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Pierian Principal Interviewed

The Worst Biz Mistakes College Grads Make
Pierian principal Joan Adams interviewed on video for Forbes 01 February 2017

Latest articles

Vendors: Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em

“SWOTTING” at new sales: The key to finding new customers is to have a targeted plan

Group Think: The good, the bad and the ugly about group purchasing organizations


Performance Improvement—Inside Sales: How to identify and reduce “non-sales” activities.

The Key to Higher Margins is Selling Solutions—Not Products (.pdf file)

Increase Your Sales—One Step At A Time: Start with these five suggestions.

Shake Up Sales: Shake up the system—not just the personnel.

Three Crucial Components Of Sales: Closing the deal requires some advance preparation.

Lean For Sales: Shorten the order cycle time to improve cash flow.

“SWOTTING” at new sales: The key to finding new customers is to have a targeted plan

Lean operation

The Lean Approach: What is “Lean?”

Quick Budget Cuts: A cost reduction program is great, but takes time. Here are some things you can do right away.

Lean Techniques: Evaluate what’s needed in an area and, even more important, what’s NOT needed.

Stop Wasting Time, Effort, Money!: The total elimination of “muda” is the key to improving operations and profit.

Muda II—Solutions To Waste: The earlier you stop an error, the less costly it is.

One-Piece Flow: Batching is a very bad habit.

Quality Is Free: Do it right the first time.

Lean For Sales: Shorten the order cycle time to improve cash flow.

Domestic Vs. Foreign PVF Manufacturers: The number one complaint I hear from distributors is lead time.

What’s Killing U.S. Manufacturers: It is time to change focus.

The Goal: A constraint determines your overall speed.

The State Of U.S. Manufacturing—MAPI Publishes A Report: The U.S. continues to be the source for innovation.

Customer management

Birds In Hand: The best opportunities for increased sales are right under your nose.

The Perfect Customer: When it comes to selecting customers, it pays to be picky.

Improving Customer Service

Finding New Customers: Try a new and different way to replenish your customer base.

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Loyalty Programs: Beware of simply “giving stuff away” to make customers happy.

Benchmarking PVF Distributors: Inter-industry comparisons can be misleading.

Lessons From McDonald’s: PVF wholesalers can learn how to improve customer loyalty from the fast-food giant.

Self-Service: Curse Or Competitive Advantage?: Your customers will love you for it.

Employee management

People, People, People: Hiring the right people requires a systematic approach.

The Many Costs Of Employee Churn: Happy employees make happy customers.

The Readers have spoken. HELP: Don’t rush into hiring a new employee, think of it as an investment.

Training: Some of your potentially best employees are right under your nose.

Lesson From A Food Store: Happy, fulfilled, loyal employees = happy, loyal customers.

Meetings: Everyone should leave the meeting with an action plan.


Bloated Inventory—The Silent Killer: It’s hard to resist what seems to be a great deal, and it’s hard to suffer the loss of a single sale.

Seven Day Replenishment: Imagine that you could get any item you currently stock in seven days or less.


No Kidding—Try Marketing: Marketing consists of everything you do to make customers want to do business with you.

Branding Basics: Think of your company’s brand as a promise to the customer.


Measure It, Measure It, Measure It: Do you really know your cost of delivery, of carrying inventory, or of servicing your customers?

For Good Measure, Make Sure Your Shop Tracks Costs (.pdf file)

Benchmarking PVF Distributors: Inter-industry comparisons can be misleading.

Money & finance

Coping With Today’s Pricing Pressures: Different customers and different situations demand different prices.

Show Me the Money: Take these 11 steps to improve cash flow and your bottom line.

Finance 101—Joan’s Guide To Risk & Return: Money—what a great invention! It makes business so easy.

Cash Is King: Now is the time to get very close to your favorite vendors.


New Year’s Resolutions (.pdf file)

Joan’s Top 10 Ways To Achieve A Successful 2005: Stick to the PVF. Outsource everything else.

Preparing For And Surviving A Disaster: Follow these 10 steps to protect your business.

Do’s & Don’ts of Hiring Consultants: Beware of know-it-alls. They are too busy being “right” to help your company.

Analyze Your Company Using SWOTs: The world changes, and so must your company.

Change Is Good: Ideas from the outside are readily dismissed.

The PVF Roundtable—Not Just For Texas

Change: You can’t force people to change.

Growth Is Good: Growth must be part of your business strategy in order to succeed.

The “Broken Windows” Theory: Stopping the little things will deter bigger infractions.

A Little Pruning—A Lot Of Growth: More of everything is not necessarily better.

The China Syndrome: A long-distance relationship has all the odds stacked against it.

The PVF Roundtable Returns: Houston’s PVF industry is the canary in the coal mine.

India Insights: More people does not equal better service.

Strategy: Keep it lean, mean and clear so that you can stay more than one step ahead of the competition.

Coping With The Information Age: Make “off the shelf” part of your mantra.

Why Do Good Companies Fail?: A look at the Seven Deadly Sins in the context of the PVF world.

The Six Degrees Of Separation: Some great clients are a lot closer than you think.

Negotiations: Customers will kill the deal—if they feel the deal is “unfair.”

The Odd Logic Of Pre-Set Goals And Missed Opportunities: Why does success encourage us to stop and failure encourage us to press on when it should really be the other way around?

50 Ways To Improve Your Business—Right Now: Take an hour with no e-mail and no phone calls and think about the future at least once a week.

Learning From Failures And Successes: Buyers don’t drop a supply house on a whim.

When The Going Gets Tough: Maybe this isn’t a zero-sum game.

The PVF Warehouse: Your warehouse is the core of what you do.

The Five Whys: Inquiring minds aim to find the root cause of problems.

Best And Worst Of Times: It is time to change some of our thinking.

Blind Spots And The Law Of Unintended Consequences: New import tariffs will bring a whole new bunch of surprises to our shores.

Stop commodity war now

Vendors: Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em

Group Think: The good, the bad and the ugly about group purchasing organizations