Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

April Planning

This morning kicks off a long week of travel for me. With the birth of our little one expected in just over six weeks, after this week I am benching myself from overnight adventures. Preparing for a baby has been hard work. We have read several books and many articles, we are attending classes to learn about parenthood, painted the nursery (thanks to my brother), gathered all of the things necessary for an endless baby shower list (thank you family and friends), and had countless ‘what if’ conversations. This process reminds me of April at Sprague.

We have spent the last six months thinking through, budgeting, planning and executing our plans for 2016. April begins the time when our customers need us the most. Ants are already here at an alarming rate and the season for pests is just ramping up. At this point in the year we are more trained, more equipped and more staffed than we were before. This long process of planning and preparing for the year ahead reminds me of something Dwight D. Eisenhower said; “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

The plans for delivering our first child and the plans for Sprague for the year are very similar. Much planning has gone into each endeavor to prepare for the what ifs, to take measures against uncertainty and to be ready for whatever is thrown our way. Sprague’s early results are good. We have achieved much in the first quarter. Our net promotor scores (NPS) for March hit 86%! 86%! Our QA scores have inched up from 95.71% to 96.08% this year. Sprague contracts are up 13.49% and service revenue up 11.35%. I am tremendously proud of the efforts that have been made to propel Sprague towards our 2016 goals.

Laura and I hope to complete our planning before the baby comes. We are hoping to be armed for the situations we have been warned about and to not wilt under the pressure of being new parents. We know that planning is key, but the plans will be out the window as soon as labor starts.

In four years' time

The Why