Why do some companies always run smoothly, rarely incur delays, don't run into technical or regulatory issues, maintain great relationships with customers and never receive complaints? Working for and consulting with multiple seed companies over the past twenty years I notice these organizations don't rely solely on hard work and good planning but instead focus on these five keys to be successful.
Live By The Details - The difference between something good and something great is the attention to detail. Keep a checklist, follow your processes, stay organized, share information regularly and communicate frequently. One detail missed, even small, can sink an entire export order. Don't rush! Stop and double check yourself. Don't assume. Ask questions if you're unsure. The details will make or break you.
Have A Process - Structure supports success. Thriving businesses recognize the need to continuously improve their processes which consequently makes them more efficient and more profitable. A process will document and define all necessary tasks including who is responsible for completing each step, when, and how. This helps eliminate ambiguity and errors while providing a system for measureable results.
Know Your Options - Having only one option is not an option. You are not limited to one provider or regulatory office, you decide who to use. There are many options available for every service; trucking, freight forwarding, ocean carriers, seed quality labs, seed health testing, and regulatory offices. Each provider has a specialty such as a certain freight route or species examined in their lab. They also vary in price. Keep a list of these companies, service offerings and contact information. You may have a preferred go-to but at times you will need a back up or alternate.
Provide Unmatched Customer Service - Differentiate yourself from the competition. This is especially crucial in a year of record high prices and extremely low inventory. Make yourself stand out! Create a customer-centered culture that increases knowledge of their needs. If the customers' country uses the metric system, why are you still providing documentation in pounds? Focus on timely and accurate communication. Don't just sell them a product, create a relationship and a partnership. Small actions now will help make you the best in the business!
Stay Connected - You can't be everything to everyone, but your network can! Its not possible to provide every product, service or answer to all customers but you likely know someone who can. Stay involved and engaged in your industry through trade shows, conferences, and associations (state, national, and international). Meet other experts in the industry. If you don't know where to find something or how to answer a question there's no doubt someone in your network is able to assist.
For more information, contact AgCultured Consulting.