Monday, October 22, 2012

Inspire Me: Maui Jim Lessons

Recently I attended a Pekin Chamber luncheon where the guest speaker was Tim Krueger, Maui Jim CFO.

Maui Jim is a sunglasses company based out of Peoria.  Nothing that Tim said was earth-shattering.  In fact most of it was obvious and simple, so maybe that's why it stood out to me as inspirational.  What follows was mt attempted notes on Maui Jim's general guiding principles.  They are specific to business, but it's not that hard to see how they can relate to life and ministry.

Treat your employees like gold.  
Example 1: Maui Jim employees four full-time physical trainers who's only job is to help the other employees get in shape, stay in shape and eat well.

Wow your customers.  Make them smile.  Follow the 5/95 rule.
Example 1: If a customer's glasses need fixed because their dog ate them, the company sends back a dog bone with the fixed glasses and a note that says: "Give the dog this bone instead of your glasses next time."
Example 2: After 9/11, Maui Jim bought back the inventory of it's Hawaiian distributors who were having trouble moving sunglasses (because no tourists were traveling).  The distributors are now intensely loyal to Maui Jim.
The 5/95 rule is this:  5% of your clients/customers are NOT going to follow any of the rules you make.  So don't make rules for the 5% that penalize the 95%.  Only make rules that benefit everyone, especially the 95%.  And don't be surprised about the 5%, you knew they weren't going to follow your rules to begin anyway.

Make your product the best.  Don't focus on other things, focus on your product.
For Maui Jim, this means continually improving their sunglasses.  Their price and brand are important, but not if they aren't making the best possible sunglasses.

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