Amazon didn’t kill brick and mortar stores, lack of Customer centric selling did. As corporations became more about the dollar and cost cutting models and less about the customer service, they killed themselves. Over the top difficult return policies. Difficulty of special ordering products for fear of being stuck with it. Impossible payment procedures, cleanliness, constant up-selling, lack of options and more has turned the consumer off. In fact, you will pay $59.00 per year just to avoid it!!
Is it a “Millennial thing” or a “refusal to communicate thing?”
Back when I was in the 5th and 6th grade, I remember walking after school with a teammate to basketball practice; I still laugh when I think of all of us groaning as we “ran the lines.” I wasn’t a basketball all-star, but I participated. Moving into middle school, I didn’t make the A-team for basketball, but I did play in one varsity game that we won.
International Pipe & Supply LLC, a family-owned company with decades of steel pipe distribution experience, used SouthWare ERP for the last decade. But the legacy software was extremely difficult to use, lacked a system to track sales leads, and had weak financial reporting. Rather than bolt-on applications, International Pipe implemented Acumatica, a unified, modern business platform, gaining financial visibility, sales tracking, and ease of use that increased productivity.
Al Karchmer was recently highlighted in the Daily Oklahoman. Please click the link below to follow the story.
Al Karchmer celebrated his 99th birthday on September 21. Click the following link for Al Karchmer’s interview with Oklahoma News 4.
Steel pipe is separate from the steel market due to one major factor, steel pipe is price driven by coil versus general steel shape products such as angle, channel, and beam. Coil must be made from a slab (vs a billet) and that coil market drives the pricing in the steel market. Coil is used in the automotive, appliance and any other industry that uses sheet. Since coil may be in short supply or high supply it is the availability and price of coil that drives steel pipe pricing at any given moment.
In a recent discussion with a couple of our Divison Managers, the topic came up. How do we explain the “thing” that “gets you noticed”? The thing that makes the boss say, “That is the person I want on my team.” ” That is the person I want to take to the next level.” I was frustrated because, if I can’t explain it to myself, then how the hell do I explain it to a valued associate without insulting them? It’s not about working longer, or staying later, it’s about your efficiencies during the day. It’s about taking the blinders off to see what is going on around you. There is always a juncture with an associate where they have reached a point they feel they deserve a raise or a promotion, that usually results in a manager sitting down and pointing out all the small flaws in the associates game, how they need to think like a manager, act like a manager etc etc. What the hell does that mean anyway?? There are a lot of bad managers!!! In my experience that has led to the employee feeling down, frustrated and crushed because they felt they were doing a good job. (And they were most time) Then we sometimes lose a good associate out of frustration. They are thinking “he treated me fine yesterday and now I’m am a failure?? How did that happen??”
(Side note: if you ask the question, be ready for the answer as you may need to improve your own game if you cant show up on time, you may want to avoid the question of “how do I get a raise around here?”)
In our discussion it came to me…what separates the average, or the good from the great- it is taking advantage of chances to shine. I’ll try and explain… In life, business and marriage there are chances to shine, “opportunities” , if you will, to shine. A chance to make a difference. These always take extra effort and work, I don’t care how many people tell you otherwise. To get noticed you have to do a very simple thing, Pay attention and work at it. Work at it all the time! I am not talking about bringing your boss coffee in the morning, I am talking about real issues that make the business move, sales solutions, new markets, operational efficiencies, etc.
Now that being said don’t confuse a chance to shine with being a decision-maker. It has nothing to do with making decisions. Have you ever heard “if I could make the decisions, I know exactly what I would do”. Well, then why don’t you voice that? The problem is; many times the new manager wants to make a decision for the sake of making a decision not an intelligent, educated decision. The first questions in any decisions are; Do I have to make the decision right now? Do I have an expert to help me? am I an expert? Have I done my research? Many owner/executives lack the time to do the research and that is why some Ideas or suggestions just never seem to come to fruition, frustrating staff and causing inefficiencies. This is exactly the point where you can shine.
You need to look for chances to shine. Don’t be so naive to think that if you are putting a bunch of effort into something you won’t get noticed. It may take a day, a year or 5 years but someone will notice. Paying attention and being a facilitator/problem solver will allow people to see you. You need to put so much effort into something that you cannot help but be noticed. That causes people to say, “ That’s the right person for the job for sure” When there are ideas on the table, take them on, research them, provide the intel to allow them to be implemented. Be early, not late. If someone under you is struggling, learn the job together, help them through it, make them better. Take on things and own them like they were yours. Become someone that people rely on to become an expert. (Again this has nothing to do with decision making) Your supervisor will then turn to you because they know you will do the work, do the research and provide the best options possible. Not all of your research will be implemented, not all of your hard work will produce results and many times you may be the bearer of bad news, that something won’t work, but you will get noticed and you will be appreciated. Do these things often and accurately and that will give you the chance to be a decision-maker. What your supervisor is looking for is people that make educated, researched, intelligent decisions, not just decisions.
These chances to shine happen every day and people just pop by them with excuses like, “I don’t know anything about that”. “Not my Job” “I don’t have time” “I’ll do it when they pay me to do it” or they are so wrapped up in their social media, games or other apps that they don’t see their opportunity to shine. If you make a difference and make everything better around you then your effort will be seen, rewarded and appreciated. Your manager/boss needs help and if you listen, you will know exactly how to help. That will get you a raise, that will get you a promotion, that will make you valuable to the team. You have to find these chances to shine every day, there is no shining moment and then you are done it is an all-the-time-thing, not a some-of-the-time-thing. Do that, and you probably never have to ask for a promotion or a raise again.