Success in Yard Ramp Industrials

It’s All in the Details

YRG: Quality in the Details
The Yard Ramp Guy: Big Wheels Keep on Turning

You should hear the thoroughness of Michael Myers, The Yard Ramp Guy’s sales consultant, on the phone. (Really: you should. Give him a call at 888.977.4224.)

We like Mike’s thoroughness for two main reasons:

1. It’s necessary.

2. It’s necessary.

Why do we place the highest emphasis on this? It could be the difference between success and delay. Or worse.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. As we’ve said before, you might see a yard ramp near you, but if that ramp doesn’t meet your specifications it has no value.

Remember that there are only two reasons to own or rent a ramp: Greater Efficiency and Greater Safety, both serving as bookends in the process. All of which informs Mike’s detailed questioning during his discovery of your needs.

Says Mike, “The key is knowing exact requirements and developing a solution.”

That same attention to detail motivates our sales coordinator, Jim Kunze, when he handles, among many other things, our innovative turnkey delivery and installation services.

About half of our customers request turnkey service. If you need that yard ramp offloaded from a flatbed, installed, or your stationary dock ramp secured to your bay door, Jim is keenly interested in dimensions and obstacles.

Jim’s goals are proactive—avoiding needless delays, contracting the right qualified installer with the right equipment. You’ll hear him ask about any tight or sharp turns in the pavement or gravel from road to your facility. You’ll hear him ask about low-hanging power lines. You’ll hear him ask about any dips or potholes. You’ll hear him ask if the drive is made of asphalt or gravel or dirt.

All of the questions The Yard Ramp Guy team asks are designed to help streamline the process of ordering and receiving a yard ramp. We want that to function as smoothly as your use of the yard ramp itself.

We take these phrases literally:

  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • A stitch in time saves nine.
  • We thank you for the opportunity to earn your business.

 

Our man McCoy Fields continues his From the Archives series of old favorites. This week: The surprising Google results for "ramps."

Check it out HERE.

Ramping Up Our Wheelhouse

The Yard Ramp Guy Goes Above and Beyond…Again

The Yard Ramp Guy Chain
Keeping a Proud Wheelhouse

We’ve written before about a particular situation: fielding a request, knowing our inventory doesn’t match requirements, and helping anyway. What is it about our willingness to help companies when we know it won’t result in an invoice?

In our eyes, there’s a difference between an invoice and a transaction. Yes, “transaction” can mean buying or selling. We prefer the alternate meaning: The action of conducting business; an exchange or interaction between people.

The easiest thing to do—in business, in meetings, in life—is nothing. The Yard Ramp Guy team most definitely doesn’t like doing nothing.

So, here’s something: A few weeks ago, we took a call from someone at a company whose wheel on a yard ramp had cracked in two. She was looking for a replacement. In an otherwise relatively simple scenario, the wheel had splintered from an off-brand of yard ramp that we don’t usually encounter. And yet, we’re in the industrial neighborhood (“the wheelhouse,” as it were), and we promised to try.

She sent us photos and a brief description, which we forwarded to our contact at Bluff Manufacturing—trusted, trustworthy, well-versed in such parts. Our Bluff connection responded an hour later: Looks like a 12x3 resin wheel with a 1” roller bearing; suggest replacement with a polyurethane tread with a cast iron core roller bearing; get away from the plastic resin wheel. See caster guy info below. Let me know if this helps.

There’s a great benefit in having deep, professional relationships of mutual trust. As in: Bluff wouldn’t issue an invoice for this, either, though it did engage in the transaction.

We forwarded the information, recommending she replace both wheels for that ramp unit, and simply requested that she keep us in mind down the road for any yard ramp rental or purchase situation. She wrote back:

Jeff, 
I guess your name says it all...you are in fact the MANN!! Thank you for all of your assistance and I will gladly give the contact a call and see what we can work out. I have truly enjoyed speaking to you. Thank you again for all of your assistance.

