69 items found for ""
- Sustained Comfort... Tends to Be.... Deadly
By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 01/13/2023 Published in American Printer “All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”……Michael John Bobak INTRODUCTION: Over the past week or two, news of our “Online Graphic Communication Curriculum from Colleges and Universities for Company Employees” - began to slip-out to a few influential communicators and thought-leaders in our great industry. You can access this revolutionary new information resource by going to: https://www.chadwickconsulting.com/_files/ugd/5cfe2f_c6ead167db8241c3b460e74880dfefc0.pdf A GAME CHANGER This new information resource is a “Game Changer” for every printing company and related service provider, Original Equipment Manufacturer, and school of higher education with a graphic communication curriculum. For employees, desiring to elevate and update their technical knowledge, online learning has proven its ability to upgrade and power forward a company’s intellect and innovation. Now our universities, colleges, and schools “see the light” of a totally new market and industry need, by designing a curriculum that can be taken online from an employee’s desk at home, or at work. This recognition is a strategic Game Changer for company owners, their brightest and most ambitious employees, and our graphic communication education programs. To work effectively in our industry, owners and employees need to steadily upgrade their technical skills and understandings – throughout their career. Too often, however, needed technical skills and understandings are illusive - even outside their own organization. Additionally, over the past several decades, traditional and technical schools closed down their “print shops” – representing a declining source of skilled employees for our industry. Colleges and universities with “print programs,” with ever-more complex technologies requiring investments being introduced, were required to adopt “design and digital program curricula” to keep their too often dwindling student enrollments alive. The Pandemic’s timing forced schools to adapt their curricula to Online Courses. Online Courses have been, for the most part, effective, when online learning was the only logical alternative for learning and training. Additionally, the new opportunity for working employees participating in the same virtual classroom with fulltime, degree-seeking students would understandably raise the value of the class and curriculum discussions – for everyone involved in teaching, training, and learning. The selection of courses available for online learning for company employees can appear mesmerizing, but are well worth your time to review. SCHOOL AND COMPANY PARTNERSHIPS My personal attention naturally goes to “Data Mining” at the University of Houston, which has grown that specific curriculum to about 8 classes a year, since 2015. That course introduces students to a series of real-world Case Studies, to be solved through the use of multiple public databases, and class discussions. (To my knowledge, at this time, no other school teaches the use of these public databases to solve everyday business problems.) Professor Mark S. Hargrove is the instructor, and through Department Coordinator, Dr. Jerry Waite, both Mark and this course content - are available to other Graphic Communications schools. Note: Students successfully completing this course are reportedly sometimes hired – often outside the Print industry – before graduating…because of this course content! SUMMARY: Online learning, from home or work, for your brightest and best employees provides options and hope for a brighter future. Online learning can result in: (a) providing a motivating reward to your entire organization, certainly (b) your brightest and best, and (c) radically changing your employee recruitment strategy Employees engaged in online learning should expect to draw the attention of your suppliers, for learning which of their potential customers - are committing to a better, longer future…! Long term committed presence of key industry suppliers to this program is almost a given, as key suppliers are strong supporters of our industry’s graphic communication schools. Online learning for your organization re. ongoing needed skills and understandings, can change our industry’s reputation and perceived future – and should provide a Recruitment Tool and Strategy – for the brightest and best. And…. online learning for current employees, should change and expand both curriculum strategy development, and options – for colleges and universities – with Graphic Communication programs. This is a new and powerful tool that can accelerate our industry’s future. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.”……………….Proverb
- Employee and Company Development Information -- Whose Time Has Arrived
By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 12/16/2022 Published in American Printer “What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.”…………Joseph Addison INTRODUCTION: In Wisconsin, mid-September, at a CEO Peer Group dinner, Wanzie Collins, CEO of Panaprint, asked me a question I’ll never forget: “Sid, do we know what courses at our Graphic Communications Universities are available online for our employees to take?” For a few seconds, I hesitated, recognizing the implications of his strategic question. “Wanzie, I know of a few… at the University of Houston…which are excellent….but my guess is there are many more…at other universities….Would you like for us to take a look and get back to you…? This “work-in-progress” link can hopefully take you to a listing of about 100 courses available to your employees in-person and online from 5 Graphic Communications universities. (We invested several hundred hours of staff time, mostly through our Administrative Assistant, Ms. Sarah Ogburn, to develop, confirm, and present this information.) We also believe this dynamic information is: A work in progress, with much more to be added. With the thoughtful selection, capable of elevating an individual’s career, a company’s trajectory, a university’s contributions, and our great industry’s prosperity. At the very least, the availability of these online courses to company employees can change: A company’s recruitment strategy. A company’s employee retention. A company’s internal energy – and excitement for change, development, and innovation. A university’s curriculum development, and curriculum strategy. SUMMARY: Most organizations have one or more individuals who are capable of so much more than what they are doing day-to-day. Modest investments can lead to an ROI of 1000%+…! I have no fantasies about how fast this information can and should be put to use in our great industry. We already have clients who are in discussions with employees and universities – for “enrollment.” I hope you’ll take a serious in-depth look and open-up discussions with your best and brightest. “No man is wise enough by himself.”…….Plautus
- 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
- Waiting Options….for an Improved Future….
