By Peter Granata, president, Granata Design and the Marine Design Resource Alliance — Ever notice how some leaders look at things individually rather than as a whole? They look at the numbers of the business but not the business overall. They focus on the problem, not what is causing the problem. They look at the way things have always been done in their industry but not the way other industries are accomplishing their goals. It's called "not seeing the forest through the trees."
An example of a narrowly focused executive might be a boat manufacturer (this actually happened) that had a business audit which showed that there’s a lot of money being spent on “patch & repair” to his boats at the end of a production line. The solution is not to fire the people that are patching and repairing the boats, the solution is to find a way not to damage the boats as they move through the production line. Sounds simple, but you’d be amazed at how the obvious escapes some people.
Business owners in the boating industry always have to look at their business in its entirety in order to survive and prosper. If there’s an area of their business that’s costing too much, or simply losing money, business owners back up and take a look at the whole picture.
Because we’ve endured a great recession, many of the boat dealers that this industry have counted on to “move the merchandise” have closed their doors. No money. No money available through banks, nor lending institutions, in general not enough money to continue operating. When dealers are not available to create the sale, our industry sputters.
If we stand back, however, and look at the big picture there may be other opportunities that we can "tap" into.
Recently, there are more than a few automobile dealers that have been disenfranchised by the very company they represented. Specifically, they are dealers who have local banks that want to work with them, they have showrooms and service areas, and they know how to sell product. Many of these dealers are all “dressed up” with nothing to sell because the product line that they represented has been taken away from them.
What if the leaders of our industry bond together and make an earnest marketing effort to draw in these disenfranchised dealers, and teach them what they need to successfully sell and service boats? After all, they need something to sell and we have the perfect product to put them back to work.
Just a thought.