This is Parton. He is normally a very handsome American Hanoverian. He has a few siblings that are very talented and have made their owners lots of money. Parton however, cost me a whopping dollar. It’s true. There is no such thing as a ‘free horse’ and there was a reason that he was such a steal. But I have learned a lot from owning this horse, and when I pulled him out of the pasture the other day and saw his face, I saw another ‘lesson’ coming my way.
Things start so uneventfully. Looking at him, one would think that he got in some serious pasture brawl. But actually, he did it to himself, on a fence. He was trying to scratch an itch. Of course, once he got going on it, there was no stopping his rubbing on things that pretty much took his hide off in numerous places. After a lot of work, and lots of time in the wash rack, he is much better. As for his bald spots, well, they will be there for awhile.
As I started grooming him, I thought about how similar things like this happen to people involved in moving produce on trucks. Of course, the end result is not as obvious, no one ends up with bald spots like Parton, but truly disastrous results happen when a small thing gets out of control.
Aly and I were talking the other day about some of our carriers that will not pick up a mixer. After spending a few minutes listening to their past experiences, I was not surprised that they avoid this type of load. Yes, they take more time and effort, but when the pieces are managed carefully, mixers can actually be more hassle free than a straight load.
On the produce side, there are many people who have opportunities that are on hold because they have been unable to find trucks that know now to competently make the pick ups. Again, it is all very manageable, even if there might be a bit more work at the beginning.
But make no mistake, ignoring a problem or not thinking ahead about potential issues has so much potential for a disastrous, and often needless, outcome. Eliminating or minimizing risks should be one of the primary goals for a broker as he or she starts to put a load together, and often times this is the ‘Which truck is best for this load?’ part of the process.
While it is still early in the year, now is the time to make sure that the potential for disruptions or unforeseen (and often unnecessary/avoidable) problems don’t negatively affect your 2015 business plans.
I think I am going to this picture of Parton on my desk for days when I don’t want to take care of a small problem. Why let something that can be so pretty end up very unattractive?
Have a great year moving produce! And do yourself a favor...pay attention to who should be paying attention to your details.