Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 with 150MPH winds. Known as the worst hurricane in over 100 years, Maria devastated Puerto Rico by blocking all roads, leaving the country with no electricity, no running water and no access to the internet to have any form of communication. Once the storm settled, Louis O’Halloran along with other dedicated employees arrived at GE’s Añasco Plant to begin an external clean up. The Añasco plant is located on western side of Puerto Rico and has a 45-year history serving customers. In those 45 years, the plant has never experienced anything as ferocious as Maria before.
While Louis and team were dedicated to cleaning up – in reality, the concept of returning to work was completely out of the question. Gasoline and food shortages were felt, AT&T internet connection and telephone lines were out of order. However, amidst the devastation, Louis remained determined to bring the plant back to operation as soon as possible. Louis connected with another internet service provider, Claro, to get the plants Internet back on site along with the help and support from other GE IT team members.
By October 16th, Añasco plant was back up to normal operations, ready to serve our customers. The plant had not shipped product for 4 weeks. Customer overdues had risen to over $8MM. The Añasco team, under Louis’s leadership, demonstrated excellent teamwork and commitment to take care of our customers.
And the team delivered. Añasco plant delivered a $27MM fourth quarter, executing on all metrics and reducing customer overdues to 0.25/day with Requests Kept at 97%. In technical terms, Requests Kept is a measurement for delivery to customers, the goal is to reach 95%. Under these extreme circumstances, the team reached 97%. Louis led the team with a calm demeanor and brought Añasco plant back up and running in very short period.
We had the chance to speak with Louis, upon reflection he said: “I am so proud of the Añasco employees who demonstrated tremendous spirit and determination to get plant operations back taking care of customers despite the tough day to day challenges in their own personal lives due to impact of Hurricane Maria.”
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