Us in College waiting to rap on stage
My best friend and I in college waiting to rap on stage

My best friend asked me, “What are you actually doing?”

I guess it can be a little difficult to explain so I ran this example by him:

“Let’s say you own a chain of retail stores that sell shoes. As an owner, you know customer loyalty is very important so you have yourself a membership you sell to frequent customers to reward them discounts and be the first to know about great deals. In order for that rewards program to work, managers need to know how to train their cashiers at each location to ring a customer up and gather the customer’s information. While that happens in the store, the back office/admin has to manage all the information that information that is collected.

Well, everything sounds fine and dandy. You have everything covered. You paid the vendor who gave you software to manage customer information and you were able to train managers, cashiers, and administrators. You came up with a system to integrate it with your point of sales. Your system is as follows (oversimplified):

1) Cashier rings up Rewards SKU,
2) Customer fills out paper form,
3) Cashier collects form and payment,
4) Manager physically mails forms to office,
5) Administrators enters each form into the software you purchased

Over the years, you applied this system and it worked great. However, slowly your customer begin to complain that they’re not receiving their membership in a timely manner. Your cashiers cannot find the customer in the system. The administrators are swamped with data entry and you have to hire extra hands to type in the paper forms customers filled. Your stores are booming and can’t get enough of your shoes, so your customers double. Everyone in your company is in the weeds taking care of business but your staff still cannot catch up. What do you do?

This is where I step in: interview everyone, get in the weeds with y’all, document and offer a solution. Typically, the solution involves saving time and money while making things efficient. If everyone (the owner, cashier, back office, and most important, your customers) buys in, we can all be happy.”

He responds, “So the biggest part of your job is convincing how you are value added. The rest you can do in your sleep.”

Yes, the rest I can do in my sleep. And my ambition is beyond a single company. More on that later.

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