CEO Reflects on Charlottesville Events & Our Company Values

The following message was sent from Grand Rapids Metrology’s CEO to all employees regarding current events and our company values:

After the events this weekend in Charlottesville, VA, there is no better time than now to reflect on our stated company values!

My message here has nothing to do with politics! It has everything to do with values; yours, mine and ours, as a company and a nation!

In 2017, it should not need saying but it does! Prejudice, racism, sexism, homophobia, antisemitism, bigotry have no place in our society, our homes and families and our places of business. Voices such as we heard this weekend that espouse white supremacy, Nazi politics and exclusion are unacceptable and need to be addressed by all of us. Our country, our company and our families and friends need to have ongoing conversations about these issues and the application of our values. Silence on these issues is acceptance and acceptance is simply wrong.

Over the years, many of you have heard me quote the great British parliamentarian who said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. As good people with strong values, it is time to speak up for our country, our company, our families and our friends. Silence is not an option.

History is a wonderful teacher. Our country was founded to escape religious persecution and intolerance. We enslaved our fellow man and fought a civil war to free them. We disallowed our women the right vote until the 1920’s. We treated people differently in business, sports and schools because of the color of their skin. We ridiculed, brutalized and discriminated against people because of their sexual preference. Six million Jews died in the Holocaust because much of the world, including us, looked the other way for too long. We allowed women to be paid less and have less opportunity for advancement because they were women. We tried to exclude people from coming to our country because of the mere fact they were Muslim. I could go on with other miscarriages of justice throughout history. Unfortunately, many of these wrongs have been committed and continue to flourish supported by religious beliefs.  As a professed free society, we in the United States have continued the evolution of freedom. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to ALL of us without the differences of race, religious belief, sexual preference, gender, etc.

Though tremendous progress has been made, the events of this weekend in Charlottesville  prove that there continues an undercurrent of bigotry in our country and the world.

Our Constitutional right to free speech can be a blessing and a curse. That right allows to Ku Klux Klan to spew hatred and intolerance. It allows white supremacists to gather and talk of racial purity. It allows people to speak ill of women, Muslims, blacks, the LGBT community, Hispanics and Jews. It also allows good men to counteract the hatred. Too often, the television networks show us the hate without the counter-action. Hate, extremism and violence get ratings. Discussions of tolerance, working together and acceptance do not make for good TV.

From every historical event, good things can occur if GOOD PEOPLE SPEAK UP! What do we do now?

First, have civil conversations in the workplace, your neighborhood and at your dinner table. The rule is really quite simple. Everyone, regardless of their sex, race, color of their skin, religious beliefs, sexual preference, handicap, income status, etc. have the same basic human rights and the rights to exist EQUALLY in the United States and the world. No exceptions!

Second, we all have to peacefully confront evil and bigotry. We too often see or hear a wrong and we walk away. Peaceful confrontation must be an option. We cannot be afraid when we are on the side of right.

Third, we must stop the discourse in our society. When did it become acceptable to tell people with different opinions re such issues as healthcare, immigration, women’s rights and taxes that, if they disagreed with you, they were wrong and evil? When did it become OK for candidates for office to belittle Mexicans, Muslims and deplorables?  Doesn’t  “take our country back” really mean to take from some of us to give to others? When did we evolve to the point that someone has to be blamed for every perceived wrong? From the very top offices in our country, television networks, political parties, companies, neighborhoods and families, we must stop the finger pointing, name calling, generalizations and hate speech. We see it on television, we see it from our President, we see it all over! It must stop.

As the CEO, I accept the obligation to show leadership. Leadership, in politics, in business, in your neighborhood and at your dinner table, obligates us, in good times and in times of trouble, to call evil and bigotry what they are—always wrong! Leadership requires that we discuss our history and the evolution of rights for our fellow occupants of this planet. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t lead on these issues enough. If any good can come from the events of Charlottesville, maybe it can be that those events give leadership a louder, more free voice.

Over the next few weeks, I will be holding meetings at all our branches to discuss these issues openly and respectfully. Hopefully, all of you will do so among your friends and families. We are good people; doing or saying nothing is not an option.

