Building Your Competitive Advantage

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

Do you remember when your business was quite young, you had few staff and sales resulted from your own successful efforts? Then success happened, and you slowly and continuously added more staff and today your sales team is working hard but not accomplishing your growth goals. Sound familiar? It is not too late…let’s get started!

Successful companies have a Sales Growth Strategy that the team collectively created and energetically is executing. Knowing who are your best customers helps you to focus your prospecting efforts on more of these great clients. Believing in best practices, you invested in Sandler Sales Training. Together you overlaid the Sandler Selling System to your unique number of interactions with prospects to become clients.

Now your sales team and sales management all understand what a qualified or unqualified opportunity is. Armed with this knowledge, your team spends their time wisely with good prospects and your closing ratios have skyrocketed. Wisely investing time with your great clients has created long-term relationships where loyalty, increased purchases, and frequent referrals are the norm.

When you create this environment, you will beam knowing your happy employees are well compensated for their contributions. There is an energy that is apparent as clients, suppliers, and guests visit your company. Every company is a reflection of its leadership. Let’s get started in building your sales machine. Create your own competitive advantage!

Are B- or C Players Dragging Your Company Down?

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training

As the President or Business owner are you “Too Loyal” to your staff or is your staff “Too Loyal” to you? Ask yourself…are your best employees leaving for better opportunities, are you struggling to accomplish your tasks, projects, and goals on time, do new employees come and shortly leave? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions you are accepting Staff Mediocrity.

Successful and growing companies require B+/A Players to fuel the growth. When you grow and develop your staff into B+/A Players or adopt a B+/A Player recruiting mentality, your business becomes more profitable. Stronger employees are more productive, increasing your revenue per employee number.

For a simple illustration, a $1M company with 10 staff has a revenue per employee of $1,000,000/10=$100,000. If your competitor has a $1M company with 5 staff, then they have a revenue per employee of $200,000. The higher the number, the more productive your staff and your company are.

A good question is “Do you know your revenue per employee number?” and “Are you happy with this number?”. You may be saying to yourself, I owe them “one more chance”. If this is you, then I would strongly suggest you and the employee agree on their job responsibilities in writing, develop key performance indicators that the most important tasks/activities are getting accomplished and hold a weekly or bi-weekly individual meeting with your staff to review the progress of their key performance indicators.

Staff accomplishing their important job activities stay and poorly performing staff need to leave. A company performs according to how the leadership team performs. A company culture is a reflection of its leader. Are you happy with your staff, culture, and profits? If not, maybe this blog has given you the “jolt” you need to take action.

Wondering How to Motivate Your Sales Team?

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

Success in sales is reserved for the motivated people who enjoy representing their company’s products and services. Remember when you were a kid getting up early and bugging your parents to drive you to the ice rink or dance hall? Nobody needed to motivate you. Successful sales people enjoy the thrill of the chase, the hunt of the kill and the long-term relationships that follow.

As Sales Leadership, your job is to discover your sales staff motivations and link them into your company’s goals. Here is a crazy idea, ask them why they enjoy working for you and what motivates them to consistently perform. Encourage them to create a vision board that hangs proudly in their work space. When they exceed their monthly, or quarterly goals, provide a personalized gift from your knowledge of their interests. Invest your time with them practicing for important prospect and client meetings. Sit down with them to evaluate past meetings to learn from both their successes and failures. Show them you care about their success and development.

As a manager or leader, it is your job to help your staff succeed. Keep their skills sharp by investing in the Sandler Selling System. Become the best leader you can through Sandler Management Solutions training. Poor managers can certainly demotivate your sales staff.

Baby Boomers and Generation X managers and leaders complain about how quickly Millennials jump ship. Great managers and leaders invest their time and energy into their staff and are rewarded with year after year of profitably growing sales because Millennials will stay when they know they are supported and cared for.

Skyrocketing to the Stars

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

If I interviewed your key employees and asked them to describe your business strategy for profitable growth what would I hear?  Crickets?  Diverse answers?

Profitably growing your company is a team effort.  Successful companies invest the time and energy to create their One Page Strategic Plan then ensure all employees understand the business strategy.  This plan describes:

  • your long term goal, your 3-5 year goal to double your business, your 1 year goal and your 90 day objectives. 
  • your three to five key actions required to double, to achieve your one year goal and your quarterly goal. 
  • the company’s values and reason for being are clearly stated and emotionally engaging. 
  • the company’s unique strengths to leverage are unanimously understood and utilized. 
  • your key people issues and processes to successfully execute your plan.

With this One Page Strategic Plan in place your company’s daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings revolve around the company achieving it’s quarterly goals with improved communication and coordination.

Companies operating this way provide an exciting environment to work and contribute, where individual and group contributions are regularly celebrated.  When you need to hire new staff your terrific employees are regularly introducing you to their B+/A Player friends.  Visitors to your company are noticeably impressed by the energy and buzz in your company.  Wondering if this is possible?  Well it is.  You the President, Owner or Managing Partner…it’s your job to take the first step along this journey.  You and your staff are worth it!

2 Second Lean – A fun and free way to get to know the principals of Lean

Paul Akers offers an entertaining and free chance for you to learn about the principals of Lean in his book 2 Second Lean. Available in ebook and audiobook format! Before you follow the link below do you have a book on Lean Training that you’ve enjoyed? Leave the title and author in the comments below.

