Free, Perfect and Now
tells how one CEO nearly quadrupled his company's market value through the power of the Internet and some daring management. Written by Bob Rodin, president of electrical distributor Marshall Industries, Inc., the book is about the struggle to give customers what they want: reduced prices, higher quality, and speedy service. "Who in the world is figuring out how to serve customers at a lower cost? Closer to perfect for your customers' changing values? Faster?" Rodin writes. "We ask ourselves those questions every day at Marshall." Rodin is renowned in the trade for overseeing the creation of an award-winning business-to-business Web site--launched in 1994, far ahead of the competition. A disciple of management guru W. Edwards Deming, Rodin describes his company's astonishing rise over six years. He changed the culture by ridding the company of contests and bonuses and freeing managers from meeting quarterly objectives. One of his most revolutionary moves: abolishing commissions for his 600-strong sales staff. As far as Rodin can determine, Marshall boasts the only major sales team in the U.S. that gets paid strictly by salary and profit-sharing. That means sales pros can move customers to the Internet without worrying about losing commissions. But Rodin cautions that the Internet also means relentless competition. Even as this book was released, Marshall lost a major customer and its stock price was cut in half--Rodin may need to work some magic again. This book is for senior executives, middle managers, and businesspeople open to some radical methods for expansion. --Dan Ring
Alan Webber Founding Editor, Fast Company magazine Read this book for what it takes to be a fast company.
George Gendron Editor, Inc. magazine Free, Perfect, and Now is the perfect business book for our times, one of the few authentic accounts I've read about how companies really manage to transform themselves.
Warren Bennis author of On Becoming a Leader For anyone who wants understand the 'on the ground' narrative of how entrepreneurs work, how innovation leverages intellectual capital, and how ideas -- business ideas -- can improve the quality of life, this is the book for you.
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