Traverse Ciity

Century, Inc.


Traverse City is a very nice place. It is also the location for Century, Inc…..a company that specializes in machining, welding and heat treating.

 “We run this facility 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” is a significant statement. A company that operates at this level is providing exceptional quality and service to its customers.

Best Burger Chain?

P Terry’s/Austin TX


Three key points:

  • According to Patrick, he was able to do everything differently by studying up on what others did wrong before him. In fact, he credits the scathing fast food critique Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser as his “bible.”
  • “Everything that everyone was doing wrong in that book, we stayed away from. And the stuff that they were doing right, we aimed toward,” he said.
  • Sadly, Patrick noted to Eater that there are no plans to take P. Terry’s national, because as he said he’s “too old” for that kind of thing.

Examine the menu: simple….done well….a key to success.


Growing a Business


Question: Why is it difficult for some businesses to grow?

Answer: They organize, behave, lead and manage like a small organization/business.

In our business, we were continually looking to grow….expanding our building….upgrading our product lines….moving into appliances….the goal: a complete home center.

The one main criteria however was finding the right people to become a part of the organization. Without the people….that goal could not be met.

However, other factors eventually came into consideration….so we did not move in that direction. At the end of day….it’s the people that make a business/organization successful.

High Tech

Purple Mattress


The bedding industry has been impacted by the proliferation of the mattress-in-a-box segment. Casper being the most prominent.

“Mattress technology hasn’t really changed in over 40 years. So rather than just repurpose memory foam like everybody else, we got our hands dirty with some hardcore macromolecular science. 30 patents later, the Purple® Smart Comfort Grid™ was born.”

Of course, every one of these new mattress companies has an unique selling proposition….after all that is what differentiates one brand from another.

However, all these different products are somewhat confusing for the consumer….does one need a macromolecular science mattress rather a traditional innerspring mattress?

In our business, bedding was a key product line….Eastman House Restonic and Richards of Grand Rapids. In 2018….a retailer would certainly have to adapt….and definitely acquire more product knowledge.

Changing Leadership

Uncertainty – Case Study


Case studies were a useful tool in the MBA program with the Harvard Case Studies** the most well – known.


In this case study….an organization doing very well with three well-like and superb leaders was cast into a changing leadership situation. Within a short period….all three left the organization….one retired….the other two moved to vacated positions.

Younger untested leaders were now in place….there was uncertainty. The key question….could the organization continue in a positive direction and would the new  leaders rise to the occasion.

After two years….the organization continues to grow and has developed future new leadership.

The take-a-way: Leadership development is a key component of any successful business/organization. If written as a case study….the organizational change could easily had a different outcome.


Shirt & Tie

“The owner of my last company required booth workers at trade shows to wear suits, even when reps of other companies wore cheesy logo polos, saying it showed respect for our customers. He was right and it was noticed and valued.” – Kevin Meyer

While not a major issue….the idea of respect for ones customers is still important. Business causal may be the norm….years ago shirt and tie were the standard….and rightly so.

Shirt and tie- 1974

Singapore Airlines

Better than Expected


From Inc.:

Singapore Airlines is consistently rated as one of the worlds best airlines. Because:

“If you treat people beyond their expectations, you might just build up a loyalty. But you have to want to do that. You have to want your customer service to be a genuine differentiator. 

Many U.S. airlines don’t think it’s worth it. It’s a business decision. And then they wonder why, all too often, every little mistake they make gets magnified by unhappy passengers going to the media.”

Often businesses just wait for the next customer….the last customer is just a memory. The key as stated in the article is to make superior customer service the difference.

After all it is a business decision….to make a business better and different.