A-C Family Connection - September 2018

Page 1

September 2018

y l i am

F -C


n o i t c

e nn


Just say thank you! Why is receiving feedback so hard? Why can it be so uncomfortable to the point we dread receiving it? Don’t we all want to be the best we can be? Don’t we want to interact with others in the best manner that we can? So why is it so challenging to give and receive feedback? by Daren Alexander

I believe giving and receiving feedback is one of the most important skills that A-C can improve on at every level of our organization, if not the most important. Think if we were all comfortable, in fact natural, at consistently seeking feedback on how we are doing with the intent on becoming the best that we can be. And then we acted on it. Think of the possibilities if each of us could naturally give quality feedback that wasn’t uncomfortable and that caused each of us to continually move closer to being the best we can be. One of the stumbling blocks to feedback working positively for us is that we don’t listen when it is given–something I need to work on, too. There are many resources written on receiving feedback. Covey covers it in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Seek first to understand, before working to be understood.” Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak,” and then quickly added, “Courage is also what it takes to See Thank you, page 3

What’s Inside

»»Fresno Division Work Highlights »»A-C Solar Rankings for 2018 »»Back to School Safety »»360 Safety Cones »»Accelerated Management Program »»Farewell to Summer Interns »»The 8 Deadly Sins of Mental Waste »»A Tale of Two Drakes »»Connecting with Social Media »»A-C's Arsenal of Apps »»Ask Our Development Team Please contact the A-C Family Connection editor at safety@a-celectric.com with any questions or comments.

Project work highlights:

Fresno Division

P&ID Drawings • This is an example of a detailed P&ID (Piping and Instrumentation Diagram) drawing of an infeed process. A P&ID provides the system integrator instrumentation, process, and control information to size how much IO (inputs and outs) are involved with the system. The P&ID drawing gives a high level view of the process and the instruments involved in the system’s process.

HMI Screen • This is an HMI (Human Machine Interface) screen. This is the main graphical interface the operator interacts with to control the control process of a system. The operator is able to see the overall view of the process in graphical form as well as see indications of alarms when something alarming is happening in the system. From the HMI interface, the operator is also able to control instruments in the field to manually control a process if he or she wishes to do so.


Backplane Development • This is a control panel with a finished backplane. The hardware is attached to the backplane and mounted inside the control cabinet. All interconnecting wire is completed, and field wiring from the instruments at the customer's facility will land on designated terminal blocks. We have the ability to produce panels at UL 508A standards.

Thank you, continued from page 1 sit down and listen.” Churchill was pointing out both actions take courage, and Covey saw it as one of the seven most important habits that define “highly successful people.” Here are some of the common challenges most people face in giving and receiving feedback: Giving Feedback:

»»The inability to give specific feedback that is actionable by the person receiving it. For example, telling someone that their pipe bend didn’t work is a waste. Giving specific input about hand positioning, their calculations, and then demonstrating the right way to do it is valuable.

»»Discomfort giving someone feedback as if it was judgement. Great feedback is 90% information and instruction. Receiving Feedback:

»»We take it as criticism and not as information to learn from. Tim Grover writes in his book Relentless, “The only difference between criticism and feedback is the way you hear it.”

»»Feeling the need to defend our actions and explain them rather than asking a clarifying question or two and then just saying, “Thank-you.”

»»Not digging in until we understand it well enough to turn it into something actionable.

»»Not weighing it properly because not all feedback is equal. I will weigh David Beckham’s feedback concerning how to properly kick a goal in soccer much heavier than I would tips from my son’s little league baseball coach. We need to look for the most experienced person for the task to give feedback, not the friendliest or the most convenient. Contracting is a business where operational excellence is a major factor in winning. Projects are often won by a relatively small margin against multiple competitors. But it doesn’t stop there, success on completing the project – which is very different then “winning” it – depends on the execution of thousands of details over many months. When you carry that thought even further, the success of the company depends on hundreds of projects all being executed successfully.