We reached out to her a couple days ago to see if and how things have progressed. They’re in the process of ordering, finalizing the shipping part. The seller—that contact Bluff forwarded to us—had already walked the warehouse manager through the fairly simple installation procedure.

Why did she contact us? “It just so happened that in my Google search, The Yard Ramp Guy popped up,” she said. “Jeff answered the phone, and he was very polite. The Yard Ramp Guy did everything, if not more, within their means to help me get a new wheel.”

To summarize: a woman called us about an off-brand broken wheel. We reached out to Bluff. Bluff sent us probable specs and a contact who sells those wheels. And even before the transaction, that contact had already walked the manager through self-installation.

All of which we find remarkable and refreshing.

This week, our man McCoy Fields implores us not to behave like lemmings because, well, not even lemmings behave like lemmings.

Check out his terrific insight HERE.

Seeking Benevolent Butterfly Effects

Small Changes Turn into Bigger Things

Flying...Though not Winging It

In 1972, MIT meteorology professor Edward Lorenz asked, “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” His intention was to show that sometimes complex systems (think of weather patterns) can behave unpredictably, with small changes sometimes resulting in many different outcomes.

Lorenz’s question sparked “chaos theory” in the mathematics world. (More recently, in the Avengers movie world, Dr. Strange spun some chaos theory: after a wild mental reconnaissance mission, he told Iron Man that he’d just looked at 14,000,605 futures and only one of them looked good for the future of humanity.)

The butterfly effect stretches its wings to include our industrial world. For example, in 2011 Japan experienced a 9.1-magnitude earthquake, followed 30 minutes later by a tsunami. Three days later, that tsunami caused a nuclear core meltdown at reactors in the city of Fukushima. Alongside the tragic loss of life, business, and shelter, Japan—and a good portion of the world—experienced a disruption in the supply chain.

Here’s how Kimberly Amadeo, writing in The Balance, describes the effect:

“If a disaster is bad enough, it can slow global growth. In 2011, Japan's earthquake and resultant tsunami damaged enough ports and airports to halt 20% of the world's supply of semiconductor equipment and materials. The wings, landing gears, and other major airline parts are also made in Japan, so the quake disrupted the production of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. U.S. gross domestic product slowed in 2011 as 22 Japanese auto part plants suspended production.”

(Oddly enough, the nuclear disaster also created a mutation of butterflies.)

Though these are extreme scenarios, it’s not all doom and gloom. Throughout our years in business, we’ve been fortunate to establish, nurture, and strengthen a number of professional relationships—with customers, manufacturers, and vendors alike—that prove the benevolent side of the butterfly effect.

We’ve seen it time and again: one phone call, one transaction, or one handshake can set a positive trajectory in motion.

New steel tariffs sent alarm bells throughout the industry a year ago. We didn’t panic. We networked. Through those conversations, we’ve been able to keep prices competitive and—more often than not—leading.

Like the yard ramp inventory we rent and sell, one foundation of our business model is to work, efficiently and honestly, in the background for our customer base, often with great focus on the small things. The Yard Ramp Guy team emphasizes attention to detail, whether it’s Mike confirming and reconfirming your loading dock dimensions or Jim asking how wide that turn is from the road to your warehouse.

As George Eliot wrote, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

This week, our man McCoy Fields experiences things following him around. It's not paranoia. It's the frequency illusion. And it's fascinating.

Check out his terrific blog HERE.

Yard Ramps: Above & Beyond 2019

The Luck of the Irish

Yard Ramp Guy: Connecting

We often write about The Yard Ramp Guy’s approach to our customers. How we conduct ourselves is, in our view, the single-most important component of our business plan.

A transaction is simply a transaction. A connection based on trust: that’s a connection.

Throughout the website you’ll see phrases like “The customer is king” and “Thank you for the opportunity to earn your business.” These are not clichés in our offices. Rather, they inform and drive our central value proposition.

Our manufacturers build ramps. The Yard Ramp Guy builds relationships.

