Look around your own organization. The times are certainly different from what they were 40 years ago. That’s when Melissa Matter, then a student at Oklahoma State University, was hired as a temp at Acme Brick in Oklahoma City. Almost immediately, she realized that she had found a place that challenged and rewarded her so much that she never left.
Anyone who has watched the steady turnover of co-workers in the post-COVID workplace knows just how rare 40 years of service with one company is. Interestingly, Melissa is among several Acme associates who have more than four decades with the company.
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Her longevity is partly due to her natural intellect and organizational skills. She’s a person whom managers like to say is “good with numbers.” This is, of course, an understatement. She’s REALLY good at analyzing historical and current sales demands reported from the field, matching them with allocations and “magically” ensuring that Acme customers get their brick on time. Her position as sales coordinator is the linchpin for Acme’s inventory control strategy.
However, that is just a part of the reason Melissa Matter has been named the Acme Associate of the Quarter. She has an attitude about her work that shines like a full moon over the Oklahoma prairie.
Planning Production and Finding Brick
One of Acme’s leading sales representatives, Sean Webb, with whom Melissa works side by side wrote this, in his nomination of her for this award.
“During these crazy times, some employees forget that we are ‘one team.’ Melissa Matter is definitely focused on this idea. She is a sales coordinator who is a great communicator and has the knowledge of our systems and the personal drive to ensure our products get to our customers on time”
“Part of the fun of my job is working with sales reps to get them the product they need for customers,” Melissa said. “I love salespeople because they have that personality that is part of their DNA. They are upbeat and enthusiastic. As you can imagine, I hear a lot of sad tales of woe and hilariously funny stories.
“Because of the economic times and supply chain challenges, we have an allocation system - sort of a ‘just-in-time-inventory’ program - that gives us guidelines on how much brick we make each month. Basically, we try to manufacture our product to fit the actual demand. This is based on both historical sales data from our region, and long-term projections from the field.
“It’s a challenge to keep it all straight, but I love spreadsheets and relish the challenge of making everything (or close to everything) come out right each month! I really enjoy planning production and making sure we have enough product for our customers.”
Building Company Culture
Acme Brick has a history of more than 130 years, and in that time, the company has always strived to build teamwork. This once led to a fun promotion, which included contributions from every Acme plant, and resulted in the “World’s Largest Brick.”
“It has never been more important than now to recognize the importance of contributions made by Acme Brick associates,” said the president of Acme Brick, Dennis Knautz. “The “Associate of the Quarter” award is given to those in the company who live the company’s cultural beliefs to their fullest. This award is intended to recognize those associates who embody our cultural beliefs and serve as an inspiration to other associates.
“With her lightning-quick agility and calm-under-duress personality, Melissa Matter is an excellent example of what it means to be a part of Acme’s ‘One Team.’”
Acme Associates care about customers. It’s really that simple. If you are considering building a new home or commercial building, contact a company that has more than 130 years of credibility and great people like Melissa Matter.