with Gabriel Messenger, John Garcia, Dominic Condarco, and Cam Petty
Continuing the Render Team Series on the Render Podcast!
This week we are continuing a new series designed to help our listeners identify areas of growth in their business while learning different tips and tricks to succeed in key areas. We will be sharing a deeper insight into what the day-to-day tasks and goal setting and achieving look like at our Render HQ.
If you’ve been keeping up with us on our Instagram, you’ve been seeing our “A Day In The Life” reel series. This is us trying to give you another authentic glimpse into how we serve our clients and each other daily.
CAM — Hello! Welcome into the series we are in right now with our TEAM breaking apart each part of our business and the people who serve in each of those positions. Today, we are going to chat about operations and I’ve got three incredible dudes with me today!
John has been with Render for about 4 years now, celebrating year four this May 2022. Leader of all deliveries and making sure the items get to where they need to go! Expert with our clients on-site at their events. If you check out our reviews on Google for Render, you’ll see his name OVER AND OVER!
JOHN — Render is a blessing to me. I am able to work in a positive environment with great people. The flexibility allows me to take care of personal business outside of Render. Spending time with my children is a huge part of my life and working at Render allows me to do that.
CAM — Dom, He’s been with Render for about 3 years this fall and has been such an important part of our team with all the custom projects, painting, vinyl, and all the fine details. He’s incredible with our on-site deliveries and making sure every i’s dotted and t’s crossed!
DOM — You know I came from a job where all I did all day was operating a forklift. This job is not like that. We are working on different projects every day and that’s what I enjoy. My dad worked with John for 15 years prior to us working together for the past 3 years. Render’s like a family business and it’s cool to have so many connections while doing what I enjoy.
CAM — Gabriel is newer to our team in his current role as Director of Operations, however, he has worked on and off with our company since 2018 so about four years ago now. He helped with deliveries for a period of time and then has come in to help create some projects over the years including the big R we had at the grand launch of our name Render in 2020. Now he is head of overall operations and logistics for the events that go out on almost a daily basis. He’s also a part of our leadership team with Kaley and me, which will be a part of this Podcast series with our team!
GABRIEL — Hi! Thrilled to be on the podcast!
CAM — To start, let’s talk about why operations are SO important enough to have dedicated team members for it!
GABRIEL — Having a dedicated team for Operations provides the resources to make the concepts, designs, and hours of hard work by our sales and design team become reality. Team-work.
JOHN — I believe the more prepared you are for an event the easier it will be on everyone involved. Working out all of the details whether small or large makes for a smooth install and retrieval. As Gabe mentioned, teamwork!
DOM — You need dedicated people because there are so many moving parts to operations. You need people who are willing to be flexible and pivot throughout each project and every day if necessary.
CAM — John, you’ve been doing primarily deliveries and pickups with our team since you started in May 2018. Help give our listeners a sense of what it was like before the pandemic and what your job was like then and then during the pandemic and now that we’ve eased our way out of the pandemic.
JOHN — Prior to the pandemic, things were constantly changing and we were consistently busy. But once that first shut-down hit our team took a big hit. I went from working here every day to coming in maybe one week out of the month. Of course, over time things slowly started picking back up. We saw a lot of those COVID weddings coming through at first before we ever saw any corporate events. Now this year, 2022, we have weddings and we’re seeing a lot more corporate events and we’re almost back at the same pace we were in 2019 before the pandemic hit.
CAM — So sales in this events industry have been off and on and a bit different over the last few years. We used to have a ton of lead time before an event, at least 3-4 weeks before the event at the very latest, but now we are getting event inquiries literally on the day of the events sometimes. How are you handling these quick turnaround times?
GABRIEL — In these tight turn situations, it is imperative to know your inventory and what might be already booked for the day/week. It also is so important that we keep thorough communication with our POCs as well as our team. There was a day when Cam got an inquiry for a rental just hours away and in order to say yes and execute we had to know to be mindful of all of the above as well as our team’s capacity to make it happen. There are times when we’ve had to say no, but I’d argue that more times than not we are saying yes because we have this team that is passionate, dedicated, and works hard every single day to make saying yes an easy answer.
CAM — What is it like when you are talking to our clients on the day of their event. This could be the planner, venue contact, or even the family part of the event itself!
JOHN — Calling ahead to let the client know we are on the way eases the process when we arrive, not just for the client, but for the crew as well. Upon arrival onsite communication is key. At this stage of the delivery process, we will discuss any information that is helpful to install the rentals in a timely fashion. Finally, we are always willing to help the client with anything they need to make the event run smoothly as possible.
CAM — Gabriel, you’ve been new to the Director of Operations position, and just for transparency like we always are with this podcast, this was a position we held prior to COVID hitting our business and it has altered dramatically since then from being handled by the salesperson to John taking over operations to now bringing back that position due to busy event season and the need for a dedicated person running the logistics and operations of the business. What has been your experience so far now that you’re about two months into the job?
