“Tomorrow’s Mullet Wrapper”
–Al E. Bavry, President Emeritus, Kimal Lumber
So, we survived “The Great Recession.” Plenty of healed (and still healing!) scars and wounds, just below the surface. So, we moved into “The Recovery.” And most folks today have to admit, it’s been going pretty good. It’s even got to the point where we’ve even been able to “pick and choose” our customers a little. We are tending to reject that very difficult customer who tends to always want that last ounce of flesh, before you’re done with him; the customer who can never seem to get his/her bookkeeping straight and always pays “just a little late”; the customer that tends to always “order too much” and then send a lot of it back! And I did learn about the games some of them play…They charge the customer for the initial order/bill of materials–more than happy to share the invoices with the customers so “they know what they’re getting.” But then when they send back copious amounts of material for credit…The customer never sees those! Guess who benefits there and puts that money in his/her pocket?
Anyway, my point is, we’ve been able to “invite” some of these types to find another supplier. Good news there, and we have plenty of real success stories to tell as well. Take that multi-million dollar home that you’re supplying in its entirety, or that apartment project that was cookie cutter to the point that you really made good money on it, or that one-of-a-kind specialty door order that you got with forty points of margin and the job went flawlessly.
So, we’ve been experiencing lots of hot, exciting “Press Releases” …And now think of that as the newspaper that mentions your success…Acknowledgment of what you’ve done…At its finest. But…Thinking of that success as a newspaper article…The next day, it’s now history…Tomorrow’s MULLET WRAPPER!! O.K. It’s not wrong to celebrate, thank the team for a job well done, but then it’s truly history! And I mention all this, ‘cause I feel we’ve been riding this great recovery wave almost long enough. My opinion of course, but I feel that next slowdown, adjustment, recession (however you want to describe it or wrap it) is now in the not-too-distant-future.
So, before we get too “all happy” about that great job we just did, and for too long, celebrate a Press Release, remember the “Mullet wrapper.” Truly that’s about how much shelf life it has…And now more than ever, we better be preparing our next exciting Press Release… And keep the urgency and excitement going, ‘cause tomorrow, it’s just another fish wrapper!! (They can also smell pretty bad, if you keep them around too long!) Great selling and continuing success.