Food for thought
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#21 Jul 29, 2012
I wouldn't be so sure about pulling out. The whole credit card swipe issue has been brewing for years. For awhile Walmart blocked some debit cards due to a fee of just 3%.

If a company sells products at a chain and you have no clue if the chain will release a competing product (and at a lower price with a better gurantee) then you might not want to sell there. Many store brands ARE the same as their competition. I have been to factories in Asia and one had Walmart next to Ronco next to Black & Decker. Most small appliances that are made in china are made in that factory. I still have a catalog from them showing vendor numbers on products. These go to buyers at companies like lowes and depot.

Sometimes even on larger items this is the case. Back in the day the Geo/Chevy Prizm was the same as a Toyota Corolla. It WAS the same..made at the Nummi plant in California. The same argument can be made with businesses that suddenly see the government starting to compete with you. I've seen town owned/run ice rinks, cable companies, electric companies, phone companies etc.

If lowes keeps expanding their product lines with store brand products it will be harder for new companies to want to sell there.Supermarkets as a industry have done this already. Nearly every product I see in a supermarket has a store brand (outside of ethnic food).
DMxMD

United States

#22 Jul 29, 2012
nedm wrote:
I wouldn't be so sure about pulling out. The whole credit card swipe issue has been brewing for years. For awhile Walmart blocked some debit cards due to a fee of just 3%.
If a company sells products at a chain and you have no clue if the chain will release a competing product (and at a lower price with a better gurantee) then you might not want to sell there. Many store brands ARE the same as their competition. I have been to factories in Asia and one had Walmart next to Ronco next to Black & Decker. Most small appliances that are made in china are made in that factory. I still have a catalog from them showing vendor numbers on products. These go to buyers at companies like lowes and depot.
Sometimes even on larger items this is the case. Back in the day the Geo/Chevy Prizm was the same as a Toyota Corolla. It WAS the same..made at the Nummi plant in California. The same argument can be made with businesses that suddenly see the government starting to compete with you. I've seen town owned/run ice rinks, cable companies, electric companies, phone companies etc.
If lowes keeps expanding their product lines with store brand products it will be harder for new companies to want to sell there.Supermarkets as a industry have done this already. Nearly every product I see in a supermarket has a store brand (outside of ethnic food).
He visited factories (plural) in Asia folks... I'm sure that was the same time he was slaving away as an hourly at lowes.
FormerSM

Fort Wayne, IN

#23 Jul 29, 2012
nedm wrote:
I wouldn't be so sure about pulling out. The whole credit card swipe issue has been brewing for years. For awhile Walmart blocked some debit cards due to a fee of just 3%.
If a company sells products at a chain and you have no clue if the chain will release a competing product (and at a lower price with a better gurantee) then you might not want to sell there. Many store brands ARE the same as their competition. I have been to factories in Asia and one had Walmart next to Ronco next to Black & Decker. Most small appliances that are made in china are made in that factory. I still have a catalog from them showing vendor numbers on products. These go to buyers at companies like lowes and depot.
Sometimes even on larger items this is the case. Back in the day the Geo/Chevy Prizm was the same as a Toyota Corolla. It WAS the same..made at the Nummi plant in California. The same argument can be made with businesses that suddenly see the government starting to compete with you. I've seen town owned/run ice rinks, cable companies, electric companies, phone companies etc.
If lowes keeps expanding their product lines with store brand products it will be harder for new companies to want to sell there.Supermarkets as a industry have done this already. Nearly every product I see in a supermarket has a store brand (outside of ethnic food).
nedm us it really that hard to stay on topic? None of your post had anything to do with my original question. You're killing me.....

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#24 Jul 29, 2012
FormerSM wrote:
<quoted text>
nedm us it really that hard to stay on topic? None of your post had anything to do with my original question. You're killing me.....
Yes, it is REALLY is that hard for him stay on topic. Must be tough for him.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#25 Jul 29, 2012
DMx I went on a business study tour while at school. This was after I left lowes. People do travel you know, it isn't that hard. Most colleges and universities do have international departments these days. Here's one right in your backyard
http://www.stthomas.edu/lifeatust/internation...

Getting back to the topic I would generally say it would have to be about the customers because they provide income. Although you can give incentives to staff that does not always mean the company as a whole does any better. Sometimes a benefit can be taken advantage of. A former employer of mine had a very comprehensive dental plan. So much so that word spread and people started to work there just to get it and then quit. They dramatically cut coverage once they realized what was going on.

Of course if it is all about the customer then it can be reduced to a super walmart where it hardly ever closes.
Captain_Morgan02

Matthews, NC

#26 Jul 29, 2012
FormerSM wrote:
I would to hear your thoughts about something. A person/persons start a business with the intent to realize a dream, sell a service or product and make a profit. At the same time, they provide jobs with the intent to provide a fair living.

