How well do you know your clients and vendors? Learn how to understand the organization so you can supply their need.

By: E. Michelle Lee                                                                                                                          7-13-12

     The best impression that you can make with your clients and vendors comes through your expression of what you know about their company.  Oh, stop your complaining about having time these days to get to know people.  I am so trying to get folks to recognize that if we would slow down and get to know the people we do business with and who help our businesses grow; we would be able to create more business. 

      Imagine being able to know and anticipate what your customer/client’s needs are before they know what they are.  Here’s the thing.  If you look at the following tid bits of information in the below sample Business Organization Analysis you will learn what they need that you may have in your store.  By getting to know other companies you open yourself up for an equally rewarding business relationship that enables you to sell your products needed by them. 

The Andersons Inc is one of my favorite companies to study.   I love the way they think and grow!

Organizational culture- Visible and Invisible

Kinicki & Williams defines organizational culture (visible and invisible) as, “having three layers: (1) observable artifacts, (2) espoused values, and (3) basic assumption.”  (Kinicki & Williams, 2009).   The Andersons exhibits these three characteristics of organizational culture with their golden leaf symbol trademark, divine authority, and family before profits. (The Andersons, 2010).

The Andersons key elements of organizational culture

The Andersons common purpose to provide quality products and services through their coordinated efforts of employees and higher management divides the labor amongst five business segments and creates a hierarchy of authority through front line managers and regional vice presidents; constantly changes their business flow and improves their bottom line.  By giving the span of control to the front line and regional managers they enact authority, responsibility and delegation from the bottom up.

The Andersons Values

The Andersons number one priority and value is: Recognize the higher authority in your life and all decisions made thereafter will align with the principles, integrity, and most of all, un wavering faith that you are doing the best job, providing quality products, and growing the company.   To sacrifice any of these values to obtain profit is unacceptable. It is better stated by the Andersons that its values will allow them to: “achieve profit and growth objectives, while fulfilling obligations to all stakeholders, in a balanced and thoughtful way.”  (Andersons, 2009).  

Organizational structure and environment

In the team based structure that The Andersons offer; employees can excel at their own pace and rest assured that as long as they contribute to the common purpose of the company; they will have job security.  This can be found and proven through the company’s “Employee Bill of Rights.” (The Andersons, 2010).

Structure and Environment; its impact on managers at The Andersons Store.

Photo Slide By: E. Michelle Lee

Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. K. (2009). Fourth Edition Management a practical introduction suggests that a company is either a mechanistic or organic organization; I think The Andersons is somewhat both. While the mechanistic helps the organization to achieve the quality standard or above in the industry; it is their organic structure within the environment that allows decisions to be made and executed quickly to meet and exceed their goals.

Andersons Strategies and Goals sets the organizational culture

            The helping hand principle that The Andersons espouse in their daily routine and culture creates a sense of “I am here to serve you” type of belief that enables employees, investors, and customers to have a sense of community, belonging in the organization.

            This level of commitment from the company and its stakeholders aligns with The Andersons strategies and goals to confirm its beliefs that you are a part of the family for the long run.  A good example of how The Andersons implement their culture can be seen in one of their 2009 transactions with Hartung Brothers, Inc.  Company president and CEO, Mike Anderson stated it so well when he said, “This strategic acquisition is consistent with the group’s stated growth objective expanding our geographic footprint to serve more customers in the western corn-belt states of Wisconsin and Minnesota.’

When you need help to understand your market, send me a message and let’s talk!  The first twenty minutes is on me; a free consultation for you! Send an email to

Ya’ll come back now-

If you need the help from a down to earth business consultant who will work her tail off for you.  Contact me only if you are willing to do your part too!

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The Andersons Inc. (June, 2006). Statement of Principles. Web 13 June 2010. Retrieved on June 13 2010 from:

The Andersons Inc. (June, 2006). The Andersons Advantage. Web 13 June 2010. Retrieved on June 13 2010 from:!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os_jAIItQSydDRwMLC09XAyMXfzdL11ATIwsfY_2CbEdFAN3Lhpw!/?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/wps/wcm/connect/corp_content/site_corp/sa_corp_Careers/The+Andersons+advantage/c_corp_TheAndersonsAdvantage

iStock Analyst (May, 2009). The Andersons, Inc. Agrees to Acquire Hartung Brothers Inc. (HBI) Fertilizer Division. Web May 04, 2009. Retrieved on June 13 2010 from:

Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. K. (2009). Fourth Edition Management a practical introduction. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.


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