Somebody's Always Better

As an organization, we’ve made a habit of finding and following the best. Rather than spinning our wheels talking about what a better practice, product or outcome could be, we go looking for it.

When you’re serious about improving your company, your team or yourself, the first step is to identify the best. What do they do? How do they do it?

We need to go beyond benchmarking only against ourselves and ask “What does best-in-class really look like?” The belief that “somebody does it better” should be motivating. It can help identify new opportunities, instead of justifying current performance. Here are some of our examples:

  • Clients — We wanted to serve larger enterprise accounts.
    Before we approached these bigger accounts, we wanted to find out who does it best in our industry so we could develop a process. We didn’t want to screw this up. Finding the answers led a small group of Marco leaders to get on a plane to visit a company that had been known as one of the best in the industry.

    We came back with a series of better practices that led to our implementation of “LAMP” — short for Large Account Management Process. We committed the resources to build out a dedicated team for sales and service with subject matter expertise. We knew we needed to make this a core competency and have continued to invest and evolve this process today.

  • Applications — We needed a new ERP system.
    After vendor presentations, it’s common to call organizations that are using the application to learn more about their experience and implementation process. We went one step farther and physically met with organizations, including a variety of users applying the solution in their environments.

    This enabled our team members to connect with their counterparts at the organization to see how this application could work well for us. The results were a more informed decision, smoother implementation and a faster ROI.

  • Parts — We wanted to more responsibly handle used parts.
    We knew that getting better at parts reclamation from used equipment returned to us would make sense environmentally and to our business. Instead of doing best efforts or creating our own process, again we identified who was doing this well and learned how we could harvest the good reusable parts before disposing the device.

    This expedited a new program to help the environment and keep costs down for us and our clients. This has become a best practice that we still use and that we’ve shared with other organizations.

  • People — We do this with talent, too.
    In 2019, we hired a new president. I still remember when I first met Doug Albregts, then CEO of Sharp Electronics. He was great at turning challenges into successes and made the people around him better.

    I could really see him fitting into our team. But…how could we possibly recruit the leader of one of the largest manufacturers in the world? It started by asking him how we might make it work. We figured it out and now we’re a better company because of it.
Being active in our industry and national peer groups are key ways that our Marco leaders look around corners, identify the best and take action to improve our company. Along the way, we also learn what not to do, which is just as valuable. Part of finding and following the best is also learning from others’ mistakes.

There’s always someone who does it better. Are you seriously looking, really listening and truly willing to lead your organization toward best-in-class?

Join the Conversation: Remote Culture

One of the key resources that we looked to recently related to developing a remote culture was CliftonLarsonAllen CEO Denny Schleper. The company intentionally implemented a decentralized office years ago and he gave up a traditional office in the 90s for a different model. He shares how they did it and the results in this episode of the Let’s Tech podcast. LISTEN NOW.


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