At the beginning of each new year, almost all of us make New Year’s Resolutions. How many of us take the time mid-year to look back to measure on how we’ve done or take a few moments to look forward and course correct?
Last year, when I asked customers what we could do to earn more of their business, their gut response was to ask for a lower price. Being with HID for 9 years, where we work to provide solutions and value to customers beyond what is just a number on an invoice, I was somewhat taken aback at this response. If all some customers want is a lower price, it was apparent to me that in the tag and inlay space, a few customers regarded us as a manufacturer, as opposed to the strategic partner that we are and continue to strive to be.
Soon enough, my leadership plan included actions to understand our customers better and learn what they needed and valued, but weren’t necessarily able to articulate. What services and features could we provide that would delight them - things that they might not even dream would be possible? Essentially, I set out to learn and strategize around what our customers really wanted and needed.
There are many examples companies that have worked with customers to develop solutions to meet needs previously unaddressed. FedEx met the unarticulated need of overnight package and letter delivery service. But neither FedEx nor UPS stopped there. Now it is possible to know the exact location of those packages while in transit simply by logging in to their Web sites and entering your tracking number. It’s these sorts of innovations and services beyond the actual service of package delivery that I am tapping into within our business.
So how have we done so far? Looking back, the integration of ITG into HID required a lot of hard work operationally. In the physical access control space, we are proud to offer some of the best service and fulfillment levels in the industry. It’s one of my goals to ensure that this is replicated across the organization.
So what is next? Besides improved stocking and turns, I’m looking ahead at the role HID can play in customers’ application solutions. We will continue to align and enable sales, engineering and product teams to work together with customers towards the successful achievement of common goals. Ultimately, we are continuing to identify and implement programs that benefit customers or make us easier to do business with.
When winter rolls around again, I am optimistic that we will say that we achieved our goals and that customers will appreciate, to an even greater degree, what and how we deliver.