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  • How's Your Backlog......?

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 12/02/2022 Published in American Printer “During my eighty-seven years, I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think”……Bernard Mannes Baruch INTRODUCTION: What would be your next step(s)…. If…. You received the names of 22 customers… telling you that you were receiving…. less than 11% of their business…..? …Names of 16 customers…. requesting to Consolidate Suppliers….? …Names of 5 customers…..requesting 2-3 year agreements…..? …Names of customers, collectively requesting… 158 additional products and services….not previously bought….. Names of 27 customers….collectively offering to provide you with Referrals…not currently buying from you….? (Note: our experience is that about 20% of them will provide you with more than one Referral…!) We just delivered our 2nd Customer Survey Summary Report (for 2022) - with follow-up Strategic Recommendations….to a company that was about to go out of business 5 years earlier but was discovered and personally bought for an incredibly low price… by a frustrated Plant Manager… of over 30 years. … Why don’t more organizations ask an experienced Research Firm to conduct a dynamic Customer Survey…for a better future…?.....My private thoughts include that “insightful, dynamic results” - would require thinking, changed priorities, accountability, and follow-up – “Requiring Change”…and most organizations put “Change” in the same category as “Public Speaking”…! Revenues… before this Customer Survey…. were expected to surpass $5 million - next year….. That estimate, we are told - has now been “shelved.” SUMMARY: The Strategic Focus for our client we asked to be revised and become… “Doing a more effective job – with the customers the company already serves”….for significantly improved profitability. My observation is that message…. is relevant to much of our great industry’s organizations….and that many (most ?) “Sales/Remuneration-Commission Plans” - are counter-productive and need to be radically rewritten. “To please everybody is impossible. Were I to undertake it, I should probably please nobody.”……..George Washington

  • Prepare for Low-Ball Pricing.... On the Horizon

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 11/18/2022 Published in American Printer “The best leaders of all are ones the people do not know exist. They turn to each other and say we did it ourselves.”……………………Zen Aphorism INTRODUCTION: You probably need to prepare… for the following: My client’s treasured customer just received a “low-ball, unsolicited proposal” from one of my client’s competitors. Facing lower revenues and rising costs, my client’s treasured customer is now opening their account to “market bidding.” After a moment of panic, how should they respond? Every customer relationship has a “context.” The following scenarios are presented to provide you with “Options” – that speak - to your company’s value – to this valued customer. Your organization probably knows your customer’s work, and expectations, as good as or better than any competitor. Can you “hint at” or “list” unusual service steps you take to meet their expectations - and needs - outside strict specifications? On their invoicing, you probably do not “nit-pick” them with minor extra charges. They need to learn that. Can you provide them with examples, with more examples on request? There are ways to produce their work at a lower cost, which you tend to avoid – in order to meet their delivery, quality, and servicing expectations and needs. Examples include Order-Entry, Prepress, Press, Finishing and Shipping, and day-to-day communications. Are they interested in discussing lower-cost options? Do they have penalties for competitors who seize these options, without the customer’s permission? Are these “Options” in a bidding scenario? Can you show examples of not compromising their requirements? My experience is that production teams know which customers have good and not-so-good margins. This awareness enters into how they treat each customer’s work, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways (though there may be denials). Are they inviting you to offer suggestions for lowering costs? Consistency and reliability of supplier performance tends to be taken for granted until something is not as expected. What’s your track record for reliability and consistency? (Three errors have a different perspective - if they are in the context of 900+ orders.) The customer’s unexpected, often unrecoverable costs, from a faulty supplier order, can eat up any potential cost-savings – times 100 or even 1,000X. Can you show where your knowledge of their expectations allowed you to correct their specifications, and even proactively save them meaningful, unexpected costs? Is your competitor profitable? About once a year I receive a cry for “Help” from a client being raided by RR Donnelly. Our client tends to not be aware that RR Donnelly has not been profitable for most of the last decade, paying dividends out of cash flow from depreciation – as evidenced in their published Annual Reports. My client’s customer usually is most appreciative of this important new information. On this same line of thinking, how does your competitor pay their suppliers’ bills vs. how you pay your suppliers? Supplier total support can be “the difference” at critical moments. My understanding is that you have invested steadily in (1) Employee Education & Training, (2) New and updated equipment, (3) New Technologies, and (4) Expert Technical Services. Such documentation would get your customer’s attention – with brief explanations of “economic customer benefits”. Most smart, “long-view” customers want to know they are using the best available supplier. A list of examples, with identified “customer benefits”, should be meaningful. SUMMARY: How do you “get out in front of a bidding war” to avoid inherent risks and potential losses? There really are no substitutes for an Annual Review (and more often, if prudent) – with your Top 10 or Top 20 customers. At these sessions – usually at the customer’s location, both organizations come prepared to review, with the supplier usually going first (and a post-review Report issued to both organizations): What’s changed, and is expected to change. What needs to improve. What investments have been made – that benefit both organizations? Tougher times are coming toward us. You can be proactive – preparing to continue to do well. “You’ve got to take the initiative and play your game. In a

