By: Shepard Dunn, TPP Consultant & Best Practice Group Facilitator
Like many of you, I have been inconvenienced by COVID-19 throughout the last several weeks. But, as you know if you have been reading any of my mostly weekly posts, I have focused on being productive during this different time.
My oldest son and his family have done what many in America have succumbed to: become chicken farmers! Yep, that is right, chicken farming is apparently the new thing to be involved with. After all, once at mature age, those puppies (not literally) produce one egg per day. Twenty four chickens will produce two dozen eggs per day x 365 days = 730 dozen eggs per year. Now that is a lot of eggs by my standards. When he called a few weeks ago and asked if I would help build a coop, I jumped at the chance before really giving it much consideration. Man, it gave me the chance to get out of the house, learn something new, and become a pseudo chicken farmer, sort of.
So, we did just that, built a coop and a chicken run in no time. Until that point, the chicks had been held up in the garage for a few weeks and were ready to move in the new Ritz Carlton. As the weekends have rolled by, I have been visiting my new lady friends and watching them grow. No eggs yet, but I did learn it takes about five months to get eggs. Needless to say, we have been saving egg cartons for the big day.
It occurred to me the other day, chicken farming has many similar characteristics as trucking. Yea right…!! When you start a project — chicken farming, new business, new hires, new trucks, new trailers, new process, etc., it takes a “break-in period”, “germination,” before you reap the fruits of your labor. During this period is when can start the process of collecting data to measure your success. Compare your data daily, weekly, or whatever is applicable and then use it to your benefit. With chickens, you can watch them grow real feathers, begin to venture outside to the “yard” before running quickly back into safety. In trucking, you measure everything that either costs money or provides income.
Too many times in my career, we bought a new shiny object (tractors, software, etc.) and did not take the time to measure the “break-in” period at all. Then you ended up with software that you really did not need or maybe you forgot why you bought it. It came with five basic modules, but your team wanted four additional modules. I will bet most companies have not used all four of those modules the way they were either sold to you or intended to use. Why? My guess is that your follow-up and accountability to that process has failed. This is where the old trust but verify motto comes into play. Its so vitally important to do those two very basic things or your chickens will not grow to lay eggs. You continue to feed, water, provide shelter to those small chicks to ensure you get to eat eggs regularly, why can’t you do that in your business?
It’s the perfect time, right now, to get those modules up and running if for no other reason than to remind yourself, why you bought them in the first place.
See you down the road.
TCA Profitability Program Consultant