The Boomerang Effect

Posted on in Todd Talks by Todd Johnson

I am fairly certain that everyone reading this knows what a boomerang is. The L-shaped tool, often associated with Australia, that, if thrown correctly, will return to the thrower.

I was listening to one of my favorite storytellers recently, and he was talking about the boomerang and how he associates many things in life with the flight path boomerangs take — which is a somewhat tear-shaped closed loop. This got me thinking about what we do here at Penn-Troy and the levels of success we achieve.

Generally, in manufacturing, or I guess in most forms of business, you would not want what you send to customers being returned to you. But throwing and returning are just two aspects of boomerangs and not the whole picture I want to paint for you.

You see, when someone throws a boomerang, that person's job is not done. If the thrower just stood there — without paying any attention to the item he or she just threw — there could be some painful consequences. No, the individual must always remain vigilant and aware of the boomerang, or the person who threw it is likely to get struck with it.

At Penn-Troy, we feel the same way about our products. We don't just want to ship products, wash our hands, and go home. We want to make sure what our customers receive is indeed what they ordered and that our products fulfill the customers' needs and function the way they're intended to function.

No matter how good our products are, and no matter how well or how consistently they perform in the field, inevitably, someone will experience an issue with something. And when the feedback comes, we want to be ready to receive it because if we ignore it, it's going to hurt.

Anticipating issues and feedback of all kinds is essential, but that's not the only parallel I want to draw between Penn-Troy and boomerangs. Just like someone who throws a boomerang wants it to come back to them, we want our customers to come back to us time and time again. This is a never-ending pursuit. We cannot achieve a great relationship with a customer or a sterling reputation in the marketplace and then relax. Relationships and reputations need to be nurtured, refined, and practiced. Therefore, it's our mission to keep improving. We update our drawings, issue new product catalogs, develop new products, and update our building and equipment. This is a short list of the things we have done and continue to do. We must always strive to go the extra step and provide our customers with an unexpected advantage. That is what they want. That is what they deserve.

We continuously strive to be reliable and trustworthy. But just as you can't go out in a field and throw a boomerang without practice and rely on it coming back to you, we too must work hard to earn this reward. Because that's what good customer relationships are: a reward for a job well done.