When Things Go "Wrongly"

By Mark Inboden

An employer wants and expects perfection and never wants its employees to make a mistake. Since we are all human, and people make mistakes, (I have made several, I must admit) UCEC put practices in place to prevent, and/or minimize the chance for errors. Every once in a while a mistake is made and it just compounds on itself, and seems grow. When this happens, all is not lost, as I will explain below.

Last week, we shipped a panel to a long-time customer. We received a call that we forgot to install insulation on this particular panel. We looked through our drawings and notes, and sure enough, we blew it. Even though we had several checkpoints along the way, no one picked up on this mistake.  

We thought there might be several ways to correct things (shipping the panel back to UCEC, flying down to the customer, etc.). Evan Coulter, our VP of Operations, went to work exploring these options with the customer. Fortunately, the customer had enough time before installation to ship it back to us so we could fix our mistake. We did this in short order, and immediately shipped the panel back to the customer.

Case closed? By no means. During the trip back to the customer, the truck carrying the panel broke down about three hours out from its destination. We had just fixed our mistake, but now we had to deal with a delay in the delivery. It would take an entire day to fix the truck. Finally, the panel did arrive on time.  

As in anything, you are judged on how you handle your mistakes. First, we admitted we blew it. Second, we are not only paying for the return trip for the panel, but also the initial delivery because our customer did not receive what they had ordered. This may have cost us $$, but it is a small price to pay in getting the customer what they ordered, at last. 

Mark is President and CEO of UCEC. 


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