Tarsus Technologies is a brilliant company to work for, and I’m not just saying that for brownie points. Rather, it’s because our company culture is so strong that it’s not just a few people that pull together to make things work – it’s a team effort with buy-in from every division.
Even the people furthest removed from head office – specifically, our branch managers located around the country – contribute directly to the performance and success of the company. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they are some of the most important staff we have, because if branches aren’t running smoothly, there are consequences in the rest of the business.
As part of the evolution of Tarsus Distribution, our vision is to give people access to knowledge. We do that with the products we sell, obviously, but we also believe in doing that for our staff and branch managers.
To that end, we’ve put a number of systems in place that give those managers access to data that shows their performance, and pinpoints areas of the business that need growth and development. They get branch income statements to see exactly how they’re doing, whereas before we implemented that particular change, they didn’t.
By being a bit more forward-thinking, they can plan their branch go-to-market a bit more proactively as opposed to the old way where they would sit and wait for orders to come in. Teams are also split in such a way that they can grow the business and go after specific segments, with a large degree of autonomy.
And that’s part of the secret to our success with our branch managers – we make sure they have the knowledge, data and guidance to self-determine to a large extent, something that places the responsibility for good performance squarely on their shoulders.
We count on them quite heavily to provide the input necessary to do their jobs the most effectively in their regions, relying on their regional experiences with their customers which varies quite a bit from province to province. We leave it up to them as to how, exactly, to implement those specific strategies; without that input and expertise, branches wouldn’t be half as efficient and profitable as they are.
Ultimately, branch managers are held accountable for what happens in their regions in terms of customers/inactive customers, products that aren’t moving, staff performance and other KPIs that let us know how they are doing.
Most of them thrive under those conditions, and have improved their branches’ turnover dramatically in the time since we changed the way we approach their roles in the business.
Of course, their actions are guided by the overall company strategy, which we share with them throughout the year through branch visits, conferences and meetings held at head office. Being sure everyone is on the same page is very important to us, which is why we put so much effort into clearly communicating exactly what that means.
In my experience, branch managers who’ve bought into that vision and taken the guidance provided to heart have literally gone forth and multiplied their turnover. And I’m not talking in a small way, either; I’m talking major improved turnover.
In a nutshell, that’s why I say our branch managers are so integral to the overall success of Tarsus Distribution. To all of you reading this, I thank you for the hard work you’re putting in, and for making my job as interesting and rewarding as it is.
Shirlinia Jacobs is the General Manager: Regional Channel Sales at Tarsus Distribution.