By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 10/21/2022 Published in American Printer “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”………….Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. INTRODUCTION: Recently, we were a critical part of a long-term client’s successful efforts to persuade his professionally successful son, and a close business associate friend of his son (with no commercial print experience) – to leave their high-powered sales jobs, and join our client’s commercial print company, long-term. Succession Plan – now in place. Our client’s company is immediately more valuable - to employees, to customers, to suppliers, and now – to the company’s founder. Those two young, high-powered sales executives did their homework on numerous issues, including, but not limited to: Our great industry’s expected future growth segments… Expected shrinking segments… Future employees’ needed skills… Suppliers worth their time… Technologies and certifications (e.g., SOC-II, and malware) that are expected to be critical… The value of customers’ Trade Shows… What KPIs (Key Performance Issues) do our industry’s associations prefer to ignore (or don’t understand), but which provide a clearer direction and much improved long-term performance… Those two new part-owners, announced October 20th, insist that their early months include their developing current customers and targeted major accounts….! For example, they’ve read several redacted major Customer Survey Reports – from our archives – from the last three years. They don’t want to overlook these opportunities to gain at least 7-figures of additional business from current customers while personally gaining priceless experience and customer introductions. SUMMARY In a private strategy discussion, these plans were set in motion about a year ago, offering significantly better results. Our client did not like the value M & A specialists were obtaining for sellers, especially since the buyer's names - kept reappearing. U. of Houston has a Spring 2023 Digifest, where they invite employers to meet graduating students, who display and discuss their work in many categories, including eMedia, e-Commerce, gaming and simulation, packaging, motion media, digital photography, graphic design, web, user experience, augmented and virtual reality. We have multiple clients who do not miss this rare Interviewing and Hiring opportunity. How important is top-trained talent to your company’s future and value….? “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten”……………….Anonymous
- Preparing for Approximately 3 - 5 Years Forward…..
By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 10/07/2022 Published in American Printer “None of us is as smart as all of us”….J. Robert Oppenheimer Head of the Manhattan Project. INTRODUCTION: Successful leadership and talent are required for successful ownership…..Talent and leadership require time to develop. Too many owners do not have anyone designated as their probable successor. Penalties for that omission are multiple, including one less important reason for your average employee… to stay. Hiring needed talent and potential leadership I believe requires organizational participation, which includes a thoughtful perspective of your future talent needs. For example, “What are the forward-looking needs of your top 3-5 ‘Value-Added’ customers…?” Examples of organizational participation: Recognizing that your organization has profound influence on acceptance and success of any Intern or full-time candidate hired, what are the qualities and experience you and they want in potential candidates to be interviewed, and possibly hired? Shouldn’t they be involved in the Interview process? Given that you are probably hiring someone with some technical and production experience, what types of involvement with your different departments seem required – to be meaningful? In what order? Business Development competence in my opinion is critical for an owner. Learning a new employee’s background in this area is helpful, but live experiences with your organization may be the only way to provide credibility and leadership. These qualities require instruction, patience, motivation on the part of your candidate, and time. Importantly, as an opinion, these experiences and development of your candidate are critical. Address them early on. Do not procrastinate. (For improved communications, get your candidate involved with Toastmasters.) Have potential candidates visit your organization. Quietly but keenly be observant of interactions with your employees. Ask for feedback – from both your candidate(s) and your employees. Create a Position Description that requires a written Performance Review every six months. Feedback and objectives need to be clear: What’s expected to be learned, demonstrated, and accomplished – every 6 months.. (When you put this information in writing, it becomes important.) As Internships allow you to observe many qualities of your candidate, pay