At what point in the game does it get turned around to where they sacrifice the intent of their business and profit in order to "please" the people they pay to be a part of their business?

Customer driven business or employee driven business ?

nedm - 250 words or less.
Pedro - try to answer without a diatribe about how much you hate managers.
It's an interesting question. The real tough part for most people to get around is the thought that within that formula of investing and profiting and paying employees what is considered a fair living wage, there are the upper managers in the enterprise that make a killing, get bonuses, and are handed stock for what seems to be little work.
I do think they work hard in a different way but it would sure up the morale of the troops if it appeared some of the cutting was shared at the top. They, after all, are just employees to. Their salaries and what not effect the bottom line just like mine or anyone else's.
Then there is the quality of employee you want to figure in. If you don't want to pay but minimum wage, don't expect the best employees or that your management teams in stores will be able to get them to perform as well as better qualified/better paid employees. This will directly effect customer satisfaction, so I don't think it's so easy to separate the two, or choose employee driven vs customer driven.
But what do I know, I just work here.:)

Since: Oct 11

Location hidden

#27 Jul 29, 2012
Captain_Morgan02 wrote:
<quoted text>
It's an interesting question. The real tough part for most people to get around is the thought that within that formula of investing and profiting and paying employees what is considered a fair living wage, there are the upper managers in the enterprise that make a killing, get bonuses, and are handed stock for what seems to be little work.
I do think they work hard in a different way but it would sure up the morale of the troops if it appeared some of the cutting was shared at the top. They, after all, are just employees to. Their salaries and what not effect the bottom line just like mine or anyone else's.
Then there is the quality of employee you want to figure in. If you don't want to pay but minimum wage, don't expect the best employees or that your management teams in stores will be able to get them to perform as well as better qualified/better paid employees. This will directly effect customer satisfaction, so I don't think it's so easy to separate the two, or choose employee driven vs customer driven.
But what do I know, I just work here.:)
Capt-I suspect you know quite a bit and could share some words of wisdom but they would fall on deaf ears I am afraid. We can't know much because we are on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder. However, I bet you can out perform many young employees-better work ethic etc. Even with the poor wages you get some good employees because they cannot find anything else and don't want to collect unemployment. Lowes will the lose the good employees when the economy picks up...
FormerSM

Fort Wayne, IN

#28 Jul 29, 2012
Captain_Morgan02 wrote:
<quoted text>
It's an interesting question. The real tough part for most people to get around is the thought that within that formula of investing and profiting and paying employees what is considered a fair living wage, there are the upper managers in the enterprise that make a killing, get bonuses, and are handed stock for what seems to be little work.
I do think they work hard in a different way but it would sure up the morale of the troops if it appeared some of the cutting was shared at the top. They, after all, are just employees to. Their salaries and what not effect the bottom line just like mine or anyone else's.
Then there is the quality of employee you want to figure in. If you don't want to pay but minimum wage, don't expect the best employees or that your management teams in stores will be able to get them to perform as well as better qualified/better paid employees. This will directly effect customer satisfaction, so I don't think it's so easy to separate the two, or choose employee driven vs customer driven.
But what do I know, I just work here.:)
Great response . I have a lot of thought on this as well. Just have limited time at the moment. Thank you though....
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#29 Jul 30, 2012
It can be said that the growth of the company helps it rather than its employees. Lowes opened up in mass starting in 2000. The first store that opened has much less staffing then it did back then. There are probably five or so stores now within a half hour drive of it. Each time a new store opens the staffing decreases because there are fewer customers to go around. But the customers that are local don't understand that and all they see is staffing being lowered. Some chains do much better by not expanding like crazy to keep the uniqueness of it going. I could cite examples but I'm sure we all know of them.
Thatoneguy

Cape Girardeau, MO

#30 Jul 30, 2012
Good point nedm (i hate myself for admitting it) when we saturate the market it makes it harder to produce the same amount of jobs at each location and decreases oppurtunity for employment but it does increase oppurtunity for advancement with your current workforce.
Whickerbill

Mooresville, NC

#31 Jul 30, 2012
DMxMD wrote:
Vendors want to sell their product. They're not going to pull it out of any store that wants to sell it. They also don't care in the least what happens to spiffs.
I agree that vendors want to sell products. No where did I say they were going to pull any product out of the stores. However, if they believe their sales are declining in one venue, they may seek another outlet to market their products to make up the loss, whether that be Home Depot, Best Buy, Menards, H.H. Gregg, or whoever is willing to take on the line. After all, they have their budgets and quotas to meet, also.

