Advanced Warehousing Plans

Optimizing Your Operations and Your Ledger

As we approach the halfway point of 2021 (yep: July 2nd, for those calendaring on at home), it's never too soon to think about the end of the year.

COVID-19 restrictions are easing in the United Staes. The economy looks to be revving up. The supply-and-demand pendulum has swung back in favor of the demand side, which is causing all sorts of logistical challenges across multiple industries.

(Here's one example: there's a shortage of peach flavoring. To the chagrin of Starbucks peach green-tea lemonade lovers (especially in Georgia, the Peach State.)

Given this past year and a half of unpredictability, we'll be the last ones to predict what the next six months will bring.

Except for this: we know ⏤ and with fairly good certainty ⏤ that the Section 179 tax break remains an excellent way to save money for your company's bottom line.

As Uncle Sam describes it:

“Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income.”

For the year, that means a deduction of up to $1,050,000. That's not peanuts. And we like peanuts.

Among a few other terms, this means putting your equipment into service by December 31, 2021 in order to qualify for the deduction.

And there's the rub. The supply-and-demand imbalance is disrupting the ability to get essential and desired things to the end user in a typical, pre-pandemic manner. That's why we're encouraging you to plan ahead for the rest of your year's needs with some extra buffer room.

We've detailed the steel surcharge that's affecting us our customer base. Essentially: our factories are passing through to us a "steel surcharge" on new yard ramps. We, in turn, will pass through this charge to our customers without markup.

The good news is that both Section 179 and ⏤ should you need or want it ⏤ our partners' financing services are agnostic about the total price. Which means that with or without a steel surcharge, you stand to take a full deduction off your purchase price for qualifying equipment.

It's a great deal. In our eyes: totally worth it.

This week, our man McCoy Fields leaves his man cave to explore...other caves.

Click HERE to see if he went all batty.

Industrial Juggling

Or: Jim's 25 Calls Before Noon

Yard Ramp Guy: Happy to Juggle

Business is strong. That surprises us, and in all the best ways.

It's not like we've been sitting on our hands these past 14 months as we witnessed and experienced the trajectories of the pandemic.

Still, it does seem that we've turned a corner on COVID-19. The vaccination rate rises. Restaurants are opening back up. People are flying again.

And we're busy. Here's an example:

This morning, Jim Kunze fielded and placed more than 25 phone calls before noon.

Jim's our Sales Coordinator. Jim's what happens after the sale or rental of your yard ramp, handling both the big picture and granular details of getting your ramp delivered, off-loaded, positioned. It's often complex work; he makes it look easy. Jim's quality, and he's assurance, and he's quality assurance.

So, those 25 phone calls. Today it happens that we're delivering yard ramps in seven states. Florida. Georgia. Illinois. Louisiana. Missouri. Texas. Each has its particular set of delivery situations. Any number of things can go wrong—a stalled truck, inclement weather, and so on.

For one of those deliveries, the customer is leaving town, needs to make his flight. And so the ramp has to be there, and the wrecker service needs to arrive at the same time. And everything needs to be finished by 2pm.

Jim describes all of this humbly, without a hint of complaint. Seems that he welcomes the challenge of juggling so many ramps simultaneously.

Manufacturers across a number of industries have issues with keeping up. Steel is in short supply. It's tough to get lumber these days.

And our business is strong. It's a curious situation. Like Jim, we proudly welcome the challenge.

This week, our man McCoy Fields takes us on a truly nutty journey.

Click HERE to see how he cracked the mystery.

The Steel Surge

Braced for the Impact of Market Volatility

Steel Prices Go Up...and Down?

Due to recent volatility in the steel industry, our factories are passing through to us a "steel surcharge" on new yard ramps. We, in turn, will pass through this charge to our customers without markup.

The "sudden" rise in steel pricing has happened for a number of reasons, including the ongoing international tariff battles, along with China's 55% of the steel manufacturing market and its post-pandemic decision to reduce exports.

Yes, we're in a supply-and-demand adjustment period.

(And not just steel. Try buying a gaming computer right now.)

As S&P Global reports, "What we are witnessing is the continuation of a demand-driven trend that began exactly a year ago, when China saw a fast rebound in economic activity following its rapid exit from lockdown, which was immediately matched by a sudden spike in steel prices."

As with prior spikes in steel pricing, we think⏤and hope⏤ this is a temporary condition. Economists are predicting steel demand to significantly outpace supply through the end of 2021.

Fortunately for our customers, The Yard Ramp Guy's status as the #1 dealer for each of the three factories we represent means the factor used to calculate our steel surcharge is considerably more favorable than that of our competitors.

We will continue to sell yard ramps at pricing lower than our competitors and lower than our factories will sell directly to end users.