them for what they are expected to contribute, so that they can afford your temporary employment, and are grateful for the experience with your organization. (They can be ambassadors for your company at the university.) Remember, this is a courtship. I’m a believer in multiple candidates, for hedging a successful outcome. Your investment is designed to develop a long-term employee, whose presence elevates the value of your organization to (a) your customers, (b) fellow employees, and (c) to you. SUMMARY: Too many company owners don’t want a succession plan…. because: --- they like being president, and don’t have a “Plan B” for their life… --- that’s a subject they’ve been able to avoid… --- they plan to work on that….soon… --- none of their current employees are up to what the job requires, with its many nuances… --- they haven’t found the person they would feel good turning their company over to….yet….. --- etc., etc….. After about the age of 55, investments in technology, capital equipment, and training….. “tail-off”…. When the company is finally absorbed by a local competitor, there’s not much left. A good friend calls it “…a slow, steady glide into the side of a mountain.” Our last column offered two Graphic Communications Programs – that offer unusually talented graduates, looking for a company they can move into - and earn – Cal-Poly and The U. of Houston. Candidates… and Interviews – are available – at both schools. Give their Department Chairs… a call…for setting up Interviews…! “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”…………..Steve Jobs
- Opportunities....Untapped.... and Neglected...!
By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 09/23/2022 Published in American Printer “We can all see things we wish had been done differently”………………Queen Elizabeth II, at Dinner on Her 1st Visit to Ireland. INTRODUCTION: Owner neglect of a “Written Succession Plan” has existed so long across our great industry and associations, we seem to no longer see its consequences. (A smaller industry is NOT inevitable.) How industry suppliers have tolerated such neglect and consequences – by our associations, I have no explanation. There are at least two top-rated schools – turning out talented, motivated, highly skilled, uniquely trained graduates - some of whom are quietly wanting to become part of and acquire a company - now, through their sweat equity. These upcoming graduates are available for Internships, and your critical review and selection – for a much longer, equity building relationship. They can become part of your Succession Plan. My Two Recommendations for Selecting Interns: U. of Houston. Contact Dr. Jerry J. Waite (C: 832-656-3089; email@example.com), for directions for Interviews, and Faculty recommendations for their Digital Media Program, College of Technology. Cal-Poly. Contact Colleen Larkin Twomey (W:678-469-9726; firstname.lastname@example.org) for directions for Interviews, and Faculty recommendations. A Few Follow-Through Issues - That Tend To Be Neglected: After an impressive and successful Internship, get your agreement with your talented candidate – up front - in writing, with at least six-month subsequent Reviews. I’ve watched one too many senior, talented Managers “walk” – because after years of personal development and service, nothing was happening and nothing was in writing. (If you aren’t willing to put your mutual understandings in writing – up front, where is trust…?) When you visit with your banker, take your “Understudy” with you – every time. Dealing with your banker(s) is serious business, and your understudy needs time to “season-in” – and hear your perspectives. Nothing quite equals such wake-up reality checks. Insist that your Understudy become competent in Business Development – preferably - a respected leader. “Challenges” develop leadership. And tough economic times are inevitable. Only those organizations with seasoned Business Development leadership – can expect to survive tough times. (This is not an option.) Make arrangements for your Understudy to visit organizations and individuals - you respect and admire for their values and performance. A critical review with you, preferably in writing - of what he/she observed, learned, and questioned – after such visits, should be mandatory. Track and discuss – with accountability - what is improving, and not improving. SUMMARY: With our great industry’s conditions, our associations have not made “Succession Planning” their top priority. Why is that…? After an owner reaches a certain senior age, without a firm succession plan, reinvestments tend to dry-up……Employees don’t miss the message. The day your qualified Understudy comes on board, with grit and determination to be successful, you can’t hide the potential - and hoped-for impact. Your company is potentially worth more – that day – to everyone. And everyone knows it. “My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.”…………Steve Jobs
- What Mark Are You... Passionately....Leaving...?