Thus, performance improvement–throughout every step of a project–is critical to the overall success of the firm. Which means Performance Improvement hinges on:

»»The quality of the feedback given »»How actionable the feedback is »»How many cycles it takes to put that feedback into practice Giving small bits of regular feedback that can be immediately put to use is what will make the greatest difference. This is a hard skill to develop, and it requires deliberate practice on the part of the people learning to give feedback. As presented in the book The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, Coyle analyzed 30 hours of tape of John Wooden, the greatest college basketball coach on record, to learn how we used feedback with his players. Wooden was a master of small and constant corrective feedback, mostly just informational. In those 30 hours of video, Coyle observed 2,326 “Acts of Teaching” the equivalent of 77.5 per hour or one small correction every 45 seconds. Of those “Acts of Teaching” 8.9% were compliments, 8.6% were expressions of displeasure, and 75% were just pure information. Feedback should “BUILD UP, not BEAT UP”. GOOD FEEDBACK Specific Actionable Achievable Timely Frequent Informational

BAD FEEDBACK Vague Not Actionable Not Achievable Late Sporadic Negative

The only way I know for all of us to get really good at giving and receiving feedback is through “deliberate practice.” Feedback is a skill like all others, and with everything I am good at today, there was a time when I was bad at it. We all need to seek out situations where we can receive feedback and analyze it with the above information in mind. And let’s not forget, that one of the greatest sources of feedback can come from the person that knows us the best, ourselves. Even with self feedback, we should run it through the above tests and then put it to rest by just saying “thank you.” SEPTEMBER 2018



Leading the industry:

A-C Solar Continues to Impress A-C Solar Rankings for 2018:


(out of 100) Commercial Solar Contractor in the Nation


(out of 50) in the State of California

More than 10,600 megawatts of solar power were installed last year in the United States, and A-C Solar by A-C Electric Company has been recognized by Solar Power World magazine for its contributions to the industry due to an impressive 36.9 MW install total. A-C Electric Company achieved a rank of 47 out of 450 solar companies on the magazine's 2018 Top Solar Contractors list.


(out of 100) EPC Contractor in the Nation


(out of 450) Overall in the Nation Â

A major highlight of 2017 was the non-residential market growing 28% year-over-year, the fourth straight year of annual growth for commercial, industrial, and community solar. In 2017, 30% of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the United States came from solar, second only to new natural gas capacity.

A-C Solar installed

36.9 MW

of solar power in 2017!

The U.S. solar market had its biggest year ever in 2016, installing more than 15,000 MW. Although installations in 2017 dropped to 10,608 MW, the total still represents 40% growth over 2015 numbers.

The first quarter of 2018 showed a 13% growth over the first quarter of 2017, and A-C Solar will continue to contribute to the wave of increasing solar generation. By 2023, more than 15,000 MW of solar is expected to be installed annually.

Let's take a moment to appreciate some of our biggest jobs:

28 MW

3.9 MW

848.25 kW

Giffen Swinterton Renewables

Bonita Unified School District

University of California Riverside Pathway

817.80 kW

600.30 kW

396.98 kW

Arvin Unified School District


Three-Way Chevrolet Bakersfield

Granite Construction Company

Back-to-School Safety

Stay Safe While Driving Near Schools Tips to remember when driving around schools: • Be alert when driving past a stationary bus as children often dash out in front of and from behind buses to cross the road. • Never double park or park in ‘no stopping’ zones. • When you see a School Crossing Supervisor, obey their instructions. The supervisor will step onto the road and display the STOP sign. You must STOP and wait until the pedestrians have crossed the road and the supervisor has returned to the curb before proceeding.

• Don’t park in nostopping zones or use them as drop off areas. No stopping means DO NOT STOP HERE for any reason unless obeying an official direction. • If the school has a passenger set down area, use it. If not, park your car on the same side of the road as the school so your child doesn’t have to cross the road. If you have to park on the other side of the road, escort your child across the road. Never ask them to cross the road.

360 Safety Cones

Creating a Safer Driving Culture One of the Safety Team’s Objective and Key Results (OKR) is to have your personal vehicle displaying the safety cone as a reminder to do a 360-walk-around as you get ready to drive.

360-Walk-around includes: • Check around the vehicle for obstacles that might interfere with its safe movement. • Check the driveway, parking area, or street for children or other pedestrians. Note: Several hundred children are killed each year by vehicles backing up. • Inspect for obvious signs of damage (headlights, windshield, side and rear windows, turn signals, brake lights and taillights). • Visually inspect your tires for obvious signs of a problem and notice the direction the front wheels are pointed.

