Thursday, September 07, 2006

Free, Perfect and Now

"Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing life is made up of little things."

by Frank Clark

This quote is particularly true in the computer distribution business. Our sales volumes are high and our margins are razor thin. There is little margin for waste or error. Distribution is all about the little things. Do them fast, do them right and do them cost effectively many many times.

I spend a lot of my time working on my systems. Good systems or process makes for high efficiency. Hence the continual quest for improvement.

A good book on distribution is "Free, Perfect and Now" by my aquantance Rob Rodin who used to run an electronics distributor. He speaks of changing culture within a distribution company and the challenges of it. The title says it all. The customers want it "free, perfect and now" every time. It is our job to deliver that.

He knows it is culture that allows a distributor to thrive long term and also knows how easy it is for the culture to change in small ways over time so profitability and even survival are at stake. Good book worth reading if you are in distribution.

Now I go focus on the little things and ponder the culture we need for long term success.


At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am so happy focusing on the job of how to improve the efficiency of our system,although a lot of difficulties, full of fun and challenge.There's still a long way to go, we do have confidence on that.
i nearly forget there's a higher level, which is profitability,well,profitablity has something to do with efficiency guys are really something, when can i look at things on such a high level as you do!

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are in all in distribution now, challenge is, I really beleive we are in the knowledge distribution business in some form or another.

Free, Perfect and Now are expectations we've all set for clients, whether realistic or not.

It is a challenge to go against that, so, most businesses conform, however, is it not true that by changing the expectation to value rather than commodity, and setting a more reasonable expectation, the customer can ultimately save more and the business can ultimately make more. Not everything is required perfectly and Now, and nothing is free, there is always a price to pay. maybe by changing costs to reflect more relistic expectations, distributin can earn more in more ways than one, less costly HR, less costly stress on resources, more time to take advantage of product cycles, on and on . . .


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