Friday, October 29, 2010
We came out in full support of a charity event for a local soccer team called the Port Coquitlam FC Warriors. One of our staff, Wendy was involved in the fund raising, and we thought it was a great way to have some staff dress up time and support a great cause at the same time. At Costless Express we have been know to dress up and act a bit silly all year anyways, but Halloween is extra special.
The event was held at the Port Coquitlam Bowl. I'm sure the center has been there for over 40 years and it was a blast from the past with the decor. What was really a blast though was all the fun we had. Lots of great costumes (that's me as Gumby), great turn out with all lanes packed, and lots of prizes and food. We helped raise $1800!
The most fun we had was during the second game when were were asked to follow a sheet of different bowling styles and positions like - bowl with your other hand, on one leg, bowl thru someone's legs and the best one, with a long balloon between your legs. The pictures dont do justice to the amount of fun we had.
Thanks to all our staff for the great turn out and support.
P.S. On a side note - the .05 drinking law seems to be really working. Most people were not drinking at all because of it. Seems there was so much confusion around how much is too much that is was better to not even risk it. That's fine in my books as it makes a staff event less of a concern for staff that may have a bit too much and we need to intervene. Glad to see people taking responsibility for drinking and driving, it really is a serious issue, especially for employers.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Learn how to out-think, out-market, out-sell and out-compete in any market. Brian Tracy teaches you the SEVEN essentials for business growth and increased profitability. You learn practical, proven strategies and tactics you can apply immediately to get better business results.
- Become a GREAT Leader: The seven roles and responsibilities of business leadership that determine success or failure;
- Build a GREAT Business: Learn the indispensable elements of planning and execution required for increased sales and profitability;
- Offer a GREAT Product or Service: The single factor that determines 90% of your success- how to develop it, measure it, improve it;
- Attract GREAT People in Every Position: How to find, interview, hire, manage and motivate a team of top people;
- Develop a GREAT Marketing Plan: Attract a continuous flow of qualified prospects who are eager to buy what you sell;
- Perfect a GREAT Sales Process: Learn how to prospect, build trust, identify customer needs, present persuasively, overcome objections and close the sale;
- Create a GREAT Customer Experience: Learn how to meet expectations, exceed expectations, delight and amaze your customers so they buy again and again, and eagerly refer you to others.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Each member of our staff... ahem... TRIBE... gets a free copy. Earlier this year, I gave each member the e-book of Tribal Leadership, and the hard cover is just another way to keep reinforcing the message we live by at Costless Express, "Its all about WE not ME!"
What is Tribal Leadership, you ask? We are so happy to let you know all about it, and hopefully excite you and your company to take the journey to becoming a Stage 4 Tribe. It's not easy, but the rewards and happiness are worth the sacrifice.
Here's some info and a great TED Talk by the author Dave Logan.
Free Audio Book Download - http://www.triballeadership.net/
Logan, King and Fischer-Wright suggest that individuals participate in organizations as members of one or more tribes. A tribe is a basic sociological unit: a group of 20-150 humans. (Like schools of fish, and flocks of birds, we have tribes of people.) The authors used linguistic research methods as well as relationship structures to identify five tribal states that build on one another dimensionally. Each tribal state is more productive and meaningful for its members than the ones below it. Each stage has unique leverage points that nudge people and teams forward in their productivity and expansion, versus an existence of universal principles for teams.
Friday, October 22, 2010
|Todd Suomu, Nico Human, and Calvin Johnson.|
Picture courtesy of BCFPA
We have just signed a deal to be the Official Supplier to the BC Food Processors Association!
Funny how things come together. It all started when I met David Eto at a wedding in the summer. It was actually my mom who was chatting with guests, and when she met David she thought he and I should meet since we were both in the food business. So she paired the two of us up on the lawn outside the house where the wedding reception was being held and made introductions. David and I had a great chat and had lots in common, including BC Children's Hospital involvement. From that meeting, David and I agreed to stay in touch and go for lunch.
About a month later, we got together for sushi and decided there was an opportunity to create an affinity program for the BC Food Processors Association, an organization David was closely involved in. From that lunch things moved pretty quick, involving Nico Human the CEO of the Association. We created a program for the association that would offer savings far greater than any individual company could achieve on their own - even it they had the best programs with Grand and Toy or Staples. Association members will see immediate savings on their Office Supplies, Break room, Janitorial, Printing, Toners, Paper and even the little paper booties they wear on their feet in a food plant!!
Last week we signed the deal, and this week it was announced to the 1500 companies that are part of the association. We are all very excited to bring value to the association, especially now that Costless Express is a member of the BC Food Processors Association.
Oh... and THANKS MOM!!!!
Just contact us at 604-444-4467 or firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about our Membership Advantage Program for more details!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
All this week I was in San Francisco with my forum group from EO. A few times a year we travel on a retreat to visit world class companies and learn best practices.
We stayed at the Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square. This illustrious chocolate factory dates back to the civil war era where they once made everything from uniforms and spices to of course, Chocolate. The Fairmont spent 4 years renovating the factory into a one of a kind destination. It was a place we had to stay and experience and the location didnt disappoint. We lounged on the outdoor patios overlooking the San Francisco bay as we held our meeings.
Several of the suites were 2500 sqare feet in size and had 3 bedrooms. Surprisingly there was real value when sharing a large room like this in comparison to renting several smaller rooms. I highly recommend the Fairmont Heritage and I'll be taking my family back some time soon.
