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Globe listens to customers to develop product performance

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When Globe Manufacturing LLC, which invented the firefighter suit in 1887, was at the beginning stages of developing the company’s G-XTREME® turnout gear in 2002, Mark Mordecai, along with others, interviewed hundreds of firefighters to determine what their needs were for a better-performing firefighter suit. The team conducted interviews at small fire stations and large fire stations, in urban and rural areas and in differing geographies throughout the United States, to help the company determine the needs of the customers. “You need to create a way of looking at the whole puzzle from different points of view,” he says. “When you start to hear the same thing over and over again, this reinforces the value of the input and what you need to do.”

When he took the results of those interviews—maximum protection with increased flexibility—back to the production team at Globe, the team asked themselves: How can we say ‘yes’ to this customer request? “When you start hearing the people on your team ask that question, you know that they’re embracing change as opposed to resisting it,” Mordecai says. The resulting high-performance turnout gear moves the way the human body does, without restriction, while protecting the firefighter. “The people we make products for are American heroes,” he says. “They’re the people who are running in to help when everybody else is running the other way.”

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine.

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