Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dealer spotlight: Central Burial Vaults

Mike Peery of Central Burial Vaults, Inc. in Oklahoma sent us this picture last week of his showroom. We like his set-up, and his Trigard jacket. Thanks for sharing, Mike! We loved hearing from you. Keep up the great work.    

Do you have pictures to share? Email them to us, or post them to our Facebook page and we'll share them in our eNewsletter.

Want to purchase a Trigard jacket for this spring? Call Customer Service at 800.637.1992.

Create a road map to success

By Ryan Snyder, Plant Manager

For many businesses the concept of strategic planning raises concern over how it might limit flexibility. I would argue that having a well-defined strategic plan can actually make a company more flexible.

Without a defined plan, your resources can be stretched in so many directions that when a truly important issue comes up, you have a hard time understanding where to fit it in, making you less flexible.  

A well-defined strategic plan is like a road map. When planning a trip to somewhere you have never been, you begin with the end in mind, determining where you want to go. Then you map out your route to get there. Along the way, you will be clipping off the mile markers of success as you march toward your destination.

Occasionally, you may hit a detour that requires you to be flexible and modify the existing plan. But you always know where you are going and how to get back to the original route.

The same is true for your business. And this plan needs to be communicated clearly to your employees. If you don't, you will be dealing with the proverbial "are we there yet?" 

One of my favorite quotes is from Stephen Covey, author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Covey said, "I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a 'transformer' in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader."

Be a transforming leader for your company. Lay out the road map for your organization, and see how flexible you can become.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Get us the message quick with email

One of Trigard's greatest assets is our relationship with our dealers. We always want to keep the lines of communication open. You know you can always call us at 800.637.1992, but how about email?

Orders@trigard.com - For placing an order, questions about your order and order updates. This message will reach our entire Customer Service team, and is the quickest way to get an update on your existing order.  

Marketing@trigard.com - For questions and requests for marketing and graphics.

DealerFeedback@trigard.com - For feedback about our products and procedures.

These email addresses can help get your question to the right team as quickly as possible. Our doors - and inboxes - are always open!

Top 3 things you should know about the Trigard marketing team

By Julia Sullivan, Creative Director

When you think of marketing do you think about junk mail? One of our dealers stopped in last week. He said how much he appreciated that Trigard is always focused on meeting his needs, especially when it comes to custom marketing materials. He's exactly right. Here are some other things you should know about our marketing team:

1. We are so much more than ads.
The same team that creates ads also designs our booths for national conventions, wall displays, literature, posters and newsletters. We are also photographers, copyeditors, print designers, video editors, web designers, technology consultants, and strategists.

2. We listen - then recommend. As creative director, it's my responsibility to solve problems for our dealers. When I talk to a vault dealer, I do a lot of listening. Every situation is unique. Only after listening will I make recommendations. My team firmly believes in working together to find the right solution - not convincing you that something standard is the only way.

3. Creating a custom appliqué® is our favorite project.
Sure, turning a completely custom appliqué around in a matter of hours is a monumental task. But this marketing team loves the challenge. Creating a custom appliqué is the most direct way we serve families. It is our absolute honor and privilege to transform cherished photos into a tribute.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rocky Hill celebrates a unique life with a custom appliqué®

Our friends at Rocky Hill Vault Inc. recently took the opportunity to do something special for one of the families they serve. They collaborated with our designers to create a custom appliqué for a man who loved cooking and making his own wine. Our design team even staged a produce photo shoot in our office to capture some of his favorite veggies.    

Bravo, Rocky Hill team. Keep up the great work!

Control costs without sacrificing quality

Stuart McDaniels, Materials Manager

As the purchasing manager for Greenwood, Inc., a lot of my job involves important activities such as helping ensure that we have the right product at the right time on the shelf to serve our customers. However, an even more essential responsibility of mine is to find ways to reduce and control costs without sacrificing quality. This is not only essential for our long-term survival as a company, but also for the survival of our dealers, our partners. In the long run, if we save money you save money.

For most companies, cutting costs in a down economy means across-the-board slashing that "spreads the pain" of reductions across many areas. Even though that may sound like the best approach for getting fast results, it is a mistake - one that could leave your company not just smaller, but weaker.

Instead, companies that need to reduce costs should treat the challenge as an opportunity to recognize and strengthen their key capabilities, while shedding those activities that do not truly reflect the business's strengths, core competencies, or long-term goals. Ultimately, focus on what you do best and toss out the rest. You will never be all things to all people.

This more strategic method will make your company more resilient as tough times continue and more agile as recovery begins.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Showroom scripting: Download part 3

In the final installment of our three-part series, Rich Darby, Trigard Chief Operating Officer, wraps up the scripting that he uses to train funeral directors by explaining the different levels of protection that burial containers provide. 

Missed parts one and two? Download the complete script.

Give the families you serve an award-winning performance

Donna Darby-Walthall, Trigard Chief Financial Officer

I watched the Oscars last week. It always amazes me to see the people who are truly shocked when they win. I love that they are so humbled by the recognition. They put their heart and soul, along with their talent, into whatever they are working on, and yet they are still surprised when they win.

Are you giving the families you serve an award-winning performance? Are you getting creative with your tent set ups? Are you personalizing your vaults with custom appliqués? I have seen some pretty amazing appliqués come through our marketing department, especially recently. We have even highlighted some of them in this newsletter. This is the kind of performance we should be offering every family we serve.

Put your whole heart into your work as you help the families you serve celebrate a life. Go and spend some time with your funeral directors. Show them you care and help to create the relationships that are so important to our industry. I want you to win the Oscar and be truly humbled when you get the recognition. Believe me, if you always give your best performance, it will come back to you.