Thank you!

The Kilogram will be Redefined in 2018: Here’s What You Need to Know

THIS IS MASSIVE

“It’s not obvious that it’s a big deal, but it’s a big deal,” Chief of Quantum Measurement at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Jon Pratt, said. His comment regarding a platinum and iridium cylinder that sits under lock and key in Serves, France. This cylinder is no ordinary mass, it’s THE kilogram, commonly referred to as “le grand k,” the weight that weighs exactly one kilogram, and the single standard by which all other kilogram’s are measured against. THE kilogram was crafted in 1889 as the golden standard for the weight and now resides at the International Bureau of Weights & Measure (BIPM).

The kilogram is the only SI unit defined by a manufactured object and as heavily revered as it is, there’s a problem. Scientist all over the world have recognized it. As a result, the kilogram is being redefined and we’ve got everything you need to about it.

THE PROBLEM

NIST oversees weight and measurement standards in the United States and has spent the past few years diligently working in part with international effort to redefine “le grand k” based on a fundamental universal constant. They are seeking to use a physical quantity in nature, similar to the speed of light or electric charge of a proton, opposed to a manufactured mass of metal. A unit that never changes regardless of location or time. Essentially, changing this standard from an object to an idea.

But what’s wrong with the kilogram as is? Well, the standard kilogram at BIPM is losing weight as we speak. It was found to be lighter than it’s once identical “witnesses”, by the approximate weight of one eyelash.  The BIPM prototype may be losing mass due to the impurities in it’s metal or the witnesses are gaining mass by accumulating contaminants. Either way, this method of calibration has caused problems all around the world, but NIST’s solution could take this 19th century practice to a 21st or even 22nd century process.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 2018

After discovering the kilogram’s imperfections, the 2014 General Conference on Weights and Measures was held to discuss the redefining of the kilogram based on the Planck’s constant concept. This is a value from quantum mechanics that describes the packets energy comes in. The value of this constant was unknown during 2014 and no further decisions could be made regarding the kilogram. The team at NIST has since spent the past few years preparing for the 2018 General Conference by trying to find a number accurate enough to define Planck’s constant.

They have been using a Kibble balance, formerly known as a Watt balance, for this task. Instead of balancing scales with weights, the Kibble balance uses electromagnetism. If scientists know the current, velocity and voltage of the Kibble’s coil as it is pulled, the Planck constant can be determined with extreme precision.

After 16 months of work, NIST had finally announced their findings. Planck’s constant was 6.626069934 x 10−34 kg∙m2/s with an uncertainty of 0.0000013%. In 2018, the next General Conference on Weights and Measure will take place where the scientific community will draft a resolution to redefine the kilogram based on this new found constant.

HOW IT EFFECTS YOU

The bottom line is that this massive and innovative discovery won’t affect you much at all. Your scales and metrology equipment will continue to be calibrated by Grand Rapids Metrology’s set of standards which are calibrated by the State of Michigan which are calibrated by NIST and A2LA standards which are calibrated by the kilogram at BIPM in France. The only aspect of that equation that will change 2018 and beyond is the kilogram will transform from a physical object to an very precise idea.

This modernization will prevent any error in the standard of the kilogram. Deteriorating metal or added contaminants will no longer be a problem. Rest assured your equipment will remain calibrated to the highest standards and your piece of mind will stay intact during this transition.

For even more about the redefining of the kilogram, check out this article from NIST’s website.

Reference: The Washington Post: Speaking of Science

[Now Offering] Light Duty Truck Scale Inspections

Grand Rapids Metrology is proud to offer a new value added service for truck scales, Light Duty Truck Scale Inspections! We believe this service will be an essential part of your scale maintenance program and we’re positive you will be more satisfied with the overall performance of your scale system. GRM has 95 years of experience with heavy capacity test equipment, so we understand that your business depends on the accuracy of these scales.

