Monday, June 16, 2008

Cry me a River.........

Gas at $4.00 a gallon? Soccer Moms and huge SUV's? Motorhomes and gas guzzlers? As a boat rep I have them all beat. I drive 50 plus thousand miles a year, pulling a huge trailer loaded with kayaks and canoes, passing everything but the desiel pump. Desiel has been on average in my territory, between $4.65 and $4.85 depending on where you are. Anytime you are off the main routes, $4.85 is the norm. I have said it many times but now I am seeing it in action. As an industry, paddlesports specifically, we are about as "Green" as the oil industry. Our way of doing business is outmoded and we need to set up a new paradigm, so that we can not only survive financially but also keep pace with the changing environmental movement. Afterall our big selling point is pushing quiet, motor free recreation! This weekend Dave larson and I were both heading to see a dealer in Door County, WI. A long freaking way from Duluth, MN. Ironically, Dave and I are neighbors, literally next door to each other. We both would have driven 16 hours round trip, both solo in our F250's, both pulling 25 foot trailers, loaded to the gills, to the same place and back to the same place again. To his credit Dave who works for Confluence, asked me if we should car pool. We did and I think that the retailer had the same sales, same service and same success he would have had otherwise. I know I felt better about the whole thing. What else can be done in the future, because in heart I feel that this way of doing business, solo reps drivnig huge rigs of demos to sales events, has to change.


samh said...

It may be a cliche to "think globally but act locally" but you and your neighbor doing what you did is the best way to start. If everyone started doing something as simple as carpooling with their neighbor the world would be well on it's way to the [inevitable] paradigm shift you speak of.

canoelover said...

Working with the industry organizations, it's my goal to formalize these sorts of things. It kills me to see an empty boat trailer zooming along the interstate. Couldn't someone find some boats somewhere that had to come this way??? The big guys don't want to haul for the "competition." Stupid and shortsighted, in my opinion. Meanwhile you and Dave and the guys from P&H and Impex and other folks form natural alliances.

As Garrett used to say, the opposite of competition isn't cooperation, it's creativity. Time to get creative, folks.

P.S. I carpooled to work today so I am feeling smug and self-satisfied. :-)