In today's marketplace, one of the determining factors of a company's success is the standards for excellence that the business is willing to set and pursue in every decision and action. At RW Beckett, the company's leadership has built its reputation for excellence by creating a company culture that influences every interaction the company has with its customers. Chairman John Beckett and his leadership team have made it their mission to instill the necessary core values into the company's personnel and processes in order to continue Beckett's long legacy of excellence.
The Origin of Beckett's Company Culture
John Beckett, whose father Reg founded the company with his wife Jean in 1937, recalls how the same set of values has shaped the company and its culture since the beginning. "We've always had values that, I would say, go back to who my dad was as a person. Recently, I've come to see how those values actually were rooted in his experience as a soldier in the first World War. Qualities like perseverance and appreciation for family, for working through difficult situations. So as the company grew, we needed to translate some of those key concepts into a few words that could apply universally across our companies. We chose three, integrity, excellence, and a profound respect for the individual. Those are almost like the spinal column on which we tried to build the culture of the company."
These values are not only the benchmarks of success within the Beckett family of companies, however. They also shape the ways that Beckett serves its customers every single day. "We determined many years ago that the person that we really need to persuade is the serviceman who's working on our product, and if they are convinced that the product is serving their needs well, they'll speak well of it and the company, and there'll be a pull through effect. So the starting point is to have training, it's to have a product that's easy to service, it's to provide support. For example, we have a call in line that receives thousands of calls each year from service people so that we can answer questions, real time with real people, and just make sure that they have the tools that they need to serve their customers who are homeowners all across the country."
Three Core Values
Beckett's corporate philosophy is based on a set of three core values: respect for the individual, integrity, and excellence. By instilling these values into all facets of the company and its culture, Beckett has been able to maintain its position as the market leader in the heating and combustion industry. John Beckett explains:
"Every organization has a culture, almost like every person has a personality. And we've tried to shape ours in ways that our built around the dignity of the individual first of all. We feel that every individual is worthy and is deserving of our respect. And so that's a starting point. We like to emphasize the practical importance of integrity because ultimately that's something that we think our customers value and that we value internally when we do the right thing. And so integrity is something that is tested every day. It's tested at the margins and it's tested by a production worker as to whether the pass a part or say no, this isn't up to our standards.
"And then the third core value of excellence also puts a high standard on us to to do the right thing. And there are lots of ways to cut corners in the manufacturing business and our goal is to to operate in such a way that we're not in any way undermining the longterm desire to serve our customers with high quality products."
The Importance of a Strong Culture at Beckett
With over 80 years of experience in the heating and combustion field, RW Beckett has remained the industry leader by adhering to the values that built the company's culture and identity. Mr. Beckett largely attributes Beckett's ability to provide excellent customer service and produce the most high-performance products to these same core values. "We've had very strong customer loyalty as a company, and that's not a right, it's something that we've had to earn, and I believe that we've earned that through performing well. I think that as a company gets larger, it has to be very careful that it remains humble, because we're always in the role of a servant to our customers.
"Excellence is a quality that really has to permeate the whole organization. And everybody has a part in it. The receptionist and how they greet a visitor coming in, a production worker who's trying to make a decision on whether something should be shipped or not. A secretary who's preparing a letter is really reflecting our best standards. And so all along the way we have marginal decisions of whether something is going to be done at our high standard, and we just feel that's terribly important."