Jaime Flores, Plant Manager at L&M Radiator’s Chile location, puts his family first – and his L&M family is no exception.
Antofagasta, Chile – When you boil it down, success often comes down to just one thing – how you treat the people you live your life with. Jaime Flores, plant manager at L&M Radiator Chile location, knows this well. Flores spends each and every workday making sure that all of his colleagues are properly cared for and treated as if they were a part of his own family.
“Family means everything to me, and I try as hard as I can to pass that along to how I see our employees at L&M. How I treat my family is how I want to treat my colleagues,” said Flores.
Flores started his work at L&M back in 2011, initially hired on as a purchasing agent for the El Paso, Texas location. Within his first month at L&M, he moved on to the role of production coordinator and quality assurance before landing an offer as production manager later that year. During this time, the El Paso plant was making a transition to a new location in Las Cruces, New Mexico. After a few years in New Mexico, Flores found himself ready to take on more opportunities around the world.
In 2015, Flores secured his current position as a plant manager for L&M’s facility in Chile. As plant manager, he oversees all operations happening in Chile and supports the production manager in meeting day-to-day production demands.
The mining industry in Chile is very demanding, so the Chile L&M facility primarily deals with aftermarket repairs. Every minute a machine is down a mine incurs an unbelievable amount of valuable time and money, so efficient and high-quality repairs are of the utmost importance. This also means providing the highest quality, most long-lasting product available to the industry from the get-go. Flores takes immense pride in the product that leaves the doors of the Chile facility.
“From engineering to the production floor – we all put in work to get a great product out the door and meet our customer’s demands,” said Flores. “Customers will always receive a great quality product. Our name says a lot, and we try to keep our standards very high the way L&M always has.”
Creating Culture and Community at L&M
Flores set out on a new adventure when he started working as plant manager. The transition to traveling and working partly from home was difficult at first because he was so used to working face-to-face with his employees.
However, Flores is dedicated to maintaining that connection, making sure that when he is on site at the facility in Chile, he greets every colleague that he passes on the floor and talks to them about their lives. He’s gotten to know all of them on a personal level, checking in on their families and overall well-being.
“It’s really important to me to make these connections, because that’s what makes L&M work. It’s the people. I’ve always said that the way you come into work is the way I want you to leave work. Safety is one of our biggest priorities, not only on the work side of things, but on the personal level. You don’t want to get hurt and then not be able to hold your son or your daughter when you get home,” said Flores. “I think it’s crucial that we look at work as a family atmosphere. I don’t want my family getting hurt, and I’d rather an employee stay home for a day than be gone for weeks because of a personal issue or an injury. It’s important that we take care of each other.”
As someone with the opportunity to visit almost every L&M plant in the world, Flores has been able to experience the unique culture at every facility. No matter where he goes, whether he’s in Chile, Mexico or farther north at L&M’s locations in Minnesota or South Dakota, Flores is always welcomed with open arms.
As part of this team, Flores has seen himself evolve over the years, turning into the leader that he is today.
“There’s just so many great employees and that’s what makes my job special. The team effort that everybody puts forth is something I haven’t seen anywhere else that I’ve worked,” said Flores. “I never consider myself as a boss of anyone. We’re all the same, we just have different responsibilities. Sometimes just going out and lending a hand, getting the wrench, getting involved – it goes a long way. It just shows that it is a team effort.”
The camaraderie at L&M has no limits. When Flores joined the team, a lot of his co-workers told him he’d fit right in. How’s that? Well, of course, everybody loves to fish! Flores is no stranger to getting out on the waters in his free time, playing a game of catch and release with trout, bass, and catfish. He also loves hunting, bringing home deer and elk meat to share with his family and friends.
“Usually there’s a lot of meat, so I like to have people over for cookouts and give it to my family members and friends. It seems like everybody knows when hunting season comes around. Everybody gathers once they know that you’re bringing something home and it’s just great to be with family and friends in that way,” said Flores.
Again, family always comes first for Flores. No matter where he is – at home with his family, on site at the L&M plant in Chile facility or travelling around to other facilities around the world — expect the space and people around him to feel like home.
Meet the L&M Radiator Team
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