Birds of a Feather

Last week’s posting of Farmville brought out some very interesting angst and feedback. Before I get into specifics let me explain some of the theories that brought us here.

Farming in or out and/or sub-contracting has been around since the beginning. There are many reasons and factors one engages in such behavior. Sedan purveyors may require buses or vans for a particular move yet not often enough to invest in equipment.

Obviously, that works in reverse as well. My favorite restaurant occasionally gets a request for a tent to cater a party. It isn’t worth buying and storing one, so he rents it. The party rental company shows up, installs it, and returns the next morning to take it away. Simple business. The restaurant owner can add it to the bill, pad it if you will. He also has the option of referring the client to the party rental company and get a kickback commission.

An independent stand-alone livery service may have a big convention or group in town and need backups. There has never been a Super Bowl in recent memory that did not call for a mass import of vehicles from hundreds of miles away. Same goes for major award shows, inaugurations, political conventions, Olympics, the Kentucky Derby, and the Indy 500 to name a few.

Medical practices, like transportation companies, have many common denominators on that note. Medically you have your GP or General Practitioner who basically is an all-encompassing office. You then have your specialists such as urologists, ob/gyn’s, pediatricians, and cardiologists to name a few.

Same thing in transportation. You have your wedding specialists, your corporate only “hoity toity” folks, I even worked with someone years back who specialized in scavenger hunts. And every knows a funeral guy, or people who transport patients, or even blood and body parts.

The bottom line when discussing the farm out concept is that what we are really addressing is fleet dependency and need-based asset deployment. Fulfill the clients need, make the client happy, and make yourself some scratch.

And just when I thought it was safe to walk outside, I met my match. A fierce, proud, passionate affiliate manager for a respectable, high-profile well-established operation called to school me. As she so eloquently presented her case. She made one thing indubitably clear: affiliate work is not farm out work. So, my first retort, “right church wrong pew.” “Nope,” says she, “same shit, different smell.” I am quickly corrected. Her claim is affiliate work being a more refined intra company process to service one’s clientele around the city, around the clock, around the world.

Ok, I feel what you are putting down. She then goes on to explain the unique challenges re launching an operation’s affiliate network during this grab bag of highest bidder time we are in. She makes an intense point. She says I call for a price, I don’t call for a discount. That word is not in my vocabulary. As an ex-customer service soldier, she is shocked at the behavior and treatment she receives as she tries to do her job. She calls a company who received $70,000.00 in revenue from her in 2019 but does not appear to recall such a thing.

Perhaps what’s past is prologue.

As an industry, most of our credentials are interchangeable, but our ideologies needn’t be, although we all perform the same role in work and business.

Some of the farm haters made their claim simple. They want to be stand alone operators old school style. They want to push what they got and requests are not allowed or tolerated. They certainly color code the wedding decorations, they will highly likely take a complex order to stock the bar but that is where it ends. Guess what, if that makes you happy you will never see me rain on your parade.

You want to take reservations in a date book and snail mail invoices? Once again, whatever floats your boat. However, stop putting operators down who embrace modern tech.

If I had a nickel for every time one of these know it all’s tried to bring us back to medieval times I would have like $3.00 now. Which is a hilarious coincidence. After all, that will probably exceed the value of their business when they decide to retire.

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