By Dan Mendelson
Business is changing. Altered by globalization and technology, today’s companies – and the products they produce – can at times seem the work of science fiction. Driverless cars. Patrolling robots. Clothing that regulates body temperature. Garments produced on a computer. The business model is vastly different from when I started Unitex Direct out of my home, 25 years ago.
And yet, as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Take customer service. The concept is the same as it was when I first started out. Customers want a positive experience. If you solve their problem, you succeed. More importantly, they succeed.
It’s a lesson I learned long ago as an engineering student at Urbana-Champaign. I built bridges back then – of course they were made of balsa wood – but every formula and every equation was designed to represent the girders and concrete, the steel cable and even the paint. At its core, bridge building is what engineering is about.
That’s what Unitex Direct is about too. When I visit customers and discuss the problems they may have regarding quality, delivery, timely communications, and/or inventory control, I tell them that their problems are like building a bridge. We take apart the problem and investigate it – girder by girder, cable by cable, making sure every part of the structure is strong and can support the creation of a bridge that will last and perform.
Business may change, but the lessons learned from the past are timeless.
At Unitex Direct, we’ve built a strong bridge to our customers. In 2017, we’re expanding that bridge to include more girders; we’re adding more cable to lengthen our reach to support new customers. We’ll add staff, new ideas, and new ways of doing our work to better service the bridge when it is heavy with traffic.
Building bridges. Solving Problems. Lessons learned in the back of a classroom still applicable. Perhaps even more so.
Thursday is Thanksgiving. Unitext Direct has built a successful business these past 25 years, but it didn’t just happen. Being an effective problem solver and bridge builder takes the work of many. To the Unitex Direct staff and consultants who have shaped its success – heartfelt thanks. And to our customers; we will strive even harder in 2017, for without your success, ours is diminished.
Happy Thanksgiving. Safe travels on whatever road – or bridge – you take this holiday weekend.