Loyaty

Customers

From Seth Godin:

“It begins with understanding the economics of loyalty. Saving a customer is ten times more efficient than finding a new one.”

“Because the race doesn’t go to businesses that do the minimal customer care. The race goes to those that figure out what more they can do. And do it.”

Maximizing customer care….perhaps an unknown cost….yet actually is the best marketing strategy.  Keeping a customer for life is far less costly and more rewarding. A strong customer base creates a sustainable long term business.

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Identity

Logo

A new business will open soon in Muskegon (MKG) with a  nicely designed logo.

https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2019/08/adventurous-distillery-coming-to-muskegons-lakeside-district.html

The idea of course is that good design reflects the product and business….that’s the first step. Product quality and excellent service are the next steps.

Controversy

US Space Force

From Breaking Defense.com:  https://breakingdefense.com/2019/08/air-force-suppressed-space-force-debate-lt-gen-kwast-spoke-truth-to-power/utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EBB%2008.12.19&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

This is an unusual controversy.

I met Lt. Gen. Kwast (than Col. – 4th Fighter Wing commander – Seymour-Johnson AFB). The encounter certainly indicated a future general officer.

However, at the 3 and 4 star level….politics also come into play. In the current situation, it appears they have. Unfortunately for the Air Force….Lt. Gen. Kwast may have to retire. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Space_Force

Inventory

Carload 

A major principle of the retail business  – “one cannot sell from an empty wagon”.

Inventory management was always an ongoing challenge. We simply did not want to be out of stock….out of stock=out of a sale.

Our biggest suppliers were Berkline, Stratford, Schweiger, and Chittendon & Eastman….all no longer in existence.

With Berkline (TN) and Stratford (MS) we bought in rail car loads…..because of the freight savings. Schweiger (WI) and  Eastman House (IA) were in truckloads….being a days drive to MI.

The challenge was to get the right balance of products….even if we saved on freight….if the turnover rate wasn’t what it should be (or we simply made a mistake in style and/or fabric)…..we were stuck with slow movers.

While the sales reps liked carload buying….it was even more important for us to buy the right products. No trouble, of course, when we bought a rail car of 50 Berkline heater-vibrator recliners for a promotion!

Note: Our rail car loads were on the C & O (photo).

Ethics

Facebook

From Tom Peters:

Zuckerberg quote in Vanity Fair May 2019 article: “You can be unethical** and still be legal that’s the way I live my life.”

Unfortunately unethical behavior exists in the business world (it’s only business).

At the end of the day, it comes down to this fundamental principle:

Doing the right thing

** not morally correct

Merchandising

Lowe’s + Home Depot

A recent article stated Lowe’s is making significant adjustments to better compete with Home Depot.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/08/02/lowes-store-layoffs/1898200001/

After this Saturdays visit….it would seem that Lowe’s is moving in the wrong direction….and forgot on how to merchandise.

The north Cary Lowe’s was in disarray, merchandise not in display racks….one associate in sight…. untidiness in aisles….only two registers open….all-in-all….a complete lack of merchandising fundamentals.

Compared to a visit to Home Depot….no comparison – Home Depot was spotless….well stocked and numerous associates ready to offer assistance.

“The move comes as the retailer has been slashing costs in an effort to increase profits and narrow the financial gap between its archrival, Home Depot.”

Inadequate merchandising (“slashing costs”) is not a path to increased profits.