Client Spotlight: Mellott Company
Family, education, and community are the primary themes of the legacy the Mellott family is building through their 100-year-old family business.
But what exactly is Mellott Company?
Mellott Company crushes it. No, really. That's what they do. Headquartered in Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania, Mellott builds, sells, and services rock crushing equipment worldwide.
So...what does that mean?
Look at your concrete sidewalk. That concrete started as giant rocks mined from a quarry and crushed down into gravel. That gravel, when mixed with some other ingredients, turns into your concrete sidewalk. In a nutshell, Mellott Company engineers, builds, repairs, and maintains the equipment that turns rocks into gravel.
Even cooler, when you talk to Mellott Company employees, you're likely to hear more about training, education, and personal and professional development than you are about concrete and rocks. That's precisely what happened when I sat down to chat with Mellott's Chief Financial Officer, Mike Sappenfield.
The Deets: Mellott Company
Type of Business: Leading provider of integrated and innovative solutions encompassing services, parts, and equipment to the aggregates industry.
Number of Employees: 220
Location/Service Area: Serves customers worldwide from locations in Warfordsburg, PA (headquarters); Marion, NC; Mount Joy, PA; and Lakeland, FL.
Year Founded: 1920
Became an Innovative Customer: 2018
What Makes Mellott Company Unique or Special?
Mellott Company is a third-generation family-owned company that just celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020.
The company's longevity is exceptional in and of itself, but one of its most unique aspects is its unwavering commitment to employee development and learning. For example, how many companies do you know that have their own university?
Mellott University is a year-long, university-style training and apprenticeship program that prepares new and prospective Mellott employees – including some who are simultaneously completing high school – for technical and mechanical careers in the aggregate industry.
What do you love about Mellott Company?
Businesses don't just stay around for 100 years by accident. The Mellott family's commitment to the industries and customers they serve, communities where they operate, and the people they employ are significant factors in the company's longevity and success.
I asked Mike about his favorite part of Mellott Company.
"It's the people," he said. "They make the business successful."
The Mellott family clearly shares Mike's sentiment, given the investments they've made in their employees' education and development.
Mellott University is just one part of the company's investments in training and development. The company invests considerable time and resources into classroom and hands-on instruction for its team members in areas like safety, applications, machine operation and maintenance, technology, and leadership.
Employees likewise invest in one another's careers by participating in and serving as instructors for the company's rigorous training programs.
These investments result in what Mike loves most about Mellott Company, Mellott's "core competent and confident team who are second to none in the aggregate industry."
How have you adapted in response to the pandemic?
According to Mike, "It was a blessing that we became partners with Innovative when we did."
Like many companies, certain aspects of Mellott's business went virtual (at least partially) last March. Sales, marketing, engineering, accounting, and other administrative functions are now remote as much as possible.
"Mellott's partnership with Innovative, particularly Innovative's forethought in recommending we invest in virtual-friendly technologies over the past few years, has made the transition to remote work relatively seamless," Mike said. "Innovative also assisted us in navigating the ever-changing challenges of cybersecurity associated with conducting business over the internet."
With more than 200 employees, someone's computer is almost always due for a replacement. When Innovative officially started supporting Mellott Company in 2018, we began handling regular PC replacements practically immediately. Following best practices for most any company, especially one of Mellott's size and scope, we ensured that all new equipment deployed was remote-ready, including webcams as much as possible and VPN capabilities.
One of the first significant projects Innovative implemented for Mellott Company was a complete phone system replacement and upgrade. With the new features available on most modern, IP phone systems, Mellott's users gained remote-ready features like the ability to twin office calls to cell phones and take handsets home where they function as they do in the office through the user's home internet connection. So, when the pandemic hit, it was just a matter of turning those features on and walking users through how to get their phones set-up at home.
RELATED: Work-from-Home Office Phone Options
Early in the pandemic, Tyler Snyder, Innovative's VP of Operations, answered a question about remote office phone options during a remote worker Q & A session. Check out his answer on remote phone options for different types of office phone systems.
As we moved into the end of Spring and Summer of 2020, it was apparent work-from-home might be a more permanent situation. So, Mellott and Innovative worked together to standardize a "work-from-home" package for remote employees.
Work-from-home set-ups include:
- Laptop with webcam (most employees had this already)
- Two monitors
- PC Dock
- Wireless keyboard and mouse
- Power strip/surge protector
- Wireless headset or noise-canceling earbuds
- Desktop laser printer (for specific employees with higher print volumes, additional features like color printing, and scanning vary by employee need)
In tandem with the physical transition to a mostly remote workforce, virtual workers (and the pandemic in general) presented increased security concerns for almost every company. While Mellott was already investing in improved cybersecurity strategies before the pandemic, Innovative helped them roll out additional security awareness, testing, and training to remote workers most likely to be the target of cyberattacks and phishing schemes.
How is Mellott Company involved in the community?
Throughout its 100-year history, Mellott Company has generously supported the communities surrounding its operations. Mellott believes in the strength of families and the value of supporting and inspiring young people to become productive members of the community – and in many cases, to become Mellott Company employees.
In 1993 Paul Mellott began visiting Southern Fulton High School, the local high school in Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania, twice each month. Over the years, these visits for mock job interviews and guest lectures grew into an official program based on Mellott Company's values of safety, integrity, commitment, respect, and excellence.
Designed to prepare students for the workforce, the program begins at the end of the students' junior year. Then, throughout the students' senior year, they learn more about each of the core values through classroom and experiential learning. Near the end of the program, students visit the Mellott Company facility for tours and mock job interviews with Mellott executives. At the end of the program, five students receive a scholarship based on presentations around one of the company's core values.
Other examples of Mellott Company's community support include:
- Supporting various local youth programs.
- Mock job interviews for students.
- Vocational internship programs.
- Support of Hagerstown Community College Foundation (Hagerstown, Maryland).
- College scholarships for graduating high school seniors.
- Opportunities for Fulton County Area Vocational Technical School (McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania) students to attend the Mellott University Program.
Final Thoughts About Mellott Company
Mellott Company embodies all of the characteristics that make an ideal client for Innovative. Their willingness to adopt new technologies to drive organizational change allowed us to implement the technologies they needed to smoothly transition to work-from-home. And it was their investment in tools and training for their people that keeps their team working smoothly from anywhere.
It is truly a pleasure partnering with such a forward-thinking, community-minded company.