We’ve all heard the statements “A clean work area is a safe work area” or “Keeping your work area clean is part of your job description.” But does that count for fabrication shops?

Think about it, their whole day is spent cutting pipe with saws and torches, grinding the bevels, and showering hot splatter from the welding itself. Every step of the fabrication process is creating a mess so you would expect the shop to stay dirty all the time.

So, does the cleanliness and organization of a fab shop say anything at all about the company? Since they are typically concerned about three things, clients, products, and employees, let’s take a look at how this could affect those and see for ourselves.

You only get one chance to make a first impression

If you walked into a grocery store and there was trash all over the floor and dirt and grime all over the walls, would you continue shopping like nothing happened or turn around, high tail it out of there and tell everyone you knew not to step foot in that place? Pretty much everything you would buy is in a sealed container, so the dirt is not going to get on your Oreo cookies. The trash on the floor isn’t going to affect the taste of your milk as long as the date and temperature are good. So why would it matter? A blog from RecruitLoop.com says that first impressions count no matter what business you’re in.

“A clean and tidy work environment looks appealing and more importantly welcoming to any potential clients. It instills confidence and creates trust from the very beginning and leaves the clients with the impression of efficiency and strong attention to detail.”

Confidence and trust = Strong relationships

The two most powerful words in that are confidence and trust. When clients have confidence that the company is going to take excellent care of their project and trust them to do the right thing no matter what, relationships are born and strengthened.

A passion for quality

If the facility’s cleanliness doesn’t actually affect the groceries in a store, how could it possibly determine the quality of a fabrication project? To determine that, let’s look at what causes cleanliness (or lack thereof). Just like a child’s bedroom, a fab shop is only clean for one of two reasons. Either the leader requires it to be or the individuals who work in it require it of themselves.

If an overbearing leader demands the shop to be clean and the team only does it to appease him, then morals aren’t nurtured, and the cleanliness doesn’t go any further than making the boss happy. If the employees keep the area spotless because they value cleanliness and order, then that instinctive value overflows to everything they do, including perfecting the quality of your project.

So, it appears that cleanliness itself is not an indicator of a company’s commitment to quality. But if the cleanliness is because of the team’s values and habits then there is a good chance that the projects will reflect that same passion and shine above the rest.

A passion for quality

If the facility’s cleanliness doesn’t actually affect the groceries in a store, how could it possibly determine the quality of a fabrication project? To determine that, let’s look at what causes cleanliness (or lack thereof). Just like a child’s bedroom, a fab shop is only clean for one of two reasons. Either the leader requires it to be or the individuals who work in it require it of themselves.

If an overbearing leader demands the shop to be clean and the team only does it to appease him, then morals aren’t nurtured, and the cleanliness doesn’t go any further than making the boss happy. If the employees keep the area spotless because they value cleanliness and order, then that instinctive value overflows to everything they do, including perfecting the quality of your project.

So, it appears that cleanliness itself is not an indicator of a company’s commitment to quality. But if the cleanliness is because of the team’s values and habits then there is a good chance that the projects will reflect that same passion and shine above the rest.

A clean shop is a happy shop

Finally, what does a clean shop say about the team? More often than not, a spotless fab shop is a sign that a company does a lot of things to be different from the norm. And to be truly different, you have to start by having different people. People that come in early to take out the trash and prep the shop for the busy day ahead. People that work through their breaks to help someone practice a new trade. People that smile and stick out their hands to shake when the president of the company walks by instead of avoiding eye contact. These are the people that will make sure the shop is clean and tidy at the end of every day because they know they are part of something bigger than themselves.

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Aiming for greatness

EMC Insurance says that a clean work area speaks of the morale of the overall company. “A tidy work environment can indicate that the entire workplace is well managed and creates a sense of calm and order.”

We don’t normally think about fab shops as calm and orderly but maybe that is one of the many traits of a team that is aiming for greatness.

At Top Coat Fabrication, we are aimed at greatness and we get one step closer every day. If there is any way we can help you, please feel free to contact me.

Jason Hayes

President
Top Coat Fabrication

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