MARKETING SPECIALIST, AMANDA WHITE


ARE YOU ENERGIZED & ENGAGED?

JOIN US AND WORK AT HERC—LEARN OR APPLY BELOW

HR@HERCULESSLR.COM  (902) 468-6827

 


Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com

All About Ontario: Meet Territory Sales Manager, Steve Norcross

Steve Norcross

Steve Norcross is a talented Territory Sales Manager from Sarnia, Ontario. Steve brings a wealth of experience with him from industrial backgrounds working on all sides—Read on to learn more about his role at Hercules SLR, where he’d like to travel with the company and his career path.

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Tell us about your educational/professional background:

Well, professionally, I was a Branch Manager at an Industrial Sales firm for a little over 12 years—Before that, I worked in purchasing for 10 years.

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Why did you decide to go into this industry? 

Simply—I was in the right place at the right time! Over 20 years ago a position opened up in the Industrial supply industry and I haven’t looked back. Like I mention above, I’ve changed my position within the industry, and that’s let me learn so much about how a business operates.

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR? 

In terms of work I did before this role, as a Purchasing Manager I bought everything from toilet paper to tractor trailers—And prior to that I sold most of the same items!

My experience in purchasing helped me understand a lot about the supply chain, the product and how to sell. They’re both people-oriented—In both roles I had to develop relationships, which for me means I do what I say I’ll do, which helps build trust.

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

I was looking for a job, and I really sought after a position that let me interact with customers and solve problems. I had been behind a desk for awhile and wanted a change.

Steve norcross, territory sales manager at hercules slr
Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager

The Territory Sales Manager position at Hercules SLR is a perfect fit!

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?

So far, I’ve travelled to Brampton, Ontario to take Inspection Training. This was a great experience and really helped narrow the learning curve—On-going training opportunities like this help me in my sales role, and really understand the service we sell.

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

I’d love to visit the other Ontario branches! It would be interesting to see how other branches in our region operate.

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

I’m proud to have accomplished Inspection and Fall Arrest training! Now, I’m a qualified Inspector—I have a certificate and everything!

Steve Norcross, Territory Sales Manager: What do you enjoy most about working in the rigging industry?

I enjoy meeting the people! It’s great to genuinely find the perfect solution someone’s looking for. I love to solve problems!


WORK WITH HERC

VIEW & APPLY FOR POSITIONS AT HERCULES SLR BELOW

HR@HERCULESSLR.COM 902-468-6827


FOR RELATED ARTICLES

VISIT OUR BLOG:

MEET YOUR HERCULES SLR INSPECTOR, QUINCY WARNER

MEET QUALITY ASSURANCE & SAFETY SPECIALIST, JAMES GOLEMIC

WELCOME TO HAMILTON, ONTARIO: MEET RIGGER JIM CASE


STAY IN THE LOOP—FOLLOW US

FACEBOOK  LINKEDIN  TWITTER  INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies. We have a unique portfolio of businesses nationally, with locations coast-to-coast. Hercules Group of Companies provides extensive coverage of products and services that support a variety of sectors across Canada which includes the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries. 

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Woman in Industry: Meet Tasha Peters, Inside Sales Representative

woman in industry, hercules slr inside sales representative

What’s it like to be a woman in industry? Read our interview with Tasha Peters, Inside Sales Representative at Hercules SLR in Sudbury, Ontario to find out.

WOMAN IN INDUSTRY, TASHA PETERS | Tell us about your educational or professional background & experience before joining Hercules SLR? 

I’m a graduate of the Social Service worker and Correctional Worker Program, and I’ve worked in sales and management positions for the last 12 years.

WOMAN IN INDUSTRY, TASHA PETERS | Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR? 

I decided to work for Hercules SLR because there was opportunity to grow! I also admired their reputation in business, their company’s structure and I was personally so excited have a completely different challenge. 

WOMAN IN INDUSTRY, TASHA PETERS | Where have you traveled to during your time at Hercules SLR? 

I have not traveled with the company yet, but I’d love to visit the other Hercules SLR branches! 

WOMAN IN INDUSTRY, TASHA PETERS | Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training with Hercules?

I look forward to visiting other locations and meeting mentors within the company—I’d love to visit our Head Office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and the other branches here in Ontario. 