This service can offer the following tangible benefits to your business operations:

  •  LESS DOWNTIME – Issues identified and resolved quickly with frequent inspection will prevent any significant wear-and-tear damage to the scale and result in less downtime due to major, unexpected repairs.
  • PROLONG SCALE LIFE – Regular preventive maintenance has proved to increase the average life of a heavy capacity scale.
  • STAY INFORMED –  GRM will update you on your equipment twice a year which should help you plan for any major repairs.
  • SAVE MONEY – With this new truck scale service and preventive care, your equipment will be well-maintained – saving you money on repairs and technician time.

So, what does this inspection include ? While on-site, our State-Registered technicians will perform the following tasks:

  1. Service remote display – check connections and replace bad boards, as needed
  2. Check structural integrity of weigh bridge
  3. Inspect lever system; including suspension, pivots, and bearings
  4. Inspect wiring
  5. Remove build-up of debris
  6. Service meter – check program, print format, change ink ribbon, and check outputs
  7. Ensure surge protection is correctly applied
  8. Check concrete for structural integrity
  9. Check operational drainage system to ensure no standing water in pit
  10. Adjust or replace bumper bolts
  11. Replace mainboard batteries, as needed
  12. Touch-up grease in mechanical scales

Grand Rapids Metrology not only sells heavy capacity equipment from top truck scale manufacturers, but we also offer calibration and repair, heavy capacity overhaul, seasonal preparation and equipment cleaning, and now, light duty truck scale inspections.

For more information or to implement these truck scale inspections in your business operations, please contact our service manager at the service location nearest you!

Grand Rapids, Benton Harbor, Battle Creek | Luis | luis.bedevia@grmetrology.com | (616) 644-4550

Bay City | Dan | dan.garland@grmetrology.com | (989) 239-7017

Metro Detroit | Jennifer | jennifer.turner@grmetrology.com | (734) 637-9709

Join GRM & Learn to Effectively Lead your Family Business

“Traveling through the life of a family business leader can be most revealing and educational for those in the midst of their journey.  Members of each generation have their own frame of references that add to the flavor and uniqueness of each stage of the family business experience.  Come join us as we share the experiences of four panelists representing four demographic generations – Traditionalist, Baby Boomer, GenX and Millennial.  Each panelist will describe elements of his or her family business story focusing on the path of leadership development.”

Join us as the Family Business Alliance host The Jouney of the Family Business Leader event! Grand Rapids Metrology’s Vice President, Megan Spruit, will represent our company as one of the four panelist. She will speak to the almost 100 year history of our company and her role as the fifth generation founding family member. This panel features a member from four demographic generations and Megan will express her experience as a leader from the Millennial generation.

From the panel, expect to:

  • Gain greater understanding of each generation’s perspective on leadership development.
  • Hear about guidelines and policies used to increase the odds for successful growth as a family leader.
  • Learn about training and development programs that have worked for each generation.
  • Develop stronger skills in working with multiple generations.
  • Take away ideas to help you prepare for the next stage of your family business journey.

The event will be held Tuesday, June 13th from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Goeci Center in downtown Grand Rapids. This is a public event so all are welcome! Join representatives from Grand Rapids Metrology, Wesco, Inc., Custer, Inc., S2 Yachts, and Family Business Consulting Group for this inspirational and informative gathering!

Click here to register!

Holiday Message from the CEO | 2016

Holiday Message from the CEO

December, 2016
The typical holiday message mentions all the business success of the year soon to end, talks about goals for the future, thanks customers, vendors and employees, talks about holiday cheer, peace and goodness. It might even mention a party or two. Not mine. Not this year!

I want to tell you about our employees. They are the backbone of this company. They make the important things happen every day. They are generous to a fault, not just at the holiday time but, throughout the year.

We have employees who sit on boards of charitable organizations, public school boards and library commissions. We have employees who participate in mentorship programs, work with their churches, cook for the poor and work with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. These are some of the things I know about. I’m sure many of them do things privately for the good of others that they choose not to openly discuss. They are just good people.

