It’s a simple concept really, but it’s become one of the driving principles behind the fourman rental operation I head up here at Yale Materials Handling-Green Bay Inc. Everything we do is aimed at being able to always say “yes.” We pride ourselves on doing exactly what the customer asks when he or she asks for it. It’s a philosophy that I’ve seen permeate the company long before I joined its ranks full-time in 2005. Even as a kid stopping by on weekends to mow the lawns, the culture was strong and clear. It’s a big part of the reason why our company was named a Yale Dealer of Excellence for 15 of the last 16 years.
As I mentioned, I grew up around the company. My father, Gary Fairchild, is the president, and I’ve been around ever since he purchased it. However, I didn’t immediately begin working full time for the business straight out of college. After I graduated from St. Norbert College, I started a landscaping company. Now, obviously, in Green Bay there isn’t much of a market for landscaping during the winter, so I worked at the family business during the off-peak season. Eventually, I worked my way into the sales department and found myself really enjoying the work. so I decided to leave landscaping.
Starting out with the company full-time, I began working in our warehouse lighting division before moving to a more accountbased sales position a few months later. I would go on to spend several years in sales before moving to my current position as warehouse manager. Now, I do much less on the sales side of the business and much more from an operations standpoint. Occasionally, I call on a large customer, but for the most part I work in-house. I also recently took over our new JCB Construction business, so I keep a busy schedule.
As a manager, I oversee four rental department employees. We’re a tight-knit team and we all really know what we’re doing, which makes my job a lot easier. The biggest challenge is related to inventory. It’s a constant battle to foresee market demand and make sure that we have the right equipment in stock to meet our customer’s needs. That means that I’m responsible for keeping my ear to the ground and recognizing what equipment is in demand now and what will be in demand next month. It really comes down to studying the marketplace and the customers. There’s no substitute for doing the dirty work. Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of training along with immeasurable support within the company that has helped me overcome the challenges and get the job done. It’s not always easy. No matter how hard you prepare, you can’t predict everything. Fortunately, with the backing of my department and the company as a whole, I’m able to keep saying “yes” each time a customer needs a solution.