  • Chasing Shiny Objects.... "What Value Do You Bring...?"

    By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 11/042022 Published in American Printer “If you think you can’t afford ongoing education & training for your people, you probably don’t realize you’re already paying for it.”……. Allie Hutchison, Sr. INTRODUCTION: A new, personal low: “Our newly hired high-powered executives are being scheduled to play golf with some of our most important customers.” (From a client, proud of his new hires…) ‘Hope no one asks a technical-supplier question. “New” Account Executives, Inside Sales Reps and CSRs are being hired - throughout our great industry. Their technical education and training - too often - are lacking in their beginning weeks…and continue lacking….. A Buyer, with any experience, spots a “newie Rep” - from 100 yards - and the 1st five minutes. Those Buyers know to wait – at least 6 months, before considering the “newbie.” Technical education and training… were relentless – in any company I was a part of ….. personnel enjoyed the frequently scheduled training…. they knew it made them better, and more valuable! I’ll never forget the V.P. of Purchasing from an insurance company, in a seminar titled, “What You Should Expect From Your Print Supplier,” sharing with her seminar attendees, that she had to say (in a commanding tone) to a Sales Rep - on his 3rd visit: “I worked hard for my position and title… I don’t have time to waste…if you EVER come into my office and mention Golf again, it will be the last time you are allowed in.” Note: Every Sales Call receives an evaluation…. from the Buyer. What does your Education & Training Program look like for All your customer contact personnel… (e.g., Delivery Drivers, Receptionist, Inside Sales Reps, CSR’s, Bookkeeper, Lead Pressman, and Prepress/Designer)….? SUMMARY: This week I received a call from a treasured West Coast client. Because of the “over-achieving” culture he’s built in his company, plus several key, talented senior managers, his organization has grown over 20% a year – each of the last few years. Everyone in the family - plus senior management - works about 50+ hours a week. (Understandably, they refuse to report to an association their profitability.) The owner has two sons - one already at the company - who worked 15 years in Shipping and Prepress, before moving into Business Development, and selling over $15 million+ this year. The CEO’s call to me was for his second son….who wants to enter Cal-Poly - next year….! Talent is a given…….. Working ….. to relentlessly develop your talent – is the difference. “ The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.”…………John Ruskin Copyright© 2022 Chadwick Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved. *Contact Us* Phone: (336) 558-4939

