Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

Drum Picture

When you have a warehouse to run, “efficiency” is word one. How to get the customers’ product requests fulfilled in as fast, safe and effective manner as possible is the first priority.

Tom and Len live and breathe this daily. Tom is the warehouse/inventory manager, and has been here for 32 years. In fact, right out of high school, he started with one of the companies that was acquired to create the original nucleus of Clearfield.

Len came to Clearfield less than two years ago as the manager of manufacturing operations. Before that, he worked in the medical device field. Tom and Len have very different backgrounds. But both have a burning desire to meet and exceed customers’ expectations.

Things can get “very hyperactive” when you’re overseeing all shipping, receiving, inventory and warehouse activities for a multi-national company like Clearfield. “So,” Tom says, “we meet every day to discuss the previous day’s performance, as well as discuss upcoming work load and challenges. We take great pride in on-time delivery.”

Len calls it putting your game face on every day. “We have to be ready to move mountains if necessary.  It’s never: ‘Whew, we won’t have to do that for another week.’ It’s more like: ‘We achieved this yesterday; ok, let’s do it even better tomorrow.’”  He says there’s never a boring day at Clearfield. “You never come in and sit back and just let things happen. There’s always an opportunity to make a process better; to drive some efficiencies. Ops-wise, there’s not a stifling hierarchy here preventing the improvement of processes. “Quicker. Faster. Better. That’s our mantra. Our drumbeat.”

Tom recalled a customer in New Jersey who needed a Clearfield cabinet on a Friday for a important demonstration on Saturday. Despite a late Wednesday pick-up, Tom was assured that the cabinet would be delivered by end of business (5 pm) on Friday. When it had not arrived by Friday afternoon, however, he and his team went into overdrive. Knowing the particular importance of a timely delivery to this customer, Tom left no stone unturned, and, in the end the truck pulled up to the receiving dock at 4:55 pm. Unaware of all the 11th hour, behind-the-scenes efforts, the happy customer merely said, “Thanks, and have a nice weekend.” That’s the way it should be.

Len says Clearfield’s move to its new headquarters is the perfect illustration of this point. “We moved everything over the weekend, and we were up and shipping on Monday. We’re proud of the fact that clients wouldn’t have known we had moved if we hadn’t told them.”

Deliver is definitely the most prominent Clearfield core value for these men. But Collaborate is a close second. “No one man is an island. A lot of hands are involved from ordering to supplying,” Len says. “Like clockwork, there is a lot that has to happen for it to work well.”

Tom attributes Clearfield’s success to “continual product and quality improvements.  The willingness to take risks. Len says it’s the customer-centric focus. “We recognize that we are in the business to listen to our customers and provide products that make their lives better.  That’s why we exist.”

Both say they go home at the end of each day with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that they’ve solved that day’s problems and achieved their goals despite whatever road blocks popped up along the way.

Quicker. Faster. Better. The drumbeat goes on.