Mark Ballo | Perfection is not attainable

Posted on: August 3rd, 2020 by Lukas Voss | No Comments

CITY’s Polk City operation has vastly expanded over the past 10 years. Businesses across the Des Moines metro area are now benefitting from CITY’s service because of leadership and an emphasis on training.


“I am always amazed by how we find time to do things right the second and the third time,” Mark Ballo, Des Moines Regional manager said. “I think we should have pride in doing things the very best that we can, the first time.”


That’s why training his sales staff and Route Service Representatives [RSR] the right way is the key to success for Mark. From long conversations about daily operations to make sure his employees get daily feedback about what went right and what went wrong, it’s a personal goal for Mark to make everyone better.


“Perfection is not attainable,” Mark said. “But we should have a really good understanding of why we’re doing something and how it affects our end user. Training is instrumental in us providing our customers with the very best result.”


Des Moines District Manager Barney Webb oversees Polk City’s RSRs. After several years of servicing accounts in Des Moines, Barney was promoted to District Manager in 2019. He echoes Mark’s feeling of doing business the right way and making sure CITY’s RSRs get the best training possible.


“Training lays the groundwork for how everything is going to be run,” Barney said. “It just makes everything that much easier if everyone has a good understanding of what it is that they’re doing and why they need to do it in a particular way.”


Barney makes sure RSRs start with the basics to avoid any mistakes that could cost time and resources. He likes to make sure they know how to properly load their trucks and customers have the best experience possible when interacting with them. Having been an RSR himself it helps Barney in identifying problems and making sure his staff learns quickly.


“It’s very helpful to know what our RSRs are expected to do daily,” Barney said. “With training, we try to slow it down, go over all the details and make sure they understand what it is they need to do to be successful at CITY and that’s exactly what I did when I was an RSR.”


Shane McKinney was Des Moines’ first RSR and takes pride in making sure new employees get to ride on his truck to learn more about the job.


“It’s fun showing our new guys what CITY is all about, I love it,” Shane said. “I enjoy having those training days with everybody because I can help them in their careers and they can see that I have been doing this for a decade and I am still enjoying it.”


Mark is usually the first one inside the depot. Sweeping floors, making sure everything is set up for the day and setting an example for all of his employees. While mistakes are inevitable, in his mind, leadership and making sure employees can succeed, is paramount for CITY’s success in Des Moines.


“I think it’s really important to be at work first and I think it’s really important to be the last person to leave,” Mark said. “It gives me a better understanding of the day to day; Doing things right should provide us with our fuel to have pride in CITY.”



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