Distributors’ Perspective: The importance of keeping it simple

Home Columns Distributors' Perspective: The importance of keeping it simple

Volume 27/Number 24; March 31/April 7, 2014

By David Powell

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”

Colin Powell’s formula for decision-making is as follows:

“Part I: Use the formula P = 40 to 70, in which P stands for the probability of success and the numbers indicate the percentage of information acquired.

Part II: Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut.”

Powell believes that there is a sweet spot for good decision making that requires you to get enough information to make a good decision, but not too much so you don’t run the risk of analysis paralysis and delay making the decision, or don’t make the decision at all (which is still a decision, just not a good one). If you wait until you are 100% sure, it is almost always too late to capitalize on that opportunity being offered to you or to avoid the problem you are dealing with. Putting off making a decision in order to procure more and more information tends to confuse the issue at hand and makes the decision process more difficult than it already was.

As distributors, we are frequently—sometimes daily—sent offers from new suppliers to carry their product lines. Without a good decision-making process, we could potentially pass up a great opportunity or make very bad decisions to take on product lines that aren’t a good fit for our companies.

I’ll also add the K.I.S.S. principle to this equation: “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” The U.S. Navy asserted this as a design principle back in 1960. The idea is that systems work best if they are kept simple and not allowed to become overly complicated. This principle can be applied to almost anything in our personal and professional lives, and certainly can be applied to the decision-making process.

With so many data points coming at us via the Internet, trade publications, news outlets, business partners, customers, etc., it’s tough to keep it simple and stay true to an effective decision-making process.

The NAFCD trend reports are an excellent way to get key data points in a simple, straightforward manner to help you and your management teams make better decisions. For example, the most recent iteration of the Distributor and Manufacturer Executive Trends Index provided by NAFCD provides an easy-to-read summary report that touches on all key data points contained in the main report. Our company utilizes these trend reports extensively, as well as the other tools NAFCD provides (like the Profit Improvement Report) to supplement our decision-making process regarding opportunities and threats in our markets. These reports provide data in a simple format to aid us in good decision-making practices.

Upton Sinclair famously said, “It’s hard to get a man to understand something if his paycheck depends upon him not understanding it.” Sometimes you need to “call the ball,” like Maverick in “Top Gun.” If you know the right decision and you’ve followed the steps above, go ahead and make it. If you always wait for everyone to be in agreement, important decisions will not be made.

Must Read

Issues that keep executives awake at night

There is no shortage of matters of concern to flooring professionals these days. These range from issues outside their control, i.e., inflation, interest rate...

Mining for talent in a pandemic-stricken market

Hiring is not an easy task. Does the candidate have the qualities needed to succeed in the role? Do your goals align? Are they...

New to the game: First-time flooring store owners

Whether it’s starting over or starting from scratch, opening your own flooring store takes time, dedication and the ability to think on your feet. Even...

Samplesapp – Live from TISE The International Surface Event 2023 – Floor Covering News

Floor Covering News asks Carole Cross of Samplesapp "What are you excited to share at Surfaces 2023?" Tune in as Carole walks us through...

Unilin, Zeetree, Barberan reach new agreement

Waregem, Belgium—Unilin Technologies, Barberan and Zeetree said they reached an agreement with different parties to open up its broad patent portfolio for direct to...

Michael Halebian & Co. wins Smooth Performer award

Las Vegas—Schönox presented Michael Halebian & Co. with the 2022 Smooth Performer Award in recognition of the companys' high level of support, dedication and...

As seen in

Volume 27/Number 24

DOWNLOAD
Some text some message..
X