Jan 20, 2017

The Power of Planning

Make a New Year’s resolution to set aside time for planning.

Here we are again, at the beginning of another year. It’s time to make those resolutions and really stick to them this time. Right? This year I decided to start on one before the holidays even started — to get my family’s schedule impeccably organized. Between my busy career; my children’s school, daycare and extracurricular activities; and our social calendar, some days my head is spinning. I knew that before December arrived, a little extra planning would be necessary to keep me sane throughout the Christmas season. A shareable online calendar filled with every appointment, meeting, school activity, deadline and travel date was the answer for me. It even has goals and reminders to help with ongoing tasks and to-do list items. It took some getting used to making time every week just for planning, but the stress reduction is well worth it.

Taking time to plan ahead pays off in the long run, and that’s especially true with the designing and building of a feed or grain facility. Engineering, design and remodeling is one of the focuses of this issue, and our special report, “Design Trends Give Mills a Competitive Advantage,” delves into the importance of planning. The author points out several examples where planning and customizing a feed mill provides a greater return on investment. As Tim Lease, president, WL Port-Land Systems, said, “Now more people are willing to take a look at long-term operating expenses, rather than just immediate cost. They are more willing to add equipment that might cost more upfront, but will offer savings in the long term.”

Meanwhile, the cover story, “Family Values Ground Integrated Poultry Operation,” teaches a lesson about patience in planning. In 2000 Claxton Poultry Farms was planning to build a high-speed unit train receiving facility and feed mill nearly 40 miles away from its Claxton, GA, headquarters. But due to a variety of circumstances, only the receiving facility was completed that year. The second part of the plan remained on the back burner for nearly 15 years, but when conditions were right, the team seized the opportunity to build. When the new mill opened, the founder’s wife and grandsons (Brice Pound and Mikell Fries, pictured on the cover) were there to complete the plan that he, sadly, did not survive to see.

Whether your company is considering a site expansion, a new building project or an equipment upgrade, don’t forget to include time for thorough planning. Stumbling blocks may arise, but having a plan with clear expectations and intended outcomes makes these setbacks less challenging. I wish you the best of luck with the plans you have for 2017!

Elise Schafer

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