Fresh News Articles
This month’s topic is all about forward thinking and planning. The old short sighted Jo thought okay, that’s all about labels and getting customers to plan their needs. It’s getting their orders in early (planning) to save them stress, to save me stress and the hard working team in production that have to make these said labels working to my tight timeline.
But that was then, it’s almost embarrassing that I had my head so firmly down and trudging through my to-do list that all I could think about was the now, well the next 10-15 day lead time, in most cases.
Once you are part of a team that is always looking to the future and continually thinking well out in front it just becomes part of the norm. You lift your head up and look for solutions to make things easy for your customers, looking at previous order history and requirements to make a plan for the next season. Taking time out to make some plans for future ordering has a massive feeling of removing a weight off people’s shoulders and letting us all get on with the next big thing.
The old saying of “failing to plan is planning to fail” can’t be argued against but the reality is for many, that we work in a constantly changing area, primarily customer driven, but there are other factors that can’t be controlled like weather events and fluctuations in crop harvest or stock levels etc. Sometimes the best plans go directly out the window and we are back in fight or flight mode maximising stress levels and acting in the now.
Breaking our year down into months and having something visual to keep us on track to what is coming up in the short term is a good starting point, but only that. Keep up the momentum, what concepts are in the 18 month plan? If we schedule in the compulsory tasks and approximate times/seasons that require our demands we can start getting our heads up to look further ahead and in doing so two things happen. Suddenly the things we lose sleep over, have we done this/have we done that (have I ordered those labels) become taken care of and we free ourselves up to grow our businesses.
While in some ways technology and automation is moving so fast, it actually takes a long time from a light-bulb idea to implementation, that is the sort of project that needs your serious time, in order to free ourselves up, instead of just working longer get rid of the simple and repetitive tasks, let a colleague/sales rep or business partner like myself help you out. If you pack lemons for example it’s no surprise they’re going to be ready May? Why not make the job like visiting the in-laws – little and often is far better than spending a week on holiday with them, ha ha.
I had the great fortune recently of having the company of three finalists in the 2018 Young Grower competition while in Christchurch for the Hort NZ conference. It was a real privilege to spend time with these young people. These young people keep it real and give us the opportunity to check ourselves, how are we doing, what are we doing, they are our future so what are we setting up for them?