Green Supply Chain Contract
Thanks to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Utah Hispanic Chamber and Walmart, I conducted a coaching session called Green Builds Business that was attended by Johnny Hernandez of JJH Auto Body & Paint. His goal was to win a corporate supply chain contract. Here are the five coaching steps that enabled JJH Auto Body & Paint to win Avis as a new customer and that could work for your business too:
1. Define green. Green is a work in progress for corporate America. Corporations are collaborating among themselves and with suppliers to specify green procurement criteria. The idea of being a green auto body shop was breaking new ground. I coached Johnny on the specifications my auto industry contacts thought would qualify a green auto body shop. Figuring out what green means to your target customer is the first step toward winning a contract.
2. Get to first base. Investing in going green for a small supply chain business is not an easy decision. The best way to get started is to figure out what you can implement with the least cost. I call this getting to first base. In Johnny’s case, we focused on saving energy and water through proven investments that deliver superior short-term returns. For example, installing higher-efficiency lighting almost always pays for itself in six to 18 months. That’s equal to earning 75 to 150 percent return on investment!
3. Clean tech leadership. Winning a supplier contract means beating the competition. Water-based paint technology was the clean technology that put JJH Auto Body & Paint into competitive leadership. As is often the case in adopting clean technology, it has been JJH Auto Body & Paint experience that this technology not only reduced their environmental footprint but also delivered a higher-quality finish at a competitive cost.
4. Prove it conclusively. Suppliers are auditing green vendor claims. JJH Auto Body & Paint successfully passes this audit process by walking prospective suppliers through a site audit of its waste recycling program and investments in clean technology. The company now has reports on its performance in reducing waste, energy use and water. It earned the Salt Lake City Green e2 business certification. Johnny can prove conclusively that his is a green auto body shop.
5. Six-slide pitch. Be good, be brief, be gone is the key to successfully communicating to corporate decision makers. Every small-business person knows the procurement departments standard line of I can only give you 10 minutes. I coached Johnny in designing a six-page PowerPoint presentation that enables him to confidently present his business case in 10 minutes. His experience is that the effectiveness of this presentation always generates an additional 20 to 30 minutes of supplier questions and engagement.