We do have several formal programs of which we are extremely proud:

  • GRM CARES is a voluntary program for our employees. We meet about four or five times a year after work hours. Everyone brings $20 to donate and 3 or 4 employees make short presentations about charities that are important to them. We then vote as a group and all the money collected goes to the chosen charity. Last week our meeting raised over $1,100 for the Michigan Make-A-Wish Foundation and 80% of our employees voluntarily participated. Last fall, our charity was the City Of Flint Community Foundation Children’s Fund and we had over 80% participation for that as well.

  • In November, we read in the Grand Rapids Business Journal that the Mel Trotter Ministries was short on their non-perishable food drive. Our employees took it upon themselves to collect food and other items and we will be delivering over 1,000 pounds of food, etc. and several hundred dollars in cash later this week for Mel Trotter.

  • Our employees have always been interested in community service so this year we formalized a program to pay them for days they devote to a community service project. Each employee is paid their wages for pre-approved community service. The good news is that many of them were doing it without this program. We hope that the program allows more new participants and encourages even more service by those already doing it.

Some things are not planned or structured. Some good works just happen spontaneously. Last week, one of our newest employees who had not yet qualified for any type of paid leave, called to inform us that his 4-month old baby (first child) was having emergency heart surgery.  Obviously, he and his wife were concentrating on the welfare of their baby but, in the backs of their minds they also were agonizing over his job security and not having pay. Our employees, on their own, decided to donate vacation days from their personal accounts to help out this young family. As a CEO, this was one of the proudest moments of my career.

In 2016, we spent significant time discussing our value system (see below). Value statements are often made by companies as promotional statements. Not here! Our employees live our values in their personal and professional lives.

Every successful business person reaches a point where it’s no longer about the money, the conquest or chase, the growth or acquisition, etc. As I get older, it’s more about “Did I make a difference?”, “Did I positively influence people?” and “Did I foster a values environment?”, etc. My answer is that I did not but, WE have! Our employees do make a difference, they do positively influence people and they do live by a value system. What greater Christmas gift could a man ask for? None. I have my gift and I am so proud of it. Thank you to all of our employees who work each day to make the world better and me look good!

Happy Holidays!

GRM’s New Partnership with Sika USA Inc.

In November of this year, Grand Rapids Metrology added a new metrology supplier to its arsenal; Sika USA Inc. Sika is based in Germany with a regional office in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, just thirty minutes south of Milwaukee. Their company history resembles Grand Rapids Metrology’s long history as Sika was established over 100 years ago, and GRM is quickly approaching our 100-year anniversary. Sika prides themselves in their technical expertise, reliable and precise measurements, and vast scope of knowledge. Sound similar to Grand Rapids Metrology?

Although we feel there are numerous similarities in our businesses, there are certainly aspects of metrology that Sika is capable of that GRM is not, making this a wonderful partnership. With this new supplier relationship, Grand Rapids Metrology will be able to sell and service metrology equipment manufactured by Sika. Their three divisions of expertise are Pressure Measurement and Calibration Instruments, Flow Measuring Instruments, and Electronic Measuring and Calibration Instruments. With these disciplines, especially the addition of Flow Measuring, GRM will be able to offer new products and calibration services to our customers.

Below is the list of Sika equipment GRM will be able to distribute:

Dial Thermometers

Digital Thermometers

Dry-Well Calibrators

Flow Meters/Sensors

Electronic Controllers & Indicators

Handheld Instruments

Industrial Thermometers

Mechanical Pressure Gauges

Pressure Pumps & Reference Gauges

Pressure Sensors

Simulators

Temperature Calibrators & Sensors

This list is subject to grow as our knowledge and relationship with Sika advances. GRM is sure this partnership will be a beneficial endeavor for all parties involved.

If you have any questions regarding Sika, their products, or our relationship with them, please feel free to contact our Metrology Manager, Kyle Mack, via email at kyle.mack@grmetrology.com or phone at 616.249.1220, or our Technical Sales Manager, Seth Damoose, via email at seth.damoose@grmetrology.com or phone at 616.249.1244.

