The Importance of Value

The 19th century poet and playwright Oscar Wilde was famously quoted as saying, “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” It’s been well over 100 years since this quote was published, but it certainly has remained relevant in today’s world.   However, it is a challenge for people to universally agree on what defines value. The word value has 11 definitions in Merriam Webster’s online dictionary. With so many definitions of a single word, it’s no wonder we are challenged to determine what true value is.

How do I define value?

In my position as a technical sales advisor, I am routinely challenged with opportunities to add value to our customers, suppliers and fellow team members. How does value look to me? It might be surprising to learn that value has very little to do with the price of a product. The simple fact is the free market will dictate whether the price of a product is out of line.

I have been fortunate in my career to have been mentored by experts in plating, powder coating, anodizing, black oxide and general metal finishing. The training I received over the years has prepared me well to advance my knowledge on to others, especially the younger generation that is coming into the industry. Mentoring others is something on which I place a high value.

Value compassion

In the last few years, one of my customers has struggled with several setbacks, including the death of the owner of their company, a fire, plating quality issues that shut down the plating line and environmental compliance issues that nearly forced them to close their doors for good. I took those opportunities to offer compassion by being there during their time of grieving, working tirelessly to help them get their plating issues resolved, and just listening to them as they tried to process how to get back on their feet after the fire and helping them source materials that were needed to help them maintain environmental compliance, as well as assisting them with treating wastewater discharge effluents to stay under their discharge limits. The value of being compassionate to others and making sure their needs are being met is very important to me.

Adjusting to a “New Normal”

During this difficult time of the coronavirus, we are all having to adjust to a “new normal.” For those of us who are accustomed to traveling for a living, are now working from a home office daily (these walls seem to inch closer every day!). These “walls” make is truly challenging to troubleshoot customers issues without being able to touch parts or see the processes as the parts make their way down the line. I had a customer who called me a couple of weeks ago with an issue that I was able to talk through with them. By asking proper questions and requesting they provide some pertinent data, along with offering suggestions based on some investigative work we did in 2018 on the same process, the customer was able to resolve the issue and is now getting caught up on work that fell behind due to the issue. This information will now be included in their control procedures for this process. The value of experience and knowledge to assure our customers have a resource to resolve issues during this very unusual time is reassuring to them.

Value people, not prices.

The importance of providing value to others cannot be overstated. Determine what you can do to provide value to others that goes beyond a price quote.

“Good values are like a magnet – they attract good people.” John Wooden