Update from Rett Rasmussen
President of Rasmussen Gas Logs and Solaire Infrared Grills
Rasmussen/Solaire is Open For Business
I’m sure you all have been inundated with updates from your various business partners on their current status vis-à-vis “Safe at Home” orders. It is time for our update to you:
Rasmussen Gas Logs and Grills is open for business, as an essential manufacturer serving heating and cooking equipment needs, as well as troubleshooting and repair parts for existing installed equipment, and in the supply chain for plumbers and service personnel.
We have not laid off anybody, but have reduced our hourly workers to a 30 hour workweek. We have a small staff, who are very capable and experienced, covering the periods when our hourly staff is off duty. Monday through Friday we are answering phones, providing technical and customer service, and shipping orders.
Our 65 employees are spread across nine different buildings, so we have built-in “social distance” at our facility.
As a safeguard, we started taking our staff’s temperatures on Monday, March 23, and will continue doing so daily.
We are shipping orders only with payment at time for shipment, for all customers. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to my staff and their families, my customers and their families, and my vendors and their families. I have thought and prayed on what is the best course of action, and without cash flow, I have nothing to pay my staff, and no products to ship to my customers, therefore no reason to buy components and supplies from my vendors. This issue will pass, hopefully soon, and we’ll go from there to the “new normal”. Thank you for your cooperation.
I have never experienced such uncertainty in my 32 years in business, especially not at such speed. Our 113 year old family business has survived through all of the past downturns by staying conservative in good and bad times. We have not changed our core values during this issue. We will do our best to meet the needs of our customers, now and in the future. We appreciate your business, cooperation, and understanding during this time, and always.
ATTENTION! Freight Carrier Changes
- UPS has suspended, until further notice, the UPS Service Guarantee (also referred to as the UPS Money Back Guarantee) for all shipments from any origin to any destination.
WHAT THIS MEANS: If you ship via UPS-Next Day Air or UPS-2nd Day Air, and UPS does not deliver the next or second day, they will not refund the cost of the freight. Also, it means you should allow sufficient time in the ordering and shipment process so you are not disappointed by too tight of a timeline.
- Some freight carriers will return a shipment after one attempted delivery, if the receiving company is closed during posted business hours. “One and done.”
WHAT THIS MEANS: You must be open during normal business hours to receive freight. If there is any possibility of your closing, please specify a business address who is open to receive your shipments, or ship to a Residential address (LTL accessorial fees for Residential Delivery, Appointment, and Lift Gate Service, will be charged, as appropriate). Rasmussen is contacting customers before shipping to positively confirm that you will be open before shipping. Closure at delivery may result in redelivery fees charged to your account.
WHY: In one carrier’s words “This process will allow our network to remain fluid and prevent centers from gridlocking.” There you go!
I came across this article on Houzz “Advice on Designing During an Uncertain Time” and found that there is great applicability, regardless of your business, but certainly for those of us in the Fireplace (indoor designs) and Grills/Heaters (outdoor designs) businesses. The link also includes a full webinar on the topic.
A couple of my takeaways include:
- Use this time productively. Be forward looking. Most of us were doing well before this “black swan even” hit us with little notice. Use this time to prepare ourselves and our businesses for the anticipated bounce-back.
- Stay engaged with business matters. Focus on the positive on how to achieve your new goals for the remainder of 2020 and 2021.
- Use apps like Zoom to maintain consultations with clients. This could also be used with your staff who may be working remotely for holding staff meetings.
- Open a dialog with your vendors and creditors.
- Reassure your clients that you are there for them now and in the future. Probe their needs, and see how you might help them.
- Look for new business opportunities. Refreshing a gas log set (new sand, embers, rearrange the logs (or a new set of logs only)) is a lower-price means of gaining business from existing and new clients, while providing work for your service staff. Vent-free gas log service (clean ODS air intake hole, vacuum burner ports, refresh embers, proper log placement). Grill cleaning and repairs.
Rett with a Goatee?
Yep, until this issue is over and we are at a “new normal”.
Here is the backstory. HPBExpo 2020 in New Orleans closed at Noon on Saturday, March 14, three hours early. Felix, Rich, Teddy and I hustled to tear down, pack, and palletize cartons with the goal of getting onto the 8:35 PM flight home that night, rather than our scheduled Sunday morning flight. We achieved this, with enough time for a bite to eat before boarding. Our luggage, however, decided to stay that extra night in NOLA, due to a baggage handling equipment issue at Southwest. SWA said they would deliver our bags to our homes, but my bag, with my electric shaver inside, did not arrive before Irene and I got ready for the 5:00 PM Mass. Rather than cut up my face with a straight razor, I found an old electric shaver, but with very dull blades. So, I shaved what I could and kept the goatee. The next morning, with “old reliable” shaver in hand, I decided to keep the goatee as (1) something I could accomplish, without much effort; and (2) an outward expression of my warrior spirit to keep fighting for my family, business, employees, customers, vendors, and country. Shaving it off will not reduce my resolve and devotion to these, but will signify a “turning of the corner” towards brighter days.
Please share with me similar coping methods you might be doing during this time. With your permission, I’ll share yours in a future newsletter.