Cones can be displayed on your window, dash, or hood. It’s a reminder for you to do your 360. We would love to see all vehicles in our parking lot with a 360 cone, not just the A-C vehicles. See Vanessa Carpio for your cone today.

"If each of us do a 360 every time we drive, we truly create a safer driving culture. What a powerful message!" – Gary Chambers

• Check under the vehicle for fluid leaks. • Check for and note any new scratches or dents. • Check to see if other vehicles are too close and proceed with caution to avoid striking them. SEPTEMBER 2018



Accelerated Management Program (AMP) Celebrating AMP Class II Graduates:


During their time in AMP, Tom and Eric participated in several book clubs covering the titles listed below. They also received hands-on training while participating in plan detailing projects, going to job walks, estimating projects for bids, attending process mapping and project kick-off meetings, and projections.

AMP Up Your Reading List:


lease join us in a hearty, “Congratulations!” to Tom Hiatt and Eric Ramirez for graduating this tenmonth-long professional development program. The purpose of AMP is to expose the participants to several facets of how A-C functions as an organization from how we nurture business relationships, to obtaining work, planning for success, and developing our employees. The program also simultaneously focuses on the personal development of each of the class members.

The growth of Tom and Eric has been evident over the course of the program and we are excited to see the development of their careers. There are great things ahead for these two graduates!

Let's not forget about our

Stay tuned for the announcement of AMP Class III participants!


Refer a candidate


They get hired


You earn Cheddar

• Chief Estimator ($10K) • Project Manager -Traffic Systems ($5K) -Water/Wastewater ($5K)

Send referrals to:

referrals@a-celectric.com Search Wiki “Talent Referral Program” for rules.

2 Second Lean, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Who, Start with Why, and Extreme Ownership


Farewell to our wonderful

Summer Interns

The A-C team would like to thank our helpful interns for all their hard work and devotion to excellence. You four have contributed so much to the advancement of our brand. We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors! You will be missed.

Julianna Morton

“The internship at A-C has benefited me greatly by allowing me to gain real world software engineering experience and build a professional portfolio I can use for my future job prospects.”

“In only a few weeks surrounded by professionals with genuine care, concern, and commitment to this company and to the internship, confidence both in myself and in my abilities has skyrocketed. I am grateful to leave A-C with new friends, valuable skills, and a competitive edge in the industry.”

Computer Science: Information Systems Major

Journalism: Public Relations Major

Cristal Ronquillo-Anzar

Brenda Corral

“A-C allowed me to explore my dream career through hands-on opportunities. This internship showed me that I picked the right major.”

“I really appreciate my time here at A-C. I’ve had many opportunities to learn and grow as a professional."

Electrical Engineering Major

Business Administration Major

Chris Kelly

Now accepting applications for 2019 summer internships! Send applications to internships@a-celectric.com


The 8 Deadly Sins of Mental Waste Mental health, much like physical health, is crucial to life. In fact, research shows that those with good mental health are significantly more likely to have good physical health.1 Conversely, poor mental health not only takes a toll physically, but it can have a substantial impact on relationships and even the economy. Research indicates that employees suffering from depression cost U.S. employers an estimated $44 billion per year in lost productivity.2

These numbers suggest that poor mental health may be more common that we realize. It is reported that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have a mental health condition with 16 million adults living in a major depression.3


Over-Production = Lack of Planning Over-production is having more than needed before it's needed. The way to combat this is to get organized and have a plan so you can quickly produce what is needed when it's needed.



Over Processing = Over Commitment Over processing is unnecessary effort which ads no value. Your time is limited and it has value. Resist the urge to commit to things that will not help you achieve your goals or add value to your life.



Inventory = Worry Inventory is committing resources to items not yet purchased. That is exactly what worry is - committing thoughts and energy to things that may never happen. Change what you can and let go of the rest.


Rework or Defects = Failure Defects happen. They are part of making anything. It is what you do to correct them that defines you and strengthens your process. Don't keep repeating the same failures. Take the time to analyze what got you there and commit to different behaviors.


