ASCP update: Boy, is it busy
By Eric Marshall
September 27, 2021 | 12:12 pm CDT
Eric Marshall, ACSP

Eric Marshall, ACSP president

Life is like a roller coaster.  Sometimes you close your eyes in sheer terror and other times, you raise your hands up in the air and ENJOY THE RIDE!

Whether you’re hanging on by a thread or throwing your arms up and enjoying the ride, congratulations on making it almost to the end of 2021. Who knows what is in store for us next? Double-digit growth, continuing supply chain issues and manpower struggles unlike anything we’ve ever seen are continuing to plague the home storage industry. 

I’m looking at numbers everywhere and everyone I talk to says the same thing: “Eric, I’m swamped!” 

Growth continues despite what is happening in the world. There is no end in sight to the uncontrolled growth – we’re in unchartered waters, people. And don’t worry, lots of financial know-it-alls say this is going to continue for a while. 

So, what should we do? Hire new people? That’s extremely difficult as it seems everyone worth hiring is already working. Any business worth its salt is taking care of its people right now, monetarily and with a myriad of other benefits such as more time off, the ability to work from home, better benefits, and flexible schedules. Take note and do the same.

What else should we do? Stop our promotions to consumers? I’ve tried that. We’re working through our referrals and those are even increasing in frequency as our business grows.  Should we put a stop to new work? That’s a non-starter in my opinion.  

Here’s what’s working for us, I’m approaching customers differently now, explaining how and why things might take longer at the outset, collecting a larger deposit, and stretching lead times to where I think I can achieve what work I’ve got in my pipeline. I’m also learning to flex on materials, coming up with creative sourcing or substitutions when my usual go-to’s aren’t available.  Nowadays, I’m spending less time designing and more time on supply chain management. 

In my eyes, the real solution is to take the work, roll up your sleeves, lift your arms and scream at the top of your lungs as we plummet over that first hill – it’s a doozy.

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