Scouting Report - September/October 2015
Getting to Know our New EVP, Two Strikes and You're Out, Vertical Blinds and Other Options for Patio Doors, In-Store Demos Sell, and more.
<ul><li><p>An ALLPRO Publication SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015</p><p>by Scott Morath</p><p>During last years StockholderMeeting it was announced thatJoe Poliseo would be retiring asthe Executive Vice President ofALLPRO in 2016. It was alsoannounced a transitioncommittee had been formed,which was comprised ofALLPROs current president, vicepresident and past twopresidents.</p><p>The purpose of the committeewas to seek out, evaluate andultimately recommend a potentialsuccessor to the board. Thecommittee set about their taskand by June of this year, aftervetting several candidates, madetheir recommendation. Not longafter, it was announced thatMichael Beaudoin had beenselected as the next ExecutiveVice President of ALLPRO.</p><p>Many of us are already familiarwith Mike. His career in the paintindustry began in 1995 when hetook a job with Harvey GerstmanAssociates, a rep agency that stillservices industrial and contractorsupply product manufacturers.Mike initially called on HomeDepots and a handful ofindependent accountsthroughout New England. In1997 he was relocated tometropolitan New York where heserviced area paint stores andlocal distributors. It was herewhere Mike developed a passionfor the business. As he puts it,</p><p>I developed close relationshipswith key personnel among mymanufacturing clients as well asthe customers I called on. It washard work but very rewardingand Im happy to say I wassuccessfully able to expand shareof our product lines andcontribute to a growing agency.Mikes dedication and hard workdidnt go unnoticed. By the timehe left the company in 2007 hehad become a Territory SalesManager responsible for a teamof six representatives and over$30M in sales.</p><p>Mike left Gertsman Associates totake on the role of National SalesManager for Portland basedPurdy Brush (newly acquired bySherwin - Williams). As aNational Sales Manager whooversaw a team of threeregional managers Mikequickly acquired a deeperunderstanding of the paintindustry on a national level. Hedeveloped relationships withwest coast based paintmanufacturers, hardware co-ops in the Midwest, and keycustomers and chainsthroughout the U.S. andCanada. Mike and histeam traveledcontinuously from2007 through2009, in aneffort todevelopbusiness</p><p>and capitalize on any opportunityto offset the prevailing economicrecession.</p><p>Once again, tenacity paid off andin 2009 Mike was promoted to aDirector of Sales position withPurdys parent company,Sherwin - Williams.</p><p>This role took him to Clevelandwhere he oversaw sevenregional/national sales managersand over 20 manufacturingrepresentative agencies, as wellas multiple brands like Purdy,White Lightning, Bestt Liebco,and Pratt & Lambert. About hisrole as Director of Sales Mike</p><p>Getting to Know our New EVP</p><p>(Continued on page 4)</p></li><li><p>2In 1984, Wendy's introduced astunningly popular televisioncommercial that featured agrandmotherly old womannamed Clara Peller. The tag lineof the commercial - delivered ininimitable fashion - was,"Where's the Beef?" </p><p>Bet you remember it.</p><p>The TV spot, which vividlyillustrated a short-livedcompetitive advantage, led to arecord sales year for Wendy's asrevenue jumped 31 percent in1984 and 19 percent in 1985.But by 1986, Wendy's was introuble, according to (then COO)James Near.</p><p>Breakfast was failing and therewere big shifts in the marketingdepartment, stated [Wendys]franchise owner Bob Goodrich.We were floundering and didntknow where to go. In addition,the quality in some of therestaurants had declined,because the original owners hadsold them to people who did notoperate them personally or careabout the companys standards.By the end of the year, companymorale was sinking and one inevery five Wendys franchiseswas in danger of bankruptcy.</p><p>A bad strategic move AND badcustomer service?</p><p>By 1986, the company teeteredon the edge of bankruptcy,requiring a major reorganizationand a new president. There area couple of invaluable lessonsinside the Wendys story:</p><p>First, it illustrates the power ofhighlighting a competitiveadvantage, and doing it theright way.</p><p>At the time, Wendy's had morebeef in their hamburgers thantheir two main competitors(McDonald's and Burger King),so they chose to emphasize thatpoint in a humorous fashion thattargeted the competition without naming names.</p><p>Imagine if the commercial spothad said this, Our burgers have50% more beef than theother guys. </p><p>Interesting? Vaguely.</p><p>Memorable? Not so much.</p><p>Companies tend to rely on thesame worn out phrases whenthey describe what theymistakenly believe arecompetitive advantages: Wehave great quality. Our service isunmatched. Our products areinnovative. Weve been inbusiness 50 years.</p><p>Who cares? Everyone and Imean everyone says exactlythe same thing. So, howdifferentiated are you in themind of the customer?