GABRIEL — The first day of anything new always seems daunting. That just wasn’t the case when I first started here. Having the SOP as a road map for my role has really helped me gain confidence and knowledge in my position. It also takes something that might feel really complex like logistics and it simplifies it step by step. So when a client books I’m not scrambling for a starting point. I know that I’m looking at the order/inventory, checking for any conflicts, I’m then looking at the design deck, I check to see if this is being coordinated with a floral install, I then look at the who, what, when and where all before making my initial correspondence with our POC. So when I reach out to our client my goal is to not only be on the same page as them but maybe even a couple of pages ahead to make sure I’m setting up Dom and John for a successful installation and retrieval. Obviously, life happens and last-minute changes can and do occur that the SOP might not yet have covered or predicted, but having open and clear communication with your team, at the end of the day. will fill in all of those “gaps”.
CAM — Dom, you’ve been able to really take over a lot of the production and design of new inventory, reshaping our current inventory mechanics, and doing all the custom fabrication such as paint and details we can alter inventory in. Talk a little bit about how you approach those and make sure you don’t miss a single detail even in the midst of many details and a busy season.
DOM — The main thing is communication and being present at the job. Once you build your experience it’s easier to identify problems. The more problems you experience, the better you can work through them, remember them, and handle future problems. Our team uses Asana and Slack to stay on top of projects and to communicate all the moving parts. Both of those platforms are so beneficial to our team.
CAM — Gabriel, you’ve experienced events from the delivery side to the office operations side now. When you first started in March this year, you had the opportunity to go on a few delivery shifts to see how we are doing things and give suggestions on how they can be better and you saw some ways that can happen. Tell our listeners a little bit about how you were able to look at the way we do things and then offer suggestions on how it could be better.
GABRIEL — I definitely didn’t wanna come in guns blazing with new and improved ideas before getting my feet wet and seeing the processes again. So this really helped give me the current understanding of how we do things onsite. I would say that this more so helped in starting conversations and brainstorming with John and Dom on ways that we can improve our processes.
CAM — John, We do a ton of events (finally again) which means we work with so many different people, venues, and events. How do you make sure you are intentional with every single one of them and keep all the details in order?
JOHN — I think a smile and a positive attitude go a long way. In my experience at events, the stress level on the planners and venue staff can be significant. I try my best to keep that stress level down. We do our best to follow the directions of the planner’s layouts etc.
CAM — To finish our podcast today, I have three questions for you all to answer!
Dom, what is your favorite memory of working at Render?
DOM — Gotta be the Christmas parties. They’re always different, you get to spend quality time with the team, those are my favorite!
CAM — Gabriel, what is your favorite memory of working at Render?
GABRIEL — So far, my favorite memory is in the old warehouse moving our first floral fridge with a broken garage door.
CAM — John, what is your favorite memory of working at Render?
JOHN — My favorite memory is the Christmas party at the Statler because it was so cool and different.
CAM — Gabriel, what was your favorite event?
GABRIEL — We did an event with Nike several years ago and got to go to the Cowboy’s stadium while it was close to empty and I got to see some of the behind-the-scenes at such a large stadium and venue.
CAM — John, what was your favorite event?
JOHN — My favorite event had to be the one at the Frisco Star. Dallas Cowboys Event. We brought so many products and the field was so big, you could barely tell.
CAM — Dom, what was your favorite event?
DOM — Anything at the Filter Building. Setting up there is cool because it’s such a cool venue. I enjoy anytime we have to install there.
CAM — John, what is your favorite core value and why?
JOHN — BETTER THAN YESTERDAY – We are growth-minded. We believe that our only competition is who we were yesterday. We get excited about connecting and serving with those in our community and creating margin in the lives of our team.
CAM — Dom, what is your favorite core value and why?
DOM — WE CHOOSE JOY is mine because coming in with a positive attitude just changes everything.
CAM — Gabriel, what is your favorite core value and why?
GABRIEL — I will say it changes week to week, but currently, it’s that WE ARE SERVANT LEADERS – We are giving. We believe to whom much is given, much is expected. We believe in showing up for others with our hands, our hearts, and our finances.
CAM — Alrighty, I hope this has been an episode that you’ve been able to learn from and take some notes on so you can make your event rental business make the next best decision!
We want to ensure you get all the information possible through our podcast episodes. If reading the interview wasn’t enough, click the Apple or Spotify link above to listen to this week’s full episode. Cam and the guys all share insight about different parts of their job at Render relating to the operations team and their years of experience.
If you want to get snapshots of this episode, head over to YouTube to watch them discuss that operations team at Render.
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