One Small Step for Mankind, One Giant Leap for Kitchen and Bath Dealers

Hello again. It’s been a while since I wrote a blog, so I felt it necessary for a re-introduction…my name is Thad…glad that nonsense is over 😊

I hope those of you that attended KBIS enjoyed the show, came back invigorated and excited to take on new challenges and are ready to put things in motion to prepare for the future.

Personally, I think I have been absorbing too much new information recently, which makes it difficult to locate a solid first step. There is so much going on! The lines seem to be blurring further as the puzzle becomes increasingly complex and certainly a lot more fluid. Our good friend AI has turned up the heat and things are starting to meld into each other.

Blessing or curse? After the full court press on AI, EQ, CQ and CI, my head still hurts but more on that later. With all this new technology swirling around, the fact of the matter still came down to one word that trumped all the others. DRIVE.

I realized as I circled back around that the irrefutable fact is that if you aren’t motivated to do something, it doesn’t matter one tiny bit that you know all about the “I’s,” ‘E’s” and “Q’s”! And do you know why? Nothing is going to happen if the leader is worried about stepping out of their comfort zone and into an arena where there lies unfamiliar territory. And guess what, they will probably not understand it as well as others. AAAAhhhhggg!

Hmm, I might have picked up on the scent of fear that is typically associated with something new and that nasty word “change…” This all leads me to tell you, “The Greatest Story Ever Told!” Oh wait…JLo already took that one…it still kills me…anywho…

My story is about a tool called “ChatGPT.” It was AI driven and I heard it could do anything from tying your shoelaces to picking the winning lottery numbers. Wow! That is awesome! Marching towards the point… I didn’t run out right away to learn more about it which is shame on me. Lesson learned. I eased into it. After a few months, I started using it on a regular basis. I was drawn into the possibilities and pretty soon I was annoying my co-workers by sending them messages that had a ChatGPT cut and paste solution to whatever we were talking about. Then came the even more annoying questions like “What did ChatGPT say about it?”

Finally, the dam broke, and they started using it. Then a beautiful thing happened…one of them came to me and the clouds parted, the birds sang and they said, “Thank you so much for forcing me to use ChatGPT because I think it’s great and not a day goes by without me using it” Then I died a happy man. (You wish it were that easy to get rid of me, but oh no. There is going to be a long stretch of road with plenty of annoying jib-jabs so it’s probably a good time to build up your tolerance.)

Why, you ask? Because if I didn’t push our people to use ChatGPT, it may have taken longer for them to cross that bridge. Would I have been doing them any favors? Heck no! (editor censoring again)

So, with that said, I want to go arm in arm with the other leaders that are ready to bust through the walls! We should never look at all this change as a pain in the you know what but understand that it is mandatory for any business that wants to hang around for a while. We can’t dread the journey because that will only slow the pace and drag down our energy and attitude towards it. That is not the recipe for success.

I think most of my life I have been a little skeptical about fate, but some strange things have been afoot lately that have caused me to pause. Just like this evening while I was thinking about the approach of the blog, I looked down at our daily calendar and this is what I saw:  March 7, 2024 “To be a success in business, be daring, be first, be different” ~ Marchant   And this is not a business calendar. A sign? A coincidence? Some of both? Not to be solved today.

What needs to be solved today is how to get Leadership out of an entrenched state of mind and the courage to say, “frog it” and start leaping over the competition!

Maybe this will motivate you. Close your eyes and imagine the Dealer down the street having their meeting and discussing their numbers. AI has just done an analysis on the Key Metrics, and this is what it produced:

  •  Paul seems to have the best balance in terms of efficiency ratio and keeping margin erosion percentage below the average industry margin erosion of 3.0%.
  • Shay has high sales and a good gross margin per person but experiences a higher margin erosion percentage than average.
  • Lucy, despite having the smallest team, manages to achieve a high gross margin per person and has the lowest margin erosion percentage, making her team model quite effective.
  • Shelly, while having the highest margin percent, has the lowest efficiency ratio, which may suggest an overstaffing issue or less efficient use of team resources.

Wow, look at that! Now I know this is pretty basic, but it took me about 30 minutes from start to finish to have AI analyze and provide feedback on the numbers I presented to it. This is just a small portion of what it produced but just think how this will look in 6 months. (BTW, the information I provided to AI came from our KABS reporting. Maybe it’s time to check out a demo.) 😊 yes… a shameless plug..

Let’s do this! Get Bold! It’s coming whether we like it or not… and there is amazing top side to this! The next 18-24 months are critical for change, or it will be like trying to jump on a train that is already moving at 100 MPH…

Don’t miss our upcoming online seminar” The Impact of AI on the Kitchen and Bath Dealer Channel – Part II” March 20th at Noon EDT.

Hope to see you there!