One of my colleagues was speaking with the head purchaser of a major foundry the other day, and unsolicited, the gentleman began to denounce one of our competitors. Apparently, he had multiple unsatisfactory experiences with not only their product but with the people throughout the many layers of their organization, resulting in the gentleman putting out a corporate edict to never buy from that company again.
So how does something like this happen? Obviously, if your product is poor, that is a problem, but if you dig deeper, you learn that the problem wasn’t really the equipment, but the people behind it.
Many times companies focus only on the four “P’s” of their brand: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. This is a common acronym used in the marketing world and is pretty spot on in most circumstances. However, there is one “P” that is excluded from that list, and that is the most important one. PEOPLE.
When you compare one company to another, a lot of times the four P’s can be quickly overshadowed if the team delivering them does not have a strong cultural and ethical foundation. At General Kinematics, we have worked hard at defining our culture and behaviors, and have developed a program that we call SCOPE, which stands for:
Each branch of the SCOPE tree outlines specific behaviors we expect our team to live by. By having a set of brand behaviors, expectations for how employees communicate internally and externally are clear. They also translate into other areas such as safety and quality and help drive innovation and collaboration to provide a superior product and experience to current and potential purchasers of your products and services.
So when looking for a company to partner with to improve your process, obviously consider the 4 “P’s”, but look closely at the fifth P… the people that you will be working with over the life of your equipment. Do they work well together? Do they understand their product and brand? What is their reputation in the industry? If any of these questions come back with a red flag, it is best to look elsewhere, because the company you decide to work with today can affect YOUR culture for years to come.