By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 09/16/2022 Published in American Printer “The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there. Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has more lasting value.”…..Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) – selling more than 5 million copies (after being rejected… by more than 100 publishers…!)…..The Writer’s Almanac, Garrison Keillor INTRODUCTION: So many innovations we are told….…are accidents. Maybe not….. For talent, your organization is competing with every organization within 25 miles of your location. And much of that talent wants work - and project(s) – worth… their best efforts. Many employees do not know much about their customers, or what their company produces that their customers need…. or how it’s used. Customers in my experience like to tour facilities – of both their suppliers and their customers. Frequently, there’s a discussion – that leads to a suggestion or an insight to how a product or process can be improved, or used differently. At the very least, supplier and customer visitor discussions develop a deeper appreciation for how their tour host – and their own organization - contribute to the greater community. I still can’t remove from memory how a highly respected Plant Manager asked one of his Sales Reps if he could tour the customer’s plant that was using a proprietary, customized product the Plant Manager’s plant was producing. When asked why the request, he replied, “I suspect I can improve the design we’re being asked to produce.” Another General Manager shared that when he installed a “Suggestions for Company Improvements” box - in their Lunchroom, he then – intentionally - acknowledged all suggestions - and their authors – at their Monthly Employee Meetings. As a testament to the power of developing “community” in a company, that box is never empty…! (And, he reports their company’s workflow and profitability continue to slowly improve – which is also reported - from a stream of modest suggestions – that continue to add-up…!) SUMMARY: In our Plant Manager Peer Group Conference Calls, we encourage all participants, after a change for improvement has occurred – to go back and closely review - again – the new process or end product. Why? It’s different. And likely as not, if studied closely – has another opportunity for improvement – not previously recognized…! On an In-Plant Assignment for the U. of California state system, during a major recession, when a 350-employee In-Plant needed to be radically downsized – to meet reduced state budgets, I was visiting every 30 days. Toward the end of each visit, I would first review verbally, and then submit - between 35 and 50 written suggestions for improving workflow, communications, quality, and cutting costs. After each visit, their onsite project consultant (who was a retired Vietnam Veteran U.S. Marine pilot - from N.C….!), would implement most of the suggestions. When this process was in its 3rd cycle, he asked, “How can you uncover these new opportunities – on each visit?” My response, “Never stop going back and looking – again - for a new opportunity to improve….it’s almost always there…!” “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful….that’s what matters to me.” ……………..Steve Jobs
- Russian Roulette…or…Does Your Company Have A Strategy…..?
By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 08/19/2022 Published in American Printer “When confronted with two evils…. I prefer the one I haven’t tried yet…..!”………………………….Mae West INTRODUCTION: “Can we successfully differentiate ourselves to expected target customers….?”……is one of four critical questions asked by Amazon senior management - when considering a major initiative. Amazon seems to know what they are doing. Lack of a purposeful business development strategy, that supports a superior differentiation, is determining who does not survive evolving, fast-changing market conditions Questions I try to ask, on the front end: What are your capabilities.....whether or not your customers know them….. and whether or not you recognize and promote them….? What projects and capabilities have you excelled producing….are you most proud having produced…did your customer(s) rave about …? What products or services have grown the most….have the best margins….have been easiest to sell and promote….? If we organize your customers by “customer category” (e.g., agencies vs. retail vs. manufacturers vs. packaging, etc.), and measure (a) their “value-added” contribution, and (b) profitability contribution, is there a discrepancy….? (Are some customer groups providing “higher value-added” vs. “profitability”.) Who your organization pursues and develops as customers now – determines what your company looks like – two and three years from now….! Who we pursue is who we sell……And direction is more important than speed. Only a few organizations are specific, based on “performance analysis”, who they pursue, and who they don’t – and should not - pursue. SUMMARY: All dollars going through your organization are not equal. Every time a prospect is pursued, a current customer is nurtured - your organization is investing its future. Few sales trainers, sales training organizations, and marketers - are: Conducting this type of frequent analysis, and then Guiding their clients to public Databases – containing almost unlimited target prospects they should be pursuing….prospects whom they: Have a history of successfully serving, with Higher margins, higher growth potential, and new customers’ revenues….! There’s almost always a better way to invest precious dollars… into Business Development. “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world…are the ones who do….”……………Steve Jobs
- What Gets Measured – Gets Managed – And Improved
