Splitting Up the Shift

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Your business may be just one crew away from success I was recently doing a private seminar for client and the topic of cycle counting came up. I was doing my standard talk about when to count and how many items we needed to count to stay on track. I happened to glance over at the operations manager, and I could tell that he was having a tough time grasping the timing and labor allocation required to perform a solid cycle count. This is not uncommon and tends to be a difficult sticking point with many companies. The company has grown substantially over the years, and the bodies in the warehouse are a direct reflection of that growth. Before I totally lost him, I threw out a suggestion, “Have you ever considered a second shift or at least staggered the one you have?” His head   [Read More...]

Multiple perspectives produce a better understanding of any situation

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Business decision-making is a tough go. In many cases, it’s a lonely process. Owners often have no one to talk to. Executives don’t want to bother their owners, don’t want the owner to know about their uncertainty or don’t want the owner meddling in their kingdom. This conundrum cascades through all levels of the company. So let’s talk about improving decision-making. Use a consultant: As consultants, we fully endorse this self-serving course of action. Some thoughts on consultants: Consultants can often provide objective recommendations that leverage their experience with other companies, in similar situations. Ideally their experience would be with companies in the same industry as the client’s. While there are some similarities between all businesses, we think in  [Read More...]

Is your software package driving you crazy?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
A rather cynical friend once told me, “expectations are nothing more than pre-meditated resentments.” In my business, I encounter a lot of frustration and resentment around software and technology in general. It recently occurred to me that a great deal of this frustration has been created by unrealistic expectations, a little sales embellishment and a dose of stubborn self-centered thinking. Rather than stomping our feet and pointing fingers, we all need to step back and find a healthy balance between want and need. Here’s a case in point. I recently visited the offices of a small distribution software package company that I have had a relationship with for many years. In an attempt to reconnect with some former clients and friends in the distribution ranks, I reached out to  [Read More...]

Sales changes in digital times

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Recent research on sales force changes for distributors found that online commerce is expected to significantly change existing sales efforts. While it is still early in the game, with some 13 percent of total sales online, online commerce is expected to grow to 25 percent of sales by 2025 and between 30 percent to 40 percent by 2028. At these levels, online winners will emerge and it is certain their sales efforts will have undergone significant change to move them into the top spots. The online battle will be won, largely, by firms that deliver value commensurate with their price. Online buyers can research products and services with ease and this will compound in the future as more distributors move online. Sales forces that do not demonstrate value will cause a sales loss as t  [Read More...]

3 Steps to make your Service stand out

Monday, April 16, 2018
Every day, salespeople commit professional suicide. The scenario goes something like this: Skeptical Customer: “So, why should I buy from you? We’ve been buying from (company X) for years.” Earnest Salesperson (smelling the sale): “But, we have great service!” Or, if Earnest Salesperson decides to put a little extra oomph behind it, “We have the best service in the business!” Earnest Salesperson confidently smiles at Skeptical Customer, knowing that at any moment Skeptical Customer is going to reach for his checkbook. Instead, Skeptical Customer yawns and says, “Yeah, but everybody says that. Why should I buy from you?” And another sale dies before its time. Why do we do this to ourselves? Because, Einstein, you – or your boss – don’t have a better idea. Wan  [Read More...]