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    Now Available for Online Coaching Mission: To improve the organization and personal performance of clients, through research, education, publishing and consulting --- providing clients with options --- for improved performance. Visitor Must Read...Customer Survey Testimonials...No other organization equals our 1000+% ROI. Published Articles Customer Surveys Customer Survey Testimonials CEO Peer Group(s) University Curriculum Courses for Employees Plant Manager's Peer Group(s) Peer Group Testimonials Consulting Pressroom Performance Improvement Workshop Client Testimonials Business Development Directors' Peer Groups Wide-Format Peer Group Press Justification Studies Research Resources Research Training Workshop Monthly Survey Newsletter Contact Information Inside Sales Team Training Published Articles The Resources section opens-up well over 700 published articles to your selection, ranging from "Development of Customers", to "Retention of Employees", to "Improved Self-Promotion Options". Some long-term clients have archived everything we've had published. Other clients use our articles and columns --- for their Sales Education Meetings. Other industries --- outside of Graphic Communications --- use our articles and columns, as we are told that most are "universal" and "timeless" --- in their content. ​ ​ ​ ​ The Ben Franklin Society Learn More NAPL's Walter E. Soderstrom Society Learn More ABOUT Chadwick Consulting, Inc. is a strategic business development, marketing and sales training organization committed to improving business outcomes for the graphic communications industry. Client-based research services assist in identifying prospects, determining revenue development opportunities, compiling background information for customer development, creating appointments and self-promotion materials, and developing responses for RFQ’s and RFP’s. ​ Chadwick Consulting, Inc. represents over thirty years of professional experience in account development and strategic marketing management in business-to-business environments. Sid Chadwick has worked as a marketing field consultant in graphic communications markets for over twelve years, and has been a contributing columnist to various graphic communications publications, including Printing Impressions , IPA Bulletin , American Printer , Graphic Arts Monthly , Georgia Printer , and Printing Industries of America Print Management Series . ​Sid Chadwick Our mission is to improve company and individual performance in the graphic communications industry through business development resulting from research, strategy development, education and training, and publishing.​ ​ The staff of Chadwick Consulting is experienced in customer and prospect research, sales team training, identification and development of company differentiation, team building, continuous productivity improvement, and supervisory development in the graphic communications industry. This can be particularly useful when corporate performance, culture, and interdepartmental communications are in need of improved direction, and/or renewal. ​ Chadwick Consulting contributes professional articles for publication on a monthly basis, facilitates peer groups, and conducts equipment justification studies from a strategic perspective. ​ We also conduct employee surveys for employee and supervisor performance development. ​ In effect, we work to increase clients’ options, and focus – for improving bottom line performance. As a general observation, many clients elect to work with us in varying roles after initial assignments. ​ Chadwick Consulting is also part of GATF’s Solutions On-Site Consulting Team, and regularly works with industry associations as a speaker, for education and training programs. ​ Sid’s Educational Background: ​ 1966 – 1969 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (emphasis in Marketing & Psychology) (4 year degree in 3 years) 1971 – 1973 MSBA at University of NC at Greensboro (Two-year curriculum – night program – Wrote best comprehensive exam in graduating class) 1991 – 1994 Post-Graduate Ph.D Studies in Human and Organizational Development at The Fielding Institute 2019 – 2020 Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston; Wrote Case Study curriculum that has become a required course – 8-10 classes per year, with an excellent Full-time local Professor. Services Chadwick Consulting offers a variety of services to meet companies’ needs in the graphic communications industry: ​ CEO Peer Group Facilitation for Improved Company Performance Customer & Project Research Customer Surveys Customized, Self-Promotion Newsletters for Client’s Customers Employee Surveys Equipment Justification Studies Organizational Development Personnel Selection, Development & Retention Research for Business Development Sales Remuneration Plans Self Promotion/Business Development Support Service Organizations for Healing Strategic Planning Strategy/Differentiation Development Supplier Surveys ​ Contact us for more information.