As far as the pre-paid spiff money is concerned, do you care where YOUR money goes? If you pay a surgeon to perform an appendectomy, you don't want him doing a lobotomy, do you? Appliance, cabinet, millwork and other vendors paid money to be used for spiffs and commissions for the 2012 year. The ones I have talked to personally ARE very upset the money did not go to that particular purpose.
DMxMD

United States

#32 Jul 30, 2012
I guess what I ment was, do you think it really matters to whirlpool whether they charge a cost of $460 for a washer and pay a spiff of $10, or just charge a cost of $450? I doubt it, since nowhere else does spiffs any more either.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#33 Jul 31, 2012
Vendors must know by now that spiffs ended. With that in mind the next time they pay out any funds they'll have to deduct what they thought was spiff funds.

Besides what specifically does a vendor get in a spiff if they can sell it to another chain for less money?

Using what dmx said if a whirlpool washer costs $450 and they add $10 for a spiff and hd has it for $450 what would they get from lowes that they can't get from hd ? If it is higher sales volume it will probably go down naturally with the spiff being over. Vendor reps talk to employees all the time so it isn't like this stuff is hidden from them.
DMxMD

Gardner, KS

#34 Jul 31, 2012
nedm wrote:
DMx I went on a business study tour while at school. This was after I left lowes. People do travel you know, it isn't that hard. Most colleges and universities do have international departments these days. Here's one right in your backyard
http://www.stthomas.edu
Ahh the power of Google... You know threes a reason I've never registered for this site or turned off the location thing. When using a cell phone, the location is so wildly off that its humorous. Thanks for a link to some catholic school in Minnesota though. That'll be a HUGE help when I want to go explore the inner workings of Chinese factories.
nedm

Pembroke, MA

#35 Jul 31, 2012
Dmx the statement still stands. Fair amounts of insitutions of higher education have affliations/agreements with the same overseas. There's trip to other countries, students coming over, sometimes even profressors. If you think that this is somehow out of the ordinary well maybe you haven't been to a campus in awhile. This trend has been going on for the past 15 or so years. I personally know people that have gone on tours once or twice a year and university staff that are required to go as part of their job.

If you think I didn't go, well I did. Asia is pretty cheap once you get past the airfare.

This is one of the places I toured
http://www.donlim.com/english/index.asp

To make this more relative to lowes, I didn't see any hd's there but I did see some Ryobi product sold in Shanghai down Beijing street. They tend to not like box stores except for the walmart. Walmarts in china are very odd to say the least.
Devils Fan

Hampstead, NC

#36 Jul 31, 2012
DMxMD wrote:
I guess what I ment was, do you think it really matters to whirlpool whether they charge a cost of $460 for a washer and pay a spiff of $10, or just charge a cost of $450? I doubt it, since nowhere else does spiffs any more either.
Guess I don't need the power of Google to lable you a dick. DICK!
DMxMD

United States

#37 Jul 31, 2012
Devils Fan wrote:
<quoted text> Guess I don't need the power of Google to lable you a dick. DICK!
I'm starting to think the big injustice in all of this is that when corp ended spiffs and comissions, they just dumped it on us to try and explain and now we have to constantly hear all the whining and be called dicks when it wasn't even our fault.
Whickerbill

Mooresville, NC

#38 Jul 31, 2012
DMxMD wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm starting to think the big injustice in all of this is that when corp ended spiffs and comissions, they just dumped it on us to try and explain and now we have to constantly hear all the whining and be called dicks when it wasn't even our fault.
It may not have been your fault, but you do not need to be so happy that people took a pay cut, and in your opinion, no one deserves to make over $10.00 per hour except you. Your attitude shows that you have no concept of teamwork, no respect for your fellow employees, a hatred towards specialists for their sales and earning abilities, and absolutely no idea at all of the value of spiffs in a real marketing world. I would try to explain the usefullness of spiffs and commissions to you, but I would just be wasting my time. Marketing 101.
DMxMD

United States

#39 Jul 31, 2012
Marketing 101 in 1960 maybe.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#40 Jul 31, 2012
DMxMD wrote:
Marketing 101 in 1960 maybe.
Top producing sales people are incredibly valuable and typically don't work at Lowes. The mistake I saw in my tenure was using the specialist position as a promotion for longevity or attendance, not filling it with the best sales talent.I had a cashier that sold 1,500 shamrocks on her own during the MD promotion,(correct me if got the cause wrong). I suggested her for home decor specialist. Shot down by SM. She was a natural and left for another job.

Lowes is systematically cutting payroll to improve the bottom line and hopefully boost the stock price. That's how the bigs are compensated. Will it work? Who knows. IMHO the commission system was mismanaged, so I doubt it'll be a factor.

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