WOMAN IN INDUSTRY, TASHA PETERS | Is there anywhere you’d like to travel in the future with Hercules SLR? 

Like I mentioned earlier, I really look forward to visiting other Hercules SLR branches, making connections and meeting mentors within the company.

WOMAN IN INDUSTRY, TASHA PETERS | What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR? 

I am most proud of the amazing team I work with here in Sudbury, Ontario! 

WOMAN IN INDUSTRY, TASHA PETERS | What’s something you love about the securing, lifting and rigging industry? 

I love that each day’s a learning opportunity—No two days look exactly the same, so there’s always something new to experience! I also love that there’s so much diversity within the securing, lifting and rigging industry. 

WOMAN IN INDUSTRY, TASHA PETERS | What sort of challenges do you face as a woman in this industry and how do face them? 

I don’t feel like I’m faced with challenges based on my gender. I feel like I’ve been on an even playing field with my male counterparts in every interaction and opportunity I’ve had at Hercules SLR so far.

WOMAN IN INDUSTRY, TASHA PETERS | Give us some advice for women who work, or want to work in an industrial environment: 

My only advice to women starting out in the rigging industry is to be true to yourself, and face things head on. 


SEEKING SERVICE IN SUDBURY?

FOR QUESTIONS, QUOTES OR TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CRANE INSPECTIONS, REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE AT OUR SUDBURY BRANCH, CONTACT US AT:

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM 705-682-4167


FOR FURTHER READING ON WOMEN IN INDUSTRY,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WOMEN WITH SKILL: KELLY BAIRD-PESTELL TALKS RIGGING INDUSTRY & TEAMWORK

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: ANGELA PENTON, IMPROVING PROCESS

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: KIM REYNOLDS, WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATE


STAY IN THE LOOP—FOLLOW US

FACEBOOK  LINKEDIN  TWITTER  INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

Jenn Connolly, Sarnia Ontario Branch Manager: Leading with Service

Jennifer Connolly

Jenn Connolly is our talented, energetic branch manager at our Sarnia, Ontario branch—She’s worked with people her entire career and knows how to keep her customers and team happy.

Read on to learn more about how Jenn honed her service skills, her tips for working with people and how she’s grown the Sarnia branch.

Tell us about your educational/professional background:

I’ve been in customer service since I was twelve! MY grandparents owned a small business, so during school holidays I would work there and help with sales. I’ve worked in a variety of roles, whether at a bar, gas station, a McDonalds, or all three at once—Which I have done before.

I worked in call centres for about 6 years before I joined Hercules SLR, and was excited to make a switch.

Wow! That’s a lot to juggle—How did you do it? 

I was juggling a lot more than jobs, too! I lived in Hope, B.C. at the time. Throughout the week and my days would start at 5am where I’d head to a shift at McDonalds, then I’d head to an evening shift at a gas station and my days would end at 10pm. Oh, and Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays I would also work as a bar waitress—Three shifts in total!

Customer service is one of your strengths—How do you lead with service?

A huge portion of it is to know the product. Customer service means being positive, outgoing and working with everybody—Customers and coworkers. It’s important to meet their needs and know what they’re talking about so you can truly provide them with the best service or product for their issue. I work hard everyday to ensure everyone is happy.

Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?

Call centres in Sarnia, Ontario were always closing! (laughs) After they closed, I worked at the Waterville car plant, realized during my first few days that it wasn’t for me.

I had interviewed with Jason McNutt, and basically hounded him for days! When he told me I had the job, I quit the plant and started a week later—It had a come-home feel for me.

The branch opened in January, 2013 and I’ve been here since. When I started, I trained in Brampton for 3 days—The last time I got that dirty was when I had a job pulling apart lawnmowers at 14! I was the sole employee here for awhile, which was hard to get used to—But it’s been so gratifying to watch our growth.

Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR? 

Jenn Connolly, Branch Manager

For work, I’ve travelled to Hamilton, Brampton and finally, finally made it to Nova Scotia to visit the Dartmouth branch and head office!

For pleasure? I go to Cuba twice a year. I actually met a Cuban family through a friend, and went straight from the airport to their house! I stay with them while I’m there, and it’s so nice—They actually have a small place near the back of their property, so my friend and I even have our own place there! They’re super nice to us, and we always bring some Canadian treats for them, too.

Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training with Hercules?

I’ve enjoyed travelling to our Brampton branch (which was actually in Mississauga at the time!) I’ve also done a lot of training at the Hamilton branch—Going there is always such a pleasure since I communicate with them everyday. It’s nice, and I think important to reconnect with them and remember they’re not just emails and phone calls.

Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?

Ideally, I’d like to visit all of them! I’ve never been to Newfoundland, and would love to see the branches there.

What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished in your career at Hercules SLR?

I’m just proud of it in general—I love seeing our branch and company succeed in general. I’ve been at the Sarnia branch from the beginning, and I’ve been so proud of its growth. I’m excited for new employees that have recently joined our team, new clients and inspection opportunities.

In terms of being proud? I’m proud of my customer service skills! Not everyone can work with the public, and do it well and enjoy it—I’ve really found my niche.

What’s something you love about the securing, lifting and rigging industry?

It’s always changing! No two days look alike. There can be one question with ten answers, and our goals transform constantly—No two lifts are the same, and each client’s needs are specific to the job, job site & conditions and worker’s themselves.

There are legislations and regulations that change constantly, too, so you have to be on top of your game.

What sort of challenges do you face as a woman in this industry, and how do you overcome/face them?

I think it’s important to know that rigging isn’t about gender, it’s about safety, no matter who you are. We have to work as a whole so we can do the best we can for our coworkers and customers—This is how I see it. I love that my customers just ask for Jenn, because I know my stuff.

Give us some advice for young women who work, or want to work in an industrial environment:

Some of the best advice I can give is to be willing to change. Everyday won’t be the same, and it’s important to work with it, not against it. Dealing with growth and change can definitely be a struggle for me, but Rose (Hercules SLR’s Vice-President of Operations) has taught me (and still reminds me!) that it’s normal to feel uncomfortable, but still important to learn to work with changes.

Don’t make the sandpaper so smooth you can’t work with it—Grit can be a good thing!


NEED SARNIA SERVICE?

FOR QUESTIONS, QUOTES OR TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CRANE INSPECTIONS, REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE AT OUR SARNIA BRANCH, CONTACT US AT:

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM (519) 332-4462


FOR FURTHER READING ON CAREERS AT HERCULES SLR,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WOMEN WITH SKILL: KELLY BAIRD-PESTELL TALKS RIGGING INDUSTRY & TEAMWORK

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: ANGELA PENTON, IMPROVING PROCESS

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: KIM REYNOLDS, WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATE


STAY IN THE LOOP—FOLLOW US

FACEBOOK  LINKEDIN  TWITTER  INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

Women in Industry: Adriana Martin, Branch Manager Talks Securing & Safety in Sudbury

women in industry adriana martin

What’s it like to be a women in industry? You’re about to find out. 

We talk to Sudbury, Ontario Branch Manager, Adriana Martin about being a woman in the securing, rigging & lifting industry, her advice for young women hoping to work in an industrial environment and her tips to lead a team that works hard, and plays hard together.  

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What’s your educational and professional background like? 

Interestingly enough, I went to five years of concurrent university to become a schoolteacher. I taught as a supply (substitute) teacher for a couple of years – I taught grades 3 through 10 before I decided to seek something outside my industry, and ended up in government at the Ministry of Government Services. After that, I worked at a crane service company for five years – I worked with parts and was Head Planner there, where I scheduled the technician’s work. 

5 years later, I was offered a job at Hercules SLR as a CSR and – took it, quite clearly! After my second child was born, I was offered the Branch Manager position when I came back from maternity leave. I stepped into a brand-new role when I returned, and everyone from the branch here in Sudbury, to the executive team at our Head Office has been extremely supportive and helpful with the transition. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What excited you about working at Hercules    SLR?

I enjoyed my previous role as a Planner, and excelled in management. As a CSR at the time, I had my own role as Inside Salesperson, which excited me since I knew sales was my strength – I could perform to the best of my ability, and there was room to grow with the company. 

I was especially excited to get service flowing in Sudbury, because it was a huge opportunity but weren’t focused on it. Then, Sudbury had two service technicians but they didn’t have a full-time service department. Within months we had five service technicians, and were completing service calls daily.

