Smith and Loveless, Inc. is located in Lenexa, Kansas, and is part of the machinery manufacturing industry. For 70 years, Smith & Loveless' pre-engineered water and wastewater treatment and pumping systems have paved the way for municipalities, developments, industry, governmental and military facilities.
B. Alden Smith and Compere Loveless founded Smith & Loveless Inc. in 1946 as a sales engineering firm representing several manufacturers in the wastewater industry. Early in their association, Smith & Loveless recognized the opportunity for complete, factory-assembled pump stations. Their first three stations were built for the City of Salina, Kansas. These units were fabricated in a converted barn less than three miles from the present world headquarters location. Today Smith and Loveless, Inc. generates approximately $133.65 million in sales. There are seven companies in the Smith and Loveless, Inc. corporate family.
Like many small to mid-size manufacturers, Smith and Loveless’ human resources department has limited internal resources and a limited support system. Keeping up with changing laws and regulations is critical, establishing a company culture that retains employees is paramount, and developing programs, benefits, and workplace experiences that entice people to want to join the company team is crucial.
With workforce being the dominant challenge facing manufacturing today, Diane Troy, Smith and Loveless’ HR Director, who works with a limited staff, cannot afford to be siloed in her efforts. This challenge was especially prevalent during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when information about the virus, the business shutdown, and the impact on employees was not widely available and uncertain.
Kansas Manufacturing Solutions’ KCMN association has helped in significant ways that I am not able to put in dollar values. This assistance was especially important during COVID-19 they helped us continue to work as an Essential Business by providing resources, answers, educational workshops, round tables, etc. As an HR Director having a resource that is specific to manufacturing has been more valuable than SHRM groups.
Kansas Manufacturing Solutions subsidiary, Kansas City Manufacturing Network (KCMN), part of the MEP National Network™, is an association dedicated to helping industry professionals connect, learn, and grow. KCMN developed a workforce subgroup. The workforce subgroup is a group of human resource professionals with similar challenges and opportunities.
Diane Troy was provided strategic human resource planning/guidance to include resources provided by Kansas Manufacturing Solutions Alliance Partners (3rd party providers) through the KCMN workforce subgroup. The strategic planning provided included access to instructive webinars, employee handbook development, legal policy support, and human resource support regarding hazard pay, payroll systems, PTO/vacation policies, and more.