Monthly Archives: December 2017

Resolutions: 10 Tips For Reaching Your Goals In 2019

10 Tips For Reaching Your Goals In 2019

The new year is nearly upon us, as such, it’s the time of year for reflection and new resolutions. Goals are easy to make and even easier to break. Having said that, we’ve assembled a list of worthy resolutions and tips for reaching your goals in 2019.

When considering the goals/resolutions you would like to set, think of what you would have and where you’d like to be in the future. Pick goals that bring you closer to this picture. It’s easier to stick to goals when you have an image of where they can ultimately bring you. Once you’ve decided on what goals to set, we’ve assembled a list of tips to keep in mind which may help you reach them.

  1. Think About Adding vs. Eliminating 

    While eliminating negative habits and activities are worthy of consideration, don’t forget about adding positive habits and activities. Think about what you’d like to add to your personal life or professional pursuits and take steps toward achieving these goals.

  2. Start Small 

    A major pitfall with resolutions is setting your sights too high. Think about setting large goals and smaller goals within the broader picture. Go into the new year with the notion that each prodigious goal may not be met but that the smaller markers will ensure that, if the big milestones have not been met, your goals remain closer to reaching fruition.

  3. Focus on Accomplishment vs. Failure

    Focus on what you’ve accomplished versus the goals you’ve failed to reach. A sense of accomplishment is motivating and will inspire you to reach more of your goals. Celebrate your accomplishments and use that momentum to energize yourself for the next goal.

  4. Talk About It 

    Talk about your goals. No one wants to look like a failure and, as such, discussing the projects you are working on will elicit questions and keep you on track to completion.

  5. The Fluid Approach

    Goals tend to be rigid in nature. However, it may prove more attainable to enact a fluid approach. For example, instead of vowing to cook every night, try cooking one more night a week than typical. This will help you form the habit which will make it easier to then reach the larger goal. 

  6. Think Broad

    Elaborating on the prior point, consider broad goals versus specific as a tactic to achieving goals. For example, aspiring to travel somewhere new is broader and may be more attainable than to set a goal for a lavish, beach vacation. Furthermore, a broader goal will help you be more creative in reaching it. 

  7. Create Habits

    Consider adding a positive habit to your list of resolutions for the new year. Research suggests it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Think about some positive new habits you can form for your professional/personal aims; you could realistically incorporate your new habit(s) by February. 

  8. Track Progress

    Track your progress. Keeping documentation of how far you’ve come will encourage and stimulate you to not give up. It’s easy to forget the progress you’ve made when there aren’t signs of your progress, avoid this pitfall by tracking your development and checking it regularly.

  9. Employ The Buddy System

    Even if your goal isn’t fitness-related, employing the buddy system is a surefire way to keep you both motivated to completing tasks and staying on track for success. Even if each of the buddies has a different goal, the regular reminder will keep you accountable and up the odds of success. 

  10. Don’t Give Up 

    The biggest step is to not give up. Try some simple steps to keep yourself motivated so as to not lose steam. Don’t sweat the small stuff and celebrate your accomplishments.

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We’ve assembled a list of worthy goals to help you brainstorm for your resolutions for the new year. Some admiral professional/personal goals:

*Develop your role

*Add to your work toolbox

*Learn a new skill

*Make a habit of saying thank you

*Practice patience

*Find a mentor/be a mentor

*Learn something new

*Create positive habits

*Exercise more (of course)

*Get more sleep

*Volunteer more

*Practice gratitude

*Spend more time outside (garden, bike, hike, fish, etc.)

*Quit smoking/other vices

*Be more social

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Attachments This Winter

Attachments, for skid steer loaders, backhoe loaders, wheel loaders and more, are a popular and effective feature of many construction and rental fleets. With winter upon us, we’ve decided to assemble a list of helpful information and tips to keep in mind while choosing the correct attachment for your next project and maintaining your existing attachments effectively.

Attachments can help with winter-related tasks and safety precautionary procedures such as: spreading salt mixtures, breaking ice, snowplowing, piling snow and much more. There are several attachments that can be used for ice and snow management.

First off, it may be beneficial to note the more common winter-related attachments. Below, find the common cold weather attachments and their frequent functions.

  • Spreader– The spreader attachment is ideal for spreading salt or anti-ice elements to roads and parking lots. A spreader is also an excellent option for clearing snow and ice.
  • V-blade– The V-blade attachment was created specifically for plowing and pushing deep snowfall. V-blades are versatile attachments and feature five blade configurations.
  • Snow bucket– The snow bucket is ideal for handling and moving great quantities of snow.
  • Scraper– The scraper is a self-sharpening attachment which is ideal for scraping snow, ice and more by getting under the elements and scraping with ease.
  • Snow pusher– Snow pushers feature a free-floating blade which is ideal for removing snow and ice on uneven surfaces without harming the surfaces/surroundings.
  • Snow blade– A slow blade is an attachment specifically for removing light and moderate snowfall. It’s a great option for removing snow from roads, parking lots and more.
  • Snowblower– The snowblower attachment, self-explanatorily, can blow and throw heavy snowfall with ease. The malleable chute allows the operator to direct snow in the prefered direction.
  • Angle broom– An angle broom is used for sweeping sidewalks, parking lots and more. It’s optimal for sweeping light snowfall, dust and more.

