Wednesday 18 April 2012

The Matra Spring Training Trip

        March 27, 2012 the Happenings guys attended Matra’s second annual Tent Renter’s Spring Training session. Mike Carleton, owner; Chris, Ryan and Ed, well seasoned staff; dragged themselves out of bed the Monday of the 26 to get an early start to the 10 hour trek ahead of themselves.

        The destination, Elmsford, New York.

Taken during Ryan's bathroom break.

The guys housed themselves up in a hotel in Elmsford for the night and rose the next morning eager to absorb all the contents of their day.
            They arrived at PartyLine Tent Rentals at 8 am. Coffee, tea and breakfast was served while attendees registered and were given name tags to pin on their shirts. Between registration and 9am the boys wandered the shop, observing Kenny Puff of Party Line’s warehouse organization storage in a paced free-for-all.
                Seminars filled the remaining morning block of the day. The first presenter discussed the hazards of improper tent anchoring. The audience cringed as a multitude of torn, collapsed, imploded and upside-down tents flashed on the screen. A setting of un-stake-able anchoring was common throughout the slideshow.

Tent chewed up and spit out by high winds.

         The solution? Concrete blocks as the heir to the tired and time consuming water barrels.

Happenings downtown on Porche's rooftop, concrete blocks.

         However the practical hurdle embedded in their weight; 500lbs blocks are not simply be dollied around (efficiently). The presentation went on to analyse experimental modes of transportation from onsite forklifts and flatbed trucks to some very unusual contraptions.

1 guy, 1 block. Genius.
        The second seminar discussed the execution of newly implemented methodology from the president down to the labourer. The speaker also urged the use of cues that predict customer influx to help determine where businesses should be allocating their resources. It was very informative and led to the development of in-house surveys to better understand the customer and deliver on their needs. Our crack marketing committee came up with this:

There wasn't much in the budget for it.

          The final seminar was by the author of PartyCAD software himself, Hank Hufnagle. He demonstrated live, how the new PartyCAD12 could be used to draw event layouts quickly, noting the improvements since PartyCAD10. Marvel at a sample drawing we offer to our clients.

PartyCAD12 Sample

         Lunch Followed.

         After lunch tours were given by Kenny Puff around the warehouse. More informative than the free for all tours, Kenny highlighted solutions to tremendously increase practical efficiency and productivity around the warehouse. Here are a few snaps.

Pulley system hung from cable.
Chivaris stacked with individual bags.
A peek inside the kitchen trailors.
No staples in the tables!
So many tops.
Kenny Puff addressing the crowd.
Plate carrier 2.0?

        For the remainder of the day attendees gathered in the tent adjacent to the main building. Kenny presented the industry owners tough questions given various scenarios. “What do you do?” spurring a chatter of solutions. It was settling to see others in the industry struggling with the similar matters and how they adjust.

         After a few goodbyes, the boys piled back in the half-tonne truck and set the GPS to Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, 45 Sanford Fleming Drive. Driving straight through the night, they arrived back at home base at 2am. Early enough to have a brief nap in the tarps before clocking in on the Wednesday, 7am.


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