Build trust through authenticity – 5 best practices

I can’t really say I pride myself on being authentic, because to do so would mean I put a lot of effort into it. What I CAN say is that I’m proud to be described by my peers as authentic. Like Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.” I guess I just really enjoy connecting with other people, because that's truly what it's all about. I recently invited an industry colleague to lunch for the simple purpose of meeting him and hearing about his professional journey. After nearly 2 hours of conversation, he asked what I wanted out of the meeting. It’s hard not to assume people have ulterior motives. I explained that I thought he was an interesting person with a similar background and I wanted the chance to know him. His response — “That’s what I thought, but it’s so rare I had to ask.” We recognized each other as authentic, no hidden agendas. I walked away from that meeting having learned that this gentleman has a specific goal that I am uniquely qualified to make a profound impact upon. I made a connection with him because I was willing to be me and now I have an opportunity to help ...


UPS SurePost® for Reduced Cost Residential Delivery

DM Fulfillment announces UPS SurePost® as an additional ground delivery service. UPS SurePost® is an economy, residential ground service for packages that weigh one to nine pounds and are not time sensitive. This is a complimentary service to UPS Mail Innovations® already available through DM Fulfillment, offering similar service levels and cost benefits for packages weighing less than a pound. “We’re excited to offer UPS SurePost® to our partners as it provides a low-cost residential shipping option ideal for low weight, low value shipments that don’t necessarily have time sensitive delivery requirements,” said Rick Goe, Vice President, Supply Chain. UPS SurePost® utilizes the U.S. Postal Service® for final delivery with available tracking options. Four to seven business days is the projected delivery time, depending on distance of travel, thus making it an ideal and practical logistics solutions when transit is not time-sensitive.


Holiday Shopping Can’t Wait!

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Peak Season. It’s make or break time for those of us in the retail, e-tail, and distribution business. Forbes reported in their October 25th online edition that UPS expects to pick up 32 million packages on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Is your package one of them? It’s a compressed season this year, with Thanksgiving falling late in the month. Retailers are elbowing their way to the top of holiday shopping lists at every chance they get. “Free Shipping!” “Mega Merry Mondays!” It looks like the deals are going to be out there early. My fulfillment clients are optimistic but reserved about what to expect for online sales. The economy has teased us with recovery for years now, and we are all wary of big projections. We ask all our clients for their holiday forecasts mid-summer, but even at this late date they are throwing up their hands. I’m going to be positive; I think we’re going to have a great finish to the year. For consumers, the time to act is early. No online retailer wants to miss out on making a sale, and there is a higher likelihood of items being out of stock as retailers ...


Doing business with people you like

I recently read an article by Seth Godin about unreasonable clients which relates to a topic I’ve had on my mind a lot lately – doing business with people you like. It’s about realizing we have the freedom to seek out customers and vendors who will join us in mutually rewarding business relationships that promote positive energy. We’ve all had those clients who say and do things that eventually wear us down to the point that just seeing their phone number on the caller ID makes our hearts sink. They completely take the wind out of our sails before we even say “hello”. The good news is we have the power to change the course of our interactions with those clients. Here’s how: Disrupt the negative energy by NOT perpetuating it. Don’t get sucked in to it. Remove the drama from a situation and focus on the solution. Choose to be kind. Period. Positive energy will feed itself. Many times in Business Development, I have the opportunity to recognize a difficult organization during the selling cycle. They are unwilling to participate in productive conversations to identify the needs of their business, they spend a great deal of energy complaining about their current provider, and ...


The 48-Hour Rule

If your primary job description includes “operations” like mine, most of your direct interactions are with colleagues or internal customers — cross-functional teams making those “big ideas” actually work. Working with others internally to get things done will inevitably lead to clashes of opinions. How you react to those clashes is a choice you have complete control over, but it’s a choice you should wait 48 hours to make. Many years ago, I was an ambitious and assertive sales person. I loved the feeling of accomplishment in closing a sale, the cash that came with it and the resulting relationships, both internally and externally. I loved it all so much, that I asked for more. Put me in coach! I will manage. So, off I went into the world of coaching and relying on others as a sales manager. Oh the joy. As I navigated the world of running a team, I pushed hard for efficiencies, better shipping options for my region, looser credit limits where possible, and top talent. That meant lots of internal conversations. And man, did I run into some walls. Convincing people to change — convincing people of anything — is really hard. Everyone has their own priorities, ...


