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OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD AT L&C,

OCC Big Logo

By Brooke Morris, Design Team Member

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritans Purse that partners with Churches in foreign countries to spread the Gospel to boys and girls.  OCC presents a shoebox full of gifts and essentials to the children, and many disciple through a Bible study course.  Each year Churches and companies across the region collect and pack shoeboxes to expand and grow the spread the word of Jesus Christ.

The method of filling a shoebox is simple. You can use an adult size shoebox or get a preformed box from the ministry.  The shoebox, made up of a “Wow item”, a special gift for the child such as soccer ball with pump, stuffed animals, dolls, toy cars and trucks. Also the box should contain school supplies, non-liquid hygiene items, accessories, crafts and other fun toys or activity books.  There are 3 age levels and you can choose the gender of the child also. Girls 2-4, Girls 5-9, Girls 10-14 & Boys 2-4, Boys 5-9, Boys 10-14. There is a suggested donation of $7 to cover the shipping of the shoebox. You can even track your box online by completing the tracking label and submitting your $7 donation for shipping.

Lord & Company, Inc. started participating in Operation Christmas Child in 2013. Our first year we collected about 25 boxes. In 2014 we encouraged our company to take part more and set and met a goal of 60 boxes.

For 2015 we wanted to push further and get even more people involved in the project.  Our goal is 200 boxes. To help reach this goal we had a company meeting to explain exactly what Operation Christmas Child is all about and showed our teams how to pack a shoebox. We have planned a packing party for November 6th and have encouraged our employees to get their kids and family involved. I know personally that my 15 year old son and 4 year old grandson love to help shop for the boxes. They are learning to give to others. These are kids that don’t have the everyday necessities that are often taken for granted by children in the US.

By adding something new each year, we hope to gain more interest and thus collect more boxes. To maximize our collection for 2015 we are doing a Penny Drive. Each L&C team gets a collection pale and challenged to see who could bring in the most change by November 6th for our packing party. The change collection will buy extra items needed when we pack the boxes.

Our final collection day is November 13th. We will pray over the boxes for God’s will and the Love of Jesus to spread and shared through the children that receive this special gift. Our boxes will then shipped to Samaritan’s Purse and distributed during December.

Basic Time Management for Team Environments

time management

 

I have been working in the Engineering Field for about 30 years now and one thing has not changed.  We need to be able to do more work in less hours.  I have read books on time management and went to seminars to help me develop time management skills.  I also know that everyone is different but I wanted to share a few items that has worked for me and helped me with my time management.  I hope that you will find some items that will help you with your time management.

 

Be aware and on the outlook for the small things that distract you from your work each day.  You may want to check your emails 2 or 3 times a day but do not leave them up in front of you at all times.  If you stop what you are doing to read each email as it appears on your screen this will take up half of your workday.  Impromptu meetings can also be a leading cause of disruptions in your work day.  Request that meetings have a schedule with an agenda so that it minimizes everyone’s time involved.  I know that meetings are necessary to get work done in a team environment but planned and scheduled meeting are far more productive.  I enjoy attending and being part of productive meetings but I do not recall a productive meeting that I attended without an agenda.

 

Have a written plan for each day.  This helps me stay focused on the work that has you’ve decided to be a priority for the work day.  This helps me stay on track each day and helps me to see my daily goals.  I typically use my tablet for this purpose.

 

Keep a daily progress report.  How many times have I worked 9, 10 or more hours in one day and left work feeling like I was not productive?  The answer is way too many times.  Keeping a daily progress report helps me focus on each day’s successes even when I worked on items that were not planned.  Yes, no matter how much planning you do there will be days that outside factors force you to change your priority list for the day and you work on other items.  Keeping a daily progress report helps me remember to focus on the work items that I completed for the day and not the items that I did not get accomplished.

