(Business) Life Is About Value Creation

Dear Colleagues,

What if this week we play a game?

Now, it’s just a game. Don’t take it seriously. But what if, JUST IF, we look at every aspect of our distributorship and ask whether that aspect is creating value sufficient to grow our “business of tomorrow.”

Remember last week we discussed IBM attributing their longevity to constantly appraising their ideas, research, products, services and systems with an eye to increasing value to grow their business of tomorrow?

So, just for fun, let’s analyze the critical aspects of our business:

•Sales Force
•Customer Service
•Internal Systems
•Logistical Capabilities
•Major Vendors
•Long Term Plans

And, let’s apply a single objective criterion.

“Are they creating value - sufficient to grow our business of tomorrow?”

When our analysis is complete, we probably should ask ourselves, hypothetically of course, whether our management focus seeks to nourish and reward our high value creators, and concomitantly downgrade the “value-light” and “value-less.”

Wouldn’t it be great if our sales analysis showed only hi-margin sales reps selling hi-margin solution sales to hi-value clients? Wouldn’t it be great if our technology systems were such they attracted tech- oriented sales reps, CSR’s and college graduates?

Wouldn’t it be great if our corporate communications with our major clients and vendors were electronic so they achieved the greatest efficiency (to say nothing of remote access to vital information)?

Wouldn’t it be great if our clients were on e-commerce so orders could be placed at their convenience and awaiting our staff when they came to work? Wouldn’t it be great if we had a company retail web store so anyone could order from us anytime?

Wouldn’t it be great if we had interoperability with our major vendors so quotes, PO’s, shipping data, invoices could be sent and received electronically?

What if our major reports were automatically scheduled to print so we always had timely information? Or, our major clients could go online and retrieve the reporting they require from us? Or, our remote warehouses could receive our electronic releases?

What if we held periodic discussions with major clients and vendors to discuss how we could transact MORE business MORE efficiently and MORE profitably? I bet they would LOVE that!

So what’s the point?

The common thread here is a distributorship constantly working to add value to its business - value to the distributorship, value to its employees, value to its clients, value to its vendors. Plus, it’s a more interesting, challenging and educational workplace. No wonder they’re growing!

Is there an easier alternative? Sure.

Let’s be comfortable with business as usual. Don’t rock the boat. Overlook mediocrity. Don’t act until crunch time. Avoid the hard reality that we’re really too comfortable with our business of today to give much consideration to any “business of tomorrow.” But, with that attitude IBM says there’s a good chance we won’t have any “business of tomorrow.”

An eminently successful PSDA member recently remarked, “Every distributor has to decide if they are building a business - or building a lifestyle.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with working to build a lifestyle. But, a successful business is a repository of VALUE. People will buy a business. I haven’t found too many folks looking to buy a lifestyle.

It’s ALL about value creation!


Ross Barker

P.S. Our personal lives are also best served by creating value. Albert Einstein remarked, “Try not to become a person of success, but a person of value.” Mother Teresa said, “Let your name be remembered for the good you have done, the joy you have spread, and the love you have shared."

“Value creation” - it’s about making our world and our workplace better.

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