This week I visited Home Hardware stores to set-up snow shovels and Timber Mart to discuss strategies for growth. I was visited by my daughter, Natalie for a day. I met with my banker, accountant and Export Development Canada to discuss access inventory caused by a decrease in consumer spending.
Wednesday was bring your child to work day, a time to give our sons and daughters a glimpse of the working world. I must confess I had nothing formally planned for Natalie and I’m not sure what she thought of the day. I found the day to be very rewarding because it gave me extra time with my princess … True, one day does not make up for all those early morning meetings when I leave before they wake. But having one day when my commute to work & home includes Natalie… I can not put the joy in words!
Natalie and I started the day attending Robert Woodman’s production meeting where she saw how our production team tracks the number of products produced each hour, ranks their on time delivery progress & discuss ways of continuously improving their productivity. Plus she commented that they are all very funny people.
Natalie then spent time with Betty Millard in the shipping department while I met with our accountants to start preparing an 18 month projection which I’m sure would have bored her. So instead she helped pick the products, prepare the shipping & custom documents and shipped an order to Norway. She shipped the order to Per Inge’s company (S-Ski & Sport), the Norwegian distributor for our Outdoor & Recreations products and our Snow Shovels. My wife, Dawna and I attended a trade mission to Norway in October 2010 and had the privilege of spending a day with our wonderful host Per Inge Sagmoen.
After my meeting, Natalie joined me and observed me answering phone calls from our sales reps and the exciting task of responding to e-mails … I’m sure she was entertained.
Natalie and I started the afternoon by going to Redmond’s Home Hardware at the Crossroads in Upper Tantallon, to set up snow shovels. Wayne Redmond, a well known local plumber for many years, opened the original hardware store at this location in 1980 and later added a separate Benjamin Moore paint store located in the same plaza. Wayne sold both stores to local resident John Glover in 2000. Three years later John and Shelley “Wayne’s daughter” were married. They own and operate the store together under the Home Hardware banner. Redmond’s is a true family business and active in the community. Another perfect example of the important role locally owned businesses can play to impact and improve their communities for the benefit to all.
After we completed setting up the snow shovels, Natalie and I went for a cold drink and gum to help our dry & sticky mouths. We also visited Scotia Square mall to take a well earned break … while gaining more appreciation for the hard work involved in merchandising!
Natalie and I ended the day attending the Canadian Association of Family Enterprises board meeting. She enjoyed the meeting and commented on the chairs in Cox & Palmer’s boardroom … the back went over her head! Cox & Palmer hosted our meeting and they’re a much appreciated supporter of C.A.F.E. Cox & Palmer has been an integral part of Atlantic Canada’s business community for over a century by being one of the largest full-service law firms in our region. They’re also a member of World Service Group, a global network of over 15,000 leading professional service providers in 120 countries.
For a second week, I met with our banker to discuss the lower receivables. Our efforts to move access inventory continued and we received some good & not so good offers!!
This week I continued to learn ways to improve the effects caused by access inventory from a decrease in consumer spending and was able to attend a meeting with our accountant to assist us with an eighteen month projection and a structured plan for a profitable growth. I also enjoyed a much appreciated lunch with Export Development Canada who provides companies with assistantance and direction for growth in export markets. We will receive our final offer for the access inventory this week to be able to make some educated decisions on what we’re going to do with the 1,235 contractor shovels, 2,400 assorted garden tools, 4,000 snow shovels and 4,390 extension poles. We also should have our 18 month plan completed shortly and begin the next chapter in the story of Trail Blazer Products.
All the best, Shawn Levangie