As we all continue to deal with disruptions in the supply chain and logistics industries fueled in part by the pandemic, one thing that hasn't changed over the last few years is our reliance on frontline workers in the light industrial space to keep the country running — from grocer and food distributors to ecommerce and retail suppliers. In many ways, unloading and sorting personnel are among the heroes of our generation as they continue to show up and get products to the people who need them.
Whether there's a pandemic, supply chain crisis, or labor shortage, Eclipse IA is here for you when you need supply chain personnel. We have a special term for third-party warehouse, distribution and production line: Industrial Athletes. And for our clients who have been in a sudden need of our services, there’s no question why we use that term.
Let me introduce you to the Industrial Athletes at Eclipse IA — the heroes of the supply chain.
Meet Our Industrial Athletes
An Industrial Athlete is anyone who uses mental and physical talents to perform jobs that require skill, strength, flexibility, coordination, and endurance—just like an athlete.
The contribution by a worker on the production line or distribution center is like an athlete on a team. The greater the output of the team, the greater the success of the team. All of our employees have the same commitment and attention to the team, just as an athlete does.
Our core beliefs provide the standards for how we will behave toward each other, our clients, and our communities. They include:
- Engage — Own your attitude, action, and impact. Find a way to make things work.
- Serve2 — Serve the client, or support someone who does. Invest the time to care, listen, and communicate. Give help and ask for help.
- Execute — Do the work, embrace change, and get better every day.
Our Industrial Athletes exhibit those key attributes day in and day out, and it’s what sets our IAs apart from other groups. I’ve met hundreds of our personnel across the U.S. and Canada, and as I’ve seen our teams at work, I’ve observed that they really do exhibit these traits. We live it and we breathe it. And it’s why you can count on us when you need support the most.
Our Industrial Athletes Are There When You Need Them
We’ve seen it during the pandemic, during peak seasons, and during the holidays. Suddenly the lever is pulled, and you have triple the volume coming your way. You need a team you can count on to support your distribution needs, and you need them now.
Eclipse IA takes that seriously.
Some companies tell their people they need to jump in and take on overtime, like it or not. That’s how they support their clients in a time of crisis. In our view, that kind of leadership adds new crises, because the pressure is passed onto the front-line employees.
At Eclipse IA, we take a different approach. We immediately get our team together — whether it’s a team of 12 or a team of 112. We explain the situation that our client is facing, and we ask the team how they think we can support the client. The team takes on the responsibility and accountability, while also personally owning the solution. Members are choosing how to step up and take action, which guarantees buy-in.
The solutions are often more innovative and more ideal than any decisions our managers would have pronounced. We know where we need to be at the end, and our team can help us arrive at the solution. Because they are Industrial Athletes, they own it, and they’re in it together.
We also have travel teams at the ready. These groups go into a particular location to fill a client’s short-term distribution needs. They’re set apart as a dedicated team solely for this purpose, and they’re trained to give our clients a win in a short period of time. When you hire Industrial Athletes, and not just a bunch of short-term workers, you get a team that’s built to win, fast.
Industrial Athletes Are All About the Team
Legendary college football coach Bo Schembechler gave a stirring speech to his players in 1983, and it captures the essence of a team like nothing else. He said:
“No man is more important than The Team. No coach is more important than The Team. The Team, The Team, The Team. And if we think that way — all of us, everything that you do — you take into consideration, what effect does it have on my Team? … We’re gonna win the championship again because we’re gonna play as a team, better than anybody else in this conference, we’re gonna play together as a team. We’re gonna believe in each other. We’re not gonna criticize each other, we’re not gonna talk about each other. We’re gonna encourage each other. And when we play as a team, when the old season is over, you and I know, it’s gonna be Michigan again, Michigan.”
That’s the spirit behind Eclipse IA’s Industrial Athletes. Our IAs work together as a team, not as a group of individuals. And that’s why our clients get the best service and hardest working crews in the industry.
Everything we do at Eclipse is designed to promote a team-based environment — even our pay structure. We use a team-based pay model, or pool pay system, to build a more effective and more engaged team. The pay model immediately creates a team-based environment that’s second to none. It increases productivity, lowers turnover rates, builds stronger leaders, fosters a healthier culture, and raises wages.
Eclipse also continually strives to develop the best leaders we can in our business. We’re always on the watch to identify leaders at every level, and to develop their skills. We teach them to be an encouraging leader, rather than a discouraging leader. We teach them about tone of voice and body language. We invest in the core beliefs. As a result, the team will display the traits they see in their leaders.
And It’s All About the People
Eclipse IA is a people-based company. And for the managers and senior leadership, it’s all about our frontline heroes. I can unequivocally affirm that they’re the ones that make the difference. We do everything we can to foster an environment where they make the decision each day to go in and help keep the U.S. and Canadian economies running. They’re a vital part of that process.
And our employees need to know that we don’t just say the words, but live them as well. It’s very easy to get diverted, and it’s difficult to stay focused. That’s why we continue to ensure that our focus is where it needs to be, and that’s on the heroes of today’s supply chain.
When you need supply chain personnel to unload and sort your inventory, call on a team you know you can count on — a team that has your back because they live and work by the principles of a team.
This is the last part in a seven-part series examining how Eclipse Advantage's Industrial Athletes are different than traditional warehouse workers. You can read all of the posts in the series here.