An excerpt by Don Begneaud – taken from www.efabshopmagazine.com
My goal with this blog is to share stories, ideas, and new ways of thinking, and not just focus on BEGNEAUD Manufacturing. Though the article below was inspired by my being a business owner, and references BEGNEAUD, it is my intention to highlight the fact that when new value is added, everything else falls into place. Please let me know your thoughts on the idea.
It is my belief that our society is hyper-focused on the bottom line and is simply in business to make money. I want to share with you a different way of thinking – a personal philosophy of mine. I believe that the creation of new value, rather than dollar signs, is what we should focus on in our work. When value is created, profit is the byproduct.
My focus is not on how much money I can earn; it is on how my company can help solve problems for our customers and increase their value. I have always been dedicated to helping customers, employees, and vendors be more successful. I encourage my employees to get involved in the community and to strive to reach their personal definition of success, in both their business and personal lives. I firmly believe that when a person focuses on developing their character, he or she increases their value, making them more beneficial to all.
By way of definition, the notion of “value-added” concerns enhancements added to a product or service before being offered to customers. Value-added refers to an additional feature of a product that moves beyond normal customer expectation, providing something extra with little or no added cost.
I have grown BEGNEAUD by reinvesting in the company through equipment acquisition and personnel training. At BEGNEAUD, employees contribute value to the company, which in turn provides value to our customers. I rely on employees to add new value through their ability to drive efficiencies into processes and transactional procedures. In exchange, employees receive more than just a paycheck and perks. They also increase their skill-base, have more opportunities for career development, and hopefully enjoy greater happiness through job satisfaction.
We also add value through efficiency and quality and striving to sustain excellence in the services we provide our customers. In manufacturing for example, excellence could be the ability to modify existing processes to reduce set up time of a machine and the run time of a part. Time saving through improved efficiencies is one value exchange between BEGNEAUD employees and customers.
Consistent quality is another value-adding contribution to our customers.
Once a given process is proven to be the most effective means of compliance with customer’s specifications, that process is documented as a means of repeatability and performance measurement. Measurements are taken based on customer satisfaction, not profitability. Neither efficiency nor quality necessarily equate to dollars. Dollars are simply a unit of measurement used all too often in modern society. In marketing, the extent to which a product is perceived to satisfy needs is measured by the customer’s willingness to pay. It depends more upon the perception of worth than on intrinsic value. In other words, value can be desirability or utility.
For example, when choosing a career, some of us find something we are passionate about and pursue that interest. Whether you’re a welder or a lawyer, you should view the services you have to offer as a value. As a representation of that value, we are most commonly paid with money. When money is used as a measurement of success, greed becomes a natural by-product. I’m not saying profit is bad. Profit is necessary to sustain a business; however, it is not the reason for my being in business.
We must understand that economy is truly a value exchange, and greed hampers this exchange. It is imperative we step away from the current paradigm, “It’s all about the money.” We need to embrace the meaning of value exchange to unify our global economy for the future of our children.
For me, another business imperative involving value-adding is the matter of corporate social responsibility and being a good corporate citizen.
BEGNEAUD strives to align company activities with the environmental, economic, and social needs of all stakeholders. An attempt is made to take into account the social, economic, and environmental impact of our operations to the community and larger society in which it operates. I believe that concern for human rights, community development, and employee welfare is a value addition that will naturally result in greater profitability and organizational sustainability. Competitive advantage can be gained by appealing to the apparently growing ranks of socially and environmentally conscious customers and employees. I am proud of our progress, but there is so much more to be done.