Thank you for your understanding as we all navigate these continued strange times.

This week, our man McCoy Fields jumps into the ocean and discovers a shark feeding frenzy...on fiber optic cables.

Click HERE to see how McCoy survived, and if he needs a bigger boat.

Angling Our Yard Ramp Strategy

Memo from Mann: Making Business Decisions

To Keep It Turning

In my view, you really can't top Yogi Berra's comment: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Given that, let me humbly add a bit of perspective.

There are forks in the road throughout life and the life of a company. Pick the path to the left, you get a certain result. Pick the path to the right, you get a very different outcome.

I believe the criteria for determining if you’ve reached a true “fork” is whether the outcomes are so profoundly different that your very life, or the lifeline of your company, will be altered based on this single choice.

Though we're physically located in the Chicago metropolitan area, The Yard Ramp Guy's reach is national. By synthesizing lessons learned in my professional career, this company has been able to create and maintain business relationships and also place ramps across the country in a robust way. We now have a footprint in 49 of the 50 states (here's looking at you, Vermont).

In the digital age, this website serves as our business card, catalogue, and center of our marketing platform. The site itself has had two main iterations, beginning with the original platform when I founded the company in 2011. When I decided to replatform from the original site in 2015, I held extensive consultations and nearly contracted with a large development and marketing company. One moment, however, gave me pause. The company told me that their contact form module could not accommodate more than 10 elements. Our Contact Form required 15 elements.

This five-element differential proved crucial, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, our receiving those 15 elements helps my team clarify the request of our potential buyers and renters prior to our first phone call; we respect a company's time and certainly don't want to waste it.

Secondly, if that development company was unwilling to modify a contact form, we wondered about the possibility (or likelihood) of rigid, uncompromising responses to any and all of our future requests.

Enter the tag team from New Montage Creative and Linktas. In my eyes, they collaborated seamlessly on the site replatforming; they continue to partner effectively on maintenance and online marketing. Trust is essential. As with all the vendors I've chosen to work with, I trust them.

Computers should hum like refrigerators. The best of them layer on updates with minimal fuss. Our website has too many moving parts⏤dozens of pages, hundreds of blog entries, Storefront integrations, triangulated marketing initiatives⏤for me to have ever expected it'd hum like a refrigerator. And yet, it does.

What's the secret to this particular success? Communication: a combination of my digital needs and their recommendations, parsed and synthesized into a growing, effective engine that helps drive The Yard Ramp Guy's business.

Oh, and our Contact Form? It has the 15 elements I needed. Was not an issue for these guys.

Jeff Mann
Founder and President

This week, our man McCoy Fields looks out the window and sees a building in the street, moving with traffic.

Click HERE to decide whether McCoy needs to get off his rocker or he's already there.

State Ramp Coverage

To Boldly Go Where No Yard Ramp Has Gone Before

Ten and 49 sounds like a football referee gone haywire. ("Tenth down and 49 yards to go" doesn't work.)

In The Yard Ramp Guy world, 10 and 49 makes better sense:

  • We've been in business 10 years now.
  • We've sold yard ramps to companies in 49 states.

Shining a Light on Our Holdout State

We added the 49th state to our portfolio just this month to a business in Anchorage, Alaska. From Prudhoe Bay to Anchorage, and from Fairbanks to Homer, The Yard Ramp Guy remains ready, willing, and able to cover all your needs for quality forklift ramps in Alaska.

We are grateful to (almost) The Last Frontier⏤"almost" because one state in our union remains the lone holdout to taking on a sale or rental from us.

You might immediately think that Hawaii is our lone straggler. And, well, we'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong. Hawaii said aloha to us in 2018 when a restoration and reconstruction business bought a stationary loading dock, for which we coordinated shipment 2,500 miles across the Pacific.

So, which state?

Vermont. Which is a bit surprising. Because WE L❤️VERMONT.

Now, we're not knocking you, Vermont. We're encouraging you. And we'll shamelessly employ any number of tactics to have you join our Yard Ramp Guy union. Let's try peer pressure: everybody's doing it. And proximity: you're near enough to the I-95 corridor to make delivery cost effective. And efficiency: we're certain that either a portable forklift ramp or a stationary loading dock with help optimize your operations. And aesthetics: we're confident that your Green Mountain State will maintain her natural beauty with our inventory.

Throughout our website, we frequently mention that location matters: With yard ramps located throughout the United States, most of our inventory sits within 250 miles of 90% of the population, which results in considerably reduced freight costs.

With or without an even, 50-state coverage, as we work into our second decade in business, we're proud to help the nation's industries grow.

This week, our man McCoy Fields gives us...yeah, well...a riveting history of the screw.

Click HERE to take a turn with McCoy.