Updated: Jan 22
I thought it would be fun to blog a typical Resolute trip that involves packing a lot of meetings and travel miles into a 72 hour window. It's one of many trips we make throughout the year for meeting suppliers and customers from across the globe. Americans, Chinese, Europeans, Koreans, Thai, Indian and good old English folk will all be in the same place at the same time. This is a great opportunity for face to face meetings. I am old school and not a fan of virtual meetings, but sitting across the table and poker facing a deal comes at a price. If you have the time to read this you will see its not as glamorous as it sounds, that said we do try to have a laugh along the way.
The 72 hour schedule and why?
January 20th 2023 sees the first major textile trade show of the year, ISS Long Beach CA. In just 72 hours myself and Andy will pack a lot in. The journey starts at 5am with a three and a hour journey to T5 Heathrow, followed by a thirteen hour direct flight to LAX, clear immigration at LAX, 2 hours if we are lucky, arrive at the hotel after a 45 minute taxi ride, approx. 8:00pm LA time. The time difference is eight hours forward so our body clocks are at 4:00am UK time, we have already been up almost 24 hours without any proper sleep. The first meeting is 8:00pm at the hotel, hopefully including dinner and then finally a chance to grab some sleep. This normally ends after two or three hours due to the time difference, going to sleep at midnight is 8:00am at home and you will be wide awake. Time to catchup on emails and login to check the Resolute Llama Farm! I will explain this further on, but we don't have any Llamas! The next two meetings are during the day. At the same time we will visit the show and check to see if anything new has appeared across the water - we don't miss much but you never know what you might find.
The first time I travelled to ISS was to work at the trade show back in 2012, this was to promote a new brand of DTG ink "Resolute Ink"
The convention centre in Long Beach January 2012 6:00am
Meeting number four after the show then food and finally its time to sleep again! The second night could go either way, fall asleep instantly and wake up three hours later. The next morning, meeting number five followed by a final visit to the show for a couple of hours, then a taxi ride back to LAX to check in for our flight home. This is a direct twelve hour flight back to Heathrow and then a three and a half hour journey back to the office - yes straight to the office on Monday!
If you can keep your trip schedule down to 72 hours, you can normally slot straight back into your UK routine, fending off the dreaded jet lag, admittedly pretty exhausted but with a full nights sleep ahead we will soon recover.
Working a long way from home can be very scary at times.
Evacuated for a bomb threat whilst working on a resellers stand in Fort Worth Texas.
It is my intention to update this blog throughout the trip, check back if you want to see how myself and Andy will spend the weekend away from our families. I will apologise now as I will most likely use my phone for most of the updates so the formatting may be a little sketchy. Now back to that Llama Farm!
Our trade print dashboard showing our overall jobs in the Llama farm.
The Resolute Llama Farm
Resolute is a very busy place to work, hence we need to keep an eye on things and make sure nothing gets missed. We can view each others workload and see exactly what orders, service jobs, installs, trade print etc through a custom MIS. To keep it light hearted we introduced a live infographic showing each person their workload on a dashboard, with a Llama farm that visually shows that day. This sounds crazy but each Llama represents a live job, it's colour is it's current progress stage. This is a very easy way of seeing what needs to be done before you finish for the day without making it look scary. It appears on each person or departments dashboard of what needs doing and updates automatically. Any of us can see very quickly how things are going and how busy Resolute is in each department, hence I will be checking my Llamas to see what awaits me on my return.
Day 1 Friday 20th January 2023 5:00am
So our journey begins
4:00am coffee, shower & check my flight case contents for the 10th time!
So after a closure on the M25 we have arrived at T5 Heathrow and currently battling with security, & being told to out my phone away!
As we wait patiently for the flight gate, on-line support continues, as always there will be full
time office based support but Andy just cannot resist a bit of free wifi!
We finally arrived at LAX, currently in a taxi to our hotel. Some confusion over documents at customs which caused further delays.
It's 18:00 in LA but 2:00am in the UK, we've been on the for 22 hours now 😢 Our first meeting is at 8:00pm, hopefully time for a shower!
When we arrived at the hotel, our rooms were not ready !!!!! We had to wait over an hour to get our rooms and a well deserved shower. After being on the go for 22 hours you can image tempers were getting short. It all worked out in the end and we were almost on-time for our first meeting We did have help from an American friend I met in the lobby who had far more success in pushing the hotel staff for room availability. This ended up in an upgrade and ocean view rooms with the first night free, result. Thank you Richard A!
The shipping cranes lit up over Long Beach harbour 4:00am Saturday morning
Saturday 21st January - Show Day
After a few hours sleep and catching up on what was left of Friday its time for the busiest day of the trip. First meeting at 9:30am and the off to walk the show and see if there is anything new.
Its been a great show, very busy and lots to see. The general outcome is DTF is leading the way in the US but much more expensive than the UK. Most DTF systems are $30k for small going uptown $50k for the equivalent of the new R-Jet PRO DTF V8. We didn't see a single DTF system as fast as the V8 which was very reassuring we are still in front in the UK.
Unfortunately there was a serious shooting 30 minutes from our location on Saturday night so we are holding at the hotel as the person has not been caught and it still on the run. All thats left of this trip now is the journey home, with an hours delay already announced due to strict security at LAX it looks like it could be a tough one.