Anonymous Distributor

Husqvarna’s Orangeburg, S.C., manufacturing plant contains more than 1 million square feet of production and distribution space, producing consistently high-quality units and parts. This plant typically produces riding lawn tractors, tillers and snow throwers primarily for the North American market.

But when Husqvarna’s Beatrice, Neb., factory was closed and its production assimilated into the Orangeburg plant, along with introducing an ambitious number of new product launches, production problems (“an increase in material complexity,” Husqvarna stated) resulted in lower production, fewer shipments and higher costs. Even you and I can figure out that a result like that translates into unhappy retailers, distributors and dealers.

Knowing the quality of current Husqvarna leadership corporately and at their production facilities, their customers understood that it would just be a matter of time before changes in production processes would pay off with reduced labor costs and on-time delivery. And it has. There is finally “light at the end of the tunnel.”

While sales have been affected and customers upset, improvements and investments in processes and facilities will result in a stronger and brighter future for Husqvarna and its customers. And that’s good for all of its customers and our industry.


The Southern Baptists recently held their annual convention in Phoenix, Ariz., where they passed a resolution affirming the literal existence of “Hell.” I hope that knowledge doesn’t upset your day! Perhaps you still have time to “change your ways.” A lot of people in the OPE business are already thinking this particular business year has a head start on the journey there, if you catch my “drift.”


In Tim Harford’s new book Adapt, he argues that success always starts with failure. That is an interesting concept.

We all know about Johannes Gutenburg, his moveable-type printing press and Gutenburg Bibles. But did you know the Bible bankrupted him? Gutenburg was a genius, but not much of a businessman. He borrowed money to print the Bible, the most popular book of all time. He ran into debt. He got into an argument with his business partner. The lender sued. His printing presses were confiscated. Who was successful with Gutenburg’s revolutionary printing press? Other printers were, but not Gutenburg. The printing business was revolutionized by his printing press. Yet Gutenburg became a bankrupt businessman.

There was another business created by Frank Woolworth, a sort of retail Gutenburg. Woolworth had a retail innovation. His retail empire of Woolworth stores became one of the largest retailers in the world. By 1997, Woolworth’s was closing its last U.S. store. But his ideas became the basis for chains like Wal-Mart and other big-box stores. Innovation replaces old ideas with new ideas. The old way of doing things gets wiped out. And that’s how success builds on failure. It’s a selection strongly in favor of the ideas that are working. “You have to get rid of these old ideas and old firms and replace them with something better,” Harford says. “Otherwise, you don’t get economic growth.” Do you believe that the foundation of great success can begin with someone else’s failure?


The following service flow chart has been around for some time, but I always chuckle when I see it. You will too.



John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” That statement is definitely easier to say than to do. But think of the positive impact you could have if you could inspire others to that extent. You would never be forgotten.


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