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What useful advice to lead a team do you have?

Transparency is the key to bring everything together. As a leader, I’ve found it important share important details with others, and my team appreciates being in-the-know. When the team’s on the same page, it’s easier for everyone to know what their expectations are. 

Sometimes, transparency can be uncomfortable but I value leading by example, with trust & integrity. I think having clear goals, and being open about the plan needed to achieve them helps our branch work seamlessly. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: How has mentorship has played a role in your career at Hercules SLR? 

Like I mentioned, I received so much support from the executive team when I stepped into the management role. In Sudbury, Kelly inspired me as a working mom who is tremendously good at her job. She was a huge support and made me realize, “If she can do it, I can do it!” 

That’s another thing that’s inspiring about work at Hercules SLR – there’s women in power here and it’s very motivating. I see successful examples of women with families at Hercules SLR, like Lisa Barkhouse, a manager who has overcame challenges and showed tremendous growth the entire time, or Ina, our Supply Chain Manager. I try to look for success, and emulate it. 

In a way, I find mentors everywhere at Hercules SLR. I don’t know every single answer, but I know who to ask to figure it out. Our individual experiences both strengthen us as a team, and help us move forward as a company. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What’s something you’re most proud to have      accomplished during your career at Hercules SLR? 

I’m most proud to have my hard-work recognized, and gain the Branch Manager positon after two years. 

I’ve had experiences where you work hard, and you are good at your job, yet this is not when someone will pull you aside and tell you how great your work is – typically, you’re pulled aside when things are going poorly! It feels good to have my work acknowledged at Hercules SLR. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR, and where would you like to go? 

So far, I’ve been to Hercules SLR’s head office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and I’d love to go back! Even though it was cold (laughs), I’d love to see more of the city and explore more as a tourist. 

In the future I’d love to visit our other Ontario branches, in Sarnia, Hamilton and Brampton – especially because we work so closely already.

women in industry, Hercules slr in sudbury ontario
(L-R) Adriana Martin, Branch Manager & Kelly Baird-Pestell, Territory Sales Manager

Each branch in Ontario focuses on a different aspect of the rigging industry. In Sudbury, most of our business centres on crane and equipment servicing. Specifically, we repair cranes and crane equipment, conduct inspections, help manage equipment with CertTracker, our management tool that lets clients easily sort assets and provide equipment for cranes and other hoisting equipment. 

Service is Sudbury’s strength, and each branch masters something different which helps us grow and support each other. We work as a team here – it’s not branch against branch, it’s Team Ontario. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What do you enjoy most about the securing,  rigging & lifting industry?

Honestly, overcoming challenges as a woman in this industry. Sometimes men don’t take me seriously or realize I’m well-informed. We have three women in our Sudbury branch alone! Changing this mindset is something I enjoy.

For example, sometimes I’ll answer our phone and the person will ask to speak with the ‘person in charge’, not knowing it’s me! I’m always able to answer their questions and concerns, and am able to prove to them that women in industry are able to run the show. Even though it can be frustrating, it’s hugely rewarding. 

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: Finally, what career advice do you have for young women in industry working in an industrial environment, or the trades? 

It might sound like a cliché, but never give up and always do your best. You don’t always know the answer, but you can always find it. 

Don’t let people’s negative words get to you. There can be discouraging talk from outside sources, and if you take it seriously, can be demotivating. Stay positive, focus and push forward and you’ll reach your goals. When confronted with negative words, remind yourself that it’s their problem, not yours


SEEKING SERVICE IN SUDBURY?

FOR QUESTIONS, QUOTES OR TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CRANE INSPECTIONS, REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE AT OUR SUDBURY BRANCH, CONTACT US AT:

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM 705-682-4167


FOR FURTHER READING ON WOMEN IN INDUSTRY,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WOMEN WITH SKILL: KELLY BAIRD-PESTELL TALKS RIGGING INDUSTRY & TEAMWORK

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: ANGELA PENTON, IMPROVING PROCESS

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: KIM REYNOLDS, WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATE


STAY IN THE LOOP—FOLLOW US

FACEBOOK  LINKEDIN  TWITTER  INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.