The last six months of Accessa’s blog focused on getting your finishing business ready for 2015. Here are eight of the best stories, organized by topic, and summarized for your browsing pleasure. Four of the most important high-level topics any finisher needs. It’s finishing wisdom from the Accessa Coating Solutions blog. Get caught up— begin 2015 with a great finish.
Topic 1—STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
Two stories that illustrate how joining forces can give your business instant competitive advantage:
Leverage an industry ally for a clear shot at success
Strategic alliances allow you to leapfrog challenges you might never conquer otherwise. Are you in with both feet for market dominance in the finishing industry, or is it time to face your opponent head-on? When the potential benefit outweighs the aggravations of doing nothing at all, a simple agreement to work together for common goals may be your best bet. Create a strategic alliance that motivates your team and gives you the aim you need. See: Beat the Gun With a Strategic Alliance (Aug 12, 2014).
Rephrase your questions. Get the most of your allied vendors
Are you asking the best questions to get the information needed to make smart decisions?
When it comes to evaluating finishes and industrial coatings, it’s not necessarily what you ask. It’s how you ask it. Need to know how well a product is going to perform a certain task or, how much it’s going to cost? The quality of your trusted vendor’s service may depend upon your question. See: 3 Better Questions to Ask Industrial Coatings Vendors by Peter Countryman (October 20, 2014).
Topic 2—BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
Two stories help you to take every opportunity that comes near you:
Chaos looms. Opportunity for finishers who listen
There’s a fine line between surviving and thriving. The trick is to look forward more than you look back. Think about it. You’ve always found new challenges (code for opportunity) by listening. What’s changed? There’s a lot more noise to cut through.
As our economy expands, markets shift and technologies disrupt, old strategies, upon which we built our businesses, are challenged to remain relevant. New generations of customers come with different expectations, less appreciation for our toil and less value for our product. It leaves us more uncertain, more anxious. What do you do? Listen for the signals in the chaos, it’s where you’ll find opportunity. See: Finishing Business Opportunities Unleash in the Future (July 7, 2014).
Ready to make the leap in 2015?
The outlook is optimistic for finishers who are ready to make the leap in ’15. If you piece together the news and trends relevant to your industry as we did, I am confident you will find enough connecting tidbits that seem to be saying “ready the sprayers!” From a predicted 25 percent growth rate in the housing supply chain to a report from the RV industry reveling about the best month in 38 years, it IS quite encouraging.
So the challenge for finishers is not so much the opportunity, but how to narrow and focus on what’s just right for you. See: Colorful Outlook Improves for Finishers (December 15, 2014).
Topic 3—COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Two stories help you create and improve on your value proposition:
True customized solutions are actually rare
Perhaps we’re all guilty. The notion of a “solution” has become overused and overpromised—much like “quality” and “service.” True customized solutions are rare because most finishers lump all customers into the same pile. Fact is: no two customers are alike. The more you understand your customers and, their differences, the more custom your customer solutions will be.
Next time you’re feeling alone with your problem, look for a partner who can help you tackle challenges you probably cannot (or perhaps, should not) try to do alone. It will help you stay competitive and feel good doing so. See: Customized Solutions, One Customer at a Time (October 14, 2014).
Capture opportunity: Make price part of your story
There’s more potential for a shop to innovate with cost and delivery than with quality.
For most customers “quality” is non-negotiable—and it is the only place you want parity with competition. A spec is a spec. Match it, improve your efficiency and move on to develop other, more differentiating, parts of your story such as COST and DELIVERY. It’s a story you build on that will captivate your customers. See: Cost & Delivery: Opportunity for Finishers (November 21, 2014).
Topic 4—OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE
Two stories illustrate how simple it is to improve your act and conquer the world
Performance may vary
Like a stage magician, the best performers have two things in their pockets 1) they know their audience and 2) they know some secrets. If you’re the one making the promises, guess what? You have to know the tricks to each finish you use and you’ve gotta know your customer and their limits so that you can play to expectations. In other words, for best results, allow the performance to vary. See: Finish Performance: 2 Secrets to Insure Success (September 9. 2014).
Get out of your own way; move forward fast
On average, 99 percent of finishing problems and issues small shops experience are actually self-imposed. It doesn’t have to be this way. The best troubleshooting process is one that examines first, all of the variables that you can control; carefully working through the process of elimination, uncovering the variable that is responsible for the problem and, taking control of it.
Knowing this simple procedure will get you out of the way and your business moving on its way for the best performance possible and, the most out of your coatings products. See: Troubleshooting 4 Common Coatings Issues by Bill Adams (November 13, 2014).
The folks at Accessa are always up for discussion about any of the ideas presented. If you
would like to learn how Accessa Coatings Solutions can become a partner for you, call or email Vince Todd, Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.800.593.0126