Many people at the Kloeckner Murfreesboro branch have worked together for a long time. A whole host of them have been together for upwards of 10 to 15 years, and several actually push 20 years at the branch. General Manager Mark Zumbrun has been there for 25.
“There is a lot of longevity,” Zumbrun said. “We don’t lose people.”
Zumbrun attributes this fact to the unique culture that exists at the Murfreesboro branch. It is a fast-paced environment, and everyone is very competitive. When the territory managers come in from the road they often take the inside people out to lunch to catch up on both business and personal developments. Above all, the team operates like a family. Everyone pitches in to help one another.
“I think we really have this philosophy that if you work together, get to know each other and cover each other’s back,” Zumbrun said. “There is an ‘I’ll pick up the bucket with you and help’ mentality here that is really unique.”
The product offering at Murfreesboro is extremely diverse, including carbon, pained steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. It is a flat-rolled facility geared around coils, which also offers a variety of value-added services. Fabrications services are managed at Murfreesboro and coordinated with partners.
“Our sales group is really two or three fold,” Zumbrun explained. “We have those who specialize in stainless and aluminum, we also have those that are really good Major account managers for our flat-rolled accounts, and we have project managers with a little different skill set who handle all of our fabrication programs.”
One of the goals of the Murfreesboro branch is to provide customers with the best experience possible. While they are growth-oriented, they focus first on maintaining customers and developing better relationships year over year. They are very strategic in how they want to grow and are careful to find mutually beneficial partnerships to pursue.
“We really want to identify what is a really good, attractive Kloeckner partner because we are going to put a lot of energy into them and a lot of resources into them,” Zumbrun said.
As Murfreesboro continues to grow, they need to fuel that growth with good people. They are looking for people who like a fast-paced style of work, enjoy a challenge, and are good at working as part of a cohesive team. They are beginning to recruit the next generation and have developed a comprehensive onboarding program with some experts. In the first two weeks, new employees will visit every department and have a chance to spend some time with everyone. This is so they really understand what they are doing before they start training on their role.
“They are going to have an opportunity to really understand what drives our business, and the methodology we use to manage our business,” Zumbrun said. “We invest in our people, and we always see a great return for doing that. The team we have is truly our most valuable resource.”
The Murfreesboro branch puts a lot of emphasis on quality training. They do a lot of lunch-and-learns. The team goes out to visit the mills and the processors because it is important to understand all the capacities and capabilities.
Employees are trained to have an understanding of the bigger picture, and how all of the different departments work together.
“This thing is a big machine,” Zumbrun said. “It isn’t just one department. It is every department working together for the common goal of serving our customers to the very best of our ability.”
Steven Nghe is currently the Head of Marketing & Communications at Kloeckner Metals. Nghe is a marketing professional with more than 14 years of experience in various environments and industries. His goal is to tell you about the sexy side of steel. Nghe holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University. Prior to Kloeckner, Nghe worked for Delta Dental, Wells Real Estate Funds, Georgia Institute of Technology and Doosan.