These attachments are beneficial for more than snow/ice removal and winter-related projects. In fact, many of these attachments can be used year-round. Other uses in which some attachments are ideal include: weed/overgrowth removal, trench construction and more. We’ve assembled a list of tips to consider to get the most out of your attachments.

Consider Obstacles

While operating machinery and utilizing attachments, obstacles which may impede the project or could create damage should be considered. The surrounding area should be taken into account as rocks and debris can be hidden under snow and ice and can be thrown. Consider pushing or loading snow in a bucket, when near buildings and vehicles, before blowing or sweeping snow.

Take Advantage Of Your Options

When snow and ice recede, attachments can be used for other uses. Take advantage of your options and consider using your attachments for other activities. Snow pushers can also push tall greenery, snow blowers can spread mulch, spreaders can distribute fertilizer and more. To make the most out of your attachments, consider all possible uses and determine the ways you can utilize your attachments without damaging the equipment or surroundings.

Remember Preventative Maintenance

Remember to remove ice from joints and any chains on your attachments. Furthermore, make sure to consider the recommended maintenance requirements for your parts/machinery to prevent damage and to fend off wear and tear. We have covered the important factors to consider when winterizing equipment in a prior article published on our website.

Other Factors To Consider

Consider all the factors of your project before proceeding with operation. Some attachments are better for open areas versus areas which require significant maneuvering and vice versa. Take each factor into consideration to make the best decision for your project/task.

You can improve the adaptability of your machine by choosing the correct attachment. Having significant knowledge and understanding of your project, and the equipment in use, are the most important components in order to get the most out of your attachments this winter, and year-round.

The New Load Sensory Requirements: What You Need To Know

There will soon be drastic changes enacted to the current regulation of certified boom and scissor type platform machines, also known as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A92 standards.

One of the most significant changes to prior ANSI standards is the requirement of load sensing on aerial equipment. The prior standard required the machine operator to ensure that the machine was not loaded beyond capacity, as communicated by the manufacturer. The new standard requires manufacturers to incorporate load sensing technology on each machine which restricts overloading by disabling elevating functions when overloaded. The load sensing device will sound an alarm when overloaded, i.e. loads that are not within the rated capacity of the platform, and disable some functions of the machine to prevent unsafe use.

An important factor to note: the updated requirements apply to new machines only and it isn’t required to update machines built prior to the enactment of these requirements

The common ways to overload boom and/or scissor platforms include: adding too much weight to the platform prior to lifting and adding too much weight to the platform after loading.

The important changes to scissor lift regulations are:

  • Load sensory enactment via angle sensors
  • Load sensory enactment via pressure transducers and/or
  • Load sensory enactment via load sensing pins

The important change to boom lift regulations is:

  • Load sensory enactment via load cells

Regardless of the load sensory technology implemented, machines operators will be notified of overloading through both audible and visual alarm systems. In order to proceed with use, operators will be required to exit the machine and remove the extra weight from the platform until the alert systems have ceased.

Manufacturers, rental fleet companies and contractors, alike, will need to be informed and educated on these changes and how to communicate operational adjustments to users and customers.

 

 

13 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

  1. Choose Clear, Calm and Concise Communication Practices

Make sure you’re using clear and direct wording with your customers. People play off the tone of the person they are speaking with so try to use calm language with frustrated/busy customers. The more direct your wording, the better. Busy customers will appreciate the brisk service. Also, monitor customer reactions to the language you use and adjust communication that elicits confusion. Clear, calm and direct communication skills leave positive impressions and, in turn, improve your overall business.

  1. Use “Positive Language”

Though it sounds hyperbolic, simple adjustments to how you word statements can make a big difference. It can be the difference between a customer choosing to do business with you as opposed to a competitor. For example, a customer needs service work on a piece of equipment but your shop schedule is full until next week.

  • An example of negative language in response to this conflict would be: “our schedule is full until next week, sorry.”
  • An example of positive language in response would be: “we have an availability first thing next week. I can schedule you in right now.”

Both responses convey the same message but the positive language used in the second response may elicit a more encouraged reaction from the customer.

  1. Try To Provide A Calming Presence For Your Customers

Patience is key. One of the best impressions you can make is remaining calm when everything seems to be falling apart. Providing calm, reliable support while resolving issues for your customers may be the best way to ensure they will return. Patient, calm service is not only important for external relations but will improve the work environment internally. Great customer service, i.e. patient, calm and effective resolution skills, is almost certainly more important than fast service when engaging with customers. A customer is more apt to return to the team that ensures they are taken care of and calmly engaged with rather than hurriedly served with less couth and consideration.

