I know it, and you know it, but every once in awhile, we’re reminded, again . . . and sometimes in a very big way. Trust me. At SencorpWhite, we just experienced one of those –how should I phrase it? –“learning experiences.”
As I mentioned last week, we were planning to introduce the EffiMat VLM at ProMat this past Monday. A co-branded, joint offering between SencorpWhite and EffiMat Storage Technology, the EffiMat we were using for our booth had shipped from Denmark (where it’s manufactured) earlier this month.
As far as we could tell, the stage was perfectly set. The EffiMat was on its way. ProMat, the premier material handling, logistics and supply chain event in the Americas, was expecting thousands of attendees from more than 100 countries. It’s hard to imagine a more optimal setting to launch the EffiMat, one of our newest, most innovative storage solutions.
There was just one problem.
When our installers arrived at the show last Friday, they discovered the EffiMat had not been delivered!
You see, the EffiMat that was due to arrive at McCormick Place two days before was sitting in a container in the Chicago rail yard because it had not yet cleared customs.
While the shipping company could receive the container until 10:00 pm that evening, customs only worked until 5:00 pm –and they weren’t coming back to work until Monday morning, which was the opening day of the show.
Obviously, our perfect plan was now toast . . . and understandably, we were crushed (to put it mildly).
Still, what choice did we have? “The show must go on,” as they say, and so Monday morning, we opened ProMat without the machine. Customers came by our booth expecting to see the EffiMat in-action, but all we could offer was a video.
Stay with me, though. This is where the story gets good . . .
While the rest of us were busy in the booth, Matt Urban was able to convince the union dock workers to unload the EffiMat and deliver it ProMat at show close (5:00 pm).
Then, the EffiMat team from Denmark and our SencorpWhite service technician went to work.
Tommy Langhoff, Operations Director at EffiMat Storage Technology, Jørgen Flemming Ladefoged, Managing Director at EffiMat Storage Technology, and Mike Nelson, SencorpWhite Field Service Engineer, continued non-stop through the night.
They completely assembled the EffiMat (generally a two-day task) so it was up-and-running by 8:00 am on Tuesday, the second day of the show. It’s also worth noting that Tommy and Jørgen are “from the front office” –they’re not technicians –which makes this accomplishment even more remarkable, and . . .
Talk about turning lemons into lemonade! Customers started coming in at 10:00 am, and they couldn’t believe that overnight we went from an empty booth to having an operational EffiMat on site the next morning. Not only did we demonstrate the ease of installing our equipment, we also showed something else equally as valuable: our resolve.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, no one is able to prevent the unexpected. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t shift the playing field and find a different way to achieve your goal.
Folks that came by our booth seemed genuinely struck with our perseverance. For me, there was only one way to respond. “If you think that’s impressive, wait until you see what we do for our customers,” I said.