A Little Help From My Friends
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
by Brian Lish
Recently I was invited to a meeting at a BASF manufacturing plants in Sparks, GA. Sparks is a small town that for years has relied on the plant for employment and tax revenues and while I was there many local leaders came to help with a ribbon cutting on a $14 million expansion at Sparks. They were excited about the continued investment and more than once, as various local dignitaries spoke to the crowd, thanked BASF for its commitment and friendship to the people of Sparks and Cook County, GA.
After they ribbon cutting, other BASF team members from Research Triangle Park, NC, and I were taken on a tour of the facilities. The tour was both eye opening and inspirational. Many of the key products we sell from the BASF Turf & Ornamental group are manufactured in Sparks. These include Honor® Intrinsic and Insignia® SC Intrinsic brand fungicides that provide both disease control and plant health benefits to golf course superintendents. In addition, the team at Sparks will be producing two new products you will be hearing about soon, Pillar™ G fungicide and Siesta™ Fire Ant Bait. Sparks also manufactures key products for the crop protection and pest control solutions businesses at BASF.
This expansion means they are ready to take on even more new products. The workers with whom we met were proud of the work they do today and looking forward to using the market leading technology that’s been added in the expansion to create more great products for our customers. Seeing such pride in workmanship and genial attitudes about the work they do was infectious. So I made some new friends while I was there and many took the opportunity to share some ideas for improvement in processes, packaging and finished products. All with an eye for making things better.
The little suggestions they made were good and many are easy to execute. So I plan to return to Sparks very soon for another visit, and I will bring along some key members of my team so we can strengthen relationships and make more improvements.
Sparks and Research Triangle Park are not that far away, but it took an extended visit around this ribbon cutting ceremony to make this connection. That got me thinking… Who else I can get closer to in my business to improve my performance? So I’m hard at work on that these days.
But what about you, as a turf professional, who can help you with your business?
Perhaps it’s that quiet person on the team or that contact in your network whose call or email you haven’t had time to return. Maybe a nearby supplier or business associate whose opinion you respect. As you think about these friends and contacts think about asking them for their thoughts on a challenge you have, or challenging them to make an improvement to the business.
You can always get better and usually your success becomes mutual success when it involves team members and business associates.
We can all get by with a little help from our friends.