Wasco is a growing, innovative, precision pressure switch and sensor manufacturer, serving small customers and large O.E.M.s in the global market.
Kari Way is the Owner and Executive Vice President at Wasco, a company that is growing rapidly. Wasco currently has 74 employees and is on track to close out at $21 million in 2022.
Wasco is committed to meeting its customers’ needs through the reliable delivery of high-quality, customized products, services, and solutions to their applications.
After watching her son, Zach, bring on a BELAY VA, Kari began to wonder how a contractor could help her in the day-to-day.
“I was a more reluctant adapter,” Kari admits. “My work world at the time was actually very chaotic because of the explosive growth. It was hard enough just for me to wrap my arms around what I needed to accomplish for the day let alone let somebody else know what to do.”
“But Zach engaged Julia, and I think they were working maybe three months together and he kept pushing me, saying, ‘You really need to do this. It’s really going to help. It’s going to benefit you.’”
“And so he sent me all of his information, how he set up his work, and what he works out with Julia. And I said, ‘OK, I’ll try it.’”
Enter BELAY Virtual Assistant Ashley Tucker.
Kari and Ashley started the engagement by working on the best way to tackle Kari’s inbox.
“The biggest pain point is there are not enough hours in the day to get the work done that you need to do,” Kari says. “I am getting 300-400 emails a day. There’s no way one person can get through all that.”
On top of email management, Ashley was also able to immediately help Kari with general file management and setting up folders, scheduling meetings and appointments, and even blocking off time on Kari’s calendar for work.
They found a good groove and progression in their meeting cadence after starting with daily phone and video calls to meeting three times a week to now having a biweekly video call.
“Now that she understands the business, she can run faster,” Kari explains. “Ashley threw herself into all of our training and learned really quickly.”
And ‘ran faster’ she did.
Ashley's responsibilities have grown to now scheduling all travel – hotels and rental cars for team members flying back and forth between the two locations – and even helping Kari plan strategic retreats for the different departments.
“She did everything for the HR retreat we had a couple of months ago – from designing swag to reserving the Airbnb, and I even sent her the agenda and a bunch of info and she put the booklets together,” Kari says.
“It’s super cool to have the ability to take what’s in my brain and pass it onto somebody else and they actually execute it.”
Kari has built trust with Ashley by knowing that BELAY matched her with someone who she would work well with.
“The key to building trust is being honest and forthright at the beginning and being self-aware enough to know what you need,” Kari says. “I need somebody who’s not just going to be a yes person but [somebody] that will be really frank with me.”
“So somebody who is a very direct communicator and an open and honest person is what I communicated at the front end, and that is truly who Ashley is.”
“There’s a lot that we’ve accomplished.”
“Ashley learned the culture and our core values. She took those and learned from them and she speaks and lives them. She’s very easy to talk to.”
“She has an extra benefit that I wasn’t expecting [in that] she’s a great event planner and she’s creative. Those creative elements of making a retreat or an event go off without a hitch and that extra-special pizzazz that she brings have been really good.”
“I enjoy the time that we have and the projects that [Ashley] and I have worked on together. They’ve been very beneficial for the company, and she’s just a great person to work with.”
“She has such a laid-back personality, but she gets the job done. She makes everybody feel comfortable and welcome. She’s got that southern hospitality. She’s just been a great asset.”
As for BELAY’s secret sauce, Kari has been surprised by it over and over again now bringing three BELAY contractors onto Wasco’s team.
“I don’t know what the secret formula is that BELAY has when they do those initial interviews with the client and then the matching of the client to the contractor,” Kari remarks. “It’s just been a success.”
“Julia, Zach’s VA, is nothing like Ashley, my VA. But [Zach and I] work differently, and it’s just amazing that on the first try for both of us, the consultant match was a great fit for the work that we were doing and the way that we work.”
“Because everybody works a little differently and learning the way someone works and being able to be in cadence and lockstep with them is a big deal. Sometimes, it takes years to train an assistant to walk in lockstep with you.”
“I don’t know how BELAY does it, but it’s a good formula and it’s working.”
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