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SUMMER 2018

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Distributor's Link Magazine Summer 2018 / Vol 41 No3

24 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

24 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Laurence Claus Laurence Claus is the President of NNi Training and Consulting, Inc. He has 25 years of experience with a medium sized automotive fastener manufacturer, holding positions including Vice President of Engineering, General Manager, Director of Quality, Director of New Business Development and Applications Engineer. In 2012 he formed NNi offering technical and business training courses as well as technical consulting, expert witness and consultation work. He can be reached at 847-867-7363 or by email: Lclaus@NNiTraining.com. You can learn more about NNi at www.NNiTraining.com. THREE THINGS THAT DISTRIBUTORS MUST DO WELL - PART 1 Not long ago I was reading a business management book. Amongst all of the things that the author was suggesting, he had a chapter on the twenty things that you should not be doing. It was an interesting concept and one very reminiscent of my training in competitive strategy, where one learns that strategy is as much about the things you say no to as it is the things you choose to do. Anyway, this idea struck a chord and led me to set about putting together this three part series on three things that distributors must resist the urge to ignore, and, thus cannot do poorly. Although I am sure that there are a large number of topics we could place in this category, for this series we will focus on three big ones; Customer Service, Quality, and Training. Doing the first two poorly is a sure equation to lose reputation and customers, while ignoring the third places you at risk of becoming outdated and irrelevant to customers. I often teach on the subject of quality and will commonly engage participants in a discussion about what constitutes quality and why it is so important. Invariably the dialog boils down to two consequences of poor quality, lost profits and lost reputation. I often make the point that although lost profits are painful to experience, they have every possibility of only being short term. Loss of reputation, however, can, and often does, have long-lasting and permanent consequences. It is likely something programmed into the human psyche, but when we feel that we have been wronged or disabused, CONTRIBUTOR ARTICLE we often do two things, 1. Vote with our feet by dropping the supplier or service provider, and, 2. Get memories like elephants that condition us to never go back to that supplier again. As the old adage goes, “Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, shame on me.” Perhaps the only other activity next to quality that is so easy to entrap an organization and damage their reputation is providing poor customer service. In my experience it seems that the only organizations that can truly get away with abysmal customer service and not go out of business are the undertaker and the IRS because as the old saying goes, we can escape everything except dying and paying taxes. Ironically, providing good, actually exceptional, customer service isn’t that hard, but it must come from within the organization’s culture. In other words, no amount of training or desire is going to all of a sudden make an organization excel at customer service. No, it must be a value that the entire organization, starting at the top, must possess. There are many aspects and individual characteristics that can be utilized to gage whether an organization has good customer service or not. The remaining portion of this article is going to explore five of them. Although every organization is going to have its own unique situation which will define the customer service activities and values that it needs, these five are relatively universal and can be applied to pretty much any specific situation. CONTINUED ON PAGE 102

  • Page 6 and 7: in thesummer 2018 issue of 6 DISTRI
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  • Page 63 and 64: THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 61 AFIXX A
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    68 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Earnest

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    On June 7, 2018, SWD Inc. held a gr

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    74 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK FASTENE

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    76 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Anthony

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    78 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Wrought

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 81

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    NFDA 50th ANNIVERSARY MEETING & CEL

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 85

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 87 FAR SRL

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 89 ABBOTT-

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    92 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK NORTH C

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    94 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK BENGT B

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    SOLUTION INDUSTRIES LLC SOLUTION IN

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 99 WORDSEA

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 101 WOMEN

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    J.W. Winco, Inc., A Ganter Company,

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    SEFA SPRING CONFERENCE BIRMINGHAM,

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    108 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK CARMEN

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    110 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK ALBANY

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    112 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK COMPUT

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    114 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK MICHAE

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    FASTENER FAIR USA CLEVELAND, OH - A

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 119

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 121 FASTEN

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    124 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK BRIGHT

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    fastenerlinks THE DEFINITIVE WEB DI

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    fastenerlinks BRINGING YOU THE FAST

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    fastenerlinks BRINGING YOU THE FAST

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    NFDA 50th ANNIVERSARY MEETING & CEL

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    136 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK JO MOR

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    PAC-WEST 50TH ANNIVERSARY MEETING &

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 141 CROSSW

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 143 ZaGO M

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    146 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK GLOBAL

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    148 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK SOUTHW

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    150 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK BRYCE

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    152 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK ZaGO M

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    156 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK ANTHON

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    158 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK LARRY

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    160 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK ROBERT

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    162 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK MID-AT

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    164 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK LAUREN

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    166 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK SEFA S

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    Earnest Machine is now offering dom

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 171 NORTH

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 173 Suncor

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    MAFDA GOLF & SCHOLARSHIP OUTING APP

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    SFA SPING CONFERENCE & GOLF OUTING

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    NFDA 50th ANNIVERSARY MEETING & CEL

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 181 SEFA S

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    184 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK SPIROL

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    SFA SPING CONFERENCE & GOLF OUTING

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 189

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    THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 191

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    advertisers index # 3Q, INC. 84 Spl

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    advertisers index I ISC - INTERCONT

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