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Creating Value in the Manufacturing Industry

Global luxury vinyl tile manufacturer partners with GTPE to provide professional education for its employees

When HMTX Industries, a global luxury vinyl tile manufacturer, wanted to craft an internal professional development and training program the Industry Strategic Partnership team at Georgia Tech Professional Education stepped in to help. Brian Greene, executive vice president of Global Supply Chain, shares how the team helped create solutions that led their new program to success.

At HMTX Industries, a global luxury vinyl tile manufacturer, we pride ourselves on quality products and exceptional customer service, and that approach has paid off. Ours is a family-created and owned company that always puts an emphasis on people and culture and the special relationships that set us apart from our competitors. As the Executive Vice President for the Global Supply Chain, my division relies on effective, and open communication to meet goals and exceed customer expectations.

While we always prioritize our customers and provide them with quality products and excellent service, a lot of effort goes into meeting those high standards. Maintaining strong relationships with our customers takes training and time. One thing to remember is, once you get to a place where you feel like you’re delivering results like a well-oiled machine, it’s not time to sit back and rest on your laurels. Keeping our whole team moving together, exceeding clients’ expectations and meeting goal after goal … it’s no surprise, that takes teamwork, collaboration, and commitment.

I think a lot of companies overlook the importance of internal training and team-building opportunities. Not only are they essential to maintaining the optimum level of customer service, but quality training programs help with recruitment, retention and improve internal morale to create a supportive and professional environment.

HMTX was built by the Stone family — four generations, to be exact — and is now an industry powerhouse. As you may expect, we work with other companies that share our high standards of quality and service. In fact, the largest of the HMTX divisions, Halstead, works with customers every day. We are a leading supplier of luxury vinyl tile, to the home center market in the United States and Canada. So, naturally, it is essential that we recognize the importance of continued training and the utilization of professional education.

Halstead was experiencing significant growth, which necessitated adding team members. We determined that with our growing needs that we had an opportunity to provide new employees with better training. We especially needed to bridge a disconnect when it came to entry- and mid-level team members being able to communicate well with their managers and vice versa.

Knowing that Harlan Stone, HMTX’s CEO, is a great leader and a big proponent of education, we hatched an idea to pull together a proposal for the first HMTX Leadership Academy. We wanted to equip people with skills so they could continue their upward career trajectory, add value to their careers, and communicate well throughout the organization. Back in 2017, my team and I presented our proposal to Harlan and he was 100 percent on board.

Once we had our big picture, we knew we needed some assistance with executing and administering the curriculum and helping with the logistics. Our biggest concentration of employees is right here in Georgia — I am located in the Smyrna, Georgia office, and it just so happens that I’m a Georgia Tech alum. I thought, why not tap into that resource?

Georgia Tech Professional Education provided the perfect mix of technical and soft skills training that was able to meet our needs and help us to think about change and leadership in a new way.

Their proximity was especially perfect since there is the main campus in Atlanta and the campus of Georgia-Tech Savannah is just a stone’s throw from Halstead’s distribution center in Rincon.

Theresa Atkins, Director of Industry Strategic Partnership, has been and still is my sounding board. I’d tell her what we were looking for in terms of courses and opportunities, and she’d match us up with the best professional education option from Georgia Tech. She is also honest about their capabilities — extensive though they are — so her advice is invaluable. This has also led to the creation of “custom” courses that are tailored to meet our specific needs.

At this point, we've done many courses through Georgia Tech, and every one of them has been a positive success for our employees. The Leading Well series has been one of the cornerstones of our new HMTX Leadership Academy. It has helped all of us to take a step back and analyze more of our thought processes and behaviors. For example, the Leading Change course helped me to no longer just give my employees a directive but to explain the context of the ask and why it is important.

We’ve seen so much staff growth and development, and I credit many of these Georgia Tech programs for helping.

Our team has learned some very helpful skills and techniques, and a lot of the knowledge they’ve acquired can easily be transferred to internal and external customer service.

When you’re working seamlessly internally, it shows through in every facet of a company’s operations and builds stellar reputations. Clients and customers notice a company with outstanding employees, and they want to do business with a company like that. We knew we needed to implement some training and education opportunities, and we knew what we wanted — and then Georgia Tech Professional Education stepped in and brought our vision to life, really helping to make it happen.

I’m always happy to work with the GTPE team. They’re on top of things, helpful, pleasant, and professional. They have a great way of meeting their clients’ needs by seamlessly crafting programs and courses that come together to form a whole multifaceted higher learning experience. Their training is helping HMTX in our quest to build a solid future, and I’d recommend their services to anyone who’s looking for a great way to take their company to the next level.

Brian Greene serves as Executive Vice President of the Global Supply Chain at HMTX Industries and oversees supply chain planning and strategy as well as IT infrastructure and development across HMTX family of companies. Learn more about how you can partner with GTPE to build your workforce of the future.