By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 08/05/2022 Published in American Printer “When you say no, you are only saying no to one option. When you say yes, you are saying no to every other option.”……….James Clear, Atomic Habits INTRODUCTION: Great coaches know that great teams require time, patience, discipline, and creative coaching – all coordinated into – “Great Strategies.” A recent column asked, “Does anyone measure Quotes Won with Options” vs. “Quotes won without Options?” (Evidence was presented from multiple sources that “Options win more work” – from subsequent discussions - but you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t measure – over time.) On a recent Monthly Plant Managers Conference Call, I asked, “What do you systematically measure and Report to a Department, Charting it on a Wall Chart in the Department?” Too many key Managers believe they’ve “done their job” - if their company’s work is - acceptable to their customer - and on-time re. delivery. I equate that to “Showing-up.” There’s not another Professional Service or Disciple where “Showing-up”… is all that’s expected. And, I hold senior management and owners accountable for: Not conducting Performance Reviews with their direct reports – every six months, which include, “What personal skill or talent are you working to develop or improve, that would make you more valuable to this company?” Not asking, “What are you doing to Report and Improve Performance - with your direct Reports?” Nick Saban of The U. of Alabama reports that he learned from Bill Belicheck of New England - to scan Scouting Reports for keywords, like “but” and “and”. “But” was a key that something was lacking. “And” was an introduction - that there was “more to learn” - about an individual or team. SUMMARY: A CEO recently turned our CEO Monthly Conference Call on its ear – when he reported that he was now personally conducting weekly one-hour management training sessions with a half-dozen of his brightest – not necessarily his current dept. supervisors. He had decided to personally accelerate growing the company he wanted. Sample subjects of weekly session discussions…? What information you don’t have, would allow you to plan better…? What wastes your time…? What do you want to be doing here in three years…? What information do you not receive (that exists ?), that you need…? Where do we waste time and/or materials…? What information would be helpful to our customers…that they don’t receive….? How can you solve a recurring problem, as a team…? My observation is that we are too often not “leading development of better results” - nor are we planning what we need to be doing – for how our world is changing - two years or sooner – in the future. “Be around people who have the values you want, not the things you want.”……..Jay Shetty, Life & Purpose Coach
- Options – Win Work – Even Major Work…!
By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc. – 07/22/2022 Published in American Printer “You can’t go out and practice average on Wednesday… average on Thursday… OK on Friday… and then expect to play well on Sunday.”……Tom Brady INTRODUCTION: For years I’ve encouraged Account Executives - and Estimators - to provide their customers – “Meaningful Options… on their Letters of Quote” - whether or not their customer requested those Options. I know that’s an uphill battle. Our industry is obsessive about efficiency and productivity. Estimators are asked, “How many Quotes were generated today?” Seldom are Estimators asked, “What’s your winning Quote percentage…?” Those qualities of efficiency and productivity have their merits and their place. (However – given the direction of our culture and the need for personal interaction, there are numerous situations where qualities relating to “personal interaction efficiency” …are self-destructive…!) Benefits for you to produce meaningful Options on your Quote letters - are multiple: That Quote has more value to its recipient…! That Quote – looks different. That Quote raises issues – possibly (probably..?) not previously considered…! That Quote can often generate… a meaningful discussion… that often does not include your competitors. That Quote…with the surprising Option(s)…can lead to customer discussions…that put you in charge of winning that work…! Recently, I began counting the names of companies that I know who are creating “On-line Quote Request Forms”, for customers to fill out. (That’s troubled me…in a market and time where buyers tend to know less….customer interaction - is being reduced…even eliminated…!) As another opportunity for creating a Customer Survey arrived in our office for a client wanting to become more important to current customers, plus grow his revenues - immediately, our client allowed us to create a provocative question on his Customer Survey – for his customers to answer: “Would you like to be able to discuss Specifications of Projects - early in the Quoting process? (Please check one.) ______ Yes ______ No So far, all respondents are answering the question, and approximately 80%+ are saying…..”YES”…! SUMMARY: A dear client recently had a major contract up for renewal. Contract was for about $700,000 - $800,000 a month. Specifications were clear and had not changed in several years. A competitor …offered the option of a slightly lighter weight sheet (that also ran faster through folding and addressing), which overall saved about 10% a month….! The long-term, current supplier could have offered the same savings but had assumed that “the long-term specifications – were the only acceptable specifications.” Their competitor has the new contract. “Options” win work – even major work….! “People do not decide their future…they decide their habits…and their habits decide their future.”……F.M. Alexander, The Top Leadership Quotes of 2021.