Core values are the qualities that make up a company’s identity: who they are and what they stand for. Here are Westminster Tool’s core values and how they’ve made us a better tool and die manufacturer.
Core Values at Westminster Tool
It’s safe to say that core values are not an uncommon feature of any company’s “About Us” page. They are a foundational element of a company’s identity, who they are and what they are all about. But oftentimes it’s less clear how those values impact the way a company operates.
A few years ago, Westminster Tool sought to define our own core values, and these are the four that resonate most with our company identity:
These are not only virtues we look for in each of our employees, but they are qualities that we try to incorporate into our jobs every day. And rather than just defining our core values, never to be discussed again, we made them a major component of our culture and the center of our business model. Without them, we would never be able to achieve our value proposition: Your challenge is unique…so is our solution.
The more we brought these values into the conversations with our teams, our employees and with the community, the more we saw it used in practice around the shop. Here are a few ways we’ve put our core values into action.
There’s no surprise that every company wants motivated people. But here at Westminster Tool, we have a team that embraces motivation and uses it to drive each project.
For instance, when one complex project faced a series of roadblocks, a few of our team members needed to put in extra hours to get the tool to the customer on time. What could have been a really deterring and difficult position turned into a challenge that our toolmakers embraced head on with enthusiasm and determination. They each showcased immense motivation to take control of their own work and overcome a major challenge.
In any technical field, the ability to innovate is crucial to staying competitive. This is certainly true with Westminster Tool’s highly complex manufacturing projects. The road to innovation means staying open minded and asking the right questions.
One of our moldmaking jobs underwent normal job processing with standard practices and processes. Like many jobs before it, it had a list of electrodes needed for certain tool features, but this time the team faced serious time and cost restraints. They were then tasked with asking “What If?” What if we could produce the same features without using EDM and used high-speed, 5-axis machining instead? By staying curious, our team was able to reduce the electrode list by over 20%, reducing the lead time by over two weeks. Curiosity enabled them to take conflict and turn it into a valuable conversation.
One of the most critical aspects of our culture is character. As a result, we place a large emphasis on the practice of honesty, accountability, and a commitment to actions that represent the best version of ourselves.
When faced with a series of human errors that put a whole project and its delivery time at risk, our CNC team showed incredible resolve and put this core value to the test. Rather than blaming individuals without addressing the root cause, the entire team took ownership of the problem and addressed it together. Working side-by-side, they were able to support each other and quickly come up with a solution.
In any industry, it’s important to understand that changes happen, and they happen fast. This especially factors into the manufacturing industry where technology and best practices can evolve rapidly.
It’s easy to get comfortable with routine but being flexible is more challenging. It requires patience, optimism, and an open mind. And we learned that it was important for our employees not only to recognize that change is necessary, but that it’s valuable.
In spite of all the uncertainty of the last year, Westminster Tool showed resilience on several levels. First, we completely changed the way we communicate with our customers, with each other and with the community. We adopted new ways to share information and new ways to personally connect with people using digital tools like webinars, video conferencing, and virtual events. Secondly, we adopted new processes and methods to keep our employees safe. Social distance measures, face mask requirements, testing procedures; we adopted these as a new normal to keep us protected and keep operations running.
These core values are not just words that help define us as a company. We often say we hire for character and train for skill, and these are the principles we have found are essential for an employee to succeed here. They are tools to help us grow as a team, and they make us a better resource for our customers.
To learn more about us and the Westminster Difference, click here.