Success . . . It’s a process

ALJ ARTICLE 515X386-SU17 ENG 

EFCO Producing Long-term Value to the World

EFCO is an engineering-based company bringing together professionals from many disciplines, building on a firm, solid concrete foundation. Our work, our products, and our engineering prominence—including field service—is based on “Find a need and fill it.” We have been committed to balancing the interests of our customers, employees, and stockholders for 80+ years.

How Does EFCO Do It?

We do it by working together and for others—you cannot do it alone as a single individual, only as a team for real success. Support yourself with knowledge, education, and a good work ethic and we may have a place for you on our EFCO team. The wonderful thing about “work and your job,” when you focus on it, gain knowledge, and know you are helping other people, it can become like a game and no longer feel like work.

We, working at EFCO, have been brought up with an old saying, “Find a need and fill it.” This saying has been added to and more recently modified to ensure real success, “We are going to stick to our core competencies.”

EFCO’s Founder

The founder of our company, W. A. Jennings, left us with a very important reminder, “Can’t never did anything.” Another one of his favorite sayings was, “One of the most important things you can do in life is learn how to work and be a contributor.”

As the EFCO Company Grew, Teamwork Grew

Over the last eight decades, EFCO has grown from a single-unit, Des Moines, Iowa-based company; first growing in the U.S. and later to have worldwide district offices with strategically located warehouses. It was one of our lifelong engineering employees, Tom Brotherton, who grew from a university graduate to a district manager for our New Jersey-based operations and later moved on to open up and manage our new Georgetown, Ontario, Canada EFCO manufacturing and distribution operations, and then to EFCO’s corporate vice president and sales manager with 56 years of service.

Innovations and Inventions

As a member of the EFCO leadership team, Tom was instrumental in helping to develop many of the company’s business processes. This included helping guide the company to deliver value to our industry with innovation and inventions. Tom’s enthusiasm, EFCO business knowledge, and vision enabled him to rise rapidly within EFCO, and he finished his career with EFCO serving as a corporate VP sales manager and on the board of directors.

Building EFCO’s Wrap Around Support Teams

Perhaps one of the most notable of Tom’s contributions towards the strength of our success was the concept of an EFCO Wrap Around Support Team. With this new-to-EFCO business strategy, each EFCO district operation would have a team of semi-independent team players always working together using company-established policies and procedures to support each other to better serve our customers. This was not unlike other business strategies of the time where methods to guarantee consistency in production and customer service were being developed across the country by new well-known entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, Sam Walton for Wal-Mart, and Ray Kroc for McDonald’s. EFCO has been relentless in our endeavor to become the formwork supplier of choice by offering a superior product and extraordinary customer service.

Never-ending Benefits

As you step away and take a look at EFCO’s wrap around support everyone working together business strategy, it somewhat parallels the McDonald’s empire where each restaurant follows strict business processes, products, and procedures. EFCO works very closely as a team within each district and like McDonald’s, we produce ever-expanding benefits—again for employees, customers, and stockholders. This has proven the importance and value of working together as a team.

How and When Did EFCO Get Its Information Technology (I.T.) Start?

EFCO got its I.T. computer start in 1959, 58 years ago. I was just three years an engineering graduate working at EFCO when my father, W. A. Jennings, ordered EFCO’s first electronic digital computer. It was only a short time later when W. A. told me he wanted me to go to computer school. My response was, “Why me? I am working, I think producing.” His response was, “Someone will learn how to use this and then might leave.” It was soon after I was on a train from Des Moines, Iowa to Los Angeles, California to stay at the Hollywood Knickerblocker Hotel on Hollywood and Vine on the sixth floor for a two-week computer course. Now here I am today still successfully engaged in EFCO I.T. computer systems. Starting with the first computer, EFCO has bought all of its computer systems outright for cash, and every central processor computer system has lasted a minimum of seven years and some as long as 14 years, all successful investments.

Innovation at the Time

It all started with skipping the IBM punch card technology and going straight to computer data processing. For EFCO it was first with invoicing, inventory, payroll, and general ledger accounting. Next it was manufacturing including work order systems, production control, and so forth.

It has been a Fantastic Ride

Now EFCO I.T. is strategically involved with almost all of EFCO’s business processes in some way and most important of all, with sales and marketing. It has been a fantastic ride, and it is all built around “controlling our own destiny.” Our systems have given us a successful, vertically integrated total business process from product design, manufacturing, marketing, selling, leasing our services and products without dealers and distributors, and selling directly to our all-important customers. Of course, our computers are far more powerful and faster, and we love it.

EFCO Developing Proven, Productive Business Processes

As time goes on, we all recognize things are changing and proven, repeatable business processes help you manage the change successfully. However, when business process is not followed or gets out of control, a business can be lost in a relatively short period of time. We all also recognize business process systems; as an example, with information technology (I.T.) developments, we can deliver a whole new ball game.

This is when EFCO’s “Listen-Discuss-Decide-Support” business creed process becomes all-important. If management’s eyes and ears are open, good new ideas are everywhere with all good working teams, a requirement at EFCO.

EFCO’s R & D Starts with Our Customers.The EFCO business is built on a firm foundation with a company creed to:

LISTEN BUTTONS - Original

EFCO’s creed works internally within the company as well as, and most importantly, externally with listening for a statement of the problem or in this case, construction opportunities. We have learned a good statement of the problem is half the solution and in many cases, a real opportunity. Combine this with good EFCO R & D engineering, years of experience, and quality proven products, and you can have a real winner.

Al Jennings
Chairman and CEO