Thursday, June 30, 2005

Volume 7 - Congratulations Formula One

I’ve been a racecar fan from my earliest memories of my father tearing engines apart, rebuilding them, and repeating the process innumerable times. Pictures of him, hang in my office, winning the midget championships in 1937 driving a Chrysler special number 7, and running stock, modifieds, and even, in 1956, owning a Chrysler 300, which ran in the then category of ‘new cars’. He was one of the very first to experiment with power steering, something taken for granted today in NASCAR. Speaking of that organization, NASCAR, it has grown exponetially because, ‘the powers to be’ still recognize its fan as the most important ingredient, and may they always keep us (the fan) as their core value. Other major sports, from the NFL to the NBA and Major League Baseball, who can’t deal with their drug problems, strikes, and other business miss-managements, have all long forgotten the fan.

Thank goodness for auto racing in all of its forms, whether it be a sanctioned NASCAR event, a Friday night at your local dirt track, the 24 Hours of Daytona with the DP prototypes, a Grand AM or a SCCA event, the BAJA 1000 or the IRL with the presence of a contending female in Danica Patrick to Formula One. Excuse me, did I say Formula One? The same people that this past Father’s Day Weekend ran a total of six cars at Indianapolis, because they couldn’t settle a dispute among themselves about tire safety (and control of organizational power)?

Congratulations Formula One. You have now joined the ‘big’ leagues of major sports. You aren’t any better than Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NBA or even the NHL (arguably a question of whether this is a major sport), as they all forgot about the fan years ago. For stadiums, team owners, city and state administrations that don’t have the courage to say “no” and all collapse under the pressure to give tax payer money away to multi-millionaires, rather than change some rules and get the monies to local schools or State health care for their needy residents. Now, FIA, you show up at the only event you run in within the United States and with the largest tire manufacturer in the world, that can’t resolve a problem, that I’m sure, didn’t raise its ugly head until right before the race. So much for the American Market, take your internal struggles and go back to Europe, Asia or South America and insult other major racing markets with your insolence, ego and attitude, but spare us your rhetoric.

It’s simple. It’s all about the fan. The fan didn’t cause your problems, but, they always pay the price. You should understand Business 101, it’s all about the focus on the customer. It’s about on-time, complete shipments at a fair price. Those that listen and execute this core value have successful enterprises; those that don’t, think of a million excuses for their failure. They call in experts from afar, they blame the economy or even the workforce, but they never look in the mirror. It’s too bad that I’ve already given out the June 2005 ‘Stupid award’ (check earlier blog) for the FIA, from Mosley to Ecclestone to Michelin to the individual teams should all be able to share it!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Volume 6 - Independence2 update with the Operations & Marketing Member's remarks

As you know, if you've been reading my blog or getting our newsletter, we've been working on the building blocks of putting together a new start-up international architectural door hardware company. Along with the effort of finding great people, (who presently are working with other companies, but have dedicated precious time and energy for this plan to be part of their future lives as they will all be percentage owners in this venture), quality products, internal systems, equity and debt financing, etc., it just takes time to do it right. Hence, we have not just thrown together a fly-by-night company, instead, we are taking the time to build a long lasting organization.

Our Operations and Marketing Member, Ms. Bonnie Buchanan, has spent exhaustive hours with software experts implementing an internal business structure integrated to ensure real-time deliverable results on our door hardware products and to establish a superior "ease of doing business" with us customer experience, that supports and enhances our first core company value, which is, our customers are the focal point of our business. In our recent newsletter, I have asked Ms. Buchanan to include a few words, to our perspective customers, on the topic of our Organization and its technology, so I'm including those remarks in this addition of my blog. Ms. Buchanan has also recently been published in the June 2005, edition of and a copy of her article, "Have CRM Vendors Ever Heard of Customer-Centricity?". You can view her article by clicking HERE.

"First, let me say, "Hello", to you all and I hope to one day meet each and every one of you in person. My experiences within your industry have shown me that it contains many, what us Southerners would term "good people", along with a wonderful network of long-term business relationships that make up the nexus of your industry. It is because of the character of the individuals, I have met so far, that I truly look forward to developing long-term business relationships with each of you, as time allows us to get to know each other better. In addition, I want to thank you for the warm reception I have received from those of you within the industry that I have thus far had the pleasure of meeting. Ron asked me to include a few words to you in this volume of our Newsletter about our technological structure and our current system implementations, so pardon any 'geek speak' and here goes:

On the Operations side, we are implementing an Enterprise wide solution that ties together all business processes and every aspect of how we "touch" our Customers. This is being accomplished through the integration of Voice over IP - VolP (a telecommunications protocol), back-end office applications (financial applications, etc.) tied into our Customer Management Relations (CRM) system, which handles our Customer records and integrates them with our Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Inventory Tracking solution to provide up-to-date, Real-Time, critical information to you, our Customers. Through this up-to-date technology and our on-going Customer Satisfaction focus, we are determined to accomplish our goal of providing to you, our Customers, the best and most superior Customer experience, possible. We hope that through the coming months you will be intrigued and hopefully, pleasantly surprised at the scope of just how serious we are about how valuable you are to us, not just from a one time product sale perspective, but as our business partner, with whom, we are determined to share success and enhance each of our organizations.

