By: Clinton Hoilett, Shotgun, Harpoon Distributing Company (HDC) Road Crew Published:
Last October, our friends at Web Industries, a fellow ESOP company, invited a group of Harpooners to come to their facility in Dayville, CT to attend their annual Ownership Month celebration and activities. Their “Ideas System,” a program for harnessing ideas for improving company performance from each and every employee, made a huge impact on us. The reason behind the Ideas System made a lot of sense: every employee naturally has ideas every day about how to make his or her job easier, better, more efficient.
When we saw the Ideas system in action, we saw employees who were engaged, excited, and enthusiastic. It was obvious from these meetings just how much power there is in having every employee in the company striving for its improvement. And we knew then that this program was something we had to do at Harpoon.
At Harpoon, work teams have always met frequently and shared ideas for improving performance and making employees’ jobs easier, better, more streamlined. Since becoming employee-owned, we formalized this system to make the most of those ideas and celebrate the contributions of our fellow owners. Ideas that get put into practice are showcased on the Ideas Wall in the brewery. This month's employee owner feature comes from the Harpoon Distributing Company Road Crew where Clinton Hoilett made a small suggestion with huge benefits…
Name: Clinton Hoilett
Title, department: Shotgun, Harpoon Distributing Company (HDC) Road Crew, Cambridge/Somerville Route – (they are the guys that deliver Harpoon beer to your favorite restaurants and stores)
How long you’ve been at Harpoon: 11 years. I worked on the bottling line, the racker, and was an assistant manager for HDC for a few months.
Idea: Until recently, the HDC Road Crew used iPads daily – for invoicing and printing receipts after we dropped off beer at account around the city. We’ve got 11 team members on the HDC Road Crew and in a year in a half, we broke eight iPads. Between dropping them in puddles, getting them stolen, or melting them on the dash board in the winter (yes, that can really happen), things just weren’t working out. They were causing more headaches than we had time for.
Because they are bulky, we didn’t really have anywhere to put them while we were moving beer. I suggested that we move everything to iPhones - they are smaller, easier to use, same functionality, etc.
You’re probably thinking, why weren’t you using phones before? Believe it or not, we were the first Boston distributor to go digital.
Benefit: Because they are easy to carry and easier to use, we can do our job faster and more efficient. We’ve been using phones for about four months now, with zero casualties. If we keep it up, that’s some major cost savings for the company.
Favorite Beer: Harpoon Ale is my go to. Harpoon Boston Irish Stout when the Ale isn’t available.
By: Merrill Allen, Harpoon Helps Published:
Now that we’re heading into the holiday season, it’s a great time to remember all that we’re thankful for. For the team running Harpoon’s charitable arm, Harpoon Helps, this list goes on pretty long, but we came up with a few standouts. In the spirit of Harpoon Helps, here are a few of our favorite memories from the year!
We swam in the Boston Harbor… on a snowy March day! At the Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash, we braved the polar plunge to raise $41,022 for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay!
We raised $1 million (times 2!) The Harpoon Point to Point and the Harpoon 5-Miler were each in their 14th year this year, and over that time, they have each raised $1 million for fighting hunger in Vermont and for ALS research, their respective causes!
We chowed down for a great cause! We hosted a Grateful Harvest dinner, which is a Harpoon-style Thanksgiving dinner, at each of our breweries this year, and raised over $15,000 for the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Vermont Foodbank.
Our final event of the year, Harpoon Helps Spread Holiday Cheer, is always a Harpooner favorite. This year, we decorated 36 community organizations in select cities down the east coast, for the holidays. These included homeless shelters, women’s resource centers, and soup kitchens. We had 500 of our closest Friends of Harpoon join us to make the holidays a bit brighter for our neighbors who might not normally enjoy festive decorations.
Along with our 7,355 participants and 864 volunteers, and between our charitable giving and our own fundraising events, we contributed over $1 million in 2015! Cheers to all of you who participated in a Harpoon Helps event this year. We raise our glass to you!
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