Seiche Sanders' portraitLast week I did some spring cleaning at work. I threw away files that I haven’t touched in over a year, sorted or deleted well over 1,000 e-mails from my inbox, and organized the information I believe will allow me to better serve my readers in the coming year.

As I was sifting through my office, I was thinking about another organizational task I recently finished — paging through and analyzing the surveys that your customers and suppliers responded to for this month’s cover story, “Feedback."

Our survey tells us distributors are generally on “the right track.” Take value-added services. Your suppliers and customers find them indispensable to their business. They see you as a unique link in the supply chain that frees them up to focus on cleaning buildings or manufacturing products. Overall, the survey results imply respondents are pretty comfortable with your performance.

Read between the lines of data comprising our survey: you’re only as good as your last evaluation. In an industry that tends to be dotted with fickle customers, continually enhance your business strengths and improve upon your operational weaknesses.

In much the same way as my spring cleaning ridded me of inefficient clutter, it is time for you to pinpoint any practices that are not making your business stronger ... and “throw” them away.

Really evaluate what you’re doing. Read through our survey and be honest with yourself. Do you fall within the majority of distributors who are “doing it right” consistently or are you one of those companies that could be dropped in favor of a distributor who doesn’t rest on its laurels?