The Ethics of Craftsmanship
By John Beattie
Over and above everything we make in the UCEC shop looms one of the most important foundations of our business: ethics. Without solid ethics in place, we’re just one more business that makes a widget or two.
I’ve seen some “interesting” ethics in my years in the industry, so I know that when ethics aren’t strong in a business, almost everyone suffers. Sure, you might win an account or two, but in the end, having misguided or downright poor ethics doesn’t create a legacy that lasts.
With UCEC, the ethics of craftsmanship begin with the people we hire. We seek out and hire people of strong integrity and high standards. There’s no hiding in the shop. If you have a negative attitude or won’t work with the team, you probably won’t last very long here.
Ethics play into the quoting process. When we receive an RFQ, we might find errors that left unexposed would compromise the job before us. It’s maybe not in our best interest to call attention to the mistake in the project, but it’s the right thing to do. The last thing we want is to ignore the mistake and then hit the customer with multiple change orders later. That’s bad business, and we don’t want any part of it.
Of course, in quoting, you can only catch so many things. If errors are noticed as we move into production, that’s another opportunity to use our well-honed business ethics. We don’t automatically slap a charge on errors and send it to the customer. We might make a recommendation of how to handle it. Or perhaps we ask the customer for guidance on possible solutions. However we all decide to handle inevitable problems, our ethics guide us every step of the way.
Finally, a customer might come in for Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and things pop up. When that happens, we don’t sit around with a clipboard and rack up charges for the customer. We have strong relationships with our customers, and we take care of them. We are in this for the long haul and the decades-long relationships we have with customers, vendors and partners speaks to this philosophy.
John is the Operations Manager for Production at UCEC.