Winter 2018 - Hocking Newsletter

CEO's Message: "Continuing to Grow"

winter dougHocking International Family, thank you for all of your contributions to another very successful year for our company. In 2017 we officially opened our new facility in Pipestone, MN while continuing to manufacture top quality products at our facilities in San Marcos, CA, and Sylacauga, AL. Throughout the 42 years that Hocking International has been in business we have recognized that our people are the true value of our company. In 2017 we made a concerted effort to recruit an extremely talented group of people to fill multiple key roles within our company. We also put a significant amount of time into developing “The Hocking Way” to clearly define our priorities as a company with emphasis on our people.

In 2018 we want to strengthen what we defined as the foundation of “The Hocking Way.” Our foundation is a combination of our core values and our processes. Remaining true to our core values provides us with stability. Adhering to our processes keeps us safe, standardized, efficient and disciplined. We will improve our processes in 2018 by improving our safety and training programs. I am excited to announce that our Environmental Health and Safety Manager in Sylacauga, AL, Jonathan Muse, will take on the additional role of Corporate Director of Training. With Jonathan leading the way I am confident that we will make significant improvements to our training program in 2018.

Facilities will also remain a focus in 2018. We have re-invested over $10m in our facilities over the course of the last two years, a trend that will continue into 2018. This year we will continue to bring equipment online in Pipestone, MN while also adding some new equipment and making some necessary upgrades to our facilities in San Marcos, CA and Sylacauga, AL. As we continue to make improvements, it is imperative that we also continue to take outstanding care of our existing equipment and facilities. Thank you again for everything that you do and for all of your individual contributions to a very exciting time for our company. You are all valued and appreciated. As we continue to grow, it is critical that we do things “The Hocking Way.” I am very excited about all of our employees continuing to grow with us in 2018!

-Doug Hocking, CEO

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HR Corner - Kathy Loven

2018 New Joins

  • Denille Castillo- HR Generalist with a focus on recruiting
  • Sarah Coole- Customer Service
  • Dave Mihailides- Sales
  • Jonathan Muse- Corporate Director of Training (promotion)
  • Jamie Harwick- Environmental Health & Safety Specialist (Pipestone)

A quick note on the benefits renewal for this year. We worked for over two months to quote and seek out the best plans available. One of our focuses is of course keeping the cost down for all of us and still providing great plans that we can rely on for ourselves and our families. After many meetings and discussions, we were extremely disappointed that we were faced with a 16% price increase to maintain comparable coverage. To minimize the impact to our employees, Hocking decided to increase the percentage that the company pays on behalf of the employee from 50% to 60%. This was a large number for the company to take on and is one way that we are choosing to give back to the employees. We appreciate all that you do and we are looking forward to a great 2018! 

winter isaacOperations Corner - Isaac Lee

Hocking International Family, thank you very much for all of your individual and group contributions during 2017. I am very excited about what we are going to accomplish in 2018.
Over the last several months our Operations team has been working on improving our processes, and better supporting our people, by making improvements to our internal communication. We have implemented multiple initiatives to improve our “feedback loop” to ensure that our employees are not only informed but have multiple ways to provide feedback and suggest improvements.

The most rewarding thing about putting those initiatives into practice has been the outstanding feedback that we have received from employees across the company. The majority of the equipment and facilities initiatives currently in work are the direct result of information and ideas provided by our employees. I want to personally thank you for that and encourage all of our employees to continue to do that throughout 2018. You all are the experts and your observations, and ideas, are critical components of our continuous improvement effort that is a pillar of “The Hocking Way.”
As we head into 2018 we will continue those efforts while also maintaining a focus on providing quality products and service that exceeds our customers’ expectations. Every single order is a customer interaction that communicates who we are. We will continue to strive towards getting it right every time!

I am very excited about strengthening our safety and training programs in 2018. Operations and Safety will work closely together on those initiatives! Thank you again for all that you do for us. I am looking forward to working closely with all of you throughout what I expect to be an extremely successful 2018!

San Marcos Update - Rick Kennedy
As we come to the end of another great year, I want to thank everyone for the outstanding work that was put in. 2017 went by so fast! Like our facilities in Sylacauga and Pipestone, San Marcos is looking forward to 2018.

In 2017 we completed some great training that helped us make some great improvements to our San Marcos facility. We also initiated some outstanding improvements to our processes. One of our production employees developed a more efficient way to fill drums. In the past it would take two employees, one to work the diaphragm pump and the other to work the fill nozzle. His initiative resulted in our ability to now run the pump at the nozzle with just one employee. We are working on putting this into our SOP and will have more details to share with our sister sites very soon. We encourage these suggestions from all our employees and look forward to hearing from our Hocking team!!
We are excited to keep on honing our craft and increase our efficiency. I look forward to 2018 as we continue to grow as a company, and as the Hocking Family.

Sylacauga Update - Jonathan Muse
Hocking Alabama has experienced great growth over the past several months. The production team has been relentless in improving our overall production setting record numbers for our facility. This is due to the growth of leadership within the production and batching teams. We have had a group of dedicated staff members that have pushed one another which has allowed us to experience this great success. As we have grown, focus has been placed on individual performance and improvement.

We are proud to report that our entire family has stepped up to the plate to improve with the focus being to make the overall company successful. Our team leaders have really made us better by encouraging teammates, maintaining a positive environment, and driving a no quit attitude. We are proud of this growth and improvements we have achieved. The credit for all our success belongs to our staff as they are the great people that make us great.

Pipestone Update - Jack Beery
It has been an exciting end to 2017 in Pipestone. We have continued to add key members to the team while executing our grand opening and going into the initial phase of production.
December was our most productive month to date in Pipestone and we are looking forward to settling into significantly more output in 2018. We continue to put a large emphasis on safety as our employees learn their respective responsibilities.

The Pipestone team also remains involved with the surrounding community. At Thanksgiving we donated a full turkey dinner to a local family in need. That was a rewarding experience for our team and the family was very grateful for the donation. We also adopted a family for Christmas and bought each family member gifts from their Christmas list.

The Pipestone team continues to reinforce “The Hocking Way” by stressing the importance of our culture with both new and existing employees. We look forward to the coming 2018 year.

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Visit the Hocking website to learn more about new developments, product and service offerings, and all up to date Hocking announcements.

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