At Birmingham-based Ram Tool Construction Supply Co., company culture is paramount.
The company offers intentional training to team members about the culture. It recognizes and rewards those who live the culture. On a closed-circuit television at the company, different team members who live and breathe the traits of the culture are spotlighted. And the company culture all circles back to five core values: Heroic service, integrity, sense of urgency, maximize talent and win through relationships.
“We have a great culture,” said Hillery Head, CEO. “Our core values really are our culture.”
Ram Tool is a distributor of commercial construction supplies that buys and warehouses a variety of different supplies – whatever companies need to keep their labor force working, Head said. Since the beginning of 2017, the company added 65 jobs in the Birmingham region and moved their corporate facility in Birmingham from a 50,000 square foot facility to a 65,000 square foot facility last December. This growth landed Ram Tool on the Birmingham Business Alliance’s New and Expanding Industry List. Since 1984, when her mother, Mimi Head, took over the business without any prior distribution experience, the company has been run by the women of the Head family, who with their team have taken the company to 1,260 employees in 38 locations.
“We are only as good as our team members out here, and we are so fortunate to have a strong team to work with,” Head said.
Not many women ran businesses in the construction industry when Head’s mother Mimi took over the reins of the company in 1984. She worked alongside the company’s founder, Dee Gonder, for a year – and quickly learned the business.
“My mother always had a terrific amount of energy,” Head said. “She had great advisors and the ability to know what a good team looks like. She could recognize great talent when she saw it. With all her energy and drive, she continued to set a terrific foundation by which we could continue the growth of the company.”
Head began working at Ram Tool 25 years ago and took over as CEO in 2009. Along with its well-defined company culture, Head said one of Ram Tool’s secrets of success is its location in Birmingham.
“I love Birmingham,” she said. “We are located in such a great spot, right in the heart of the Southeast. It’s easy to get around from Birmingham, and we’ve managed to grow like a puddle and spread up north, south, east and west of us.”
Having a defined company culture as Ram Tool does is very important, said the Birmingham Business Alliance’s Vice President of Business Development Victor Brown.
“Core values speak to the standards that separate a company from its competition,” said Brown. “The more companies invest in core values and staying true to those values, the more they will understand past failures and future successes, which can lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction, improvement in customer and client relationships and more profitable financial performance over time.”
Success to Ram Tool means, of course, solid metrics – inventory accuracy, delivery times and the like – and how well the company culture is communicated internally and externally to its customers.
“We want to be a reliable partner for our customers and be able to fulfill our brand promise,” Head said.