By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc.
“The purpose of a business is to create and serve customers…”…………………Peter Drucker, Writer, Professor, Consultant.
About two years ago, I wrote our client -- in their Customer Survey Summary Report, that the significant number of requests for -- Storage & Fulfillment -- was a ‘gateway’ to gaining significant additional business (including Print) – over time – from those customers.
That capability… would also allow them to noticeably - improve their margins. At the time of that Summary Report, they said, “Not interested if we aren’t producing more print”.
In a high-end assignment over a decade earlier, with the most profitable large printer in our industry, I came to understand why my client at that time --- was the most profitable large printer in our great industry. As they developed opportunities for RFP’s, they had come to recognize that: “Take the print at whatever price is required --- we’ll make it back 4-5X over --- on the customer’s Storage & Fulfillment pricing”.
And they did. ….(Of course, RR Donnelly eventually bought them. And then, as only RRD can do --- they tore that company apart --- so it would look like RRD.)
Last week, one of that client’s senior management (the one we wrote the Customer Survey Summary Report for) --- shared that they were changing course --- as one of their “new senior management”…had uncovered that they would have better long-term revenues --- and margins --- if they focused on maximizing their Storage & Fulfillment --- as many of their desired customers wanted to cut (a) operating costs, and (b) payroll --- and moving Storage & Fulfillment to an outside trusted supplier --- seemed prudent --- to accomplish both objectives.
Peter Drucker…. had it right from the beginning….. “A company’s purpose is to create and serve customers”……and it’s what customers say and believe….is what value is…..not whether or not a press is required to print.
When we bring forward services that make us important to our target customer, doesn’t that performance provide us with opportunities… to do more --- for them…?
As a side note, that client confessed to me that in our Customer Survey results --- we had generated over $500,000 in additional business opportunities for them…that they did not previously know existed….at current customers………. identified by customer.
While that Survey Report information from us I considered invaluable…that’s when the hard work begins….someone has to follow-up…with integrity… on those opportunities.
And as one CEO popped-off to me recently, “I know you’ll deliver what you say you can do with a Customer Survey for us….but then I also know…I’ll have to be the one to follow-up and get that business….!”
Customers in all directions… are screaming in pain…for assistance….Do we hear them…do we know their sources of pain…their needs….their ambitions…..?
Marketers I know…with Printing Companies…. are rising to the challenge…..everyday….!
“Lord….grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” ….….Michelangelo