The holiday season is in full swing; it is a time to celebrate and enjoy with family and friends. Before the hustle and bustle of the season gets into full swing, I always like to reflect upon the previous year. It’s been a year full of growth, progress, and, ultimately, improvement.
This year, as we approached our “Sweet 16” sixteenth anniversary in business, we felt it a good time to really think about who we are as a company and where we are going. Many brainstorming sessions later, our internal team emerged with a vision statement and mission statement, and we refined our two pages of core values down to four core values.
This branding update is not just a catchy marketing tool. We take these very seriously and use them as the measuring stick for any strategic decisions the company makes.
The first major strategic move we made under the direction of this new brand identity was a merger opportunity with ShredEZ out of Adel, Georgia. Powell and I have known ShredEZ founder Jeffery Hayes for many years, and we hold him in the highest esteem. We feel this merger fits within the vision of improving the lives of others, from Jeffery and providing him a succession plan to the clients who will continue to receive the high touch client service they’ve come to expect while gaining access to the full slate of SRS offerings. We hope this merger is the first of many, and we are so grateful for the new relationships we’re developing in the Adel area.
The final piece of the brand identity puzzle was our tagline. “Always improving” aptly sums up 2019. There were three specific areas of improvement on which we focused this year, which I’ll briefly touch on in the remainder of this letter. We believe that these improvements not only help our staff and our business, but they ultimately benefit you, our clients.
We also made significant investments in order to improve our facilities and infrastructure. Our mobile fleet now includes three new trucks, including a second, state of the art mobile shred truck, and one new van. Over the past year, these shred trucks have travelled over 110,000 miles serving clients in Thomasville, Tallahassee, Valdosta, Tifton, Moultrie, Albany, Bainbridge, Monticello, Quincy, and Live Oak.
The most dramatic change, however, is the front office renovation. We had been discussing this project for several months, but things came to a head when we literally ran out of places for our team to sit! Rainey Campbell and Lisa Leabo worked tirelessly for four months to bring about this renovation in two phases. Despite the disruption and dust, our team was operational throughout the entire process!
Every detail in the new space was intentional and designed to encourage collaboration and teamwork, from the drop-in desks and open floor plans to the coffee bar and renovated kitchen. We hope every client will come see our new office, as it truly tells the story of who we are, how we do business, and, most importantly, why we do what we do each and every day.
Improved culture and development
A focus on culture and development is a key part of being proactive about growth instead of reactive. We want to ensure that our team is prepared to handle the challenges and changes that come with expansion. One of the best ways we have accomplished this is by formalizing training. We have empowered certain team members to become the “expert” on an area and handle training for all incoming team members to ensure consistency.
This year, we created Kickoff Parties prior to the start of any new project, where we explain what the project is and what the goals and expectations are for each area. This creates great camaraderie and helps each person understand how his/her role impacts the overall project.
Our management team has an average tenure of over seven years with SRS, and many have grown into their roles from within, having started in the jobs they now manage. This tenure is a great source of pride among our team, and we are focused on giving them the management tools they need to succeed as the company continues to grow. In addition to in-house coaching and mentoring, this year, Operations Manager Brett Barclay was one of only 15 people in the community selected to be a part of Leadership Thomasville’s Class of 36. Team members also attended many conferences across the country to learn about best practices and new technologies in our industry. We have learned that we do a lot of things really well, but that there is always more we could be doing!
In the vein of always improving, we also want to equip our staff members with the tools they need to improve outside the workplace as well, including goal setting using the SMART method and how to better communicate. We aim to develop the whole person, as that improves not only their lives and their work, but our entire community.
The document management industry is at an interesting juncture. Today, less than 1% of leadership in the industry is under 40. There’s a lot of consolidation, and we are excited by the opportunities that will result in this climate. But we know that there is always room to get better, and we are grateful every day to do what we love for clients we care about.
At the end of the day, we are in a relationship business, and we are so grateful to our clients for choosing Secure Records Solutions. We appreciate and take seriously our duty to safeguard your information. And we’ll do our best to continue to think up new and creative ways to improve your business and your life.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,
Christopher P. Jones
Partner and Chief Problem Solver