Leaders have a responsibility to work at the rockface from time to time, particularly at times when things are changing, or have not changed for a while.
And the added-value from investing some time alongside the troops in front of customers, as well as being a prisoner to own processes which means one can experience the first-hand feedback and the frustrating anomalies and fix them quickly.
The gems at the rockface are those simple things that can save and make money. For example, packaging that fails easily during shelf-stacking, or bar codes on stretch film wrapping that do not scan properly, or poorly stacked pallets that are inefficient to store or deconsolidate.
Here is some more raw diamonds that may need polishing:
- Distributors’ sales staff whose inadequate product training fails to deliver key brand-benefit messages
- Sales promotional instructional guidelines that are complicated to understand and cause confusion with consumers
- Internal reporting processes that are followed inconsistently by different members of the same sales teams
- De-motivated staff that deliberately or ignorantly create conflict and unrest
- No matter the scale of the enterprise, at point-of-sale the challenge is creating customer satisfaction on a scale of one-to-one.
If business scale is large, and the processes, systems and people are failing or not up to par one-to-one, the risk is exponentially more serious.
So get in the trenches regularly. Odds on the competitors ’senior management are there already if they are smart.