Internal Recycling Campaign

This past summer, Grand Rapids Metrology began renovating our headquarter building in Grand Rapids. Months later and we’re almost done! With painted walls, hanging lights, carpet and furniture on the way, GRM is working to finalize all the details involved with moving our team back into our new office! The renovation has highlighted a perfect opportunity to make a positive change – creating and implementing an internal recycling campaign.

Currently, GRM does offer recycling, however the number of recycling bins available are limited and so is the material we are able to recycle (primarily paper). Our team is coordinating with a nearby waste management organization to execute this campaign. Each individual office will be stocked with its own recycling bin, as well as the break room, technician space, calibration lab, and the garage. It is imperative to make recycling available to all our staff, but more so, it is exceedingly important to educate them on recycling protocol and why recycling is meaningful.

One of the leading justifications of many people who do not recycle is because recycling bins and programs are unavailable to them. Admittedly, it is very easy for someone to throw an empty water bottle in a trash can as generally those are more prevalent than recycling bins. Our goal here is that whenever you see a trash can, you see a recycling bin as well; making it equally effortless for someone to recycle instead of simply throwing that water bottle away.

Education on this matter is also essential. To educate are employees on the importance of sustainability and recycling, we have created a small hand out (below) to demonstrate the positive impact recycling can have. A response of people who purposefully do not recycle is, “It doesn’t make a difference.” This info-graphic proves them wrong. Secondly, we have created and will distribute a “cheat sheet” to recycling. This piece visually shows employees what materials and specifics items can be recycled and which should be thrown away.

The purpose of this campaign is simple- to make a positive difference in our world. Grand Rapids Metrology is immensely invested it doing its part to give back and help the environment in every way we can. This program may have been overdue, but better late than never! The building renovation created the perfect opportunity for us to implement our new campaign. The entire company (all five branches) will receive the educational information as well as the handout depicting the importance of recycling. The new bins will be placed at our Grand Rapids offices for now, but we aspire to make more recycling bins present in all of our office spaces. We encourage others to understand the importance of sustainability and implement similar programs into their home and business.

Recycling info-graphic GRM team will receive:

Investment in Technology

Important CERTLINK Changes

In July of 2014, Grand Rapids Metrology launched its incredible online calibration management system- CERTLINK. This software has allowed our customers the ability to easily view and maintain their calibration certifications, equipment list (including manufacturer, model number, serial number, etc.), review their calibration schedules, and see full reports from previous calibrations. The technology is also free to all GRM customers and is available 24/7/365!

As a Grand Rapids Metrology customer, you probably know most of that information. However, what you may not know is that we have recently improved and updated this system and there are a few changes we want to make sure you are aware of:

  • Two new flowcharts: Service Flowchart and Rental Flowchart. These new flowcharts give more information on where equipment is at any time due to the tracking statuses. They also show more events to give a clear representation of how the equipment flows though the different processes (work in process, awaiting shipment, etc.).
  • There are new packing slips attached to receiving and shipping event on the website which can be emailed if preferred.
  • The handwritten Customer Acknowledgment Form will be replaced and instead will be created electronically and then emailed. It will soon be called Summary of Service Report. You will see this in use very soon.

The goal of these constructive changes have many purposes: to continuously improve our efficiencies while reducing our paper consumption, investing in technology to streamline the service process, and create a more visually engaging and logical experience for our customers and employees.

If you have any questions regarding the new system updates, please contact your Service Manager for more information.

Luis Bedevia: Grand Rapids & Benton Harbor | luis.bedevia@grmetrology.com | 616-249-1211

Jennifer Turner: Metro Detroit | jennifer.turner@grmetrology.com | 734-857-1104

Dan Garland: Bay City | dan.garland@grmetrology.com | 989-316-7410

Community Service Initiative

This August, Grand Rapids Metrology implemented a new Community Service initiative for its full time employees. Here at GRM we recognize the importance of supporting our community, so we want to give our team the time and opportunity to do so. This new program will award GRM employees 8 hours of annual paid time-off to volunteer for the organization of their choosing. Our management team and human resources department established this initiative in hopes of showing loyalty to both the community and our employees.

