The quote “no man is an island” comes from a literary work written almost 400 years ago by a somewhat forgotten poet named John Donne who served as a cleric in the Church of England. The main theme of the quote is simple yet still very true: We all rely on each other in this life.
The quote popped in my head recently during our national sales meeting when we recalled winning Best of Houzz – Customer Service (2017). We are very proud of this award because of our intentional focus on providing great service.
HOWEVER, this is not an article about our awesome customer service department (they already had their day in the “Just Being Frank” sun). This is about the folks who operate in the background and position us to win these types of awards. This, my friends, is a shout-out to our amazing Purchasing Department.
The purchasing team manages to juggle about 30 vendors around the globe from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America. Not only do they have to keep tabs on 1000 SKUs, but they also have to navigate numerous time zones, communication challenges, port strikes, vanishing ocean containers, custom holds, and pirates (OK, maybe not pirates… but darn it, it sounded awesome!).
The team worked tirelessly to install a new ERP system recently that has been a critical tool in ensuring we have what we need when we need it. You know I LOVE numbers, right? During the second week of December, we were out of stock on a grand total of only 15 items – or a 98.2% in stock rate. This in stock statistic is not an anomaly – 98%+ is how we fared in all of 2017. This makes Frank, the sales guy, a happy guy. The icing on the cake: our inventory turns are in the best shape they have been in years. This makes Frank’s bosses equally happy.
So our collective hat is off to the folks we rely heavily on to help us live up to our in stock promise. For indeed, no man is an island.
As always, thanks for the business.
Frank R. Toms
Vice President Sales & Marketing
Trade & Architectural Division