Encouraging Growth for Sedex 07/03/11

Having attended the Sedex AGM and Members Forum last week, I was encouraged by their increased membership and global presence, showing that there is a real interest in sharing ethical data and making improvements. There were a variety of speakers, each giving their perspective on ethical trading issues. There were some great insights into how other companies face these challenges and some of the solutions they have found.  The key phrase of the day was ‘root cause’ and how best to tackle the underlying issues related to ethical trade.  

The forum certainly gave us all plenty to think about and I encourage any company using ethical trade audits to look at the Sedex website to see what it could do for you.

Get Proactive – the business is out there! 18/11/10

Well I hope this year has brought everyone some great business?  Having heard so much doom and gloom it is brilliant to find ourselves rushed off our feet and winning some new, exciting business.

Following the lean times, which hopefully most of us took advantage of to give our businesses a bit of a shake-up, reviewing carefully our operations with a view to making savings and, generally ensuring we are running as efficiently as possible.

I’m a great believer that good does seem to come out of a bad situation!  The recession has been disastrous for many businesses, and many have lost the fight for survival but there are also good stories where businesses have grown and developed through these difficult times. 

The recession has been a rude awakening, but a great reminder of just how important our customers are to us and, how we should look after them to retain and grow their business.  We are very lucky to have such a fabulous customer base - but it didn't just appear overnight, we work incredibly hard and we never sit back and wait for the business to rush through the door.  You have to be creative, proactive with an absolute focus on customer care!

So, if you're phones are quiet and your sales are down - get proactive because there is lots of business out there!

Naughty bits at the Chelsea show! 25/05/10

The Chelsea Flower show kicks off this week and promises to be as controversial as ever – from a 20 million pound garden encrusted with diamond bits, guards patrolling the garden - which features a £3.2million flawless blue diamond, to some naughty bits in the showstopper Aussie garden. - a naked woman, or more to the point a dancing, naked woman…..time to get your green fingers dirty and start planting !!! Kevin McInerney - Order Processor

Will the general election result favour SME’s? 22/04/10
Somehow I doubt it. Despite continued political rhetoric it is still the smaller businesses who find it harder to ride out the recession. We are lucky that we work with a group of suppliers in whom we have confidence and long term relationships, but speaking with other SME’s it seems that help in tougher times is still hard to come by.  Proof, if ever it were needed, how important it is to nurture and build mutually beneficial relationships with core suppliers, particularly in the UK….. Sharon Childs – Finance Director

Are you 'spot on' with your customers? 8/04/10

They are the reason we are here and support our business every day of every week and every month of each year, so are you providing them with the customer care that they need?! 
Think about those sales - if they are lost - who cares? YOU should. Make sure you are asking the right questions and receiving feedback (good and bad!) it helps you progress. Talk to and understand your customer, they are your valuable tool to success.................Debbie Millis - New Business and Client Development Manager

World Cup 2010 South Africa. 11/03/10

Make your brand stand out from the crowd with our inspirational range of World Cup merchandise.  With our ideas your team is sure to be a winner.  Why not blow your own trumpet with a Boogie Blaster and join the World Cup party with our Samballoon Inflatable Maracas!  For something with a lasting impact why not go for a limited edition football T-shirt USB Flash Drive!  Or you could be boring and go for a pen!

Are your sales people in sales or sales prevention? 04/03/2010

You know when you just feel you are being too much trouble – “Can I have a price on x please?” and you get the tut and the huff!  This morning one of my team was trying to buy something and had just this response – so, she said “I’m sorry, are you open for business?”  It doesn’t matter how much you spend on flashy marketing, or super sales staff if one person in your organisation is going to respond in this way!   So come on everyone, let’s keep it upbeat, happy, friendly and make customers feel wanted and nothings ever too much trouble!

Keep the attention to detail for online marketing as you would with offline! 25/02/2010

This was a piece of advice at the Technology show at an online/offline seminar.  Seems obvious, but how many of us really spend the same attention to detail with our emarketing as we do with our direct marketing?
Just because it's free, doesn't mean we should give it any less attention!  In fact, in respect to the recipient we need to make sure it reads well, is clear and targeted and a meaningful piece of marketing communication.
So, take the skills we use offline and hopefully the open and read rates continue to improve! 
Ethically responsible - buyers beware! 15/02/2010
Having recently been on our travels meeting and chatting to new and existing suppliers, I am beginning to wonder if I am one of the few who actually takes their ethical responsibility seriously.   For me it is about actually caring about who we do business with, secondly about protecting our customers brand, name and reputation and finally, by everyone following the process we help ensure workers in less developed countries are fairly treated.  We know that the buyers check details on the “tick list” at a tender process – but what happens after that? We ask our suppliers for proof on an ongoing basis but we know that many industry players are purely paying lip service to win contracts.  
Being ethically responsible does cost more but it is a price worth paying.  So, when comparing two quotes, ask yourself - Is this product ethically sourced?