 

Answer Phone calls.  If you are not deep in the middle of a task you should go ahead and answer that phone call.  I know we all get too many phone calls that we may consider non-productive but it may take less time to take the call than to return the phone call later.  Remember that we all want someone to answer our phone calls so we should do the same.  If you have voice messages, set aside a couple of times a day to return phone calls.  I try to return calls at 10 AM and at 3 PM each day.

 

A Good night’s sleep.  Each day starts so much better if you get a good night’s sleep.  I have found that I work better with 7 hours sleep each night.  I can make it on less sleep but it catches up with me by the end of the week.  I know that coffee is my friend in the morning since I am not a morning person but coffee will not make me productive all day long.  Sleep prepares my mind and body for each work day.  Do not underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep.

 

Multi-tasking.  I have tried to multi-task and I have found myself making too many costly mistakes.  I work on many projects and I wear many hats each day so this is a daily thorn in my side.  I have my work schedule, my home family schedule, my church schedule, my volunteer schedule, my reading schedule and so on … You get the picture. We are all busy and if we are not careful we try to focus on too many things at one time and we are not effective at any of them.  Concentrate on one item at a time and complete it.  I try to keep one schedule for work and home with alert reminders to help me remember all the items that I want to do and schedule.  I often hear people say that I wish I could remember this or that thing tomorrow.  I typically say if we could only have someone invent something that was small and easy to carry that we could schedule reminders to alert us tomorrow?   It is too bad that you do not have such a device like this that could help you.  Use your Smart Phone to help you and remind you of anything and everything that is important to you.

 

One of our greatest resources that we have is time.  No matter rich, poor, young, older God gave us all the same 24 hours each day.  Make a plan and use your time wisely.  I hope that some of the things that I have learned and shared on time management will help you focus and become more productive each day.  I continue to work on improving my time management skills each day.  Speaking of time management; the phone is ringing and it is time for me to get back to work.

Time Clock

Date: 11/1/15

Respectfully Submitted:

Tom Carico – PMP

Lord & Company, Inc.

Top 5 – Reasons I enjoy working with the LC Team

top 5

I have been blessed to work at Lord & Company for the past 20 years in multiple areas in the LC Team. I wanted to share just a few things that I enjoy about my day to day work at Lord & Company.

5. I enjoy the opportunity to work with different types of technology. Each new project provides new challenges; whether it is Radio (RF Technology), Fiber LAN, WAN, PLC Control Panels or some new instrument. I have the opportunity to work with new software and technology on a daily basis. This keeps me learning and enthusiastic about the next new project.

4. I enjoy doing quality work and being part of the LC Team that puts an emphasis on doing high quality work for our clients. Doing your best just makes everyone feel better at the end of the day. We strive to continue to improve our quality on each phase of each project.

3. I enjoy the teamwork and the people. We spend some long hours working together to meet deadlines on projects and it can get hectic at times but at the end of the day I really appreciate working as a team. I am an introvert; so working as a team helps me get out of my comfort zone. I have made some friendships at work with some great people that will last a lifetime.

2. Customer Service is another high priority and I enjoy being able to help clients when the opportunity comes knocking. I appreciate the fact that we will email the client their PLC code on a past project if they need it and help answer questions after the project is over. I have heard way too many horror stories about System Integrators that will not send their client the PLC programs in an effort to force them to continue doing business with them. I have been able to help our customers and competitors; that is truly customer service.

1. Integrity is our number one goal at Lord & Company. I enjoy seeing a company practice what they preach; integrity. I enjoy building relationships with vendors and treating them the way I would like to be treated. Integrity is our foundation and a benchmark for our success.

I did not have room to add in the lunch hour and I always joke about it being my favorite time of each work day. Everyone that knows me; they know that I like to eat. I enjoy eating in our lunch room with others to catch up with them and their family. I also like going out to lunch to some of the local restaurants nearby.

