This week, I introduced new cast tipped extension poles to Miramichi Paint & Décor in Miramichi, New Brunswick. While in New Brunswick I visited Benjamin Moore Paint Stores, Castle Building Centre’s, Home Hardware Stores & Kent Building Supplies. I also visited BMR Lumber & Building Supply in Brookfield, Nova Scotia.
Miramichi Paint & Décor is a Benjamin Moore independent retailer. Benjamin Moore began in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York … The same year the Brooklyn Bridge was completed. The Canadian company was established in Toronto, Ontario in 1907. Benjamin Moore was elected president at the first shareholders meeting and Fred Moore, Benjamin’s half brother, became the first Canadian residing president in 1937. This laid the groundwork for what is now Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited. The operation flourished and warehouses were opened in Montreal, Halifax, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon and Vancouver. The Vancouver shipments from Toronto were sometimes shipped via the Panama Canal, an all water route of 8,500 miles.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bill Towndrow with BMR Hardware in Lunenburg Nova Scotia. I’m proud he offered us an end cap in his store and thankful for his generous words about Trail Blazer Products, posted in their blog on April 2nd (http://www.lunenburghardware.com/2012/04/02/trail-blazer-products)
This week started with two birthday celebrations plus Easter … Busy day!! My wife Dawna & I invited my Mom, Joan, & Dad, Curtis, to our home & celebrated both their birthdays and enjoyed Easter. Dawna prepared a tremendous turkey dinner while my daughter, Natalie, prepared a delicious birthday cake for her Mama & Papa. My mother’s birthday was that day, Sunday April 8th, and my dad’s was, Thursday April 12th. It is days like this when families feel the closest andI look very much to the next family celebration. April is a very busy birthday month in the Levangie family. As you read above my Mom’s is on April 8th and Dad’s is on April 12th. But that’s not enough because my brother, Patrick, was on April 19th, my boy, Travis, is on April 21st and Dawna’s is on April 29th. This April is extra special because Dawna is turning Sporty this year … I can’t say her age.
This week, I had a lot of fun on you-tube with Travis, my son. He provided the technical support needed. First I got the opprtunity to go down memory lane as I looked through many pictures to use on a video we made for you-tube. If you have a chance to look at the video, you will see some pretty old ones and proud ones from the start of the company. Then I started to listen to song after song to pick for the background music. I ended up going in the direction that shows the pride I have in Canadian manufacturing.
I will have to acquire Travis’s services and technical expertise again in the future. I would like to prepare some more videos. This time the videos can show some product demonstrations and operating instructions for Trail Blazer products. This would be fun and very handy for customers to learn more about the Nova Scotia made tools.
Back at the office, Monica is working Full Tilt!! Despite this, she’s still having delays in returning customers calls. It’s great that the demand for Trail Blazer products is keeping her busy, but our customers deserve immediate customer service. That’s why I met with Justin Caldwell and offered him a new position within our company. Having Justin working in the office will relieve time for Monica to improve customer service, Ben to focus on financial objectives and Robert to improve on-time delivery.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thank you and my excitement to Justin Caldwell for accepting the new position within our company. I strongly believe Justin will make many great contributions to the office staff and to the future growth of Trail Blazer Products Limited … despite being a Hab’s fan.
Talk about the office staff, we continued to address our financial performance to eliminate any unfavorable gaps. I reviewed the data that Ben presented last week, showing the negative effects that certain products have on our margins. Actions are being taken now to confirm his findings are correct. Then Robert will be asked to explore any and all possibilites available to reduce the cost of these items, while maintaining the quality. Looking at the costing fully must be done before implementing any price increases. Betty Millard, who runs our shipping & receiving department, has been so busy with shipping orders this season, she was unable to gather data showing the effects on how orders are boxed can affect our freight expenses. Betty has hired help in the shipping department, who will begin first thing Monday morning.
My focus on sales for April & May continued this week, I am pleased to say the sales projection for April has been reached, now it is in the production & shipping department hands. I have now received enough orders in house to cover 92% of May’s projections … If this keeps up, I might be raising that goal.
Looking back, April 16th, 2011
One Year Ago, I attended the Home Hardware Spring Market in St. Jacobs Ontario, where thousands of dealers were getting ready for the upcoming fall season. I flew to Chicago for a series of meetings with Sears Holding Corporation. Received news about my daughter, Natalie, report card … Straight A’s!!!
Today, I’ll be heading to the Home Hardware Spring Market in St. Jacobs Ontario, next week. We’re producing the Craftsman Bow saw for Sears Holding Corporation in the United States. I believe my daughters have received their report cards, but I have not seen them … Should I be worried!!!
All the Best, Shawn Levangie