Our experts share their thoughts on asphalt sustainability, innovation, safety and creating a culture of care.
Safety, Culture and Quality Drive Operational Excellence at Polyco
Here at Polyco, we believe providing a culture of safety directly impacts the quality of the products we produce. The practices and standards we follow truly set us apart. I’ll explain further how we implement these principles to drive operational excellence every day.
Safety is of the utmost importance. I’m so proud of our record — no major safety incidents! We ensure this by doing a root cause analysis of safety issues or near misses. All of our employees are empowered to report near misses in order to prevent an actual safety incident from even happening. For example, if we don’t address a slow leak of hot oil, it could turn into a big problem and burn someone. Once a safety hazard is identified, we document it and, as a team, decide how best to address it — assigning a due date and responsible party who is accountable.
Our next focus is fostering our culture. We ensure our team has the resources they need to do a great job and feel safe and happy doing it. When employees feel engaged, they will perform better. While each of our plants has its own personality, they all value community. Covid slowed some of our community events, but we are getting back to it. We are hosting a BBQ cook-off this month and have other events that build connections. It’s not just our plant workers; Our leadership shows up! It’s not uncommon for our President & CEO to fly in from our corporate office in Reno at least once a month to check-in on our Texas locations. And, with the magic of video conferences, we get a lot more face time which keeps the lines of communication flowing.
Quality is of utmost importance to us. Not only do we do quality testing as part of production, we also have an entire quality assurance department that continuously tests raw materials and product retains, watching for data trends so we can react before anything is an issue. Our trending models show us if there is special cause variation or drifts in our processing. This allows us to pinpoint potential issues quickly and react before anything goes out of specification — all in service of delivering a quality product.
While we are constantly looking at ways to improve our operations, our four pillars of safety, culture, quality and customer service are always top of mind. A focus on high performance — from both our employees and products — is what drives us. And we’ll never stop.