David Perry — Furniture Today – 08/03/11
Call it the Power of Five. “If you can’t count them on one hand,” says Denny Boyd, president of Boyd Specialty Sleep, “they can’t be that important.” He’s got five goals, five key points to his customer service star, and five core values that drive the companies he runs. And he’s happy to talk about all of those five-fingered insights.
Take his goals for 2011, for example. They are:
– Innovate and get a commitment from a major customer on one new SKU.
– Increase sales by 25%.
– Reduce total inventory by 20%, while maintaining the company’s 99.5% on-time shipment schedule.
– Launch a new Natural Flex latex line in July, add a website in August, and launch business-to-business ads in October.
– Hire and train two quality individuals for regional sales manager positions.
As a leader, Boyd knows that he has to set a good example for his employees, all of whom are asked to establish their own goals. The goals are shared within the company, so that everyone can encourage one another to meet their goals. Raises or bonuses are the rewards for meeting those goals. That’s one of the ways that Boyd motivates his employees, and that takes us to his five-pronged customer service star. Five “P’s” – people, product, promotion, performance and price – are all oriented toward the company’s customers.
When it comes to people, Boyd says: “Get the best and treat them well.” He has scores of long-term employees that attest to the wisdom of that philosophy, and he keeps them happy with a culture that celebrates success, welcomes new ideas, and understands the importance of having fun.
On the product side, Boyd aims to be an innovator and has more than 30 patents that attest to his success in that arena. Marketing research is emphasized; Boyd is a keen student of research and uses it to drive his company.
When it comes to promotion, he emphasizes its branding strategy, touting one of the oldest and best-known names in the specialty sleep category.
In the performance arena, Boyd is a big fan of using surveys and online reviews to make sure external customers are satisfied. For internal customers, the company relies on metrics derived from employees’ top five goals. Boyd knows that what can’t be measured can’t be improved.
When it comes to price, the company emphasizes the strong value proposition that it says its products offer. And it aims for the sweet spots in the market, which means memory foam beds retailing from $499 to $2,499, latex beds retailing from $599 to $2,999, and airbeds retailing from $799 to $2,999.
That customer focus is a key emphasis for the company, and it takes its place as one of core values – five of them, of course – for Boyd’s companies. The others are quality (“give the customer what they expect the first time and every time”), responsiveness (“timely action to a perceived need or request”), clear communication (“complete, accurate, specific information with assurance of understanding by the receiver”) and reliability (“do what you say you will do”).
The Power of Five is working for Boyd Specialty Sleep.