If your equipment business causes you to toss and turn on occasion, you’re no different than the managers at Precision Farm Equipment. Here are what they say are their biggest causes of insomnia:

 

“Having a problem that we can’t figure out how to fix it. A good example is a new combine last fall that had an electrical problem. It took the technician 50 hours to find the problem. It turned out to be a 62-cent wiring connector pin that wasn’t crimped properly. The tech literally went wire by wire checking out the electrical harnesses. I didn’t lose as much sleep as the technician, as it really bothered him that he couldn’t find the problem. Up until then, the combine would only run an hour before having electrical issues. We had to lend the farmer a combine.”

—Alan Byerly, Service Manager,
Washington, Iowa

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“What keeps me up at night is our used inventory and reaching our turn goals. We’ve done a lot of work and research in building a used equipment timeline and it’s something we really want to implement in 2012. Looking at the preliminary numbers for the combine inventory was pretty scary. When you recognize that we are at eight locations, there’s a lot of used inventory, a lot of assets sitting there and a lot of cash flow issues that come with that. Our job is to make sure we market that inventory correctly and make sure we get our turn goals back to where they need to be.”

—Matt Poeltler, Vice President of Marketing,
Muscatine, Iowa

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“The worry is what could come about that we would need to take major corrective action on — whether the economy, a competitive threat or something that just happens inherently in the business. We try to lay out the best possible plans we can, but it’s also about making sure we’re as prepared as possible for things that aren’t planned for.”

— Dave Dahms, CFO and Vice President of Finance and Administration,
Muscatine, Iowa

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“If the shop can’t do something I need to get done before 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, I worry that the customer is going to be upset.”

— Chad Reed, Location Manager,
Fairfield, Iowa

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“I learned a long time ago life’s way too short and I’m not going to kill myself over what happens throughout the day. “If you take a chewing out for something you did or didn’t do, often the person is not mad at you, but angry about something else. Let it go — otherwise it’ll bother you forever.”

— Curt Moeller, Corporate Parts Analyst,
Houghton, Iowa

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“I have a tendency to recap the day and if something unpleasant happened, that will keep me up. I’m really humbled by the fact that I’ve been given the responsibility as a non-owner to operate a company of this size. It’s a great concern to me that we keep 150-plus employees working and that Precision Equipment continues to be the best place to work. I need to make sure the owners get a good return on their investment and our customers are satisfied. I think about what we’re seeing with the economy right now and wondering how’s it going to continue.”

— Randy Amosson, CEO,
Muscatine, Iowa

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“Years ago, those of us who are now in leadership positions were dealing with customers every day. As we’ve grown, we spend a lot of time coaching employees because we don’t want to lose that feeling of culture, customer satisfaction and local dealer concept. I’ve got to train these guys to do this, as I can’t get involved with every customer, and by the time it gets to me it’s almost too late.”

— Pat McCrabb, Vice President of Operations,
Muscatine, Iowa

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“Customers and employees are my biggest concerns. Making sure customers are happy — are we doing the right things for them? We’ve got to deliver what we promise. As far as employees, I want to make sure that they are happy and know we’re going to be here for them.”

—Jeremy Marston, Location Manager,
Mediapolis, Iowa

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“A pending issue that hasn’t been taken care of can keep me stirring at night. It’s better to take care of an issue immediately rather than let it fester and get bigger than it needs to be.”

— Kevin Bland, Location Manager,
Durant, Iowa

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“The merger was on my mind a lot, particularly how to pull this thing together and what would happen to the stores, employees and customers if it didn’t work out. Now that it’s completed, my work is more on the human side of business. I lost a son 12 years ago, so I realize health is so important and things can end quickly. Maybe I don’t get the time to talk to everybody about it, but when I hear one of our people or their family members is sick, it concerns me a lot.”

— Ron Farrier, Chairman of the Board,
Washington, Iowa