</p><p>Second, this story forcefullydescribes the results of failing to really take care ofyour customers. </p><p>The most powerful competitiveadvantage imaginable can besquandered if you don't deliveryour product or service well.Nowhere is this more easilyillustrated than in a restaurant. Ifthe food is good and the serviceis poor, what do you tell othersabout the restaurant?</p><p>Even if you admit the food wasfine, youre enthusiasm will betempered by the poor service.Ultimately, your recommendationwill be to try someplace else.Sure, you might give therestaurant a second chance, buttwo strikes and theyre out.</p><p>There is no such thing as threestrikes when it comes tocustomer service.</p><p>A couple of thoughts to ponder:</p><p> Can you describe your company's competitive advantages? Before you say "great products" and "great service," or something equallynebulous, think carefully. Which one of your competitorsdoesn't claim to have great products and great service? </p><p>Quantify your competitive advantages and you can truly differentiate yourself from yourcompetitors. </p><p> Are you delivering your product or service according to the standards that customers demand? Do you pay attention to detail? Do you follow-up in a timely fashion? Do you respond to your customers' needs? Do you communicate effectively?</p><p>Clearly, ridiculously good service can be a stunning </p><p>Two Strikes and Youre Outby Kelly Riggs</p><p>(Continued on page 4)</p><p>"There is no suchthing as threestrikes when it</p><p>comes tocustomerservice."</p></li><li><p>3Vertical blinds are a classicsolution for covering patio doors.They are a perfect fit for very talland very wide spaces and can bepulled open for maximum light orclosed to darken the room. Thevanes on vertical blinds can alsobe tilted for a partial view to theoutside while blocking the sunsglare, or shielding your homefrom the gaze of a nosy neighbor.They offer terrific flexibility in lightfiltering too.</p><p>One great benefit of verticalblinds is their ease of use. Thevanes can be swept aside quicklywith a wand control or a cord forclear access to the outside patio.There are even options for pullingthe vertical vane stack to eitherthe right side, the left side, or splitdown the middle. It all dependson how much space you have,the size of your door opening,and your personal preference.</p><p>In the past, there have been someconcerns about the functionalityand style of vertical blinds, butthese have largely beenaddressed by the manufacturers.For instance, to prevent vertical</p><p>blinds from blowing aroundnoisily when positioned over airvents, a hanging chain can nowbe added to the bottom of thevanes (upon request) to keepthem steady, quiet, and still. </p><p>In regards to style, vertical blindshave also been updated to featurea wide range of on-trend colorsand beautiful materials. Widewindow and patio doors can nowbe covered with natural wovenwood, solar shade or cellularshade material; or fabric, vinyl,wood, or composite vanes.</p><p>Another unique variation is sheervertical blindsopaque vanesencased in sheer fabric. Theseprovide both room darkening andlight filtering properties whilesoftening the look of the blinds,making them aesthetically similarto drapery.</p><p>Vertical blinds can alsocomplement other windowtreatments in your home, such ashorizontal fabric blinds, woodblinds, or solar shades. Mostmanufacturers offer the samecolors, styles, and materials formultiple sizes of windowcoverings. With vertical blindsthat are an exact match to other</p><p>windowtreatments,a visualsense ofharmonycan becreated inthe home. </p><p>Asmentionedabove,cellularshades canbe verticallyoriented forlargewindowsand patiodoors.</p><p>Cellular verticals shades differfrom the other options since theydo not have vanes to tilt to controlthe light. Instead, they are offeredin light filtering, room darkening,or blackout opacities. A keybenefit to this cellular option istheir honeycomb cells, which aredesigned to add an extremelyeffective layer of insulation tolarge doors and windows, thussaving on energy bills year round.Since the product is also cordless,it is also a safer alternative forhomes with small children. </p><p>Finally, sliding panels are anoption to cover patio doors. Thesepanels are vertically aligned sheetsof solar or natural shade materialthat slide on channels within theheadrail. The consumer can selectfrom two to five panels,depending on how completelythey would like the windowcovered. Sliding panels can beopened and closed with either awand or cord control, allowing foreasy access to the outdoors. </p><p>As a window and door to theoutdoors, there are a number ofways that customers can coverpatio doors. Consider carrying theproduct lines mentioned in thisarticle to meet those needs especially the latest in stylish,versatile, and functional verticalblinds. </p><p>At Springs Window Fashions, ourblinds, shades, and draperieshave helped people enhance theirenvironments and achieve theirdesign dreams since 1939. Visitour website atwww.graberblinds.com orwww.springswindowfashions.comto see for yourself how we createproducts that improve the lives ofour customers. For moreinformation on Graber products,contact Jeff LaRico via email firstname.lastname@example.org.