Monthly Archives: February 2021

Employee Spotlight: Mike Landrum

Meet Mike Landrum – Product Support Sales Representative – Baton Rouge, LA

Where is your hometown? Baton Rouge, LA (laissez le bon temps rouler) *let the good times roll*

Do you have family? Kids? My wife, Kelli of 29 years and sons Chandler and Parker.

What does your typical day at work look like? Our territory consists of 10 Louisiana parishes (counties) that I travel covering customers and prospects. I normally like to start work early in the mornings when there is less traffic on the roads and usually will have at least one customer calling needing help before 7:00 A.M. I accept customer calls anytime of the day either very early in the mornings or late in the evenings. Depending on the area within the territory I am covering that day, I will normally start by visiting existing customers early and then cold calling later in the morning and after lunch. In the late afternoons, I am calling on customers and following up on outstanding quotes and preparing new quotes.

Daily job duties? Developing new customers, growing business with existing customers, service and parts quoting, helping customers make sound financial decisions and teaching equipment operator training.

How long have you been with the company? I came over from the transition with Scott Equipment, so total time of 7 years.

What is your favorite thing about your job? Meeting new people and developing new business opportunities. I really enjoy listening to customers and prospects to identify their problems and needs so Hugg & Hall can provide a successful solution building a mutually beneficial long-term relationship. Solving customer’s problems is very gratifying to me and at the same time, helping someone else clear their obstacles.

Do you have a favorite memory while working at Hugg & Hall? Learning that our branch was moving to a new location soon.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Traveling with family and friends to interesting places across the country.

What are your passions? Saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, hunting and cooking.

What is something that the people you work with might be surprised to know about you? I participated in competition water skiing and began barefoot skiing when I was just 13.

“When someone asks me where I work, I’m very proud to say that I work for Hugg & Hall Equipment!”

Mike Landrum is an essential part in keeping daily operations moving smoothly! We are proud to have him on our team! To start your own Hugg & Hall Story, visit our hiring website.

Modernizing the Construction Industry: Client Engagement

When improving client engagement, businesses often consider performance, service, and support. Nonetheless, client retention goes far beyond high-quality products and service; supporting customers and encouraging spending is not always enough. This kind of interaction may in fact cause clients to feel more like a transaction rather than a meaningful customer.

In the construction industry, owners and administration often plan for the year and evaluate prospects for new and recurring business. It is also important to judge internal aspects, like client engagement, to create a more dynamic and productive environment for clients and employees to thrive. Taking actions to generate client engagement can be a crucial step to increasing capital & resources for your construction business.

Getting Started

Critical to client engagement is making it clear to your customers that there is value in their relationship that is not solely based upon profitability. That is why consistent engagement with customers is important in every relationship. Construction companies can address this relationship by optimizing how customers communicate with their company. Allowing multiple channels, that are up to date and serviced regularly will magnify customer relations.

For industry leaders, this process starts from the first interaction and expands over the course of time and business. Throughout this process, companies should interact through social media, email campaigns, personal emails, online dashboards, phone calls & any other channel that makes sense for the business.

Participating in these additional interactions will emphasize that there is value beyond traditional products and service. Although it is likely that customers chose your company based upon a variety of reasons, including reviews, quality, and pricing, content that keeps them engaged will develop continued business and allow customers to better remember your company when completing further industry transactions.

The client engagement strategy should deliver relevant, personalized messages in a timely manner to customers. Personalization of content to match the customer base, is what ultimately sets client engagement marketing apart from other strategies. This being said, customers should be targeted based upon their prior interactions.

For example, a customer interested in plumbing a school, likely will not be the same customer laying the foundation, each of these clients should be categorized to receive different content. This does not mean each category deserves a different social media page, but it is important when sponsoring content or sending a promotional email to recognize different customer bases.

The Performance

Every business has the potential to engage clients in a beneficial way that encourages interactions from current and future customers. It is not always a ‘typical’ marketing campaign; a highly prioritized campaign will cause more engagement from the customers you want. While client engagement style campaigns can often be successful, if can be difficult to predict whether it is the right campaign for your company.

Investing in your campaigns, by participating and promoting, will consistently be profitable for your business. For small teams, a customer engagement platform may be necessary to help manage ads and interactions, track customer engagement, and assist in responding to inquiries or reviews. (Some of our favorites hootsuite.com & hubspot.com)

With the presented information, it is clear that proper client engagement will have a positive impact on your business, while strengthening your customer base. It may not always seem so easy, so when building your audience, focus on your brand, your company’s voice & personalized customer experiences.

Winter Weather Safety

 

When winter weather strikes, it is important for construction sites to stay active and productive. Bitter cold, snow and ice can cause conditions that are damaging to equipment and could cause personal risk; leading to jobs falling behind schedule. To reduce the chance of injury or downtime, read on for tips to stay safe & to keep your team working at their highest productivity.

 

 

Personal Safety in Winter Conditions

·        Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls

As temperatures approach the freezing point, it is necessary for your company to take the proper steps in preventing slips, trips & falls. Thin patches of ice begin to occur when air temperatures reach the 30s and become dangerous quickly. No matter what kind of construction site you are working on, it is important to always put your team’s safety first.

