Employee Highlight: Colin Cook, Skretting Tooele
18 December 2020
Colin Cook, Site manager at Skretting Utah, is a perfect example that there is no such thing as a typical employee at Skretting. Colin has taken on many new roles and responsibilities, fulfilling each one with hard work and determination. He started his journey at Skretting 10 years ago as a member of the inside sales team. After a few years, Colin took on the additional role of a production planner and a couple of years later, he was promoted to customer service manager, in charge of leading the inside sales teams while he continued to handle the production planning. “During those years, I was able to gain valuable insight in regards to sales, customer service, warehouse and shipping, formulation, and the entire production process. Having a good understanding of how all the departments work and function within the organization has been essential with my current role as Site Manager,” he said.
A day in your life at Skretting, Tooele…
I usually start the day off with an alignment meeting with all managers/supervisors. We review any issues or pending business from each department for the day and upcoming week and follow up on any action items from previous meetings. I also spend time with the inside sales team reviewing open orders, priority orders, or delayed orders, to make sure open communication and direction is provided. I will spend some time each day updating our production schedule and reviewing previous production runs to make sure we have the necessary product to fulfill customer orders. A good amount of time is spent answering emails or phone calls, but I don’t like to be tied down to my desk all day, and I will try and get out to the plant and warehouse a couple of times to check in and see how things are going out there.
Most interesting project…
There have been a lot of great projects that I have been a part off, but the one that sticks with me the most was the changeover to the UNITE software in 2017. I think I traveled up to our Vancouver corporate offices 5 or 6 times in a four-month span preparing for the switch. We spent months combing through all the data and relearning how to do everything using the new software. That was a crazy time filled with a lot of long days, and sometimes late nights, but it was great spending that time with so many amazing people.
The impact of the pandemic and what it means to be in Customer service in such times
The pandemic has just created so much fear and uncertainty in the world and within the aquaculture sector. The only way to combat that is to try and communicate as openly as possible. Good communication helps our customers feel more in control and at ease.
It’s so important to understand what our customers are looking for and what they need to succeed. Once you understand that, you can put yourself in their shoes and provide them with the highest level of customer service. We supply feed to multiple different species of fish and to customers all over North America. We service everyone from backyard pond enthusiasts, to state and federal fish hatcheries, to large scale commercial growers. It’s this diversity in our work and our clientele which makes working in the industry more enjoyable.
What inspires you (both in your career and your personal life)
Always trying to learn more and develop new strengths. Sometimes in our careers and life, it’s easy to stagnate and become comfortable, but we should always try to challenge and push ourselves to do better and become more.
If you could have anyone as a mentor, who would it be
That’s a tough one, but I would have to say Andy Reid, the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. I’ve always been a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, and it was hard to see him move on from my team, but I love how easy it is for him to have a good relationship with everyone he works with. He does a great job of recognizing and developing talent, and getting the most out of the players and coaches under him. I’m glad he finally got his ring.
Life outside Skretting...
I really enjoy camping, fishing, and hiking. I’m lucky to live in a state like Utah where I can walk outside my house and be doing any one of those things within minutes. There are so many beautiful and different places to see in this state.
Advice to those in your profession
Always be improving. The aquaculture industry is constantly changing and it’s easy to get left behind if you get stuck trying to do the same thing you’ve always done.