• My Business Muse

Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde or The Potion of me too-ism

Dr. Jeckyll Recently we had a salesman from a plastic distributor visit the shop. During the conversation, he related that they had lost a good customer. As he explained all the work his company had put into this customer, it came to light that the customer had grown large enough to have the purchasing power to buy direct from the manufacturers of the plastic. He made it clear that his company felt the situation was not fair on them. Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll His company, "Dr. Jekyll" is a distributor for the plastics manufacturers, where companies like mine must go to purchase plastics for machining and fabrication. His company becomes, "Mr. Hyde," when not only is it the source for plastics to industry, but has set itself up as a competitor to its customers in the arena of machining and fabrication without batting an eye. Their competitive advantage not only comes from a material cost perspective but also learning who their customers are machining and fabricating for and approaching their customers with their cost advantage. The excuse for such behavior is that the other distributors are providing these extra services, so they must do as well. The entire plastic distribution industry has become Mr. Hyde. In the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the doctor created a potion to mask or separate his destructive self from his good self. The result of the potion is Dr. Jekyyl can switch between himself the good and Mr. Hyde the bad. Eventually, D. Jekyll finds himself increasingly becoming Mr. Hyde. In the end, Mr. Hyde takes over. In the case of our distributor, we were told at an industrial show that the distributor's purchase of a cnc the router was just for the Kansas City market place. They had taken their first drink of the potion of me-tooism. Four or five years later, the distributor's salespeople are actively promoting the machining and fabricating services to the customers of their customers. The distributor has turned into Mr. Hyde without remorse. The potion of me-toosim is a cancer that is affecting business and turning it inside out.


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My reflections gathered through reading, listening, personal work experience and observation 

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.

Peter Drucker


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