Home | Executive Dialogue | Carole Jesiolowski

Posts Tagged ‘emergency planning’

Where Do You Rank Among Your Competitors?

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Plastic tape measurePicking up on my blog last week about being accountable for good service (“How Do You Know If You Have Bad Customer Service”), it’s important to look at service through the customer’s eyes. When it’s products—be it a welding machine, a cylinder of gas, etc—it’s easy to know if you’re meeting your customer’s needs. But service can be more elusive and difficult to measure in a customer’s eyes.

Arguably worse than bad service is spending time and resources to provide unwanted or unnecessary resources. This is just another reason why it is so important to know and weigh the ways your customers are measuring you as a distributor…So how exactly are they measuring you?

According to Bill Moore, senior vice president with bearings manufacturer SKF, “Top-tier distributors can bring into play engineering assistance from their manufacturer suppliers to optimize the performance of components.” That service, Moore goes on to tell Industry Week, can help address problems like recurring equipment failure.

Another thing manufacturers like SKF look for is how prepared a distributor is to react to an emergency situation. Within the gases and welding industry, distributors have been tested over the last year and a half by numerous challenges ranging from supply shortages like helium and acetylene to weather catastrophes (tornadoes, blizzards, etc). Moore says an emergency response plan is a sign of a top-notch distributor.

There are countless ways to measure a distributor, and perhaps the best way to know what your customers care about is to ask. Whether you use formal survey, a personal conversation or even social media, your customer will appreciate the fact that you care what he thinks.

How do your customers measure you as a distributor? Share by leaving a comment.

Hurricane Irene, Steve Jobs and Gases & Welding

Friday, August 26th, 2011
Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene

One of the biggest news stories over the last week has been the development of Hurricane Irene. Naturally, the storm has conjured memories for many of Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast 6 years ago this week. In the wake of Katrina, many gases and welding distributors suffered losses and damage, as did their customers. In the spirit of the service GAWDA members are known for, distributors stepped up to provide generators and emergency supplies to the region and help their customers out.

After the Hurricane, many distributors revisited their emergency action plans and evaluated how prepared they were. They implemented additional precautions and training to make sure that the next time, they would be better prepared. Welding & Gases Today recapped these lessons learned in “Six Lessons From Hurricane Katrina.” With Hurricane Irene looking like it could hit a large part of the East Coast, distributors can never be too prepared.

Steve JobsAnother story that dominated the news this week was the resignation of Steve Jobs. Many credit him with Apple’s recent success—and whether it was mere timing, a right mix of products or pure genius, I can’t say. But I can say that the man loved what he did and loved his company. Unfortunately, his health prevented him from being able to continue. In his resignation letter, Jobs writes: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” What, if not love, could possibly possess a man to accept a salary of $1 to be CEO?

The reason I bring up Steve Jobs is because this love and attitude is something that Mr. Jobs shares with many GAWDA members. Whether they started the business or were born into it, the GAWDA members I’ve spoken to have an unparalleled passion for gases and welding—and most of all for serving their customers. This week, McKinney Welding Supply was featured on WNYC’s feature, “Niche Markets.” In the article, 83-year-old McKinney President Nick Mattiace is quoted as saying, “They’ll have to carry me out of here. At this stage in my life, I don’t think about retiring, I’ll just go on until I can’t. I love it, I never get bored with it.”

GAWDA members may not have the cachet of Steve Jobs, but their passion is beyond compare.