Every morning, when The Macomb Group opens for business, Terry McGivern is here. He’s likely come to work directly from the gym or a run, so he’s already focused and ready for the day. As part of the inside sales team, Terry splits his time between contractor sales, purchasing, and supporting the instrumentation division. By wearing many hats, he ensures that customers get exactly the materials they need.
“You become a resource for people, get to know them as people, and they keep coming back,” he says. “Our biggest thing is customer service. If we don’t have it on the shelf, we go out of our way to find the materials — and get them when they need them.”
Terry knows how to provide that level of service because he’s worked at nearly every level in the company since he started in 1989. He says it’s the people he enjoys the most at The Macomb Group. “The reason Macomb has grown is the people we have here. I really enjoy them. We have a close knit, great crew here.”
Building a career on experience
“After high school, I went into the Army and served as a medic for two years. I remained in the National Guard as an MP after that, and started working part-time at Macomb while I went to college,” he recalls. His studies in electrical engineering, along with his military experience, provided a solid foundation for working with the variety of industries that The Macomb Group serves.
He has added to that experience ever since. After starting as a driver for the warehouse, Terry became warehouse manager, and then moved to the controls division. He’s worked in inside sales and contractor sales, and continuously tries to add to his knowledge. “Every day I learn something new, and I try to carry that forward to the next day. We have a lot of people with a lot of great experiences, so that body of knowledge across the company is really extensive now,” he says.
“My job now is kind of a hybrid of sales and purchasing, and I still specialize in instrumentation,” he says. “I feel like because of my background, I am able to provide answers for people in lots of areas.”
Finding balance to be the best
It’s those people that keep him engaged and learning all the time, he says. “This is a great place to work. We have a bunch of great people, and there’s something new every day, simple to complex. You’ll take one call on half-inch black 90, and with the next call you’ll have to design a full-blown actuated valve system. [It] keeps you on your toes and thinking all day long.”
He also acknowledges that staying on your toes is essential in the PVF business today. “Expectations are very high,” he says. “When I first started, everybody started at 8:00 a.m., just loading trucks. Today, by 6:00 a.m. the trucks are loaded and on the road. There’s a greater sense of urgency, a lot of just-in-time delivery. We have to be prepared.”
Knowing the business, Terry says, is only half of the job. The rest is knowing about the people. He says, “Customer service is what our job is about. Relationships are what give life to a business. You talk to the same people on the phone, know them for years, and they’ll let you know when they‘re having an issue, when their kid is sick, what’s happening in their lives. It’s a good feeling to be able to give them service that makes their lives better.”
After all this focus on customers, Terry goes home to his wife, two young daughters, three Labrador Retrievers, and two cats. “It’s a three-ring circus,” he says. But the circus provides balance, as does his running. He is a regular participant in local races and is currently training for a half-marathon.
“Running is my biggest pastime,” he says. “When you’re running, it’s relaxation. You’re not thinking about how far you have to go. You can just let go and Zen out.”
That’s important, because once the run is over, he’s engaged again with his family and work. “There’s something going on all the time,” he says.
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