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...]

Three simple ways to cut supply chain costs

Thursday, February 15, 2018
For those of us eager to provide as many products to their customers as possible, understanding the supply chain is critical. But because the task of optimizing the supply chain can be daunting, many well-managed companies simply avoid it. Every company is different, with each possessing unique characteristics and skills, and so it is likely that your company is managing the supply chain well in some areas, but not so much in others. To effectively evaluate your supply chain without becoming overwhelmed, break the process into three parts, tackling each of them one at a time: Inbound/procurement Whether you’re receiving raw materials or finished goods, procurement of product is a common place for supply-chain costs to get lost. Allowing the lure of achieving fr  [Read More...]

Using color to drive warehouse efficiency

Thursday, February 15, 2018
We can all agree that distribution is not a black-and-white business. It is filled with shades of gray. It is filled with colors, designations and descriptions. With all these nuances, why do we insist on limiting our palate when it comes to the warehouse? With the exception of orange cross beams and green uprights, our warehouses are largely devoid of color designations. If you want to drive behavioral change in your operation, consider using visual cues to provide direction. Think about how colors modify our behavior in daily life. When we see red, our instinct is to stop. Red can also alert us to potential danger or injury. Green is generally accepted as safe or an indicator to proceed without hesitation. I take exception to this rule when visiting a Brazilian steak house. Too m  [Read More...]