P.O. Box 1387 (30298) 121 Royal Dr. Forest Park, GA 30297
A LOOK BACK ON THE DREADED INVENTORY DAY TAKING STOCK
Needless to say, I don’t think any of us who were there miss those days one bit. We’ve maintained the same sense of camaraderie while making the actual work far more manageable. We no longer have thousands of nuts and bolts to keep track of — just large machinery that’s pretty darn easy to count. We shut down our external systems around lunchtime, and we’re done with the process by 4 p.m. Record keeping in the digital age has also improved substantially; we’ve even expanded the menu options when it comes to ordering food. The warehouse is still hot as all get-out. The technological advances of the past two decades haven’t found a cure for the Georgia sun, but we all get changed into our shorts and t-shirts and try our best to think of it as a sauna experience. While it may seem tedious in the moment, at least it’s far better than how it used to be, and I have an Italian dinner with my family to look forward to. I’m sure many of our readers go through a similar inventory process of their own. I sincerely hope yours lands on a far cooler part of the year than ours. Regardless, my advice to business owners is to keep it a team experience. Even amid the struggles all those years ago, it was powerful to see the whole company come together to accomplish a singular goal. It may not feel like magic in the moment, but within the tedium, lasting bonds and traditions can develop. -Eric Lunsford
Every August marks two important milestones: our yearly inventory day here at Pye-Barker and the birthday of my wife, Margaret. Somehow the two events end up landing on the same day more often than not, and we have to push the celebration by a day or two in favor of the joys of counting pumps and air compressors. As long as we make it out to her favorite little Italian restaurant at some point that week, my wife is willing to take one for the team. Thankfully, the inventory process is much easier than it used to be. I can still remember how dreaded those days were during my early years at the company. As Pye-Barker made the transition from mill supply to engineered equipment, we still had a wealth of little bits and pieces that had to be accounted for with only the help of what passed as “sophisticated software” in the late 80s and early 90s. Worst of all, the counting had to be done in our warehouse during the dog days of the Georgian summer. We couldn’t even begin the ordeal until the end of business hours on Friday. Then, the whole company, from new hires to senior management, would head into the warehouse and start counting thousands of nuts and bolts, bandsaw blades, and casters by hand. The one good thing I’ll say about this exercise in tedium is that it certainly built a sense of community. We’d order pizza and make an evening of it. We’d come back bright and early on Saturday morning and keep counting before the sun had a chance to turn that stockroom into an oven.
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