- Tech Insights
Laura Head, CEO at T&W Operations, combines 25+ years of experience as a computer programmer, management, and financial experience, all of which make her uniquely qualified to lead the company. T&W’s vision is to leverage emerging technologies to support commercial and government logistics operations. With a goal of giving their customers smart solutions, they use their technology-based skills to improve operational and logistical processes based on their performance.
Laura says employee collaboration and excitement are feedback for me. As I walk the floor, I hear first-hand how engaged the employees are. We keep everyone engaged with on-going sessions to update the entire team on the company metrics, in-process project status as well as new projects and technologies the company is moving toward. There are engaged employees in every organization. By their attitudes and engagement, we can tell many are excited. It’s one method we ensure each employee feels part of the company's vision and mission and sees their contributions. I like to lead by example, and I also have an open-door policy for everyone seeking affirmation of a job or mentoring approach to problem resolution, Laura adds.
Many of our teams are striving to attain higher levels of education and professional certifications. At the same time, the management staff works closely with our team members and future leaders to encourage their efforts to better themselves as they grow to their full potential.
For the last quarter, we have had 3 team members leave voluntarily, for a total loss of 5 members for the entire year. The reasons for leaving ranged from retirement to looking for what they perceived to be brighter opportunities. We lost one due to government cutbacks on a contract, two retired, and two suffered from "the grass is always greener" syndrome. Both left, thinking it would be better to work for a larger company, and may have realized the grass was not really greener.
Our systems enable our customers to do complete inventories perpetually or on demand. With our extensive inventory management and logistics experience, we work with our customers to optimize their processes for use with RFID technology. We then take those processes and design hardware and software solutions to best fit that customer’s needs and stay with that customer until the systems are meeting all of their expectations.
Some RFID providers utilize fixed asset systems, which is not as accurate as our patented system. We employ a mobile system called TIS, or Tower Inventory System, to provide 100% accuracy. Our system can provide a 3D view of all assets. In 2020, we introduced the TIS-ER, or robotic system, that eliminated the need of its predecessor to have a forklift conveyance. For smaller footprint facilities where TIS may not be cost effective, we provide a handheld solution for full inventor management with many of the same features. All our systems are scalable to meet a customer’s growing needs, says Laura.
In one case study following efforts to optimize the processes and tag all inventory a manual wall-to-wall inventory was done, taking 2,280 hours with an accuracy of less than 98%. Then we ran our TIS and completed the inventory in 3 ½ hours, with an additional 12 ½ hours for reconciliation. So, we did a complete wall-to-wall inventory in 16 hours with 100% accuracy. We were able to show our customer how to take a complete inventory from 2,280 man-hours to 16 hours with 100% accuracy. Our customer no longer does an inventory once a year. Instead, they do a full inventory once a month and have cut the time down to about 8 hours.
As a small business working through all the impacts of COVID and supply chain struggles, the issue Laura is dealing with is making sure she has the financial capability to sustain the growth they are seeing. Despite the current issues all are seeing, she has an excellent team who are pushing forward with the business.
It is interesting working through all the challenges being a CEO brings, but Laura has become aware of the vast resources that are available through being involved with Chambers of Commerce, Mentor-Protégé programs with large companies, corporate associations, and many other groups that have opened up once she became more involved outside her immediate company. The return on investment grows exponentially through strong relationships. Strong growth and business health is all about relaionships, in Laura’s view!
T&W Operations was founded in 2004 with a goal to increase efficiency and availability of military assets, ultimately succeeding in substantially cutting costs and time. Many lives were saved by asset availability in combat arenas. At T&W, our mission is to provide our customers with smart inventory solutions by utilizing emerging RFID technologies that provide unparalleled results. Our patented technologies work together to provide 100% accuracy and visibility of all inventoried assets, allowing businesses to reduce time and costs dramatically. Our suite of integrated RFID technology systems have endless applications in all fields, from warehouse inventory management to asset location wherever you need it. No matter your mission, T&W provides Smart Solutions that will allow you to stay ahead of the competition in market forces.