The competitive environment in the distribution industry is fierce and territorial boundaries are shrinking given advancements in technology. Plus, the expectation of instant gratification by customers continues to grow. So what should companies in the distribution industry focus their time and resources on? Simply put, it depends. The answer is unique to each organization.
Kreischer Miller’s Distribution Industry Group has designed a Business Survival Diagnostic to help our clients gain greater clarity. The diagnostic offers a simple but powerful resource to assist in pinpointing the key issues facing your organization.
It evaluates your current performance in 10 key areas:
- Profit trends
- Sales trends
- Client retention
- Industry growth trends
- Continuous improvement
- Liquidity position
- Equity position
- Bank relationships
- Competitive advantage
As part of the diagnostic process, we encourage clients to obtain input from various levels and departments within the company by seeking their participation in a 25 question survey. This step is vital because leadership’s perception of how the company is performing in these 10 key areas is often far different from the reality of what others in the organization are experiencing. So, the diagnostic offers the perfect opportunity to solicit broad feedback and make certain everyone is aligned.
When clients obtain the diagnostic’s results, their processes for determining what changes need to be made often vary. However, two areas they consistently address are accountability and team formation.
The factors that make one team a success and another a failure are the same: cooperation, initiative, skills, and leadership. In effective teams, each member is an active participant and, ideally, an equal contributor. However, individual strengths mean that some team members will naturally function better in some areas than others.
People often have an individual style that they prefer to adopt when working in a team environment. Broadly speaking, there are four styles: leaders, thinkers, doers, and carers. Creating a team that has a healthy balance of each of these styles is critical. If a team is comprised of just leaders, it will lead to conflict. All thinkers results in little action, all doers in a narrow strategy, and all carers in limited outcomes or soft options.
As you begin reflecting on the past year and setting goals for 2019 and beyond, we strongly recommend conducting a Business Survival Diagnostic. Please contact any member of our Distribution Industry Group to obtain access to the tool and get started.
Robert S. Olszewski can be reached at Email or 215.441.4600.
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