May 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

It is amazing how time away from something that captivates so much of your time, energy and thought process can add perspective.

I took a week off last week and took the family away. I have come back with some tools that formed by connecting the dots. In other words all the elements were there before, they just hadn’t been mixed together. My perspective has changed and now it is simply about using the tools to test it out.

First and foremost is to prioritize better at work and the tools needed. I have developed a threshold for each category for each store that should allow me to manage our inventory better, track movement against expectations better and that will hopefully lead to greater profitability and accountability of more than just me.

There it is… the reason I blog. Every blog asks me to work out an idea. The idea of this blog was to have the tools that made more people accountable for our mutual success than just me. To create a playing field where it is pretty cut and dry if you are succeeding, getting by or getting tossed.

Ooh that feels good. Feels like I have finally itched that spot that keeps moving.

Bully vs The Force Field

October 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

As I kid I remember playing Super Hero games and I always had a force field. It protected me from all the bully’s of the universe and I could rely on it at anytime.

I no longer play Super Hero games with my competitors, but I do deal with bully’s and have a force field.

Every industry has some bully’s in it and it seems that they hold all the cards. They have greater cash reserves, they can and do buy more advertising, they get first crack at a lot of things and it is really hard to see how one can compete.

You need a force field. Your force field is your proposition that your competition, no matter how big, can not take away from you.

I was reminded of this the other day when in the bully in my industry was able to circumvent an order I had  placed with the supplier. It was an illegal move but the regulators will turn a blind eye, why? because my regulator is also my distributor who is also my retail competitor. It made my blood boil. I sat down at my computer to write an angry, acerbic e-mail that was guaranteed to have everyone that I was yelling at bending to my will. Ridiculous – delete.

I reminded myself that the bully had lost over 35% of the their market share in the last 2 years to companies like ours. They are starting to get desperate and, like all bullies, resort to underhanded tactics to try to pull back market share. They don’t get that I have a force field that even under handed and evil tactics can not penetrate.

My force field is only as strong as the relationship we have with our customers, suppliers and other vendors. Our relationships are premised on having open dialogue with a goal to raising the bar. Our force field is directly impacted by the level of engagement we have with the customer. That engagement has many faces(price, selection, customer service, hours, parking, location, personality) but it all comes down to honesty and doing what we say we are going to do.

The bully can’t deal with that. If they did it would become clear that they are a bully and they stand to lose even more market share. I have yet to come across a story where the bully wins anything that lasts. They will lose but you have to help them lose by constantly building your force field.

Thank you for reading this.

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