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Editor Gail Ivers with Kur t Scepaniak, Horizon Roof ing

Creative Problem Solving


any years ago I was visiting my parents in Willmar

punch line, but he cheerfully pointed out that I’m really not

when my dad asked me to help him install a trailer

all that brilliant.

hitch on his car. He had everything completed except for

More importantly he said, “Gail, I work with this stuff all

attaching one last bolt. The area in which the bolt and nut

the time. These are the kinds of problems I solve every day.

went was extremely narrow and he couldn’t fit his hand in

Of course I would think of that. If it was something you did

the space to hold the nut securely enough for the bolt to

all the time, you would have, too.”

catch any threads. With my smaller hands he thought we could make quick work of the problem.

Kurt Scepaniak has a different sort of problem. As with almost every employer in the trades, he is desperate to find

Not so much.

employees. He has determined that he either needs to try

I could fit my hand into the space, but I couldn’t bend

to do something about it, or he has to stop complaining.

my fingers to firmly grasp the nut. We fussed with this for a

One of his ideas is a mobile interview trailer (shown in the

long time. We tried regular and needle-nose pliers. We tried

photo above). When I asked him how he came up with

wrenches — adjustable and fixed. We gave up. Now giving up is not in my nature. I kept thinking about what kind of tool we

that idea, he said he looked

Now giving up is not in my nature. I kept thinking about what kind of tool we could find that would hold the nut securely in place so we could thread the bolt.

could find that would hold

at what people in other industries were doing to recruit employees and figured out a way to apply it to his business.

the nut securely in place

Kurt has experimented

so we could thread the bolt. Then I started thinking about

with several different ideas. Some have worked better

other types of things we use to hold items in place. Things

than others, but he is not discouraged. To learn more about

like adhesives, glue and tape. Tape!

those ideas, and Kurt’s business, you’ll have to read the

I found a roll of masking tape, used the needle-nose

story on page 30.

pliers to apply a piece of masking tape over the nut, and we

After all, I don’t want to steal his punch line.

had it! The bolt caught and we were able to finish the job. I

Until next issue,

was so proud. When I got home I immediately started telling my husband the story so he could see how brilliant I was. I got to the part about “we couldn’t hold the bolt in place” when he interrupted me and said, “Why didn’t you just tape it in place?” AAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHH!!! Not only did he steal my


BusinessCentral // N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1

. Gail Ivers, Editor