In Episode 21 of The Mission Critical Fire Protection Podcast, Lee Kaiser sits down with Kyle Hoffer ORR's regional operation manager. Kyle discusses Managing people, and training in the fire suppression industry, and talks about mission-critical fire protection with Lee.
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Welcome to MCFP meet the experts where ORR Protections, VP of engineering, Lee Kaiser interviews, industry insiders on all things Mission-critical fire protection.
Lee Kaiser (00:19):
I'm here with Kyle Hoffer today, regional operations manager for ORR Protection in the central region. And thanks for spending some time with me today, Kyle. I appreciate it. So, Kyle, how did you get into the fire protection industry?
Kyle Hoffer (00:31):
My 11th and, uh, senior year of high school. I took a vocational class in electronics. Um, and from there I moved on to college and I got my associates degree in electronics, um, interviewed for a couple of jobs and stuff. Nothing came up. Um, my teacher from my vocational school worked at SimplexGrinnell and brought me into SimplexGrinnell. I started there as a, uh, inspector, um, worked my way up to inspection manager. And then, um, from there then I moved on to ORR Protection. So I've been with the industry roughly 20 years.
Lee Kaiser (01:08):
That's great. Well, we're so happy that you work for us. So, uh, thank you for that. Uh, so, you know, as an operations manager kind of describe what you do. I know that you supervise, uh, our teams of technicians in the central region and, and our installation people that help do projects for us. But describe to me what an operations manager does.
Kyle Hoffer (01:31):
I work in the background, I'm just to make sure everything kind of rolls together, make sure projects, you know, um, flow, uh, thoroughly, make sure people are scheduled correctly, make sure, um, people have the, um, the right tools to get their jobs done. Um, and you know, also follow up with the financials and, and collect POS and, and, uh, you know, basically, you know, set up subs and, and, you know, items like that.
Lee Kaiser (01:56):
Yeah. So you've got some, you know, technical and some business that's a part of your every day.
Kyle Hoffer (02:03):
Lee Kaiser (02:04):
And organizational, right?
Kyle Hoffer (02:06):
Oh yeah. Yeah. You have to be organized to be in this spot. I mean, it's, it's, uh, it's detrimental. You gotta have some organisation to that.
Lee Kaiser (02:12):
You know, I know a number of people work through your group in the central region, but, uh, if, if I was a new person that was considering fire protection as a field, what might my experience be at ORR?
Kyle Hoffer (02:25):
I love it. I mean, it's, it's a very family oriented, um, very good on safety, you know, um, they preach safety, uh, all the time. Uh, there's a lot of good training. Um, you also have a lot of good people that are willing to help you and help you succeed, you know, um, a new tech or a green tech. Um, they have the level one level, two trainings that are just phenomenal and, you know, work those little, you know, those green techs or those new techs into a nice set role. Um, and, uh, you know, we basically, you know, we put you out there when you feel comfortable, doing It, you know, we don't want you, you know, going out there and not feeling, you know, feeling uncomfortable, you know, maybe, you know, dumping a system or maybe, you know, causing an issue, you know, with, for yourself or for others. But, uh, yeah, I mean, it's, it's a great company. It's, I mean, there's, there's a lot of training. Um, and you know, the, um, a lot of good people
Lee Kaiser (03:18):
You mentioned in the training program, it supports nice set for a technician. What's that mean?
Kyle Hoffer (03:23):
Nice set that is, uh, is kind of the standard of, uh, working in the fire alarm, suppression, sprinkler business. Uh, it's kind of the, um, uh, if you're nice set, I mean, it's, you know, your stuff.
Lee Kaiser (03:36):
Yeah. So it's certification program, correct. Do you have a number of people that are nice set certified?
Kyle Hoffer (03:40):
I do roughly about 10, 15 people that are nice set certified.
Lee Kaiser (03:44):
Thats Great and then do you have people that are working on it?
Kyle Hoffer (03:46):
I have people That are working on it as well, going through the level one level, two trainings, and, uh, um, they, they just have to schedule up their, uh, their tests.
Lee Kaiser (03:54):
So what about, you know, an experienced technician that's considering changing companies? Why might they think about, ORR?
Kyle Hoffer (04:02):
Family dynamic? I mean, it's, you know, um, the company is really good too, the technicians, um, uh, they, you know, they, they provide a lot of safety. They'll give you all the tools that you need. Uh, they'll give you, you know, any kind of special trainings. Um, they'll send you to, um, schools to learn about the product. Um, and again, you know, they, they won't put you out in the field unless you feel comfortable doing so
Lee Kaiser (04:26):
What kind of work would an experienced technician maybe be looking at? What kind of systems are they going to see?
Kyle Hoffer (04:31):
Oh, well, I mean, we do, you know, Fike, um, insin-, or we just gained Siemens in Cincinnati. Um, um, we have a KDDA, uh, do a lot of, um, uh, we do some stuff with explosion proof, um, systems. Um, so just the vast array of, of different, uh, systems.
Lee Kaiser (04:49):
Oh, that's great. In operations as being an operations manager, uh, you've got teams of people. How do you, what's your philosophy on teams? How do you, how do your teams work together- Well?
Kyle Hoffer (05:00):
You know, I, um, I tried to instill that at the end of that teamwork, you know, we're, we, we get to that place, you know, uh, as a team, it's not a one person, you know, um, uh, thing it's, uh, we have to do it as a team. And, um, uh, I, you know, I hope I, I plan, you know, I, I wanna, you know, develop that, you know, into my team is that dynamic is that, you know, it's not just one person out there. It's, it's a, it's a whole team that's backing you up.
Lee Kaiser (05:26):
So would a person, a technician expected just work on service or just instalation? Or is there a mix?
Kyle Hoffer (05:32):
There is a mix. Yeah. So I have some, I have some guys that they do, both, they do installs, they do service. Um, they work with subs, you know, to do the installs or do service, but yeah, it's, it's pretty much, a mix.
Lee Kaiser (05:44):
What's your favorite part about working for ORR?
Kyle Hoffer (05:48):
I love the family, family dynamic. I just, I love that. Um,
Lee Kaiser (05:52):
Well, you're a family man yourself, right?
Kyle Hoffer (05:53):
I'm a family man myself. Um, so I, I love that dynamic, I think that's, you know, it's such a great, you know, um, thing when I worked at simplex, I was, I was TR12-692, Um, here, um, I'm Kyle, I mean, people know me as Kyle and, you know, um, uh, uh, Ray and Clark. I mean, they know me as Kyle and, you know, I had breakfast with Carl the other day, you know, I mean, that's just, you don't get that with the, you know, with a bigger, you know, huge, huge company. But, um, um, so the fam the family dynamic was, it was, it was great. I love working with the people, you know, we have a great, we have a great team here and, uh, people, I mean, we know our stuff, you know, and, and, uh, I, I, my teams that I, that I work with are just phenomenal and just great.
Lee Kaiser (06:39):
Thanks for spending time with us. Kyle Hoffer, regional operations manager for the central region here in the United States. We're, we're so grateful that you, uh, let us your talents everyday. Thanks a lot.
Kyle Hoffer (06:49):
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