By Sid Chadwick – 05/08/2020
Published in American Printer

 INTRODUCTION:

Why do I frequently… like to start… with a relatively easy to obtain appointment… with my target prospect’s …. Chief Financial Officer…?

That key, powerful person, seems (a) to be neglected by most suppliers, (b) has the power to say “No”…or …”Yes”…and…(c)  I want him/her in particular…to know who I am….why I’m there…before I go to their Chief Marketing ..or…Operations Officer.

opportunities - Sid ChadwickLet’s look at my company’s greatest opportunities…..from… my target customer’s position….looking back… at… my organization.

  1. Their financial position is… “out-of-balance…..revenues… are likely not covering their business model costs.
  2. Some of their personnel… are possibility…. on short hours…….
  3. Their personnel….represent numerous “hidden costs”…in addition to payroll…that add-up…whether there are orders…..or no orders….
  4. They may not have enough space… in either their warehousing….or… near their offices (I’ve often walked through “high-end offices” — to accidently discover, behind closed hallway doors…..sizable rooms being used… for “storage” …of supplies…including print materials. (e.g.,Sizable Rooms…. that could have been turned into income generating labs…!)
  5. Storage & Fulfillment for them…was not… a “core competency”.
  6. Your target prospect’s personnel have walked by those stored materials….so often….they no longer see them….!
  7. Collective costs of those stored materials…….have never been considered to be  optional….

We want to confirm that most of those conditions…exist….and then…. we want to create a profound moment of truth:

Do you have the courage to ask….after confirming — most of that list of conditions, What do all these conditions ( inevitably)… lead to…if none of those conditions change…who does that reflect on….if nothing changes…?

(If you wait for the answer…. all but refusing to break the silence …you’ve “just moved the needle”…for both your customer…and… your organization.)

Now…let’s look at your company’s “fit…your business benefits…from pursing this discussion…beginning… with their CFO:

  1.  Our digital capabilities can improve…even radically improve… your target customer’s Cash Flow (plus improve the effectiveness of their print materials – by implementing changes and edits…as they are needed)…rather than being forced to use all their “over-bought” inventory… before needed edits are implemented.
  2. Our storage costs… most likely… are no more than a small fraction of your target customer’s storage costs (per square foot — including utilities, taxes, insurance, and inventory management/record-keeping).
  3. Our target customer… most likely could use that space — for income –related activities.
  4.  Storage & Fulfillment… is… a “Core Competency”… for our organization.
  5. When we take on our target customer’s Storage & Fulfillment…. we almost always pick-up additional work…and not based on “low price”.
  6. When we take on our target customer’s Storage & Fulfillment…we almost always improve our margins… on that work.
  7. When we take on our target customer’s Storage and Fulfillment…we almost always improve our costs…as we are better able to manage our production schedule…and reduce overtime.

Here’s the irony: The vast majority of our clients… for whom we produced a Major Customer Survey…received requests…. to begin discussing Storage & Fulfillment….from a minimum…. of …9 – 12… responding customers.

SUMMARY:

Your target customers and target prospects…. are looking to suppliers… to assist cutting their operating costs (…read that as…moving activities from them… to suppliers) …and “right-sizing”….their business model.

As a well-respected company, known for their revenue Growth… Profitability…. and significant Margins, before RR Donnelley bought them…with overvalued stock…(you will please — note that Donnelly’s “financial business model” — still… does not work)…..that acquired organization was known… internally to say… as they won one major RFP…. after another:

“Take their Print work…at whatever price is required….we’ll make it back… several times over… through Storage & Fulfillment charges.”

What does your Sales Literature… for “Storage & Fulfillment”…. offer…?

PS: Speaking of RR Donnelley, there’s a frequent observation of what transpires when we…”merge a sick organization with a healthy organization” — and particularly when there’s a “business model” — not based on, “taking great care of the customer”. Often, a “healthy organization” does not evolve. We can only hope, and watch the Board of Directors, just announced — in the merger of PIA and SGIA. They’ve got their work cut-out for them.

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