The practice of being most things to most people teeters between being a nice fool and a savvy marketer.
The real trick is gauging which customers youll shower with extras.
For the Wilsons, the main criteria are whether customers pay on time, use high- vs. low-margin services, and whether their demands make them too expensive to serve.
The best extras, Don concedes, are reserved for the customers who make themselves the most desirable. Obviously its an economic decision, Don says.
Dan says theyve learned the hard way that going overboard for a slow-paying customer, for example, is just thatgoing overboard. Why would we want to go to bat for them if theyre not going to pay? That would be foolish. Been there, done that, he says. You learn.
CasChem is big enough now that the brothers arent shy about letting people know they arent desperate for revenue. They keep track, for example, of companies that consistently use CasChem only for the low-margin inorganic tests.
Well say, Hey, you guys are only using us for the metals tests. Why arent we getting the other tests? Ill tell them, Im not going to give you these favorable prices anymore. If theres no money in it, I can spend my time doing something else, Dan says.
Their decisions, while not spreadsheet perfect, must be working well enough. CasChems profit margin has increased 11 percentage points in the last four yearsan enviable statistic in their industry.
Weve become more mature and educated about not getting walked on, Dan says.
Flexibility and communication are the keys. If some guy does $50,000 a year with you and once in a while wants some off-the-wall test thats hardly worth it, oh sure well do it, Dan says.
Now we look at where we can build business relationships, not just giving, with CasChem giving all one way.