Work-life balance as a IT General Manager CBP is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).
Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of IT General Manager CBP from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.
The Naked Truths About Vendor and Contract Management
The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.
When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.
Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.
The previous two parts of this series explored how important it is for sales people to understand what is driving their customer to buy and to understand what the customer's expectations are. In this article we are going to look at how to proceed once we have the understanding we need of our customer.
In the first article in this series, I stated that most sales people have more than one product or service line at their disposal to meet clients needs. Marketing departments keep coming up with more and more variations even of the same product for different uses and to serve various markets. Some of the features may be the same, maybe even the benefits will be similar, but how these meet our customer's expectations will vary greatly.
In the last article I noted that if we do not understand our clients expectations we cannot meet them. Our product/service will create buyers remorse in the customer and thus we will have a dissatisfied and probably very vocal customer. So if we understand what need our client is trying to satisfy and how they expect our product/service to satisfy the need and we have determined that in fact our available products/services can meet that need and meet or exceed the clients expectations, now what?
Let me give a very simple example of all of this. I am a customer of a roadside beverage stand and I want to order a drink. The sales person has a couple of options: 1) They can simply provide me with their most popular beverage and hope for the best, 2) they can find out the size of the beverage that I want and maybe a preference (Coke vs Pepsi), 3) They can find out more about my situation, explain my options to me and help me to make the best decsion based upon my needs and expectations.
Okay you are thinking I am making a mountain out of a mole hill here, it is a drink for Pete's sake, you are thirsty take what he gives you and be happy, children in other countries don't have anything to drink! Stay with me here, if I am competing in some type of sporting event, or I am a diabetic or I believe that when I am hot, a hot drink will cool me better than a cold drink, or what if all the stand has is alcoholic beverages and I am opposed to alcohol, or allergic to corn syrup or I just plain won't drink anything without carbonation. What if I am extremely offended at wasefulness and I know that I can not drink more than 16 oz and the clerk gives me a 32 oz drink, or I am on a diet where I have to measure my in take?
These things all have to do with my need and my expectation. If I order an ice cold carbonated beverage and expect it to warm me when I am cold, I will be sorely displeased. My expectation has not been met. Worse yet, If I am coerced or persuaded (manipulated/sold) an ice cold beverage, how satisfied am I going to be?
Customer satisfaction hinges on our ability to meet their needs and expectations, this cannot be done if we do not understand those needs and expectations or what they are. Secondly, a buyer is much less likely to be dissatisfied with a product/service that they feel they chose because it was the best possilbe alternative, even if it does not completely meet their needs and expectations. The most important part of consultative selling is in the presentation. A sales person cannot be persuading or manipulating the customer to buy, but must instead be giving them the information they need to make their own decision.
In one of the previous articles I made a statement to the effect that an objection is merely the customer telling us that they do not yet trust us and we have not yet developed the needed rapport. In this part of the process this is a very important concept. If we take a position of trying to defend ourselves or our product/service in answering objections we are furthering a confrontational position against the customer and eroding instead of building rapport. Conversely if we take the this opportunity to confirm our understanding of the what the client has told us their needs and expectations are, we are showing our sincere interest in meeting their needs and expectations. We are no long confronting them, but advocating them. We don't overcome objections, we understand them, don't merely empathize or sympathize, but understand.
If we do in fact understand the customer's needs and expectations, the solution will be clear. We can then explain the options we have to meet the clients needs and expectations and THEY can make a decision. They are not sold anything! They make a decision to buy. If the decision is solely the client's, they cannot be dissatisfied with our product/service, only with their own decision to buy it. If sales people are able to convey their understanding of the client's needs and expectations to the client and the client assents that they are corrrect, and the client is given the information that they deem satisfactory to make a decision with out coercion or prompting (with out being sold) then the decision is theirs alone, and they know it. There will be no resentment towards the sales person, they have been nothing but helpful, and no resentment towards the product/service, I knew going in what the options were, I just chose poorly.
In short, once we understand the customer's needs and expectations we must present to them all the options that are potential solutions. If they don't buy now, they will, either because your industry has improved a product that can now meet their needs/ expectations better, or because they have a new or differnent need/expectation that your product can fill, because they want it to. We have taken the time to build adequate rapport, in fact a relationship, we are now a trusted advisor and people want to do business with trusted advisors. People like to buy, they don't like to be sold to. People like to make decisions, they don't like to pick one and hope for the best. Understand your clients needs and expectations and help them to find the best solution. Don't try to force your solution as the best and for crying out loud----Let the Customer Buy!
There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.
Roadmap to a Customer - Centric Strategy
Empowering employees like IT General Manager CBP to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.
How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?
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There's an old supply-chain saying that goes, 'A vendor gives you the best 'deal,' while a strategic partner gives you the highest quality at the lowest cost.' This adage sets the stage for this article on Strategic Supplier Relationships ('SSR') also known as Supplier Relationship Management ('SRM'). SSR is defined as a comprehensive approach to managing the interactions and communications between an enterprise and its suppliers. The goal of SSR is to effectively streamline and make more efficient the communication and interaction between an enterprise and its suppliers. This is accomplished through increased process efficiency related to the acquiring of goods and services, the managing of inventory, purchase order processing, and the management of materials. The benefits of SSR are lower costs, less administrative burden, increased productivity, and a more integrated supply-chain. With margins within the food industry being squeezed, it is ever so important to manage COGS (cost of goods sold) aggressively, thereby increasing profitability. The objective of this article is to shed some light on how SSR might reduce costs and administrative burden, while increasing margins. There are well published examples of companies using SSR to enhance the strategic relationship between buyers and suppliers. In essence, SSR can be accomplished by following these rules of engagement:
1. Carefully evaluate and choose strategic suppliers. When choosing a strategic partner, be sure to take a close look at their business, including such things as:
- Financial stability (D&B)
- Client references
- Proximity to your network
- Management depth
- Years in business
- Use of technology (EDI)
- Cultural fit
2. Develop a clear set of expectations. Before signing an agreement with a supplier, be sure there are clear rules and expectations, including specific tasks you demand them to accomplish. There must be clear roles and nothing must be left to interpretation in terms of responsibilities.
3. Define goals and performance targets. Specific key performance indicators (KPI's) must be developed and tracked to compare suppliers and keep them on track. KPI's such as on-time delivery, expected lead time, freight terms, etc. must be included in a quarterly report-card for each supplier. When setting targets for performance, use the SMART method for developing goals. Each goal must be:
4. Monitor and rank supplier performance. It's always a good idea to use a scorecard to monitor supplier performance. Additionally, ranking suppliers from best to worst and sharing this data will go a long way to improve performance (nobody wants to be at the bottom of the report).
5. Conduct annual reviews for continuous improvement. Finally, be sure to meet with your suppliers to solicit ideas on how to improve productivity, reduce administrative burden, increase the use of technology, and lower costs.
A comprehensive strategic supplier management program will result in a significant reduction in administrative burden, lower cost of goods, and ultimately, improved profitability. The first step is to establish the baseline of existing suppliers in terms of volumes, frequency, and costs. Next, develop a clear set of expectations, goals, and key performance indicators to monitor quarterly. Finally, be sure to meet with your strategic partners frequently to pick their brains about ways to improve productivity or reduce costs. Additionally, be sure you spend some time teaching your suppliers about the culture at your company and the strategic plans for growth. When taken seriously, the steps outlined in this article will not only improve supplier relationships and lower costs, but will also have a positive impact on profitability. So, remember, vendors are things of the past; strategic partners are what make a difference!
When a IT General Manager CBP spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.