Over time, all companies collect more customers, products and vendors than they need.A careful sorting of each of these three groups will show you where you are making money, breaking even and even losing money.
In the early 1990s, Rudy Giuliani, then the newly elected Mayor of New York City, set out to prove that New York City - a city which for years had been assumed to be too big, too unruly, too diverse, too broke to be managed - was in fact, manageable.
We are creatures of habit. We like predictability. Change means breaking habits. It means a permanent breach with the old routine. It is not obvious at all how one goes about successfully making change. First you have to figure out just what it is you want to change, then you actually have to exercise some discipline to get yourself to change and finally you have to resist all those external pressures, all those temptations that are pushing you constantly to “go back” to the old ways. Individual change is tough.
Business is great, but every silver cloud must have a dark lining.
In February, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the PVF Roundtable in Houston. For those of you who have not been to the area, let me start by saying as far as PVF goes, everything IS bigger in Texas. Houston is both the PVF bellwether and the PVF Mecca. How PVF goes in Houston, so goes PVF nationwide - albeit, a little less intensely and a little later. Nonetheless, the Houston market is a strong leading indicator of the health of the PVF market in general.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Boil this famous statement down and what it really says is, “You must change.” I recently started working for a new client, one that has been through a steady downturn for a very long time.
In my last article (“Stop Wasting Time, Effort, Money!” SUPPLY HOUSE TIMES, January 2006, page 26) you learned about Muda, the Japanese word for waste. Since then, you have no doubt seen all sorts of Muda every day in your business - inside salespeople waiting for information; more inventory than needed stacked up around your warehouse; billing, shipping, receiving errors.