If the title got your attention, you’re probably not a millennial. But for the sake of all our readers, let me define Columbo first. He was a cigar smoking, disheveled TV detective from the ‘70s wearing a rumpled trench coat, driving an old 1959 Peugeot 403 convertible accompanied by his Basset Hound, and always asking questions like, “There are a couple of loose ends I’d like to tie up. Nothing important, you understand.”
Now to sum up The Red Green Show in one sentence: “ If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.” This ‘90s sitcom of sorts is where a self-proclaimed handyman devised contraptions to solve problems, often involving duct tape and old cars.
Identify the problem, gather the evidence
While, in my job at Abel Womack, I have to be a little like both these characters. I start by asking questions, getting to the nitty gritty where the details matter. Sometimes what I hear from customers doesn’t always make sense. I’ll scratch my head, look at them inquisitively and wonder where the disconnect is. Like Columbo, I must get to the truth of the matter before moving on. I’m not solving a crime here, but understanding the situation is the first step to finding the right solution.
Once the problem is clearly identified and understood, that’s where Red Green comes in to play. Using whatever is available, I can devise a solution to solve the challenge at hand.
In the material handling industry, a real game changer was The Raymond Corporation’s 1939 patented inventions of the double-faced wooden pallet and hydraulic hand pallet lift trucks (Patents No. 2178646 and No. 2178647) which solved the age-old ‘crime’ of handling goods and materials on the factory floors. As floor space became more valuable, Christian D. Gibson began working on the first narrow aisle truck in 1949. Another crime solved and solution found by combining the steel fabrication expertise of the Lyon Iron Works with electric drive motors and hydraulics of the Raymond Corp. to produce the first straddle truck.
Fast forward to today. The Raymond Corp. is now a part of the largest material handling equipment manufacturer in the world – Toyota Industries Corporation. And, innovations over the past few years continue to escalate. With Toyota’s 2017 acquisition of Bastion Solutions and Raymond on the cusp of introducing several automated turret trucks, guys like me have more ‘duct tape and old cars’ available to devise solid solutions and help your company keep pace with your business growth.
As Colombo would say, “Just one more thing.” Check us out, there’s much more to us than meets the eye.