A Note From the VP, Jim Greatorex: Preparing for Harvest

Published in Home Modifications on October 26, 2022


Here in Iowa, the fall season brings an amazing uptick in activity levels, and it’s very visible. With schools opening back up, everyone is in tune to their family’s school activities and attending sporting events. College football is huge here, and Saturday afternoon is quiet here except for in Iowa City and Ames where college football reigns in the living rooms of all Hawkeye and Cyclone fans. But the most obvious uptick in activity is that it is harvest time. Growing up and living 90% of our lives in Maine, my wife and I are amazed at the whole growing season here, but the harvest, or as it’s referred to here as “go time,” is quite spectacular.  

In the spring, we see the farmers come out with big machinery, which allows them to prepare the ground and plant crops very precisely in the huge fields for the best yields. Once the crops start to grow, there are steps taken to ensure that they grow to their full potential by spraying them and hoping for the right amount of rain, which always seems to come just in time. Then it’s “go time,” and the farmers go into a three-four-week push, sometimes day and night, to harvest their fields at just the right time for best quality and quantity of yield. With this brings bigger and more impressive machinery, which allows them to harvest tons of corn and soybeans quickly. I’m amazed and astonished to watch this process because here in Iowa the fields are everywhere, and you can go to work in the morning and see an enormous field that’s untouched and come home at night and it is completely taken right down to the very dark brown soil. 

So, let’s compare our industry to the harvest season. Home accessibility has spent about 12 years planting it’s seeds and waiting for it to grow. I believe we have seen growth, but it has been moderate compared to what it will become. What’s interesting with the growing season here is that in the month of July, the corn grows quickly and very noticeably every week. Our industry is right in that July period, where the growth rate is noticeable and just like the corn, much more growth is yet to come. More and more people are becoming aware of our services, and demand is at an all time high. Eventually we will plateau and be ready to harvest our home access crops as the industry reaches its full potential.  

Farmers are able to get maximum yield because they have invested in their infrastructure and have all that’s needed in place to maximize their yield. We, however, are not there yet. 

That’s why it’s important for us as an industry to get together and plan for our harvest. That’s what our Building Opportunities Summit is all about. We will have collaborative sessions that hit upon things that we need to start putting in place that will allow us produce maximum yields as our industry continues several more years of rapid growth. Metaphorically, what will our combine look like? If you are on the fence about whether you should attend this conference, we recommend that if it’s in the realm of possibility to come, that you join us and several of your colleagues in Tampa. The future is coming at us fast! 

Many of you have inquired if our venue in Tampa is able to host us after the devastating Hurricane Ian. Fortunately, the storm was not as severe in Tampa as it was in southern Florida, and all systems are a go. We are also happy to report that after two and a half days without power in Sarasota, Harmar is back up and running. Merits, which is in Fort Myers, had some damage to their facilities but are also back in business. We have talked with many of our Florida members, and no one had major damage to their businesses. Some employees had some damage but we haven’t heard of any that had total devastation of their homes. For this, we are grateful! 

Entrematic/ LAH Wholesale Update

We have taken a bit of our reboot on the Entrematic Door Operator that we provide through LAH Wholesale. We found that hands-on training is great to have but many times members are not installing any units until months later after the training and the knowledge they have is not fresh. So, in turn, we have produced a three-part video training program for the product. Before a member can order any units, you need to register to see the training videos and pass the 20-question quiz that follows. There is no charge for the training, but we have learned that this is a necessary step to ensure that your installations will be smoother as you learn the installation process. Once you become trained, we expect most installations to average two hours depending on the strike and activation device needed. Also, the Entrematic line and the Record line of door operators merged, and all products will be rebranded as Record in 2023. We have updated our website so you can find the LAH Wholesale tab visible on the homepage! 

We have several new services and programs coming soon that we are excited about, and some will be announced before the years' end. 

We hope you have a great fourth quarter. We appreciate the great work you do for your clients, and thanks for honoring us with your membership to VGM Live at Home. 


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