Pizza (& Supermarkets)

A Really Big Market

Who doesn’t like pizza? Not too many as the total US market for pizza sales is almost $30B. A recent article in the News Observer stated that even more chains want to enter the RDU market.

How different can one chain make a pizza?  How do they differentiate themselves? Poppa John’s makes the difference with….fresher ingredients.

How a business/organization differentiates itself is a major factor in growth/success(or demise)

Food Markets: Right along with the pizza story….todays N&O featured how Food Lion (the low-price chain in our market) was reinventing itself with:

  • Lower prices
  • Revamped produce
  • Brighter lighting
  • Cleaner stores
  • Shorter checkout
  • New carts

All good things that every store (and chain should do). The test of course is execution.

Whether pizza or supermarkets in competetion….there is no choice….”If you don’t keep up you should start closing the doors.”



Getting Things Done

I’m currently reading the autobiography of Hugh Shelton. Shelton is a four star Army General and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His a graduate of NCSU and grew up in Speed, NC….so a local interest also.

While there are co-authors….Shelton tells a compelling story of leadership….of how leaders lead and how some don’t lead.

The underlying theme from Shelton is the fact that leadership revolves around relationships that he developed throughout his career.

The Army (or any military branch) is similar to businesses/organizations. The best led are the ones that are successful….that get things done.

In developing long-lasting relationships Shelton was able to lead the forces to be mission ready….as well as supporting the troops who carried out the mission.

Relationships are an intangible foundation of any organization. I wonder if they teach that at the U of M School of Business in 2011?


Look Your Best

Appearances are important. We wanted our business to be clean and spotless every day. During the winter….that meant a lot of snow shoveling. During the summer….painting and property maintenance.

Appearances in general mean a well-run business.

The photo is from a quick lube business that took over a former Jiffy Lube location. The location is good….a high traffic intersection. Yet they have done nothing to improve the site. Not the least, fixing the sign where parts of the facing are off. During the year….nothing is done to maintain the property.

I wonder if the shabby appearance reflects on the quality of Snappy Lube’s service?

Gone – Not Forgotten

Broadway – Muskegon Heights

We lived about 4 blocks from Broadway….the main street in Muskegon Heights, MI (in the late 40’s early 50’s). The photo looks like it is from the early 50’s.

To the left of the Broadway & Peck intersection less than 1/2 block away was the CWC foundry….right in the middle of town! In the next block the Norge plant and in the next block Shaw Box Crane.

To the right of the intersection….two blocks down….Browne-Morse….Morton Manufacturing….Universal Camshaft and Bennett Pumps.

These manufacturing plants were the foundation of the community. In those days most of the workers walked to the plants.

The last plant building (Lift-Tech formerly Shaw Box Crane) was recently demolished !

New forms of manufacturing continue to be created….yet the reality is change….the following quote makes it clear:

“It takes a long time for a generation to come around to significant revolutionary change. The newspaper business, the steel business, law firms, the car business, the record business, even computers… one by one, our industries are being turned upside down, and so quickly that it requires us to change faster than we’d like.

It’s unpleasant, it’s not fair, but it’s all we’ve got. The sooner we realize that the world has changed, the sooner we can accept it and make something of what we’ve got. Whining isn’t a scalable solution.”

News Roundup

April 2011

+ Apple – $5.99 B quarterly income….that’s impressive. The reason: new products/services. See the 04.30.2011 post – Great Ideals.

+ Another unique company making models –

+ Undercover Boss: University of California, Riverside – Chancellor. Instead of the folks coming to his office….he went to their work place…very nice.

+ Appearances are important. Years ago a used car dealer planted grass and flowers around his lot….as well as keeping the lot and cars spotless. He was very successful….and not a large lot.

+ Trends – Great businesses are able to see trends and react.

+ Websites: In todays world….they need to be well done….current….easy to navigate….and a superb contact page. It’s all about first impression.