Are You Swimming Without A Bathing Suit….When The Tide Goes Out…..?

July 27, 2017

By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc.

“You can tell who’s swimming without a bathing suit….when the tide goes out…(.and it always eventually goes out)”……Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway


Evidence is all around us……for example….

Accountable Hold Me--- Sales Reps are mostly “harvesting orders” from long term customers, and aren’t calling on and developing prospects.

--- CSR’s are reactive, and generally not proactive with customers, or prospects.

--- Sales Managers are not leading by example, and aren’t instructive --- holding Sales Reps accountable for the productivity of their time.

--- There’s no review of who didn’t buy last quarter, who we didn’t quote, or whose purchases were down.

--- One or two top-notch Sales Reps, if we’re fortunate, are holding the company “almost” steady, but that’s requiring 12 -14 hour days from them --- and isn’t sustainable.

--- Equipment maintenance logs are not up-to-date, and no one seems to take that seriously anymore. Repairs are delayed….and then delayed again.

--- Department performance records are not published; performance is generally not reviewed, and not improving.

--- Employees are paid, whether or not there is work to be produced. (It’s easier on the conscience of the owner and management --- that way.) Cash is short.

--- Local association executives are not sponsoring “tough love” webinars. If they conducted a “Member Survey” --- they only allowed “good news” to be reported. (The consultant, who conducted the survey, was incensed that the “tough feedback from members” --- was not put on the table before the Board.)

--- As important as great image reproduction is (and it IS important), learning your customers’ business development and communications needs --- is more important.

--- Senior management are spending most of their time in their offices, and not with customers, prospects, and suppliers.

--- Smart, major buyers --- are examining supplier’s culture and values --- with personal onsite visits --- and consolidation of suppliers --- recognizing that many suppliers are a “shell” --- with few if any long term plans.  Lack of performance improvement from a supplier --- sends a message --- all by itself.

--- "Cross-Training tends to be a "paper-tiger action plan" ---mostly on paper --- rather than a weekly exercise designed to steadily improve both capacity, and consistency of quality produced."


Most of us have read --- from more than one source --- that the next financial market downturn, is near.

I submit that our industry, when that next downturn occurs, will lose more member companies than in any previous downturn period.

Lack of a Plan --- with “glue” (i.e., written instructions that are reviewed) --- for performance improvement --- for growing your business --- and for how to successfully manage a downturn ---  is not a sustainable future.

“I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.”…….Kareem Abdul-Jabar


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