Thanks for taking time to read about some of the reasons that I enjoy working with and being a part of the Lord & Company Team.

integrity post

Respectfully Submitted:

Tom Carico – PMP

Lord & Company, Inc.

L&C Has Big News!!

IMG_0082[1]Lord & Company would like to announce some Big News.  Tom Carico has served as the Engineering Manager for Lord & Company for the past 20 years.  Tom has decided to step down as the Engineering Manager September 1st, 2016 and has announced that Rafael Balderrama will be taking the position.  Tom will be working with Rafael over the next year to ensure that the transition goes smooth.

 

Tom explained that “Rafael has worked very hard and done whatever has been requested of him without the first complaint over his tenure with Lord & Company.  Rafael is well qualified and I look forward to see him fulfill his vision for the L&C Engineering Team.  Rafael has been a Big part of the Lord & Company Engineering Team for the past 10 years.  I congratulate him and I look forward to working with him.”

 

Tom will continue to serve his role as the Project Manager Team Leader and Manage Projects.  We appreciate the leadership that Tom has brought to Lord & Company and the growth that we have experienced in his tenure.  Tom gave credit to God and the talented and gifted staff that he has been privileged to work with at Lord & Company.  Tom was eager to remind everyone that he is leaving the LC Engineering Team in good hands with Rafael.

We Are Re-Certified

Congratulations to our entire staff on the milestone of the recent re-certification with CSIA on November 19, 2013. L&C has been a member of CSIA since 2005 and we received certification in 2007.CSIALogo_3c_clr_000

Tech-Na-Palooza In Review – Matthew Simmons

On Saturday, December 7, 2013 I was honored to volunteer at Tech-Na-Palooza; a robotics competition that features teams of 10 or fewer children ranging between the ages of 9 and 14 that compete for first place on a designed obstacle course.  The competition took place at Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, NC.  In preparation for this project, the participating teams worked over the course of this previous fall on a research project the focused on the fundamentals of engineering and project management principles.  Children in each team were also exposed to teamwork principles and worked in an environment that promoted the understanding of professionalism, robotics and programming.

I spent Saturday morning serving as a field referee in which I oversaw the practice times for competing teams and guided those teams in the rules they would need to abide by for actual competition.  It was in this role I was able to intimately see the hard work these groups of children put forth and more importantly the creativity & attention to detail each group gave to their robot.  The competition course featured several objectives to which each team’s robot only had 2:30 minutes to complete.  The course was purposely designed so that every objective could not be completed within the allotted time but that each task successfully completed would generate points; therefore I got to witness first-hand the high level of strategy used by the participating teams.

In all, my mind was blown by the advanced thought process these kids publicly displayed.  What was even more enjoyable was their interest and excitement for technology as there were plenty of laughs and smiles to go around. Competitions such as Tech-Na-Palooza showcase the potential impact of early education in technology and how much sooner than later future generations of engineers will be experienced at an early age to adequately contribute to the growth and success of industrial automation and other technical fields.

 

Matthew Simmons

Field Service Technician

Leadership Questioned?

leadership under construction

 

I was recently challenged by the words of a well-respected co-worker who asked “what good is leadership?”  I have made changes in my life over the past 20 years to become a better leader, so I thought does he have the right to even ask such a question.

 

I follow those (Ken Blanchard, John Maxwell & others) that I feel are strong leaders and, those that I would like to most emulate.  I have never considered myself to be a good leader; I would consider myself to be a good follower.  I enjoy working in the background serving others because I am an introvert and I do not enjoy the Big Stage and bright lights.

 

I have been a Project Manager with Lord & Company for 16 years, so it is imperative that I improve my leadership skills as well as many other areas to be an effective Project Manager.  I also strive to be a more effective leader to my wife, family, church and friends.

 

Back to the original question; what good is leadership?  The more that I thought about the question; I was challenged to think about how influence is tied to leadership.  I came to the same conclusion that my co-worker (Gary Mintz) had come to; influence is more valuable than leadership.

