Thursday, May 19, 2011

Key Learnings from Washington DC / Baltimore Trip

Last week, I had the great fortune of traveling to Washington DC and Baltimore to meet with Paperly's amazing team of Consultants in that area. In less than 2 days, I had 2 lunch meetings, attended 2 parties, and probably drove 2 much (pun intended). I must admit, I learned so much (as I always do when I conduct field visits). In fact, there were simply too many ideas and suggestions to outline here. However, I wanted to give you a couple of truly key learnings.

#1 Key Learning: Simplify
Paperly needs to vastly simplify its parties. Honestly, a Paperly party should be a 4 hour event: 1 hour pre, 2 hours at, 1 hour post. To ensure that occurs, we need to consider potentially radical changes, such as:
  • Moving to 1 catalog as opposed to 2
  • Simplifying the catalog (i.e. less color options, less fonts, etc.)
  • Enabling direct ship of products at a reasonable price, and perhaps, shipping as ordered rather than waiting for the party to close
  • Continuing to reduce the error rates
  • Improving the labeling of samples
I cannot promise Paperly will deliver on all of the above suggestions (for a variety of a operational reasons), but they are all worthy of in-depth exploration.

#2 Key Learning: Enhance Support Processes
Paperly could also dramatically help its Consultants by improving its support processes. Such processes begin from the moment the Consultant joins Paperly and continue all the way through the delivery of the product. Areas of improvement might include, but are not limited to:
  • Provide a "90-Days to Success" roadmap for all new Consultants, so they know exactly what they need to do to be successful.
  • Provide a "recruiting packet" so Consultants can successfully deliver key messages to potential team members.
  • Provide better email invitation options/templates, be it for Paperly's system or third-party systems.
  • Provide a better reward and recognition program. For example, how can Paperly make Paperly Dollars more effective?
  • Provide more timely tracking of packages, so Consultants can communicate more effectively with existing and anxious customers.
Lots of food for thought, right? I greatly look forward to tackling these issues - collaboratively - because I know together, we can make Paperly a truly great company.

And finally, before finishing this entry, I wanted to thank the amazing team I met with: Crystal, Pam, Tammy, Kate, Nancy, Kristen, Tracie and Hilary (see photos below). I am super excited to know you are going to help continue to drive Paperly forward... the sky is the limit.

Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

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