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Author: Charli K. Matthews
Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Morrow and Christina Duke at the Brownlee-Morrow Engineering and Service facility. As I pulled off one of the busiest roads in Birmingham, AL, I was amazed at just how close the facility is to town; I thought… ‘What a great location for employees’! I took a photo of the company’s sign out front and went inside. As I was signing in, Scott met me in the lobby and said, “You must be Charli.” I was impressed already! The service aspect of Brownlee-Morrow starts the moment you walk through the door.
We spent a few minutes getting to know each other and discussed our respective companies in the conference room. As we sat there, I was drawn to the art on the walls; one composition featured men working in mines. It was one of the most beautiful paintings I had ever seen! Of course I had to comment, which led me to learn that a member of the Morrow family had created this painting (how cool!). As we talked about the different divisions of our companies, we marveled at how we came to have this meeting.
Scott explained that he had been at TPS in Houston last month, and the topic of social media had come up! As the official social media sponsor of that event, I was thrilled! But it was more than that… Scott is working on a new website and digital media initiatives, and we are just the company to help! The more I listened, the more I got excited to work with this company. Scott’s respect for the company and Christina’s sparkle in her eye at the opportunity to build and grow was contagious! This is a hard moment to explain, but I think I would call it passion.
The dictionary defines passion as a strong, barely controllable emotion, and anyone who owns or operates a business likely knows this feeling well. Passion can be a motivator to start a business, but is essential for successful operation – and in my case, it’s a critical element for inspiring me to engineer the future of my business. When I meet and engage with people who are passionate about what they are doing in the world, their passion inadvertently fuels my own, making me smile from ear to ear as I work in this industry I so deeply love…. and I am sure Scott and Christina can relate!
After a great conversation, it was time to take a look around the shop! Oh the joy! We started out in what I would call the ‘graveyard’ of pumps… old pumps that were in for repair. These pumps had been disassembled, inspected, and prepared for the repair process. I first noticed a large impeller (always a favorite!), but then saw a couple styles impellers I had never seen before. There was also a type of pump that I had never seen up close either, but Scott knew them all! Every detail; what the pump was, all the parts that make it work, and the industry it served. I just wanted to dive into his brain and hang out for awhile! I guess that is what I did because we walked around the shop floor for a couple hours!
As we walked though the repair shop, I met some pretty amazing machinists! As I watched an impeller being worked on (right in front of me!), I had to ask questions. This is where the magic happened! The pride of the creation was evident! Photos and videos were shared and printed photo books were brought out to educate! This was one of my favorite moments of the day.
Think about that impeller. It needs to be perfect. Not just for vanity sake but for our safety as consumers and customers. If there aren’t the right number of vanes, manufactured at just the right angles, or underfiled (trimmed) properly, then the flow of that pump is affected. The operation of that pump is affected, which means that the pump system is affected and the process is inefficient and/or costly! It’s not always economical to buy a new pump, so we have to rely on highly knowledgeable service technicians to re-manufacture components to keep our pumps operating as our systems require. After meeting these gentlemen, I know their work is very important – to their customers and for themselves! When you see people really dedicated to their work, it makes you more confident about the quality that goes into this entire repair / rebuild process. People passionate about the work they do – this is exactly who I would want repairing my pumps!
Next, we went to the engineered systems building where we got to see several engineered pump designs and skids (check out their new Twitter channel to see one of their recent skids, complete with pump, valve, controls, heat exchanger, and piping!). I met the people who welded the parts, painted the final products, and tested the pumps. It was a great experience, and one I think you would also have if you stopped by Brownlee-Morrow! I was very impressed!
Christina also shared with me that one of their divisions is an official Women Business Enterprise (WBE) company. This fact is a source of pride for her, and I could see her light up as we thought out loud about how we could work together to shine a light on the effective leadership from women in her industry. In her day-to-day operations, Christina wears quite a few different hats (many can relate!). Though I had been introduced to her for their digital media marketing initiative, I learned that she is assisting in the operations and pump systems delivery processes… Amazing!
As a small business owner, I have to say I love this family-owned business that is thriving with great leadership, company culture dedicated to customer service, and the knowledge of pump systems was the best I have heard in quite some time!
It was a great day of learning, re-learning, and sharing in the passion of manufacturing, distribution, service and repair of pumps and pump systems! All I can say is… I can’t wait to go back!
Visit Brownlee-Morrow online: www.bmeco.com.