Managing Your Customer That Misbehaves in the B2B Space

dealing with bad customers

Isn’t the Customer Always Right? Actually, no, they aren’t!  In the B2B space, we often find ourselves working with clients and customers to develop and sell our products and services.  And yet, sometimes, things do not always go as planned.  I recently paid a visit to one customer who has started to change the rules as they go.  Despite the contractual commitments

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7 Ways to Reduce Cost in Your Business

cutting cost business

  As all business leaders know, when a company becomes strained and pressed for cash, we need to look for ways to reduce our costs and expenses.  While cost control is always important, we naturally spend more during periods of growth to support the increasing size and momentum of the organization.  The challenge comes when growth slows and we need to figure

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How to Develop a New Process

Sample Process Map and Spaghetti Diagram

The 7 Rules of Process Development and Implementation   You’ve got a great product, friendly customer service, happy customers and cash.  What’s missing?  An often forgotten ingredient to a well-run business is the development and implementation of processes that serve as the backbone for a company.  Developing effective processes makes your internal activities repeatable and consistent.  And the more stable your operation, the more

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How to Justify Hiring Specialists: Questions for a Sample Business Case

business case to hire a more expensive employee

Any manager who has hired new employees has dealt with challenges related to cost.  Why else do recruiters ask for a candidates salary as part of the initial screening process?  What they’re really asking is “can I afford you?”  I actually had one hiring manager tell me “This guy is making more than I do, we could never afford him.”  But when it comes

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The Art of the Executive Summary

Executive Summary

How to Create an Executive Summary Raise your hand if you have ever sat through a presentation and walked away not understanding its message.  Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever asked an employee to give you a project briefing, only for them to bury you in data, facts and graphics.  Finally, raise your hand if you’ve ever picked up

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From the Front Lines: The Lifecycle of a Crisis

Crisis Management Process

Managing Crisis in the Workplace None of us had any idea that it was the first day of what would become a 10 month, $25,000,000 investigation. It was late in the afternoon on a cool fall day when the Quality Assurance Manager and the Operations Manager came to my office with a concern over a product defect that had been

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7 Reasons Why Your Research and Development Is Falling Short

preliminary design review

Technology Development Tips for Product Managers In today’s marketplace there is ever-growing pressure on companies to remain innovative and for them to bring new products and services to customers. But in order for your research and development efforts to be successful, your objectives need to be focussed and must target your “big bets.” Moreover, a successful research and development campaign

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Writing a Winning Response to an RFP

managers resource handbook

How to Gain an Edge in the B2B Space When it comes to doing business between companies, typically referred to as business-to-business, or B2B, most opportunities and contracts are generated through a process of bid solicitation.  Companies looking to contract services or support will often issue what is known as a Request for Proposal (RFP) to seek information from various companies and

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5 Business Cases for Justifying an Increase in Headcount

Employee Performance Reviews

    One of our most popular articles here at MRH described one approach to justifying an increase in your staff level.  Fighting for resources is a problem we’ve all dealt with as managers and one that can be extremely frustrating to overcome. So, I wanted to take the topic one step further and give you some more tools and

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The 7 Steps to Mastering Technical Design Reviews

preliminary design review

    When it comes to the product development cycle and a phase gated design process, holding robust technical design reviews is critical to a project’s success. While there are various types of design reviews that lend themselves to different types of technologies and industries, the most common and universal examples include the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR). If

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The Top 5 Challenges Facing The Modern Manager

managers resource handbook

Analyzing The Challenges Faced by Managers in Today’s Organization   Over the past few weeks, I’ve been part of a significant hiring binge by my firm as a result of some corporate restructuring activities. Having interviewed candidate after candidate, I’ve found the process of filling 20 new positions to be extremely fast-paced, if not frantic, considering the importance of the

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The Impact of Technology on Business

Boarding a Flight

        As I waited for my flight to Amsterdam today, I grabbed a bite to eat at the nearby café. It was a late afternoon flight that would get me in around 7PM. Just enough time to get dinner with an old friend, who was to pick me up at the airport. The flight was set to

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Create a Technology Growth Strategy That Wins

preliminary design review

A recent article by Professor Karan Girotra at INSEAD University discusses 4 myths to a technology growth strategy.  The entire article is a great read, but Myth 1 “It’s about a BIG idea” caught my attention. Having spent my career in the technology and engineering fields, I’ve seen several different approaches to technology growth.  In some instances, the growth strategy could be described

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BLUFing Your Communication at Work

managers resource handbook

  How to Present Information to Your Target Audience We’ve all experienced it.  We ask for an update and our employee who sits just three offices down writes you an email that takes you 20 minutes to read.  Assuming you read it.  One of the most difficult parts about being a manager is explaining the importance of audience to employees.  The concept of

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Is Your Research and Development Under House Arrest?

I recently read Borderless World by Kenichi Ohmae in which he discusses technology growth and research investment by firms.  Ohmae highlights the differences between companies that truly flood the pipeline with investment, and those that play the betting game with a handful of specific projects.   The book reminded me of a dinner meeting I had with an executive at a former company,

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