Our Dependency on Each Other
A motocross racing injury from my younger days left me with a pretty screwed up ankle. It's been painful to walk for many years and two weeks ago, I finally had the fix done ... a rather brutal ankle fusion surgery. Now I am in the long two-month wait for the joint to fuse and have to be non-weight bearing through this time. At the SAAC Show in Long Beach, I'll be in a scooter. By The PPAI Expo, typically an excruciating week for me, I should be dancing in the aisles.
Click here for a video that shows what can be done on crutches!
Through this process, I'm learning quite a bit about dependency and how that relates to our business lives in addition to our personal lives. My ankle fusion surgery has forced me to be completely dependent on others and I'm taking a fresh look at the concept of being so reliant.
For the surgery, I was completely dependent on surgical staff. And dependent on the anesthesiologist as well as the surgeon to keep me asleep, in minimal pain and properly fix my ankle.
During the whole hospital experience I was dependent on the nurses and my therapist who kept me comfortable. She got me moving and positioned to get out of the hospital. In the process and in the spirit of being a true promotional products professional, I took care of them all with our company's travel mugs. I created my own Nurses Appreciation Day! I received great care and they received a useful branded product with our company imprint. You never know where a customer may be. Perhaps their husband or whoever sees the travel mug is a prospective client? That's the power of our medium.
After arriving home (and back to business, with an elevated ankle), a very good client called me needing some items in two weeks. My client is dependent on me to provide this merchandise for his event.
When I started to enter the orders into my company's order processing system on Sunday night I received a notice that the system was scheduled to shut down in 15 minutes for scheduled maintenance. I understand the scheduled maintenance has to be done and normally Sunday night is a good time, but the timing here was bad for me. I am dependent on this system working to process the order.
Of course as can often be the case these days, even though I am dependent on my suppliers to have inventory to complete this order, they did not have enough stock to fill my order. I was forced to make changes but ultimately was able to secure the products that will meet my clients' needs.
My ankle fusion surgery has really made me aware of how dependent we are on each other. Every day in our personal or professional lives, as well as in our industry, we need others.
End-users are dependent on distributors to deliver what they ordered. Distributors are dependent on suppliers to complete that transaction. Suppliers are dependent on distributors to bring them orders. We are all dependent on each other!
Frankly at times, the need for this dependency, although necessary, is just a bit scary. Our need to be dependent sets the stage nicely for addressing another relevant topic in our industry ... TRUST. That's the second part of the equation that goes hand in hand with being dependent ... and I will be covering that topic soon!
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