 

Good leadership comes and goes but influence can change how we think and how we live our lives.  The greatest leader of all time has influenced my life and many others throughout the years.  He has challenged me on my thoughts, my heart and my purpose for living.  He influenced not only his twelve disciples but every generation since.

 

Influence can be good or bad, so make sure that you are influencing others around you in a positive manner.  We have so many venues available to us these days with Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, blogs and etc.  So what am I doing to influence others positively?

 

Leadership is important, but influence is more valuable.  Influence changes lives and behavior even after the individual leader is gone.  I leave you with this quotation in hopes that this short article influences you to become a positive influence on others each day.

 

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.“

John Quincy Adams (1825-1829); 6th Us President

 

 

Tom Carico – PMP

Lord & Company, Inc.

 

 

New Technology versus Old School

Tom Carico, PMP Tablet

 

I have been working in the Water and Wastewater Treatment market since 1987.  Over the past 25 years, I have noted some considerable changes to our market.  Some of the changes were good and some not so good.

 

I remember all of the discussions and arguments over which fieldbus communications would be the best standard; only to watch the market continue to use Ethernet while all of the Large Powerful Companies could not come to a standard that everyone could agree upon.  I remember back in the early 1990’s when it seemed that everyone wanted and needed a DCS (Distributed Control System) system; no consideration was given to the size or complexity of the system.  It was the new buzz word for the industry, so everyone needed it; even if they found that they could not afford the long term maintenance costs of a DCS.

 

I saw the pendulum swing to the other extreme in the late 1990’s to where everyone felt that just any ordinary PC could run their plant without any thought or consideration as to what would happen to the plant control system when the PC fails.

The PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) was thought to be on the way out over the past decade, first the Soft PLC was going to replace it, then PC controls to HMI Script Language, but it seems the PLC remains the dominant reliable controller in our industry.  The PLC does not require weekly or monthly virus updates but has been “hacked” in the past, so it must be considered somewhat vulnerable in this day and time.

 

I have worked for (2) two companies for over the past 25 years of my career; both were System Integrators working in the Water and Wastewater Treatment markets.  The market has been slow to change over the past decades due to so many Old School ways of thinking that makes us unable to see and use New Technology solutions.

 

As I get older; I am recognizing that it is sometimes difficult to adapt to new ways of thinking and be open to using new technology.  I started using text messaging about 4 years ago in an effort to communicate with my kids.  Now I use it to communicate to our Field Service Engineers on the job and my supervisor if I am going to be late due to traffic.  Over the past 2 years I have been using Linked-In, Facebook and Twitter to communicate new ideas and technology.

 

Change seems to be a way of life in our market; how will we use smartphones, tablets, video-conferencing, VPN remote access, Virtual Technology, Cloud Usage, WAN, Mobile WAN, Security Optimization, Website, internal communications, email,  updates, to do our jobs better and become more productive.

 

Today over 40 million people are over the age of 65 – the largest and fastest growing demographic in America.  10,000 people a day, turn 65 years old, a trend that will continue for decades.  The question in my mind is “How do we leverage New Technology” for this fast growing community.  Understanding how to use social media markets and new technology keeps us from reverting back to Old School.

 

All of Life and not just industrial automation seems to be a great adventure of changes.  The question is whether we will embrace New Technology so that we can learn and grow or will we refuse and get left behind.  We all have the choice; New Technology versus Old School.  I have chosen to embrace New Technology and to let Old School just be good memories of my past like my first Commodore 64 computer. #makingnewmemorieswithnewtechnology

Old School Tablet

 

L&C at 30

2012 marked a milestone for L&C we celebrated 30 years in business. A great man once said “longevity has its place” or purpose, and its purpose this time is not an opportunity for marketing but an opportunity for thank you. Thank you to every team member, vendor, client; past and present for making the last 30 years possible. It also gives an opportunity to thank God for everything. Again thank you and God bless.