How to Improve Your Industrial Distribution Business!
Got you with that title didn’t I! But I’ve been in the industrial distribution business since 1969 so I guess I learned a few tricks – and no doubt, forgot a few as well. But along the way I also found out that you can always learn something new.
As I noted in a recent blog, NetPlus Alliance has engaged Rick Wallace of Next Level Coaching to lead our strategic planning process. Well, we are about halfway through and it has been an exciting and challenging experience. I think it is safe to say the process has re-energized our entire staff of six. We have already solidified our goals for this year (not too hard since we are in September), for 2015 (a bit more difficult), and for 2020, eight years from now. The interesting point of all of this is that the basic elements of our business, that got us to where we are today, have not changed; and will not change. NetPlus will stay nimble while embracing change and continuing to drive additional revenue to our distributors and improved market share to our suppliers. In future blogs and newsletter columns I will go into greater detail of other elements to our plan. But the big picture is that we plan to continue to grow and to grow significantly.
Communicating is the key!
One element that we are learning about is communicating with each other – should be pretty easy with six people, right? Well we can do a much better job; and plan on doing just that.
Rick has us reading Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish. One of the chapters, mid-way through, talks about developing an executive team (in our case, all 6) rhythm of tightly run daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual huddles. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But the one that intrigues me the most is the daily huddle. This meeting brings everyone together for 5 to 15 minutes, max, at the same time every day – anyone that is out phones in. The agenda is simple: what’s up, checking daily business measurements, and “who’s stuck”. That is, who needs help accomplishing a critical task. We all spend too much time talking or e-mailing one-on-one and then having to catch up with others about the same topic. This way everyone is up to speed every day.
We will be getting trained on the process in mid-September and will begin our schedule of huddles soon after. I’ll keep you posted on how we do, but I will say that I am really excited about the daily huddles.
The 36th Annual Convention and Trade Show of STAFDA will take place this year in Orlando on November 4th to 6th. This is a very important show for distributors and manufacturers in the construction supplies business. I will be attending this convention with Jennifer Murphy, our VP and COO, and Todd Washburn, or VP of Supplier Development.
I urge all of our STAFDA members to attend this convention and to visit the NetPlus suppliers while they are there. For more information go to www.STAFDA.org.