  1. Listen

Truly listening to each customer is crucial to providing optimal customer service. Reading the mood and tone of your customer is important to providing their preferred service. For example, a frustrated customer who is in the midst of an issue probably will not appreciate a lackadaisical joke while a relaxed, lighthearted customer may. Listening is also crucial to actually understanding the precise needs of each customer. If a customer feels as though you aren’t focusing on their needs and are, instead, trying to push a product/service or are absent minded then they may choose a competitor in the future.

  1. Expert Knowledge

Having superior expertise in your field is a fundamental and reliable route to establishing rapport; not only with your customer base but within the industry as a whole. Of course there is a spectrum of expertise and not every employee will (or should) know everything about each product/service but the cornerstone of excellent customer service is knowledge of the product or service that you’re providing. You should know the ins and outs of the product, or how to service/support the product, as well or better than your customer. You probably don’t know everything there is to know about each product/service provided in your organization, which is understandable, but having niche expertise is a virtuous and valuable pursuit. Strive to learn new things about your industry and products: it pays off.

  1. Improve Time Management

Effective time management is essential for great customer service. While the customer should not feel as though you are rushing to serve their needs, it’s important that they understand that you are striving for efficiency and not wasting their time. It’s a careful balancing act but an important skill to master.

  1. Roll With The Punches

Almost every professional will have a day where the unexpected occurs. You can’t predict every scenario nor should that be expected of you. However, it’s important to understand that there will be days that present you with challenging and unexpected difficulties. A sign of top-quality customer service is the ability to roll with the punches. You don’t know what might come your way but you can mentally prepare yourself for these situations. It may sound contradictory, but have a game plan for the unexpected. Know who and what your resources are. Think about how you will approach difficult situations and have a contingency plan (i.e. maybe your supervisor knows that if the situation is imperative you will call him/her and email less time-sensitive issues, that way they will know phone calls are important and will be more likely to consistently answer). Other skills mentioned, like patience and a calm attitude, complement and are necessary for this skill, as well.

  1. Improve Persuasiveness

Persuasiveness goes hand-in-hand with other skills such as listening, identifying customer needs and knowledge of your products/services. Chances are, you know your products/services better than your customer. Therefore, when a customer presents you with their issue or need you most likely know the best way to proceed even though the customer may have preconceived expectations. The ability to persuade your customer of their best interests, without deterring or discouraging the customer, is a valuable and rare skill. Many customer service inquiries will be more curious in nature as opposed to problem-resolution based. In these cases, persuasiveness particularly comes in handy. The ability to identify the interested party’s needs and convince them that your product or service can help them is an important aspect of the customer service realm. Pay careful attention to what works and what doesn’t in order to develop and nurture this skill.

  1. Develop Tenacious Work Ethic

Putting in extra effort is something that your customers will remember. Exhibiting an above-and-beyond attitude is something that resonates with people; customers and coworkers alike. Great work ethic and a willingness to complete tasks and go beyond the expected is a sure-fire way to stand out. Beyond simply standing out and leaving a great impression, extra effort isn’t exactly commonplace and will likely both result in repeated business and overall improved company morale.

  1. Focus On Value-Added Services

Valued-added is defined as the enhancement a company gives its product or service before offering the product to customers. Value-added applies to instances where a firm takes a product that may be considered a homogeneous product, with few differences (if any) from that of a competitor, and provides potential customers with a feature or add-on that gives it a greater sense of value, according to Investopedia. Value-added services are a great way to improve customer experience thus enhancing customer service. Value-added services may include streamlining a process for the customer, eliminating a task for the customer, bundling additional services or providing a technology or data service which contrasts and improves upon that of offerings provided by competitors.

  1. Appropriately Stock Inventory

Accurately forecasting inventory needs may appear as a behind-the-scenes business issue, which it is, but it can drastically affect customer service as well. Having too much or too little of a product can not only be wasteful but can also affect the impression you have on a customer. For example, if a patron visits a store and the store consecutively does not have enough of a product the patron intends to purchase, they may go to a competing store in the future. However, having too much of a product can result in waste and negatively affect a company’s bottom line. Stocking your inventory is not only an important aspect of your overall business model but an important aspect of customer service, as well.

  1. Use Cutting-Edge, Updated Technology

Staying apprised and up-to-date with technological trends is not only beneficial for efficiency but improves customer experience. If a competitor offers technological advancements unavailable at your business, some customers may opt for the more technologically advanced company due to simplified processes, convenience, etc. While technology enacted by a company may not be a choice of which each employee has significant control, it is something each employee should take note of and, when possible, point out possible improvements that can be made. When you can improve your digital footprint and the technology you use, do so.

  1. Continually Improve

There is not a perfect recipe for ideal customer service. Rather, it is the combination of emotional intelligence and an instinct for identifying the needs of your customer and appropriately fulfilling them. You should never settle for just okay and even if you are one with superior customer service skills, always strive for better. Some benefits of a continual-improvement culture include: increased productivity, improved quality, lowered costs, decreased delivery times, improved employee morale, reduced turnover rate and more. Searching and identifying ways to improve should be viewed as a critical priority within your organization.