When we interviewed John Hamilton for this employee profile, other employees kept getting in the way. First I had to hear about Sean Taylor and his progress over the years in the strainer fabrication department. Then I had to meet Lucas DaCosta and learn about his progression from high school welding coop student, to the welding program he took at college to his return to Sure Flow.
Initially I thought he was trying to postpone our sit down, but then it became apparent that John has boundless enthusiasm for the team he works with, fabricating strainers and screens at Sure Flow Equipment.
It doesn’t seem like a job for John, more of a mission to see his staff be the best they can be.
As Supervisor of Perforated Product, John is responsible for the huge volume of work required to provide the wide assortment of screen types Sure Flow customers require. Cone/conical strainers, basket/hat strainers, reverse/straight flow strainers, plate strainers, resin traps, foot valve screens, wedge wire screens … I’ll stop now so that all our allocated space is not used just outlining the variety of products produced.
For almost 25 years John Hamilton has been producing these products, and for a number of years he has been coordinating a growing team in this department.
You can tell John is exceptionally proud of his accomplishments and the pride and craftsmanship that goes into these products. But he can’t seem to hide his enthusiasm for the staff that he has taught during this time. Their personal growth seems to be a big factor in the satisfaction he takes from his job.
“I am very proud of the quality of the custom strainer screens our team produces, but I take even more satisfaction from the continuous improvement that I see in every employee I work with. Sure Flow provides a great environment for personal growth of everyone on the team.” Happy, motivated people simply build better products.
The recent construction of ‘Sure Biscuit the Wonder Horse’ is a good example of this personal growth. John was given the task of using scrap material, and when there was a break in production, producing this unit with 4 legs and whole lot of other features. “Everyone on the team provided input. Everyone had suggestions. It was a team effort and using a bunch of creative ideas from everyone working on the project allowed us to end up with an outstanding final product.” Using the combined brain power of a team would simply be a better way of ‘building a better mousetrap.’
Teaching seems to have been one of those things that’s kept John motivated all these years. As new team members have been added he’s made sure they were up to speed on all the required skills, and that they shared Sure Flow’s goal of providing only quality product.
“There are times when we get a lot of orders in the pipeline, and that’s where it’s really important that everyone focus on effective ‘time management.’ Any way we can reduce how much walking and shifting material and all the steps involved, the better the final results. It’s about efficiency, from personal movement to minimizing waste, it’s a challenge everyone in the team takes on.”
Team spirit is something that’s difficult to create, and often permeates from the top down. It becomes part of the fabric of an organization and it’s something that Sure Flow founder John Wordsworth has tried to create from day one.
When I finally got around to snapping some photos, John insisted that Sean and Lucas be in the photograph. The profile was about Sure Flow’s “Supervisor of Perforated Product”, but he wasn’t going to have a photo unless other team members were in the photo. I guess that says a lot about how John Hamilton sees his position… part of the team!