The 50 Best Tips of 2006
Be among the 5 percent of wise “squinchers.”
Few spreadsheet reports return as many tangible, bottom-line driven results as your square inch (“squinch”) analysis. But just 5 percent of catalogers have said they conduct a squinch analysis. With a squinch report, you’ll have a handle on your products’ performance and be able to plan merchandise selection beyond the immediate needs of your next catalog. Without it, you rely on incomplete information for your most important decisions.
—George Hague,, J. Schmid & Assoc., B-to-B Cataloging, “An Introduction to Merchandise Analysis,” July, Catalog Success
Rein in your (executive) emotions.
Put in place systems that remove any emotion from the decision-making process. Establishing metrics for every part of the business and allowing others to challenge your executive decision help keep your emotions in check.
—Sal Longo, Northern Safety, source, “Safely Ahead of the Game,” September, Catalog Success
Use benchmarks and best practices judiciously.
One of the most effective ways to benchmark is against yourself, one season to another, or year over year, against a standard or expectation. External benchmarks give a general idea of where to zero in. Internal benchmarks let you focus on trends in specific areas. You may have internal benchmarks that say some aspect of your operation is at 90 percent, but if you have no external benchmark of what's good, you could mislead yourself into thinking 90 percent is good. A combination of internal and external benchmarks works best.
—Curt Barry, president, F. Curtis Barry & Co., “Benchmarks and Best Practices,” March, Catalog Success
Effective vendor selection.
Negotiate the best price with your vendor, but cultivate the relationship. Price shouldn’t be the No. 1 criterion when selecting a vendor.
—Stephen R. Lett, Lett Direct, Strategy, “Partner With the Best,” June, Catalog Success
- Altman Dedicated Direct
- DM Transportation
- F. Curtis Barry & Co.
- Federal Express
- Fry, Inc.
- Hershey's Gift Catalog
- J. Schmid & Assoc.
- J.C. Whitney & Co.
- Lett Direct Inc.
- Liz Kislik Associates LLC
- McIntyre Direct
- Millard Group Inc.
- Orvis Company
- SC Fulfillment Services Inc.
- Sierra Trading Post
- The Rimm-Kaufman Group
- West Companies Inc.