For thirty-five years, Herb Long has been a dedicated employee and asset to Blanchard Machinery. In an economy characterized by opportunity, Herb Long exudes a commitment and loyalty that are rare qualities. While 2017 was the thirty- fifth anniversary of Herb’s service, Herb’s employment predated Blanchard Machinery itself, serving the company which eventually became Blanchard Machinery for eight years. Including this previous tenure, Herb Long has served our company for a total of forty-three years—making him one of Blanchard’s most outstanding and respected associates.
Herb Long has played a critical role in providing five-star service to his clients, exemplifying the dynamic qualities that make all of us proud. Blanchard Sales Operations Manager, James Adams, shares his enthusiasm for Herb’s work. “There’s always respect for him when he walks onto a job site,” Adams recalls. “He’s a customer favorite and always puts his all into his work.”
From hospitals to a variety of clients that Herb serves, special attention and longer hours are often required. “No matter the service or area of industry, customers come before anything else,” Adams explains. “Herb puts in the time and effort without a single complaint—he is always very accommodating to customers.”
No stranger to long-term customer relationships, many of Herb’s clients have been with him for as long as he’s been with Blanchard. “I just go the extra mile,” Herb states candidly. “I find out what their expectations are and I strive to do everything to live up to that.”
Herb’s dedication to his customers creates a reciprocal loyalty in kind. One of Herb’s first customers was a hospital where he commissioned his first generators. In 1982, two new 3412, 350kw generator packages that Long commissioned were delivered to Georgetown Hospital. Now known as Tidelands Health, these two generators supported the hospital’s emergency power needs until 2015 when they were replaced, again by Herb, with two new C32, 1000kW generator packages.
Being able to service a full life cycle of a generator is a unique experience, as it is exceptionally rare for someone to be able to see the original generators installed and replaced with new hardware. When asked what that was like for him, Herb laughed and said, “It’s like cutting firewood from a tree that you’ve planted.”
Characterized by adventure, Herb’s career has provided him with the opportunities to travel for various international clients. Herb has been assigned projects in Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, London, Scotland, and elsewhere. “In my first few years at Blanchard, I had my first international trip,” reflects Herb. “It was quite an experience to be able to go overseas at such a young age. In fact, I had never been overseas before and was assigned to a navy base in Scotland. I didn’t even have a passport. So, I stopped in Boston, and within that day got an emergency passport and flew out on my way to working on my first Blanchard shipbuilding contract for the navy.” That trip ended up being the first of seven trips to Scotland to work on that project, Herb says.
Herb never strays far from his roots, however, as clients like Greenville Health System (GHS) have become personal friends of his. He has made such an impression that GHS now relies solely on Caterpillar generators for their emergency power source.
Beloved by customers, Sales Operations Manager James Adams recalls how a customer was won over by Herb’s exceptional service. “One of our good customers shared with me that he’s not worried about the sales or the sales product,” Adams said. “He was more worried about the ‘man in the van’ and that he was a customer because Herb happened to be the ‘man in the van.’”
Herb’s success has not come easy, yet he relates that he learned to push past difficulties to ensure positive outcomes for his customers. When asked what was one of the most unexpected obstacles he had to work past, Herb recounts a time where he was called upon to restore power to a hotel during a hurricane—without the proper parts needed to restore power. “We didn’t have anything in stock during Hurricane Hugo because of the storm. Went to the hotel that night and in the middle of the night removed the entire assembly. I worked through the night figuring out how to make the assembly parts work. We were successfully able to get the customer back up on running.”
Herb has not allowed any obstacle—not even a hurricane—get in the way of effectively serving his clients. “It would be easy to say we can’t have it or can’t do it. There’s many reasons why you can’t do it. I find reasons why I can and try to make something out of nothing,” Herb muses.
When asked about his motivation for staying with Blanchard Machinery for decades, Herb effused why he enjoys his career. “I like the business and have always liked my job. I like what I do and I like the people that I’ve been able to meet along the way. I’m in the position in my life thanks to Blanchard Machinery. It’s the daily and weekly change and the travel. I’m thankful to have a job and to be physically here.”