Now that’s a Weedeater!


You have to love a serious machine like this.  Just look at it…hydraulic hoses, retention devices, plenty of steel and hidden blades that can do some real damage.  Although this is not a new contraption it still gets the job done.  It has the ability to get to the weeds that grow between the vines.  Of course it does require the operator to position it correctly but that is where ingenuity came in. 

This particular implement had been stashed in the back of the barn for years because it was just difficult to use and often resulted in the operator inadvertently taking out a vine or two (vine plight).  However, the vineyard manager knew if she converted the manually operated levers with a hydraulic controlled joy stick the tractor driver would have much more control.   Well she was right and the equipment is back in service for the spring trimming.

With the economy in the tank everyone is looking for ways to cut costs.  Often the best way to identify saving opportunities is to ask your team members.  I don’t mean sitting around the table and telling them times are tough so we need to cut costs.  Instead, you need to begin by providing your team with the understanding of how their job area impacts the business. 

For example, the farming operation’s largest cost is labor which equates to time.  The only way to reduce costs is to eliminate unnecessary time.  That doesn’t mean jeopardizing quality to save money.  It does mean looking at each task and having your workers identify what they could do differently to save time.  This will create a healthy two-way exchange needed to make improvements.  It is important to understand that just because you know how a task should be done doesn’t mean that it is being done that way. 

  • What is the cost to your winery due to poor pruning practices?
  • What is the cost to your winery when a customer experiences  a “corked” bottle?
  • What is the cost to your winery when wine is bottled as a shiner?
  • What is the cost to your winery when accounting produces reports that are rarely used?

The point is there are plenty places to look for cost saving ideas.  But it  is even more important to know how to get your team on board so they can develop a “keen eye” that will identify wasteful processes and then be able to communicate alternative solutions. 

Modernizingthe outdated piece of equipment was much cheaper than buying the newest wing ding that would give you the same result.  So don’t try to cut costs in a vacuum.  Reach out to your employees, they may just surprise you.

Until next time…impowered, thinking employees can turn your cash eaters into cash savers.

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