It is hard to believe another pool season is beginning. For many of us, it feels like summer never ended. With many different industries suffering, I am grateful we are part of the swimming pool industry. As millions of families were confined to their homes over the past year, the pool industry provided relief and entertainment to many in the form of a backyard oasis. How has your company prospered in the last twelve months? With so much demand in our industry, now is a great time to define how your business creates value.
One way we create value as a distributor is to prioritize the needs of our long-term customers. Our long-term customers are the base of our business. We realize none of our growth would be possible without their support. Your customers need your services now more than ever. Who are the most important customers to your business and how do you serve them differently?
Another way we create value is by keeping adequate inventory on hand to serve our customers' growing demand. In this environment, we have been more challenged than ever to manage inventory levels. Many suppliers are extending lead times and already notifying us of imminent price increases. Our purchasing team is working tirelessly to keep inventory on the shelf, but supplier limitations have made it difficult to keep certain products in stock. We are actively seeking substitute products and transferring inventory between locations to minimize the effect on your business.
If a product you require is unavailable, you could consider requesting a substitute product to expedite a solution for your customer. It is important to be versatile but selective to maintain productivity without compromising quality. Your customers trust your judgement and depend on you to find the best solution to meet their needs. Remember that the value you offer is the craftsmanship of your work and quality of your service rather than specific products you supply.
At PEP, our greatest resource is our knowledgeable team of employees. As I toured the PEP locations this past January, I learned over and over that the thing customers love most about PEP is the customer service they receive from our team. Take a moment to reflect on the people who have helped your business succeed this year. Do you have employees or contractors that you are proud to have represent you? If so, it is likely that they are your greatest resources. Consider how you can help develop them to be more valuable to your business. If you work alone, what tools or processes can you adopt to become more efficient? Time is our most limiting factor so ask yourself how your business can create the most value every day.