In the winter months, proper personal protective equipment (PPE), plays a significant role in keeping employees safe. Non-slip footwear is essential in preventing slips, trips & falls & clothing, such as gloves, jackets & hardhat liners allow employees to stay comfortable and warm on site.

Like inappropriate footwear, equipment and ladders create additional job site hazards in the winter months. Avoid hazards while climbing onto equipment by conducting routine inspections for surface ice.  If any ice or snow is detected, clear the surface immediately and be sure your team’s footwear is also free of snow and ice. As always, assure your team is in their fall protection for additional safety.

·        Recognizing Cold Related Illness & Knowing First Aid

Workers can experience serious health complications due to freezing temperatures, preventing sickness in the winter is ideal, but in many situations, cold related illness may still occur.  Recognizing cold related illness, such as hypothermia, frostbite & trench foot, and knowing basic first aid, can be lifesaving on your job site. 

  • Hypothermia

When exposed to the cold, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can produce. This causes your body to use much of its stored energy, leading to hypothermia. Early signs of hypothermia include shivering, loss of coordination, confusion & feeling fatigued. Prolonged hypothermia leads to blue skin, dilation of the pupils, lowered pulse rate & a possible loss of consciousness.

If an individual on your team is experiencing the symptoms of hypothermia please alert the job supervisor and request medical assistance. Move the victim into a warm area and remove any wet clothing, covering with additional clothing or blankets; warm beverages may help increase the victims body temperature. Once the body temperature has increased, keep the victim dry and warm.

  • Frostbite

A loss of feeling and color in cold affected areas can be defined as frostbite. Areas most often affected are the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can cause permanent damage to body tissue and may even lead to limb amputation. Symptoms of frostbite include reduced blood flow, numbness, tingling & stinging, aches and pail waxy skin.

Workers that are suffering with the symptoms of frostbite should immediately find warmth. The victim should avoid using the affected appendage and immerse it in warm (NOT HOT) water. If no warm water is available keep the affected area warm with body heat – do not rub or massage the frostbitten area and do not expose to heat, as it may cause additional damage or burns.

  • Trench Foot

Also known as immersion foot, trench foot is an injury caused by exposure to wet and cold conditions over a prolonged time. Trench foot can occur in temperatures up to 60°F if the individual’s feet are constantly wet. This injury occurs because wet feet lose heat at a higher rate than dry feet and to prevent heat loss, the body constricts all blood circulation to the victim’s feet. Symptoms include discoloration, numbness, lower body cramping, swelling, blisters and bleeding under the skin.

To care for trench foot, remove the victim’s shoe or boots, as well as their socks. Dry the victim’s feet and be sure to avoid walking as it may cause additional damage & seek medical attention.

Preparing for Harsh Weather Conditions

With the change of season, it is important to keep an eye out for the health and safety of yourself & other employees. Taking breaks in heated areas and proper hydration are essential to winter safety. Time away from the elements in a heated area should be encouraged in order for employees to stay dry. Breaks are also a great location to check for the sign of cold related illness. For information on providing your job site with a heated break area, click here.

 

Now that you know the dangers of winter conditions & how to prepare for them, you will be better able to stay active and productive in the winter months. For further preparation we recommend keeping an updated calendar and having a set breaking system to keep your employees safe.

Is A Harness Required?

When are you required to use a harness? The short answer to this question is: it’s complicated. There are many variables that contribute to when a worker is required to wear a harness such as working heights, the type of equipment, job site conditions and company policies. However, a good starting point is to refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s requirements that state: 

General Industry requires fall protection for any worker over 4’. 1910.28(b)(1)(i)

Construction requires fall protection for any worker over 6’. 1926.501(b)(1)

Instances where the general height rules do not apply include when job sites are in/around certain safety hazards like dangerous equipment, machinery or hazardous materials into which workers could fall. In these situations, fall protection or authorized guarding is required regardless of the working height. 

James Lennartz, Training Manager at Hugg & Hall, recently spoke on the many considerations related to fall protection and when harnesses are and aren’t necessary. 

“When it comes to the requirements of wearing fall protection it depends on both the equipment and/or the local/state/employer requirements,” said Lennartz. “According to the ANSI Standard (ANSI/SAIA A92.22); the guardrail system of the Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) is the primary fall protection for occupants.”

“When required to use personal fall protection, either fall restraint or fall arrest, operators and occupants shall comply with the instructions provided by the manufacture regarding anchorage(s),” said Lennartz. “Basically, if the person is using a scissor lift (Group A) they are not required to wear a safety harness as the guardrail system is adequate enough to provide fall protection. Now, local/state or employer can require an operator to wear a safety harness. If the MEWP is a boom lift (Group B), then here it is. All group B MEWP operators and occupants shall use personal fall arrest or fall restraint systems at all times.” 

Specific rules may vary based on the companies and organizations involved as well as federal/state/local laws. Lennartz spoke on Hugg & Hall’s own policy regarding fall protection. 

“Our drivers are required to wear a harness when loading and unloading booms only. We also require the same of customers and other drivers when on our yards,” said Lennartz.

Exceptions

There are a few exceptions to the basic rules and workers/managers always need to be trained on and understand the organizational rules and federal/state/local laws governing their job site. Safety should always be the first priority and fall protection is an important and essential part of work site safety.