Cost of Depression:

$44 BILLION per year in the U.S.


Loss, trauma, sadness, anxiety, and stress are all normal parts of life. The challenge comes when there is a breakdown in how these emotions are processed. What if we treated our emotions and thoughts as inventory? Could we apply what we've learned about lean culture to our mental health as well? Transportation = Suppressed Emotion Transportation is the act of moving things from one place to another. We all have emotions, but moving them around instead of addressing them can weigh us down mentally. Motion = Blame Unnecessary motion causes inefficiencies. When we blame others for the challenges in our own lives, we're not addressing the root cause. Take ownership of your life and clean out what's weighing you down.

Waiting = Procrastination One of the worst lies we tell ourselves is that we do our best work under pressure. High pressure situations are a part of life, but living in sustained high pressure scenarios wreaks havoc on your mental and physical well-being.

Unused Employee Potential = Waste Unused potential is about not achieving what you are capable of. Brilliant ideas are plagued with self-doubt or mental resources are used up fighting waste. Challenge yourself to do something new, broaden your understanding. You might just surprise yourself, or not.

Sources: 1. www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/physical-health-and-mental-health 2. www.inc.com/matthew-jones/how-mental-health-can-save-businesses-225-billion-each-year.html 3. www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-by-the-numbers


A Tale of Two Drakes Lessons learned on how failing to plan is planning to fail Too Busy To Plan

Made a Plan

Drake had two goals for the new year: lose 15 pounds and get rid of his credit card debt. He knew he needed to make a plan but didn't.

Drake had two goals for the new year: lose 15 pounds and get rid of his credit card debt. He installed a budgeting app on his phone and realized that he spent a lot of money eating out. He made a plan to pack a healthy lunch every day and committed to going to the gym three days a week.

Overcommitment Because Drake never made time to plan, his schedule got overbooked. He agreed to teach soccer but realized too late it conflicted with a class he signed up for at the gym. Now he’s stressed trying to figure out how to make it all work.

Worry Drake didn’t want to let anyone down, but he was not sure how to manage all of his responsibilities. He ended up dropping the class at the gym and didn’t meal prep like he intended. He felt guilty about these, worried that his growing belly would lead to a heart attack, and almost had one when he saw the balance of his checking account. He was not sleeping well as a result.

Failure Drake was beating himself up for not making any progress towards his goals. He fought the stress and disappointment for awhile but eventually soothed his anxieties with a night of binging. As a result, Drake felt even worse about his situation.

Pent Up Emotion Drake was reminded daily of his failures. Again he didn’t want to let anyone down so he bottled up all the disappointment, worry, and stress. When he reached capacity, these emotions erupted and hurt the people he was closest with and created unnecessary drama in his life.

Balanced Schedule Drake was asked to coach a soccer team, but realized that practices conflicted with one of his three gym days. He chose not take on the entire responsibility, but did commit to running practice on the day he didn’t have gym conflicts.

Peace of Mind Drake was working his plan and seeing good results. He dropped a few pounds and was able to take the money he saved from eating out and apply that to his credit card bill.

Success Drake had more energy and was feeling better about life. He’s started setting a goal each day and was pleasantly surprised that he could usually achieve it. Setting goals and planning how to reach them were becoming a part of his daily life.

Processing Emotion Drake hit a plateau in his weight loss and unexpected car repairs wiped out most of the progress on his credit card balance. Frustrated, he got tips from a friend who has recently achieved major weight loss goals. He also sought out advice from a trusted financial planner. Drake was reenergized to achieve his goals.


Blame When things became overwhelming it was easy for Drake to blame people or other factors for his inability to achieve his goals. While this made him feel better for a moment, it didn’t get him any closer to where he wanted to be; because ultimately Drake is the key to achieving his goals.

Procrastination Since it was still the first half of the year, Drake continued to put off planning because he had all year to get it done.

Pressures from life started to threaten Drake’s progress. He wrote down all the things that were troubling him, analyzed which ones he could control, and which he could not. He made a plan to correct what he could and changed how he thought about what he couldn’t.

Proactive Drake learned to look farther ahead in his life and started making plans to achieve long-term goals as well as shortterm ones.

