Without margin, there is no mission

Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

profit-margin-cover-1024x538On a fine Fall day morning last week, interview with Mr. Bill Miller, CEO of Lubbock-based Breedlove Foods yielded a lot of valuable information, which may be beneficial to industries. Miller has been an entrepreneur since he was 27 years of age, banker and industry leader in Lubbock. His vast experience in leading several organizations has given him opportunities to handle complicated situations, which was evident from the discussion.

For an industry to exist, there is needs to be a margin, said Miller. In businesses, people have to constantly negotiate with different stakeholders. A key aspect in the art of negotiation is to make people realize that they are appreciated. You need to live in the moment with the people who is on the other side of the table, stated Miller.

Working with national and international partners is good these days, which Breedlove follows. Breedlove works with organizations in 67 countries and is the world’s largest non-profit food relief processor. Safety and quality are important for any industry, whether being a food processor, clothing manufacturer, machinery maker, etc.

In a question from this scribe on what are some factors that fail businesses, Miller stated, other than working capital, lack of trust among people and poor communication lead to negative results. An interesting point that came out of the discussion was that all companies have goals but they should have plans to stretch, in other words adapt to changing circumstances, in order to grow.

Industry should have a vision which should be supported by a mission. In closing, Miller reiterated the importance of this sage advice, which many people try to follow, “poor plan properly executed is far better than a perfect plan, which no one will ever attempt.”