I admit it. The pace of business, technology and complexity has taken us away from the three basic premises of what we need to do best:
1. Take an order
2. Ship an order
3. Get paid for an order
While the basic premises are so simple, execution is not. We get wrapped up with “solutions” that give us “outs” but more times than not, do not address the core. For instance, let’s take the process of taking an order. Getting put on hold for minutes waiting to speak to a live person has become so common, why focus on expediting the wait period? In fact, we hired a third-party provider to answer our calls after 60 to enhance our service levels. While this alleviated long wait periods, the level of service from our third-party provider was below standards.
Getting back to the gold standard is what TNG used to do: Answer the phone in 3 rings or less. In an era where customer service continues to decline and more consumers are up in arms over this issue, and companies must control costs to stay in business, this gold standard is difficult to accomplish. But if we are going to deliver on our mission of 100% Customer Success, it’s time to try.
We tossed out our third-party provider and are hiring additional talent. We will achieve our objective and while there will be occasional lapses, the level of service for this basic premise will be world class.
The second premise, ship an order, we do quite well. But it’s not the gold standard. While we invested more than $4 million into SAP since October 2008, only now are we getting to a point where the data is being transformed properly. We still need another 12-18 months. But we now have an effective VP of Purchasing that is closing the gap quickly and positive changes will take place.
If there is one thing every person at TNG knows about me, it’s that I despise being out of stock. Yes, there are times that key suppliers (CND Shellac in this instance) are out of stock and there is nothing we can do. And while we may be in stock 99% of our top 200 items and 97% of everything else, we need to be better. And we will be.
The gold standard is that our customers place an order and that the order ships complete and arrives perfectly intact. This is world class and this is what TNG is known for. We will not disappoint.
The third premise is one that we have refined well and will continue to assist our customers through the “cloud” movement. TNG was first to eliminate shipping C.O.D. (and saving our customers $10.95 per order). TNG was first to use ACH payment (and saving even more fees). TNG was first to send invoices and shipping notifications electronically. When it comes to shipping and payment fees, I can say we are the best in class and will continue to maintain the gold standard and improve yet even more.
I admit it. Our team of over 200 TNG talent admit it too. There is no team more dedicated and focused on achieving the gold standard. The past 25 years has been quite a ride; we are focused like never before on the next 25 years. Thank you for your understanding and partnership as we get back to the gold standard.
Truth be told, virtually a year ago today we met with label.m in Las Vegas to bring this London-based line to Michigan. The next day Vince Davis (yes, the same Vince Davis that terminated us) told us we could not bring it on and if we did, TIGI would seek another distributor.
They say hindsight is 20/20. It’s fun when bully’s get hurt and this my friends will be as fun as it gets.
Follows is the “pre-press” press release that will be sent out later this week:
TNG Worldwide and label.m have joined forces which is thrilling news for Michigan salons. label.m was founded by none other than Toni Mascolo and his daughter, Sasha Mascolo-Tarbuck. Together along with the label.m Artistic Team, they have developed label.m into a world-class product line with education and trend releases as its main focus.
“This is a very exciting time for us and is reminiscent when we launched TIGI 12 years ago. Toni Mascolo always had his own vision separate from his brothers Anthony and Bruno. Toni is still committed to the hairdresser and we know Toni and his team are thrilled to come to the USA and dazzle our customers,” states Larry Gaynor, President & CEO, TNG Worldwide.
In fact, The Academy at TNG’s World Headquarters will become a major educational center for the label.m brand. “Not only will Toni and Sasha appear, so will many members of the label.m design team including the multi-talented Gary France. Toni and his team continue to develop trends 18 months in advance of fashion so they know what is hot,” comments Gaynor.
The premise of label.m is the 4 C’s: Cleanse, Condition, Create, Complete. Each “C” offers an inclusive family of products composed of exquisite ingredients demanded by today’s hairdressers.
The line is distributed in Michigan by The Industry Source Exclusive sales team. Presently the brand is not available in any of its 20 store locations, but several stores will offer samples and sales support information.
“It’s certainly refreshing to be part of Toni Mascolo’s vision and launching label.m in Michigan. Better yet, launching with TNG will be even more exciting as Larry’s vision fits in perfectly with Toni’s,” states Brian Bennett, VP of Sales for label.m.
The line was launched yesterday with our field sales team and will arrive in our warehouse within two weeks. Oh, I should mention Toni is in his mid-60’s, still cuts hair two days a week, rides the train to work, brown bags his own lunch and is solely interested in building a legacy for his daughter to take over, not sell to a global company. Welcome Toni and Sasha!
No business is cool these days unless they have the official Twitter logo AND official Facebook logo on their website’s home page.
As recently as ten years ago, most people opened up the Yellow Pages to find a business that they were looking for along with a phone number. Yellow Pages were a big business for both the phone companies and directory publishers. When was the last time you opened one up?
As recently as five years ago, most people were content that the business they liked had a website, contact info, about us, showed some products and shipped to their home. While those websites still exist since over half of all e-commerce companies do less than $1 Million in annual sales, they are way behind the curve.
TNG was the first pro beauty company to have a website back in 1995. I cannot tell you how many versions we have gone through but I will brag that our current version is the best one. I also established the first CEO pro beauty blog and to this day, I think I’m still the only one doing it.
But that’s not enough. People love to Tweet on Twitter and post on Facebook. After a bunch of research, we found that what our followers like best to see on theses sites are photos and videos. Now whenever possible, that’s what we are posting. Thanks to our Tweet guy, Eddie, we have it grooving.
Truthfully, all this social networking is a lot of work. People had NO time before this craze, I’m still wondering where they find the time now. Regardless, I have always found hard work is the best source of good luck.
And by all means, please visit us on Twitter and Facebook and post your photo and Tweet/post.