Click here to visit Paul Akers’s Website and download 2 Second Lean.

New Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards

We know that many small business owners work hard to keep the people who work for them healthy and safe. We are shining a light on small business leaders who make their workplaces healthier and safer – and who can inspire their peers by example. Our Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards recognize outstanding health and safety programs in small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Nominate your own business or one in your community or association. Tell us about your health and safety practices, how you do inspections, deal with hazards and support employees to return to work.

The top three businesses will receive a cash prize – $5,000 (gold), $3,000 (silver), $2,000 (bronze) – and be recognized at the WSIB Annual General Meeting. The first place winner will also be featured in a promotional video.

Deadline has been extended to June 22nd! To download the Nomination Form click here.
To learn more visit the webpage Small Biz Health & Safety Leadership Award which includes all the details.

For more information:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 416-344-4046

 

BWA Lean Roadmap – Training Event Fills The Room with 35 Members!

On May 4, 2018, 35 BWA company reps participated in a dynamic day of Lean training in Kitchener!

The BWA has launched the BWA Lean Program, and this was the first Phase 1 day of training offered. (Watch for further dates!) BWA member companies traveled from all over the BWA cluster region, from Niagara, Chatham, GTA, and from Grey Bruce! Why? Because BWA is the place for the wood industry to come together and learn how to get better at what they do!

Process improvement in manufacturing has been going on for over a hundred years, in particular in its latest form: The Toyota Production System. So what does it have to do with the wood industry, EVERYTHING! And BWA members are catching up fast!

BWA members learned that the old argument: “It doesn’t apply to me I’m a “Job Shop” is not only wrong but also dangerously closed minded. Furniture, cabinetry, lumber, millwork, both production, and custom were all represented.

Sepp Gmeiner of Lignum Consulting, and Brad Cairns and Lynn Thompson of the Centre for Lean Learning provided an interactive and eye-opening day that will help participants move forward with changes in their manufacturing processes.

The event began with introductions and overview of Lean Principles, concepts, and how to identify waste. The second half of the day started with an exercise demonstrating one-piece-flow to minimize waiting, WIP, motion, and transportation, all with Lego!

As it was eye-opening and educational, members now have the opportunity to move to Phase 2 with the BWA on an individual company basis.

BWA Lean Program – Phase 2 – Continue Developing your Lean Program 

Phase 2 Level 1: Lean Assessment with Spot Kaizen: stop the bleeding and get that low hanging fruit! Quick results!

Phase 2 Level 2: Lean Assessment with Spot Kaizen Plus Train the Trainer: Train your people to sustain the gains you are working on, and train others in your shop

Phase 2 Level 3: Lean Immersion: Lean Assessment with Spot Kaizen plus Consultant lead Lean Transformation Project with Train the Trainer.

Phase 2 training is eligible for funding under the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG), and we can assist in connecting you with the funding.

To learn more about the BWA Lean Program and more details of this event, please contact Tara Davey at:
519-270-7141
e: [email protected]

Best regards,
Mike Baker, Executive Director

 

p: 1-226-668-5455
e: [email protected]
www.bluewaterwoodalliance.com
www.facebook.com/bluewaterwoodalliance
https://twitter.com/BluewaterWoodAl

 

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‘Supercluster’ to benefit Grey-Bruce – Owen Sound Sun Times

The Bluewater Wood Alliance is part of the “Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster,” with automotive, aerospace, IT, robotics and other major sectors. Click here to read the article in the Owen Sound Sun Times – March 8th, 2018.

http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2018/03/08/supercluster-benefits-for-grey-bruce

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BWA Proud Partner with Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster!

After six months of working with various industry sector leaders, academia, and other partners, the Bluewater Wood Alliance is representing the value-added wood products sector in the biggest manufacturing supercluster in Canada!

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced Thursday that the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster was one of the successful bids.

What this means for our wood products manufacturing industry, is that we are at the table with other big industries in Canada like automotive, aerospace, IT, robotics, and other major sectors. Our profile is now raised higher, along with the importance of our wood products manufacturing industry to the economy! The BWA is very excited to be appointed to their board of Directors!

There are three pillars to the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster strategy:

  • co-invest in collaborative, industry-led projects in things like vision systems, AI, IoT, data security, robotics, advanced materials, and additive manufacturing
  • support the creation of new tools, testbeds, and infrastructure to help create the next generation of manufacturing firms
  • build out a robust ecosystem of supports and services that accelerate technology adoption in manufacturing i.e. technology readiness assessments, training and skills development, and go-to-market support

As the first and only Porterian cluster in North America for the wood industry, the already established BWA cluster was an important element of the Supercluster bid. BWA member wood companies can participate in, and benefit from, projects and initiatives created from the collective momentum that the BWA cluster delivers. Governments like to work with clusters because they can help multiple companies all at once. The BWA project within the Supercluster is going to bring funding for investment in game-changing technologies to BWA members. The details are currently being worked out while a contribution agreement with the federal government is negotiated. More concrete details will be confirmed when this is completed.

Joining an industry cluster like the BWA brings you to the table for many opportunities, such as the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster project, that single small and medium-sized companies would not have access to on their own.

See these links for more details on the Next Generation Manufacturing Canada Supercluster:

http://www.ngmcanada.com/about.html

http://www.ngmcanada.com/news.html

Stay tuned for more details as the project unfolds!