November 23, 2021

It’s Time to Break Some Old Habits

By Paul Daniels

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”- Peter Drucker

Last week I was listening to a news show that discussed using Florida as an alternative port to Long Beach, Calif., to help ease the supply chain issues we are facing. They said that it would only take ships seven days longer to dock in Florida than Long Beach and they had a lot of capacity. When the commentator asked why companies aren’t doing it, the response was companies have habits that are hard to change. They have been doing things the same way for years.

This reminded me of a quote from Peter Drucker: “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” Many companies get stuck in their old habits for many reasons. First, change usually means work, and doing nothing always seems to be the safe way to go.

I was talking to a customer this week, and they kept telling me that they want to change and start buying from more suppliers in this market to make sure they can keep their businesses running and stocked. They also brought up how hard it was to change how they have been doing business for years. The way to create change is to first, as Peter Drucker says, “stop doing something old.” I see a lot of businesses doing this when they are forced to. They call their usual supplier and panic when they are out of product, or their lead times have increased dramatically. Then they are forced to seek other solutions.

As most companies start planning for the new year, it is important that they review their vendors. Relationships are needed in business and can give you some leverage when you need something fast or are over budget on a job. In today’s market, you want to make sure that you have relationships with backup vendors so that the first time they hear from you isn’t when you’re in a desperate situation. When you find a new vendor that can help you out, you need to spend some time building relationships with them. This way, when your customer calls, you’ll be prepared and they won’t decide to stop doing something old and look elsewhere for solutions.

I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. This has been an exciting year for me and I have a lot to be thankful for. It was great to see everyone at the GlassBuild Show in Atlanta after missing everyone last year. Thank You.