4 Profiles of Businesses Looking for a Fulfillment Partner

As an expert in fulfillment, we see 4 types of clients walk through our doors. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while, you’ll probably identify with at least one of these profiles: 1. I want a fulfillment partner from the very beginning: You knew from the moment your eCommerce business plan started coming together that you wanted to work with a fulfillment partner. For this type of client, we are like a click on “app”. They are able to build their site and select the services they want via a direct connection from our system to their online store. They want the automation built into their business plan from the very beginning. 2. I can’t do it on my own anymore: You started out on your own but eventually realized you don’t have the negotiating power nor the resources to be cost-effective. Plus, you need to conduct business with larger customers who have more sophisticated technology — Distributed Order Management, EDI, etc. — and you just aren’t equipped to do that. This type of client comes to us feeling overwhelmed and looking for business solutions which we are more than happy to provide. We want to ...


Be the Dude

Let me start by stating that when I write, it is just that—only me and my thoughts and perspective. I am fully aware that those who read will not necessarily agree with me. Also, my observations are based on my experiences with various companies, not just my current employer. Here goes… This past Father’s day reminded me how thankful I am for not only all the amazing guys in my family but also the male executives in my business life. I am absolutely supportive of equality for women in the workplace, but I also recognize that we live in a business world where men and women must co-exist successfully or the business will not thrive. So, we should take time to celebrate men and recognize their strengths. We can even steal good practices from them just as they should steal from us. Before I jump into ways perhaps we should ‘be the dude’, allow me a shout out to my Boss, Greg, who listens genuinely to my ideas and empowers me to run my department. My favorite quality about my boss is that as the only female member of his staff, he treats me with equal respect in every way as the ...


Do you have GRIT?

If you’re entrepreneur-minded, a small business owner or you’re currently in the trenches of starting a new business, you most likely have GRIT. GRIT – Passion and perseverance for very long term goals. A firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship, challenge or danger. GRIT is not something you can necessarily learn, it’s more about how you’re wired. It’s in your DNA. Sure, we can learn to be a little “grittier” with time and life experiences, but some of us are just chosen to be visionaries and have the passion for something big. Angela Lee Duckworth, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, was so intrigued by what makes people more successful than others that she did a study to determine if GRIT was the key to success. What she found had nothing to do with test scores and IQ. Watch the video to learn more. GRIT is what instinctively kicks in when you’re feeling whipped, tired and defeated. The thought of quitting creeps in but you stand firm on that long term goal, and you get back up and push on. In business and in life, people are all too happy to point out ...


Perspective from a Working Mom

I have always wanted to write from the perspective of an executive and a mom. I probably shouldn’t be starting this at 8:12 at night because it’s typically the worst time of day for me – my least productive. But, I’ve learned a few things about myself over the years, and I know that if the mood strikes, I have to just go with it. So here’s the great epiphany that has led me to sit at my computer at this odd hour – Working moms who accept who they are, really truly accept their strengths and weaknesses, can leverage that self-awareness and have it all. To know one’s self, the good and the ugly, is the key to being a successful working mom.  It’s a gift really. At the core, any woman working and trying to manage kids must take the time to know who she is, through and through, in order to juggle both. It is what makes us highly efficient, which is a must. But we don't always recognize how powerful this can be. If you learn how to leverage your strengths and weaknesses, you can have a successful, efficient, rewarding life. You can have it all. If you ...


Bob Klunk on being the great “match maker”

I’ve learned over the years that it’s just in my blood to want to help people. I can’t fight it. I am who I am. So with that knowledge of myself in mind, I always start my conversations with prospects by asking “how can I help you?” Sure, my ultimate goal is to sell DMI Fulfillment service, but I first want to know where the pain points are in their business and help guide them to success. Often times, the first two or three things I hear are in fact not services I sell, but because of my resources and connections, I can help them find a solution. Helping someone overcome those obstacles is very fulfilling to me, and hopefully they will come to me again when they do need the services I sell. Here’s a perfect example – I recently had two prospects that were in the process of finding a fulfillment partner. Both had a single but different obstacle getting in the way of taking their business to the next level. Ironically, each one had the solution to the other’s problem. So, I’m sure you know what I did next -- I introduced the two prospects to each other. ...