Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Unexpected Journey

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Are rechargeable batteries the way to go?

My good friend Mike Sessler has been telling me for years I should move to rechargeable batteries. He has been using them for years and has recently completed a yearlong study of using them and how they perform in the long term. His data is compelling to say the least. It has made me step back and think about how and why we use batteries at Lake Pointe.

We average about 40 double A batteries a weekend just at our main campus auditorium alone. Certainly this adds up to a lot of dollars over time but we also are able to provide batteries to all the other ministries in our church. The used batteries are collected and then given to other departments in the church. This way they do not have the need to buy any and the batteries get used for more of their life. They are also given to our volunteers to take home and use in the Wii remotes or other devices they may have. It’s a small token to them just to say thank you. At our place we have lots of classrooms with TVs and DVD players all of which have remotes and these are powered from the used stock we collect. Our missions group gives them out to local partners where money is very tight and even buying batteries for that one or two wireless they may own is a big deal. With all that usage, I’m getting a tremendous value from a 44-cent battery. Not just a monetary one but also the good will that is spread throughout our church.

There would need to be at least some level of management put into a rechargeable battery system. This means that I, or someone with significant accountability, will need to make sure the system is being handled properly. This is not a job I’m willing to put in the hands of a part-time student employee. That management will take time and time is money. I have the resources I need to do the job but don’t have the time. If you have the time and not the resources then the equation changes. This is one factor in our decision to not move to rechargeable batteries. But there is more, much more.

I have to be real honest here. There are these little things called credibility and trust that our team has worked hard for many years to gain. Our leadership and those on our worship teams know that we are doing everything possible we can to help create the best environment for our services each and every week. We are given significant freedom because of that trust. It’s not something to be taken lightly. If I have a failure in a wireless device there are 3 questions that will be asked from our senior leaders.

1. Was there a new battery in there?
2. Was it just a bad one then?
3. Anything we can do to improve the situation?

If the answer is no to the first question because I was using a rechargeable then the next questions change.

2. Why was it not a new one?
"Because I was trying to save some money and become more green by using rechargeable ones."
3. So you think its ok to create a major distraction and ruin the efforts of lots of people who spend their time working to create a great environment for thousands of people because you didn’t want to spend 44 cents?

UG! There is no way I can possibly answer that question and justify the risk knowing that this is the conversation that would happen.
“But Jason, Procell batteries fail sometimes.”
Yes they do, however, I can say with complete confidence that I did EVERYTHING I could do to prevent failure. That is all my leadership will ask of me. I don’t ever want to have that hard conversation and loose my credibility.
“There must be some way you can use this technology, right?”
Indeed, I think there is a great place for our church to use rechargeables. Over the past couple of years we have given away dozens of our old wireless systems to partner churches all over the world as we moved out of the 700Mhz region. These systems are still perfectly viable in many parts of the world. The downside for our partners is that sometimes batteries can be expensive or difficult to even get. This is where a set of rechargeable ones would be a great gift. They have the time to make sure things are handled well and no longer need to worry about buying new ones when they are more concerned about making sure the water in the building is running. I’m ordering 2 Ansmann systems this week to send to some partner churches.

All in all, when I look at how many uses I get from the batteries we buy and the good will and credibility they bring, I have to say that I am getting an awful lot of bang for my 44 cents.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Webinar

We're back. Coming April 23rd Mike, Dave, and I will be doing the next webinar. This month we are talking about strategies for your upgrade proposals. Both Dave and I have been thru major upgrades recently and Mike is about to do several big projects. We think you will gain some insights into making your presentation more agreeable to your leadership. Hope you will join us on our Live Stream channel at 10pm EDT/9CDT. See ya then.