Thursday morning my cell phone rang, and to my most pleasant surprise it was my 92-year-old mother. Seeing her caller ID show up always gives me such a lift. She is 92, totally blind, extremely hard of hearing, and has two artificial knees that are well beyond their useful life. She still, however, is the single most optimistic person I know. A real role model.
Her news was regarding my niece Caitlyn having not only passed her training at the US Coast Guard but also having high enough marks to get her first choice—Hawaii—as her station.
Upon arriving into my Providence, RI AlphaGraphics Business Center I made the announcement to the entire team about Caitlyn’s success. Everyone on staff cheered! Caitlyn is not only my wonderful niece but has been working for AlphaGraphics since before she could spell it. We all felt so very proud of our most loved Caitlyn. One of my team members who is also a member of the Coast Guard explained to all of us that if she got Hawaii that she must have been one of the top in her class. As Chris said, “Everybody wants Hawaii; only the best get it.”
My mother’s final remarks rang in my ears. “Caitlyn’s experience working at AlphaGraphics helped her a great deal.” I began to think about why. This is what I came up with… But before I begin, allow me to mention that my comparison is in no way meant to trivialize the life and death nature of US Coast Guard work.
Everything at my AlphaGraphics print center is centered on always performing tasks in a very systematic and organized manner. We are taught to follow those standards on every job, big or small. Our quality training requires each job to move through the center with a quality control sign-off from department to department. Our documented re-do rate has averaged less than 1% for more than 10 years straight. This is only possible with strict adherence to the AlphaGraphics work flow system, resulting in few errors and happy customers.
Our jobs are nearly always a “rush.” Ninety-five percent of the work that we perform at our AlphaGraphics print shop in Providence is considered a “Rush” by our clients. Producing jobs quickly but without making mistakes requires adherence to a strict set of guidelines. No short-cuts. No excuses. We all follow the quality system in our business because it works and it keeps our customers looking great and feeling confident.
I couldn’t help but think that a young woman’s early career success in the Coast Guard had something to do with her experience as a youngster practicing our quality systems. Clearly, focused training and adherence to high standards produce results we can all be proud of.