On the Marketing side, our goal is to provide you with an on-going customer focus, so particularly during this time of development and new implementation, you may be asked to provide feedback in the form of a quick couple of answers on a rather painless survey. We ask that you bare with us and keep in mind, that we ask this time of you, only because we highly value your opinions and experience. We want to make sure that you are happy and to accomplish that goal, we want to know in advance, not only what makes you unhappy, but also, how we can enhance our services to you, so that in turn you can better serve your own Customers. Who better is there to ask vital questions about how to make you happy and how our organization can help you increase your sales and service, than you? Maybe we can build into our structure and services, items or areas of interest to you or your customers that we have yet to consider, obviously, we would not know if we did not bother to ask. We are here for you, and because of you and for that reason, we at Independence2, LLC vow never to forget that fact. I invite you to contact me directly at my e-mail address by clicking HERE with any questions, comments or suggestions you may have. Thank you for your time, your interest, and hopefully, your individual support as we move forward in this endeavor.” - Sincerely Bonnie L. Buchanan

Until the next edition of my 2 am talk radio show with further updates on our start up company and opinions on various subjects, hug a friend and stand up for what you believe in.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Volume 5 - The respected Zell Miller...the disgraceful remarks of Senator Dick Durbin...and, Where is the Democratic Party that I grew up with?

As in the words of the distinguished former Democratic Governor and Senator, from the great State of Georgia, Zell Miller, in his book, "A Deficit of Decency", "I can remember when the Democrat believed that it was the duty of America to fight for freedom over tyranny. It was Democratic President Harry Truman who pushed the Red Army out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when Communists threatened to overthrow of Europe that was freed because Franklin Roosevelt led an army of liberators, not occupiers..." And, he continues, "Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier...It is the soldier who salutes the flag, services beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom he abused to burn the flag." But not even this great Legislator could image a fellow Democrat denigrating without remorse, with the height of hyperbole, the comments of Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois who compared American interrogators (US military) at Guantanamo Bay "to Nazis, Soviet Gulags and Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.'' Congressional double speak and their far left liberalism has now surpassed the height of all time stupidity with such a remark, which offends not only the military, which defends this great county, but all Americans.

I concur with Governor Miller and I ask the question of what ever happened to the Democratic Party that I grew up with? What did FDR and Harry Truman do during their wars and cold war place in history? Research what the U.S. did during the time of FDR in relation to 'unlawful combatants'. They weren't fed restaurant style fish almandine, as they do at Guantanamo, while our U.S. military are left to eat MRE's. These thugs, who have killed Americans, are not rendered safe under any Geneva Convention rules. They are unlawful combatants who along with their leaders ought to be hunted (and treated) like animals.

It is reprehensible that we have conflict over whether the U.S. Military are wearing white gloves while handling the Koran. The Koran is a book. There have been over 1,700 U.S. Soldiers killed in Iraq with, sadly, more to die. What are we doing to solve that problem? The absolute crap about the treatment of these less than human thugs is nothing but the old cries of the sixties from the same generation of people who didn't appreciate our soldiers at that time of history and now to compare them to Hitler's Nazis is a disgrace.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Volume 4 - Let's Get A Book Deal, Building block business update on the new start-up venture

What a liberal phony world we have developed into with calls of prisoner abuse, wrongly fabricated and disseminated media stories concerning destruction of the Koran, causing riots and deaths, and now the liberal Woodward and Fatso Bernstein writing a new book, profiting again monetarily with the White House of Nixon and Deep Throat Felt, who should be charged for leaking information in a criminal process but, being only second in charge of the FBI, he wouldn’t know of job responsibilities and duty. Maybe there is still room on Kerry’s bus tour, so that the liberal biased media personalities can join the likes of the Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen and the Viet Cong’s favorite spoksperson, Jane Fonda, paint peace signs on their face, foster another Black Panther Group or audition for the CBS nightly news.

Building block business update on the new start- up venture, Independence2

It’s been slightly over two months since we’ve put out our first newsletter to the best customer base ever abused by manufacturers. Newsletter II will be hitting the customer base shortly starting off with a quote, “Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Unknown author, quoted in memory of my friend, Tom Maxwell.

This latest newsletter addition will continue bringing a (really) great bunch of customers up to date on our project and give them another ‘peek under the tent’ on the progress of our organization created from the ground up with the distributor as the focal point of every block we lay in this foundation. That’s correct. Can you believe it! The customer is actually the focal point of this business. What a concept!

We’re not waving flags, preaching loyalty or offering programs that are more marketing than substance, nor are we telling the customer what they should make on their margins, their return on investment nor are we going to sell or through our own ‘retail group’ nor to the ‘big box’ stores as other manufacturer/suppliers do in our industry. I love the simplicity of serving the stocking distributor within our industry. They are the mainstay of this industry and they are the vital link that serves the end user, and for that, we, Independence2, respect the distribution channel. ‘Respect’ the distribution channel. ‘Respect’ the audience. ‘Respect’ the people who buy your newspapers, watch your newscasts, buy your CDs and don’t belittle them with your holier than thou bullshit.

In reference our ‘sourcing’ section (of products) we have come across some very high quality hardware products ranging from a superior Grade 1 lock, two different types of Grade 2 Cylindrical Levers and Knobs, Grade 2 Tubular Knobs and Lever Locks all with ANSI/BHMA certification, along with some great value in Closers, Deadbolts, Exit Devices, Hinges, all offering a variety of finishes.

Other sample products, including Biometric Locks, designed for independent distributors to compete with the large manufacturer who sells that line through their own ‘retail group’. These samples are arriving on a weekly basis, along with their documented testing results and other applicable industry standard certifications. Biometrics, although the fastest growing area within our industry, it hasn’t as yet lived up to the expectations of many people. I happen to believe that it is only a matter of time when this specialty product is a common construction type of hardware used by everyone in some fashion.

On my next blog session, I’ll steal some quotes from our Operations and Marketing Member concerning the internal processes that are about to be brought on board to ensure that the customer is and remains the focal point of this company. She has spent exhaustive hours working with software experts, implementing an internal business structure integrated to ensure real-time deliverable results on our products and to establish a superior ‘ease of doing business’ with us that supports and enhances our first core company value, (as stated above but can never be overstated), that our customers are the focal point of our business.