</p><p>Your Window and Door to the Outdoors: Vertical Blinds and Other Options for Covering Patio Doorsby Jeff LaRico, Natl. Acct. Mgr., Designer & Intl. Sales, Springs Window Fashions</p></li><li><p>4says, It was a great experience!I learned so much more abouthow large companies organizeand operate, from budgeting toplanning to sales structure, andprofit & loss. The experience alsohelped to broaden myunderstanding of key largecustomers and their needs.</p><p>In 2011 Mike was offered anopportunity to move back east totake on the role of Vice Presidentof Sales for independentdistributor and ALLPRO member,PACOA. As Mike puts it, Thiswas a unique opportunity for meto work with a friend and verytalented owner, Steve Geismar.Steve was looking for a bit morestructure and the right mix ofpeople to help move hiscompany to the next level.</p><p>He elaborates, In this role I wasresponsible for recruiting a 22person sales force to include tworegional managers, while strictlyadhering to an acceptable ratioof gross margin and operatingcost (general P&L responsibility).We routinely competed withmuch larger companies who hadgreater resources simply byunderstanding our valueproposition or what we do best.It was an invaluable experiencewhere I not only gained a deeperunderstanding of howdistribution works, but also of thechallenges that independentpaint retailers face on a dailybasis as they do business in achanging market with largecompetitors.</p><p>Mike adds, At PACOA I gainedan insiders perspective on themany different brands that drivethe paint dealers business todayand how their respectivemanufacturers are structured andgo to market. I was alsofortunate to develop closerelationships with many of thesemanufacturers.</p><p>From sales to management;</p><p>manufacturing to distributing;east coast to west coast andeverything in between, Mike hashad a hand in almost every levelof this industry over the pasttwenty years. When asked abouthis new role at ALLPRO Mikesays, I am extremely honored tobe offered the position ofExecutive Vice President atALLPRO and I believe theculmination of all my priorexperiences will help me in thiscapacity. Our industry iscontinually changing and it isvery important that ALLPRO beon the cutting edge of thatchange and that we continuallychallenging ourselves, so that weadd maximum value to ourmembers. It is also importantthat we position ALLPRO as anentity in the eyes of ourmanufacturers so that ourcollective volume receives thebest focus and talent from themto help drive our business.</p><p>He goes on to say, Themembers that make up theALLPRO Buying Group are someof the best, hardest workingentrepreneurial minds in theindustry. How well ALLPRO canhelp harness that power andposition it will help ensure all ofour success in the future. I amextremely proud to be a part ofthis group and will work tirelesslywith the great team Joe hascultivated and continue its workinto the future.</p><p>Mike and Joe will serve as co-Executive Vice Presidents upuntil April of 2016, when Mikewill take on the full measure ofthe position. During the interimhe and Joe will work closelytogether to ensure a smooth andseamless transition.</p><p>Please join us in congratulatingMike on being selected as thenew Executive Vice President ofALLPRO only the third personin our 50+ year history to holdthat title.</p><p>competitive advantage. And,in my experience, service that is that good is easy to quantify. But, if your service is mediocre or worse, youll never have a great company.No matter howgood your product.</p><p>About the Author:Kelly Riggs is a two-timeNational Salesperson of theYear. A former corporate SalesExecutive. A successfulentrepreneur. </p><p>Now, as founder of BusinessLockerRoom, Inc., Kelly hasspent the last nine years as asales strategist and leadershipcoach. A highly acclaimedplatform speaker, Kelly Riggs isrecognized as a dynamicthought leader in the fields ofleadership, sales development,and strategic planning, workingwith organizations that range insize from $3 million to over $5 billion in annual salesrevenue. Kelly also hosts aweekly, online business radioshow called #BizLockerRadio,which airs live every Mondayat 3 p.m. CST.</p><p>He has written two books: 1-on-1 Management: WhatEvery Great Manager KnowsThat You Dont, and QuitWhining and Start SELLING! AStep-by-Step Guide to a Hall ofFame Career in Sales.</p><p>For more information, visitwww.BizLockerRoom.com.</p><p>Kelly will be our guest speakerat this years ALLPROStockholder Meeting. His topicwill be Winning Business inAny Economy and we willprovide a free copy of his 1-on-1 Management book to eachstockholder company inattendance. </p><p>(Continued from page 2)(Continued from cover)</p></li><li><p>RAMUC POOL PAINT Founded: 1934 </p><p> Location: Rockaway, NJ</p><p> Website: www.ramucpoolpaint.com</p><p> Current President: John Ludgate</p><p> ALLPRO Contacts: Kevin Harrington and Rebecca Spencer</p><p> # Full-Time Employees: 50 For more than 80 years, RAMUC has supplied the pool and recreation industry with chlorinated and synthetic rubber, epoxy, and acrylic pool and deck coatings. Our experience, coupled with our history of superior customer service and quality products, have established our commitment to exceed your expectations. Whether yo...</p></li></ul>