Unused Potential

Greater Potential

Because Drake was so busy fighting all the daily issues that came up, he wasn’t able to transition into achieving his long-term goals. The years flew by, but Drake was stuck.

Drake has been reaching goals and making major life changes. He has more confidence and is better equipped to try new things and take greater personal risks.

Apply the Tale of Two Drakes to your own professional and personal goals.

Social Media Connecting with the world

A-C’s social media is touching the entire globe! People on 6 of the 7 continents in the world are following what A-C is doing.

Five Sites You Should Follow: Social Media often gets a bad reputation as a mindless time waster, but here are five organizations that are extremely informative, thought provoking, and downright cool!

National Safety Council Facebook

394 Top Post Reach: 2.5k (National Pet Day) Followers:

(Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn) – great tips for staying safe at work and at home https://www.facebook.com/NatlSafetyCouncil/

TED Talks


177 Top Post Reach: 334 (UC Riverside)

(Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and TED blog) – information to inspire you to think more deeply about the world around you https://www.instagram.com/ted/


Consumer Reports


1,302 Top Post Reach: 7,494 (Ontario Pull Planning)


(Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest) – get the inside scoop on products and ratings https://www.instagram.com/consumerreports/

National Park Service (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Itunes) – because we live in an amazing world and there is so much to enjoy right in our backyard https://www.instagram.com/nationalparkservice/

Center for Disease Control (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram) – lots of good information, but don’t check it out if you are a hypochondriac https://www.instagram.com/CDCgov/

Did you know that A-C has a YouTube Channel? Now that you do, head on over and check out the videos we have available! 10 \\\ A-C FAMILY CONNECTION

Ask our Development Team:

An arsenal of Apps

SNAP Track

Track is our powerhouse app for project planning and production tracking. Track provides a seamless way to plan out the coming weeks of your job, and then integrates that information into Time submission, DPRs, and more! Users of Track report a time savings of 45 minutes a day from paperwork alone!

SNAP Workflow

Workflow is the backbone of a project’s communication and reporting channels. “Workflows” may look like forms, but they're more than meets the eye! They take the form to the 21st century and allow customized information to be deeply embedded in all parts of SNAP, saving you and your project valuable time.

SNAP Analytics

(aka, Snapalytics) Analytics is currently under construction, but when it’s fully released, it’ll be the home of interactive metrics, reports, and other data-leveraging resources. Check out the A-C Job Openings under Featured Goodies for a sneak peek!


Jobs is the home of key job information, such as the job order, job files, and field project reporting documents.

SNAP Files

Files is our own file sharing platform built for our jobs and project teams. Images and other files are shared and stored here.

SNAP Work Order

Work Order is the very beginning of a robust Service application. It’s taken our work orders from paper and individual emails to a sharable online resource.

SNAP Blue Blazers

Our Blue Blazers program aims to recognize those who are blazing the trail through employee nominations. The Blue Blazer app helps keep this program transparent, and easy to contribute to!

What is your favorite app and why? TV Time • "I’ll be honest, I watch a lot of shows. This app makes it incredibly easy to track which shows I’m watching, where I left off, when they air, and what I should watch next based on what I like." – Heather Irvin Player fm • "I typically drive for long periods of time and Player FM allows me to automatically download my favorite podcasts as they come out so I'm always ready to listen to the latest episode without using up my data. With all the customization options, it allows me to really dial in the way I want to listen to my podcasts, and there has never been a podcast that I couldn't find on there." – Larry Sharette Youtube • "At the end of the day, there’s no app that I’ve spent more time on, been more captivated by, or learned more from, than YouTube. Check out the channel 'Today I Found Out,' where I literally learn something new every day." – Emily Turner Everest • "My favorite app is codenamed 'Everest.' It's an app that I am developing with my brother with the express goal of 'Creating meaningful and productive relationships between people and trainers.' The reason it's my favorite is because it's a huge learning opportunity for me to learn native mobile development while building a product that will help people achieve their goals." – Bryan Mudge SEPTEMBER 2018



A-C Electric Company P.O.Box 81977 Bakersfield, CA 93380-1977

A-C Family Connection facebook.com/acelectriccompany



Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.