  • Peer Group Testimonials | Chadwick Consulting

    Peer group testimonials Denny Shorett - Founder and Previous President, Crown Printers ​ As usual, you did a supurb job of organizing our sessions and its content. Our speakers were informative and, as usual, our member dialog was fruitful. It was also prudent of you to recommend that we schedule our meeting to coincide with the SGIA show. I found the show to be informative, enlightening and well worth my time. ​ I would again give you high marks in all categories of our Orlando meeting. Our meeting room, lodging, check-ins, speakers and dinner choices were all great. ​ As you know, I was in another PEN Group before this one and there is no comparison between the quality I receive now and what was so badly lacking in the other group. I recently spoke with another one of my colleagues in California who is also experiencing lack of leadership in his PEN group. My guess is that we have one of the top groups in the US under your direction. The fact that you take the personal responsibility of structuring and conducting our meetings in an orderly and disciplined format, with quality content, keeps us on tract to receive the value we expect to gain from our investment of time and money. ​ Denny Shorett President Crown Printers ​ ​ Doug Grant - President WestAmerica Communications ​ Dear Sid: ​ I’d like to offer an endorsement of CEO Peer Groups in general, and also share the positive experiences I’ve valued about our group in particular. ​ I’ve been in business over 35 years, and one thing I’ve learned over that time is that “I don’t know it all”. Nor do my top managers. That’s why I’ve embraced the concept of peer groups. “Iron sharpens iron”, and I’ve found this to be very true in my experiences with our group. At each meeting, our members openly share key indicators, critical business issues, marketing and business development efforts, organizational and technology changes, and much more. In return, we each receive valuable feedback, new ideas, best practices strategies, and often some “tough love” when we need it most. I can think of several times over the years that our members have challenged me to take critical steps and to make important decisions (decisions that I would have delayed or ignored otherwise). My business is healthier as a result. And I am a better CEO as well. ​ Sid, your facilitation of our meetings adds value. A group of “type A” CEO’s all gathered in one room is like herding cats. Yet you keep us focused and on track, and it’s clear you desire that all of us receive value from each meeting. The guest presenters, site tours, webinars, and trade shows that are sometimes part of our meetings have been very informative and provide additional value to me and our members. And the “feet to the fire” commitments we make at the conclusion of each meeting really do help keep us accountable and on track to effect positive changes in our organizations. ​ In short, I’m a “satisfied customer” of our CEO Peer Group. And I’d be happy to be a reference for any potential member who is interested in growing and improving their business. ​ Doug Grant President WestAmerica Communications ​ ​ ​ Wanzie Collins - CEO Panaprint ​ Why a peer group? ​ A wise man told me once, “If I do a dollar’s worth of business with you and you do a dollar’s worth with me, we each still have just one dollar. But, if you share an idea and I share an idea, we’ll each have two ideas”. So it is with our peer group. I seem to leave each meeting with much more than I brought. ​ It’s like being in the room with a group of experts from my industry who are willing to share openly their knowledge and experience. No member is ever expected to divulge any more information than he is completely comfortable to do. Each meeting also provides an interesting tour or program. But, without doubt, the greatest value is the friendships developed through these meetings. ​ Wanzie Collins CEO Panaprint ​ ​ ​ Richard S. Vann - President PostMark ​ Dear Sid, ​ Thank you for another very well run and informative Peer Group meeting. As always, the accommodations were first class and the restaurant selections provided superb food, ambiance, and camaraderie with fellow CEOs. ​ The presentations on marketing for our companies and for our clients, as well as the presentation on hiring, were excellent. I’ve always appreciated and learned from the industry professionals and academics that you have arranged to meet with us. The breath of material that you have assembled for us over the years is extremely impressive. We have had a really broad range of topics that have gone from selling companies, to estate planning, and to men’s health. ​ As good as the accommodations and additional presentations have been, I believe that the primary value and enjoyment is in the other members and their willingness to share their successes, problems, experiences, and knowledge. Running a company is a hard and, sometimes, lonely job. The opportunity to see what other CEOs are doing, to share successes and problems, and to have peers, who over time have developed an understanding and empathy for my operation, provide feedback has been wonderful. In addition, it is greatly enhanced by the friendship and understandings that develop over time. There is so much depth of understanding that comes from meetings and discussing common issues over the years. ​ If anyone should ask me about joining on of your peer groups, my response would be, “The value is there for you to take advantage of it. Join now and start getting help on running your company!!” ​ Richard S. Vann President PostMark ​ ​ Richard Miller - Owner Fineline Printing Group ​ What’s great about a CEO peer group? It’s a gathering of talented, professional business leaders who value and support each other. It’s an opportunity for industry peers to “talk shop”. We have a facilitator, Sid Chadwick, who keeps us on task and channels the energy of a group of Type A personalities into a meaningful dialogue. We host a wide range of speakers who keep us up-to-date on effective management practices and a wide range of subjects that affect our lives professionally, personally and physically. ​ Richard Miller Owner Fineline Printing Group

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