To this blogger’s mind, there’s something very appealing about an Amish barn raising. Hear me out, here. You show up in the morning with your tools, mingle with your friends and family, and work your butt off. Throughout the day, everyone has a specific job to do and there’s plenty of lemonade served to help you pace yourself. By sundown, evidence of a job well done is visibly left behind. A barn! An entire barn! That’s a good day’s work – and it utilized only a minimum of “technology.”
I’m not Amish. I have never taken part in a barn raising of any kind, though I’ve seen video of them dozens of times on television and in films during grade school social studies class. Ha! Remember those? My point is that there’s a lot to be said for hard work, dedication and a commitment to keeping interpersonal “relationships” as a vital part of work.
This way of working is alive and well at Patterson Pope/FileSolve. Good old-fashioned file moves – and conversions to new high-density mobile shelving units– are a core aspect of the company’s commitment to its customers. That promise is personified in Judy Baker, one of two dedicated file move/conversion project managers at the company.
“Our customers range from banks to colleges, and the types of things stored range from athletic equipment to garments. Plus, there will always be paper. Those library storage jobs? I consider books to be paper between the bindings.”
What started as a summer job in 1999 has turned into a career for Baker. She recognizes that there are certain personality traits that make her an ideal fit. “I like puzzles. I like projects,” she says. “We go into a new customer’s space, we talk about how to attack the job, and then it’s my responsibility to execute the solution. By the time we’re done, we leave behind a more orderly space, and it’s always a job well done.”
Whether it’s moving “stuff” from one location to another or collecting files to be converted to electronic records, Baker knows that team camaraderie is essential to success. Depending on the size of the job, a team can consist of three or four people, or upwards of 30. Those teams can be comprised of both full-time and temporary employees, depending on staffing requirements. “I get right in there with my team and do the work. I like to be active, and I like to be in the middle of it. I’m pushing carts, loading trucks. We’re all in this together, after all,” she says.
The Value of Experience
Sure, there will always be those customers who believe they can just hire a moving company to transport their materials – even sensitive files. Baker, though, understands the importance of being able to rely on a seasoned partner. “There is value in understanding filing systems. There is value to understanding that each document is important to our customer,” says Baker. “The ramifications of documents being lost or damaged or filed incorrectly are huge. I don’t think you can put a dollar value on that kind of knowledge.”
As for those customers who opt for three guys and a rented truck? While that decision might suffice when moving things like sports equipment, clothing or other items, it can be potentially much more hazardous when dealing with important file folders. “You just wait for the day when something bad happens,” says Baker. “If patient files or something like that gets out of order, that’s a big deal. We’ve received those kinds of calls before. The problem for those customers, of course, is that they first pay for the movers, and then they have to invest even more to rectify the problem. At that point, it’s not just ‘move this folder,’ it’s sorting through all the folders trying to get everything back in order.”
Over 17 years now, Baker has learned that what makes Patterson Pope/FileSolve different is the personal touch. It’s about making the customer feel not just understood but valued. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s an $800 job or an $800,000 job,” she says. “We’re not walking out of there until the customer is absolutely thrilled with the work we’ve done for them.”
Covering customers across 10 states, Patterson Pope/FileSolve is growing every day. It’s an exciting time, and people like Judy Baker are helping to build a remarkable reputation… one cart and one customer at a time. “I’ll be doing this as long as I’m physically able,” says Baker.
After that? Hmm… barn raising?