On the site, we’ve devoted a page to our Custom Solutions Gallery. The very first one we posted involved a potential customer needing to get a customized golf cart, shaped like a football helmet, from Texas to Seattle. She’d require a yard ramp for only a couple of hours. We knew right away that a rental from us wouldn’t be cost effective for her.

Instead of simply saying no, we brainstormed up a solution—which she ended up using—of do-it-yourself materials that cost her mere hundreds, as opposed to thousands, of dollars, none of which went to our coffers. (Read about it HERE and HERE.)

And so, when a Dublin-based eCom fulfillment center reached us through our Contact Form, we knew there was another opportunity.

To be clear: That’s Dublin, Ireland, where all the potatoes come from, not Dublin, California, where Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost grew up.

The ramp specs were completely within our capabilities. It was the international cost of freight for the distance—3,100 miles at minimum—that became the prohibitive factor. Oh, and it was a rental, which might well have meant return freight.

We wrote her:

“We greatly appreciate your contacting us for your dock ramp need. Unfortunately, we only serve the Continental United States. As expensive as it is to transport a ramp here, I can only imagine what it might cost to float one across the pond.

“I did a little Internet surfing and found an Ireland-based company, linked below. Perhaps they can help you or recommend another company that can be of service.”

She responded:

“Thanks for your message. I’ll contact them! Thanks again.”

(We don’t want to read between the lines, though we like the exclamation mark. And her thanking us twice in the same message. And that she replied.)

As Stephen R. Covey wrote, “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”

This week, our man McCoy Fields explores concrete and brilliantly turns an otherwise unimpressive topic into a fascinating thing.

Check out McCoy's great blog HERE.

Yard Ramp Guy Placement

Location is Everything

Yard Ramp Guy: Location
Yard Ramp Guy: Location

Bob Hope said, “I’ve always been in the right place and time. Of course, I steered myself there.”

Yard ramp rental and sales very much follow that right place-right time insight. As part of our process, The Yard Ramp Guy team always asks about the location of your yard ramp. Not just the city; we want (and need) to discover the configuration of your roadway entrance, your bay door, how the delivery vehicles access your property.

You may see a yard ramp near you, but if that ramp doesn’t meet your requirements it has no value. We work diligently to find the best ramps for your application. Yes, location is everything. (And capacity. And width. And length. And price.)

It comes as no surprise that a transaction may well hinge on your team’s ability to utilize our inventory in the right way.

Which brings us to the presentation of our inventory. What does surprise us a bit is that some 30% of visitors to our site view our pages from their smartphones. Although industrials generally involve large square-footage space, including office spaces (which typically involves desktop computers), the relatively new technology of the handheld phone as a tool for business has held steady these past few years.

Location & Presentation
Location & Presentation

And so, we accommodate that substantial number of visitors in our presentation for smartphones. The new adjustment we’ve made is fairly simple, yet key. What’s the big news? We move a column.

Viewers of our used and rental inventory on their phones now see, from left to right: a photo, the clickable VIEW link, the City, and the State. Simply swiping to the left with a finger will show additional fields (i.e., Capacity, Width, Length), until we reach the rightmost column—the ramp ID. That’s the one we moved a handful of columns to the right.

Why? Location. While The Yard Ramp Guy team uses and relies on the ID all the time, we understand that those numbers may not mean much to new visitors. Right away—and literally without moving a finger—you’ll now see the ramp photo and its current city and state.

Location is a major factor; it’s more likely you’ll rent or purchase a yard ramp that’s currently in California if you’re also in California than if you’re in Florida. Why not have that information prominently available?

Small moves in sometimes tight spaces: the idea applies to our quality yard ramp inventory as readily as how we present them on our site.

This week, our man McCoy Fields spotlights Marsh and Cope, two dinosaur fossil hunters who started The Bone Wars and nearly ruined U.S. paleontology.

Check out McCoy's great blog HERE.