At the beginning of each year, during our busiest time of the year, we have a team meeting to discuss how we will manage the overflow of repairs. In rowing, the busiest time for repairs is November-March. All teams from the mid-west to the east coast are off the water training on the ergs or weight room. Without planning, this could be panic season. Each passing week we seem to get more repairs. I remember vividly stacking boats on top of boats in January – just to give our repair guys extra room.
As February approached we were getting calls from teams all over the country asking where their equipment was in the repair process. In some cases, wanting their boats back ASAP. This coupled with an onslaught of last minute repairs from teams made for minor chaos!
Usually, by March 1st, we can take a deep breath. None of the guys take off during these busy months and we are typically completing a boat a day (sometimes more). Unfortunately this year was different. Absolutely unable to take any breaks.
We also take pride in delivering equipment back to teams – which means tens of thousands of miles driving around the country. In February, I remember taking a trip from Baltimore to Pittsburgh, to Wisconsin, down through Indiana and across to North Carolina in just 4 days.
So far, we have completed over 185 projects (repairs) since January 1st!
April was no different. We were inundated with work. Our spring season blended into summer work. Just between Dad Vails, Stotesbury and SRAA nationals we filled 3 full trailers. In large part due to the incredibly hard work of CJ Bown.
Our quality continues to improve – thanks to the watchful eye of Dan Schenk. We have made it past the rocky stages of being 5 years old – which allows us to try different things, make errors and try again. We are incredibly grateful that customers continue to support our business. We believe the work we push out the doors is better with each passing week.
This is not to say everything has been easy. Absolutely not. The long hours and weekends weighs heavily on the guys on the floor and out on the road. We also have a hard time saying “no” to opportunities – probably the biggest pitfall of any young entrepreneur.
Well, half way through the year and we are on pace for a record season.
I am sure there will be bumps and bruises along the way but nothing we cannot handle as a team.
As always, thank you to the teams, clubs, and athletes that continue to support Finish Line. We are grateful for the opportunity to earn your business.