I just had several wonderful weeks in the States. I spent a fair amount of time in the Shane Co. Corporate Offices, in Denver. We are making great progress with our computer system, which will continue to improve our ability to have the perfect selection in each store of products that the customers want to see. Every week or so, we keep rolling out small improvements, which collectively are really helping enhance the customer’s experience. Our website is also constantly receiving minor improvements as well, and I thank those of you that have commented on it.
The week before last, I visited our three Atlanta stores, and was pleased to see that all is well in that wonderful city. I found the customers smiling, and I noticed that the stores were really well staffed with helpful and knowledgeable individuals. We had a couple of wonderful staff dinners, eating legitimate Southern cooking at its best. These dinners, after the stores close, allow me the opportunity to get personally (as opposed to just professionally) acquainted with the team members. I find them so helpful, as I really get to hear what is on everyone’s mind. Because our Corporate Culture is open and transparent, we get the best from our team members, who are not afraid to speak their minds. This also lets me hear the comments that originate with our customers, to help us run a more relevant business for them.
Before heading back here to Asia, I spent some time in the recording studio again, as well. We had to get our Christmas spots recorded, as when I next return to the States some of them will already be on the air. We struggled with the wording of the concept of quality, which is always hard to convey in a one minute ad. I don’t want to give our customers the idea that we “over-improve” quality, and they have to then pay more for unneeded quality. But, the fact is, we know what is required…to both have the product look great when it is given, as well as allow it to last a lifetime of normal wear. We won’t cut corners, and see how much we can get away with. After all, we guarantee the product for life, so we would be shooting ourselves in the foot! But we also want the giver to be as proud of their gift, as the recipient is to show it off. Too good of a quality is a waste of money, and too poor of a quality is even worse. We really are proud that we know the right balance…and the difference can be seen or felt, when compared to other places. It is just a hard thing to convey in a radio ad.
Here in Bangkok I will be buying sapphires and rubies for Valentine’s Day, as well as everyday purchases. Today is a weekend here, and I will get personal errands done. It is easy to get around. What is even easier is the thousands of motorcyclists that you flag down, and they will run any errand (with our without you jumping on the back of the bike). In other words, if you need something delivered, or even purchased, give them the instruction, and the money, and they will buy it and bring it back to you. No problems, they are all licensed and honest. It is so easy, and a great way for these guys to earn money, justify their bikes, etc.
I will be spending time at our factory also, as we have much new product that we have designed ourselves and will be getting out in time for Christmas. We’re really busy this year. With the soft economy the past couple of years, we know that a lot of our customers are buying jewelry this Christmas again, and we are ready for them.
I will report on the next blog how I find the prices of the sapphires and rubies. I will be just getting started this coming week with my buy, and so far the weather is great. Remember, I need sunshine to make my purchases, as I only use the natural light. The weather has been good and sunny so far, and the rainy season is, hopefully, over. Meanwhile, I am enjoying life in Asia as my second home. I will also report on how everyday things differ between here and the States next, as many readers keep asking me those personal types of questions.