Monday, March 30, 2015

Hello my name is...

Today is my first day back in the office after a week-long trip to Chicago to represent Sentry at the biggest trade show in the manufacturing industry - ProMat. Trade show; just saying the words can cause a person to shudder. Long days, aching feet from miles of walking, meals at all different hours of the day; and a hotel room, as nice as the hotel may be, is still a hotel room. So why do it? To build relationships. It's not communicating by text or voice mail or email or phone or even snail mail. It's about face-to-face, look them in the eye and shake their hand and say hello kind of communication. And you can't beat that.

I met a lot of people last week and I learned a little about each one of them. Some represented manufacturers while others represented service companies; others were customers looking for solutions. One thing they all had in common was an energy and excitement that you can't get from an email or a text message. It's genuine and it's real and it's a good thing.

As I waited to board my flight home, I couldn't help notice
that few people seated around me were engaging in conversation. Most were on their phones, their iPads, laptops or whatever. Back to the real world, I guess.

Just hope that we don't totally lose the fine art of personal conversation. Now that would be just plain boring.

Posted by MJ Thomas

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Safe Driving - Do as I say and not as I do?

An article on NPR’s website really caught my attention this morning. The article, Teens Say They Change Clothes and Do Homework While Driving, focuses on the fact that although most teens realize that texting while driving is a bad idea; they fail to see the risk in other activities – like changing clothes while driving. Wow. Add to the list putting on makeup, changing contact lenses, setting the GPS, and even doing homework and you have quite a situation.  A situation that experts say requires educational programming focused on avoiding multitasking when driving.

That’s great but what about setting an example? Is there anybody reading this that’s not guilty of doing one or more of the above tasks when behind the wheel?  True confession time. I admit to several on that list. By the way, changing clothes is not one of them. A contortionist I am not.

The point is that it’s not just teens that need the education or the reminders. For drivers of all ages, distraction is the leading cause of accidents.

How many of us pride ourselves on our ability to multitask; to handle six things at once and get it all done with time to spare? Multitasking in many cases has almost become a badge of honor.

Next time you get behind the wheel, please leave that badge at home. Anything that makes you take your eyes off the road is putting you, the people riding with you and others on the highway at significant risk.

If we want young adults to “keep their eyes on the road,” we better show them how it’s done.

Posted by MJ Thomas

Friday, March 13, 2015

What you see is not always what you get

Checking out the headlines again this morning and guess what? You can already buy a cheap imitation Apple Watch. The real thing won’t be available until late April, but there are already cheap knock-offs available on some Chinese websites.  In fact, replicas of the watch were already shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. No surprise really. When something great comes along, everyone wants to jump on the band wagon and get their share of the pie.

The Apple Watch will cost anywhere from $300 to the high end $17,000. The look-alikes run between $45 and $80. The ones at the Consumer Electronics Show could be acquired for $27.

As much as these knock-offs look like the real thing, you have to look deeper to realize that it’s what’s inside that makes the difference. The genuine Apple Watches run on the Apple operating system; the fake ones do not. Technologically, the knock-offs are far less advanced. Big difference. Which one do you think will perform better, last longer?

Reading all this makes me even more proud of our products here at Sentry. Why? They are the real deal. They are built for safety and they work. They are made of the highest quality materials; using the best manufacturing processes; employing the latest technology; passing rigorous testing. There are no cutting corners when it comes to safety.

Are they costly? You bet. In fact they’re the most expensive in the industry.  Are there less expensive column protectors, rack protectors and other impact resistant safety equipment out there? Sure are. Do they look the same? On the outside they do. But just like the Apple Watch, look deeper. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. That’s the difference. And with safety products it’s a huge difference and one that means a lot more than dollars.

Look closer. You get what you pay for.

Posted by MJ Thomas

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sleep is a good thing. Lack of it is NOT!

Things are a little foggy today and not because of the weather. Truth is, I only got a few hours of sleep last night and it’s taking its toll on me. Everything seems to be operating in slow motion; it’s harder to find the right words, it’s taking longer to organize my thoughts and my fingers are stumbling over all the wrong keys. Lack of sleep gets you every time.

Sitting at my desk with my trusty computer in front of me does not put me in a position where I can do too much damage. But what if I were in a factory or warehouse operating heavy machinery, or driving a forklift, or loading racks, or unloading trucks? That could – and would – be a totally different case. Lack of sleep affects working safely in a number of ways; it can reduce reaction times, motor control, decision-making ability and awareness.

In fact lack of sleep not only affects workers’ ability to perform their work safely, but can also put others in harm’s way. Lack of sleep can cause serious or even fatal accidents.

Think about this. A person awake for 20 hours performs at a level equal to someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.08%. Would you want that person to be operating heavy machinery or driving a forklift in your facility? Not likely. According to a National Sleep Foundation study revealed that 103 million people admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Administration conservatively estimated that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue resulting in deaths, injuries and billions in monetary losses.

Yet, sleep is not generally looked upon as a priority. Most likely each of us has at one time boasted about pulling an all-nighter and still being on time for work the next day like it was some sort of badge of honor. Wrong. Anything that can compromise safety should be high on the list of things to be monitored.

Look for the signs in your employees – frequent yawning, drooping eyelids, difficulty in concentration, forgetfulness and mood swings are just a few. Educate your employees on the importance of good sleeping habits and the consequences of bad ones. Include it in your training programs and as part of a comprehensive safety program. After all, it could just save a life.

Posted by MJ Thomas