Community service time is one of the ways Grand Rapids Metrology supports volunteer involvement as well as promoting positive social impacts. The policy is designed to encourage employees to connect with the people in the community by volunteering their time for something they feel passionate about. Their service must directly support either a school (public or private), non-profit, or non-partisan community organization and be performed within the state of Michigan. Examples of such acceptable organizations are local schools, charity races, food banks, homeless shelters, animal shelters, Habitat homes, etc.

Grand Rapids Metrology believes that while supporting the community, our employees will demonstrate our company values: to exceed expectations every day, inspire positive attitudes and family values, collaborate through shared knowledge, innovate for creative solutions, and embrace and drive change. Grand Rapids Metrology is thankful to have locations throughout the state of Michigan in Grand Rapids, Metro-Detroit, Bay City, Benton Harbor, and Battle Creek. We aspire to show our appreciation to our great State by giving back to those communities who have supported us for almost 100 years!

Revision of Values & Purpose

Many changes have occurred at Grand Rapids Metrology over the past couple years. From a new name and logo to a new technician training program and an expanded scope, all aspects of our business have been touched by these exciting changes. Although we have been in operation since 1922, a fifth-generation family business nonetheless, we thought it was time to take a second glance at our values and purpose in order to keep up with all our other developments.

The idea behind this revision was not an attempt to dampen or change our family values, but an attempt to condense our values, make them easily memorable, and implement them into everyday life here at GRM. Our prior mission and values statement was far too long and could not be recited by a large majority of our employees. We need values that were simple yet meaningful. After this realization, a team of ten GRM employees was established and were given the task of revamping our current company values and purpose.

Grand Rapids Metrology’s previous mission/purpose was as stated, “Our mission is to develop honest and trusting relationships with our customers and to provide them with the highest quality weighing and measuring solutions tailored to their individual needs.” The values that accompanied that statement were: Integrity, Passion, People Commitments, Compliance, Success, Improvement, Community (each value has an accompanying sentence, these are simply the key words they are based upon). The process of creating a new set of values that exemplified our family beliefs and embodied the changes that have come and will continue to come to Grand Rapids Metrology was a difficult one. The team assigned to the job held multiple meetings and in total the process took about twelve weeks to complete.  The Values Team, as we liked to call them, attributed their success to the passion of the team leader and the dynamic of the team as a whole. Team members said they collaborated well together, for initially they had a jumble of ideas but were ultimately able to narrow them down through various discussions and a voting process.

As of recently, GRM’s new values and purpose have been completed and we are truly satisfied with the results. Our new purpose: Measuring Success. Our new values; Exceed expectations every day, Inspire positive attitudes and family values, Collaborate through shared knowledge, Innovate for creative solutions, and Embrace and drive change.

Simply creating these new values was not the sole objective of our team. It was also their responsibility to find concrete ways to implement these values into everyday life for our current employees, future employees, customers, vendors, and community. For our current employees, the Values Team came up with ideas such as displaying the values on the wall of our (presently being renovated) headquarters, naming the new conference rooms after our values, integrating them into annual performance reviews, nominating and awarding co-workers for positively demonstrating our values, and designing coffee cups, magnets, sticker, etc. with our value icons. For our future employees, GRM plans to include questions about their demonstration of values in past experience as well as including the values into their initial training. Finally, for our customers, vendors, and community, the team suggested all employees add the value image (as seen above) to our emails to serve as a constant reminder of what GRM stands behind. Likewise, they proposed we create a blog post about to value revisions (i.e. what we are doing right now) to inform, and to create a new page on our website (also currently undergoing renovation) dedicated exclusively to our purpose and values.

Taking an in-depth look at who Grand Rapids Metrology is an organization and what we want to represent was not a project to be taken lightly. This team did an excellent job of condensing and implementing our new set of values. Grand Rapids Metrology is immensely proud of the work our team did and the new values they have create. GRM’s hope to embody our new purpose and values each and every day in hopes of bettering ourselves and our company as a whole.