We were honored with the royal treatment for the entire day. About every 90 minutes we were given a new presentation from top managers on emerging and disruptive techlology and innovations. It was truly amazing to be allowed the kind of up front and inside access to the most powerful and innovative tech company on the planet.
Some of what we saw and were told about I cannot repeat due to Non Disclosure Agreements but without giving away too much I have to tell you of one fellow who came to speak to us. He was a top VP in charge of Innovation at Cisco. He reviews hundreds of deals and looks for technology that is truly life changing and disruptive to the market. Here is his criteria and actions he takes when he finds an idea.
- The idea must have the ability to be a Billion Dollar business
- He will spend $10,000,000 on the start up to fund it
- He will hand pick Cisco employees to build it out
- The team has 18 months to get it to market
Here is one such innovation. Video conferencing, where the operator is located in a data center and they can greet visitors who walk into a lobby of an office building. Kind of like a video concierge but the concierge can manage several building at once. The can give directions, pass people thru security and other functions, all 24/7 and global. This technology is also rolling out to other applications such as boardroom conferencing and even kiosks that can go in shopping malls and you can have visit with a doctor while you are shopping. The applications are limitless. Have a look and you'll see.
And at the end of the video you can watch me walk right behind an operator who is on a conference. So from the guy's view in the lobby, he would see a pair of pants walk on screen behind the operator - - Doh!
One more story from Cisco.
Our day wrapped up with a real bang from a one on one talk with Inder Sidhu the Senior Vice President, Strategy Planning, Worldwide Operations at Cisco. Mr Sidhu as you can see from his title is one of the highest level VP's at Cisco.
During our time with Mr. Sidhu we peppered him with questions and the insights and takeaway was like a year of business school packed into an hour. One memorable moment was when I asked him what he thought the next innovation in technology would be. He said, think of the dawn of computers, then the Internet - VIDEO will be the next innovation. We can see it starting already with services like NetFlix http://www.netflix.ca and the bankruptcy of Blockbuster. New methods of watching and delivery of video is going to transform movies, television and advertising in a profound way over the next 5 years.
Mr Sidhu is also the author of the recent best seller book DoingBoth. Please grab a copy of his insightful book.
Here is a quick video that sums up his philosophy.
I was at odds personally with a business decision that had me stumped and this exact recommendation from him when we met allowed me to see a new alternative and act on it.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I stopped into the office early on the holiday Monday since I will be away in San Francisco all week for a visit to Cisco Systems. I'll write about that adventure later this week.
Funny how I just wrote about the Coke truck in my last post, and here was another truck delivering to us at the crack of dawn with our milk. Here was Island Farms droping off several pallets of milk for deliveries that will be picked tonight and delivered tomorrow. I usually don't see the trucks delivering, so I was amazed at how much milk we sell every day. This truck is here every morning with our order religiously.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Donavon takes us for the first time into the call center. It's what I consider the nerve center of Zappos.
I was ready for crazy antics and a loud boisterous environment. But instead... everyone was heads down and working.
At Costless Express we are a pretty crazy and fun bunch at times, but other days you can hear a pin drop.
It was one of my best take-aways from the whole tour - that to have a great culture like Zappos, you don't need to be "Full On" all the time.
Enjoy Part 3.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Here is what I learned from the driver: "Drives like a truck" :-)
Here is what I learned from the internet:
Coca-Cola Enterprises plans to purchased 120 hybrid-electric drivetrain-equipped trucks from Eaton Corp.
The Coca-Cola order represents the largest North American commercial order to date for Eaton's hybrid systems and follows the beverage company's purchase of 20 trucks with Eaton hybrid power systems in 2007.Great Job Coke!!!
Testing and evaluations conducted by CocaCola Enterprises found that Baton's hybridelectric drivetrain equipped trucks decreased emissions by roughly 32 percent and fuel consumption by up to 37 percent as compared to conventionally-powered trucks in Coca-Cola's current fleet. Coca-Cola also reported lower maintenance costs on the hybrid-powered trucks.
"We have been working with Coca-Cola Enterprises since 2003 to assess our systems" said Dimitri Kazarinoff, general manager for emerging technologies at Baton's Truck Group, Kalamazoo, Ml. "Coca-Cola is demonstrating its commitment to reducing pollution and greenhouse gases and Eaton is pleased to be a part of this effort. We are looking forward to working with them to deploy the systems into their transportation network."
"In addition to the environmentally friendly advantages that hybrid vehicles deliver, we also report that driver acceptance has been highly favorable, especially in high start-and-stop applications," says Dave Leasure, corporate director of fleet procurement, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Atlanta.
"The hybrid drive units have been performing very well in communicating with the electronic engines, always giving us the necessary torque and horsepower when it is needed."
Eaton employs parallel-type, diesel-electric hybrid architecture with Eaton's Fuller UltraShift automated transmission. It incorporates an electric motor/generator between the output of an automated clutch and input of the transmission.
The system recovers energy normally lost during braking and stores the energy in batteries. When electric torque is blended with engine torque, the stored energy is used to improve fuel economy and vehicle performance for a given speed or used to operate the vehicle with electric power only.
The system can also be designed to provide energy for use during engine-off worksite operations, further reducing noise, emissions and fuel costs.
Monday, October 4, 2010
One thing about Gord many people don't know it that he loves wearing crazy hats while he is routing our fleet of trucks each day.
I'll snap a pic soon when he is not looking. (If he sees us coming with a camera, he can get a bit shy)
Great Fun Lovin' Attitude Gord!