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By Greg Mertes, Production Supervisor

As we are winding down 2016 here at PRIER, we are spending time evaluating ourselves and our performance. How and where do we need to improve? How did we do with our company objectives? Did we operate under the will of God? Did we help all associates become all they are meant to be, both inside and outside of PRIER? Did we provide satisfactory and rewarding work and careers to associates? Did we treat all relationships with respect and professionalism? Did we maintain "A" quality business practices in all areas, striving for excellence? Were we our customers' "best" supplier? Did we have fun and enjoy our work?

 As I ask myself these questions, I see areas to improve, both personally and professionally. I’ve got my improvement plan for next year. 

As with every growing and dynamic organization we have upgraded in quite a few areas, from processes to equipment. We added a new ERP system, a few Kanban systems, and we improved production lines. We added a 2nd shift and staffed it with great people, both new and existing. We brought in more experience, and added talent to make us better in all areas. Every day we challenged ourselves to be our best, both personally and professionally.

There have been countless hours of school, for quite a few of us this year. Some spent many hours on weekends studying. We went to conferences, went on plant tours, organization meetings, and seminars, to make us all we are meant to be. Over the past year we watched families grow with new babies and weddings. We watched and helped some of us go through challenges in their lives, even shedding a few tears at times.

We have seen a retirement this year. We have watched a few of us go onto better opportunities in life. We have seen promotions and better challenges for some. We worked on our first Habitat for Humanity home. We did a corporate challenge. We even played Kickball. We gave back many hours to the communities we live in. We went through surgeries and hospital stays.

With all these things, we remember that everything we went through, both good and bad made us a better company and better associates. We have laughed together, cried together, grown stronger, closer, and smarter together this year. I am truly thankful for the people I get to work with, and I thank God every day for this gift. Bring on 2017!