Do You Have Vendors or Partners?

How do you treat your vendors? Are they partners that are interested and engaged in your success or just a resource you use as needed? Many companies are too focused on having the upper hand and squeezing every last dollar out of vendor relationships. Both customers and vendors are guilty of this. When a relationship is focused on money and status, the rules change. If vendors gave their best price on the first quote and companies didn’t try to squeeze them, they could get money out of the way and focus on results.
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I Heart Zappos!

I just spent 4 hours watching a Zappos All Hands meeting. They started streaming these meetings last quarter and there were over 1500 total views with a steady participation of 165 people. What does it say about a company that 1500 non employees would tune in to watch a business meeting? I’ve worked in the Fortune 100, the military, state and federal government as well as educational institutions and small businesses. This was without question the best all hands meeting I’ve seen. No surprise really, but still impressive as hell.
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It's All About Trust

In many businesses trust is hard to find. Do time cards, lengthy HR manuals, top down management and lack of transparency lend themselves to an environment of trust? Not so much. Organizations that have great cultures are based on values and trust. A healthy corporate culture is rife with trust at all levels, including vendors, customer and consultants. From executives to front line employees and everyone in between. At this juncture in corporate history trust is starting to make it’s way into our cultures and has been for 30 years of so, though it’s still the exception and not the rule. Too many executives are doing things the way we did them 100 years ago by holding on to controlling behaviors and focusing on short term profits.
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The Coming Customer Service Renaissance

In the next 5-10 years we’re going to see customer service increase across most industries. We are going to see good customer satisfaction being valued and pursued as a differentiator in business. This is going to lead to a customer service renaissance. With company after company trying to stand out and win loyal customers. When a company goes from zero to a billion dollars a year, in ten years, people pay attention.
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Zappos: Happy People, Delivering Happiness and Shoes.

Tony Sheih, CEO of Zappos has just written his first book,’Delivering Happiness, a Path to Profits, Passion and Happiness.’ It chronicles Tony’s life, from childhood entrepreneurial efforts, to college and his time at LinkExchange. In some ways it reads like Ricardo Semler’s’Maverick, The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace,‘“Both books talk about lessons learned, mistakes made and happy coincidences that lead them to success.
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