Do You Follow Your Gut or Data?

Christina Lewellen
January 18, 2012
THE TALK...

In working on the 2012 forecast piece for the January/February issue, I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of folks in the window and door industry about what they expect for the coming year. We covered a lot of topics, as I’m sure you can imagine, ranging from the significant challenges our industry continues to face, to the overlooked opportunities that some companies are pursuing in a down market.

One comment in particular, however, stands out among the rest. One of my interviewees pointed out to me that his company is highly data driven in its decision making. In other words, his company doesn’t go with gut instinct when it comes time to offer new products or improve support materials to its distributor network. Instead, executives rely strictly on data and facts to make decisions. This, he notes, allowed his company to avoid “drinking the industry Kool-Aid” when making projections for 2011 (they didn’t anticipate growth, where many companies did) and paved the way for some successful product introductions based on buying patterns and regional preferences.

Still, this just-the-facts-ma’am approach to business isn’t the only way to succeed. Plenty of companies have built their models around industry experience and a “gut feel” for what will succeed in the marketplace. My question for you this week is where your company falls on the spectrum—is your team one of data-based decision makers or do you rely more on the collective experience of the group and follow your intuition?

Please send me an email or post a comment to share with me how your company approaches strategic decision making. Facts, gut, or a blend of both? What approach do you think is most successful in our business? 

 

Survey Results as of 01/23/2012 :

 

When it comes to strategic decision making, my company relies more heavily on:

Collective experience and gut instincts

  

 

69%

Statistics and facts

  

 

31%

The responses to this week's poll definitely reflects the entrepreneurial nature of the window and door industry. With nearly 70 percent of respondents relying on their gut instinct to make business decisions, we could probably venture to guess that experience in the industry and a deep understanding for customers' needs is where many window and door companies can peg their success.

Still, I do wonder if the folks who follow the facts are increasing in number compared to a few years back. Would the fact follwers have been 5 percent or 10 percent of the population during the construction boom? Do you think that if we ask the same question a year or two from now we might find that the data-driven decision makers are increasing in number? In a market where there's relatively little room for error, perhaps that will be the case.

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.

Comments

WindowandDoor.com reserves the right to delete any comments. Read our Comment Guidelines for more information. Report comments you find offensive or believe violate our Content Guidelines.

の前では最高水準の精度であったが、ブローバが技術公開やムーブメント供給に積極的でなかったこともセイコー腕時計あり1976年には生産を終了している。クォーツ時計自体は1920年代に発明されていたが、当時は能動素子に真空管を使用

versace shirts


versace sunglasses


versace bright crystal


versace


versace shirts


versace watches


versace bright crystal


ugg


ugg boots


ugg


ugg outlet


ugg


ugg boots


turbo fire


turbo fire dvd


turbo fire


turbo fire workout


turbo fire workout


turbo fire dvd


true religion


true religion jeans


true religion


true religion sale


true religion


true religion sale


true religion jeans


true religion sale


true religion outlet


tory burch shoes


tory burch handbags


tory burch


tory burch outlet


tory burch handbags


tory burch


tory burch


tory burch shoes


tory burch sale


tory burch handbags


tory burch


tory burch


tory burch outlet


timberland.com


timberland shoes


timberland outlet


timberland earthkeepers


timberland


timberland outlet


timberland boots


timberland outlet


timberland outlet


timberland boots


tiffany jewelry outlet


the north face


the north face sale


the north face jackets


the north face sale


north face outlet


the north face sale


the north face outlet


supra vaider


supra skytop


supra vaider


supra skytop


supra footwear


supra


supra shoes


supra footwear


supra skytop


supra shoes


supra footwear


spyder


spyder ski jackets


spyder jackets outlet


spyder ski jackets


spyder jackets


spyder jackets outlet


spyder


spyder jackets outlet


louboutin shoes


christian louboutin shoes


christian louboutin sale


red buttom shoes


christian louboutin sale


cheap ray ban sunglasses


ray ban


ray ban sunglasses


ray ban outlet


ray ban sunglasses


ralph lauren outlet


ralph lauren polo outlet


polo outlet


ralph lauren polo outlet


ralph lauren outlet


prada


prada


prada sunglasses


prada


p90x workouts exercise


p90x workout


p90x workouts exercise


p90x workouts exercise dvd


p90x workout


p90x workouts


oakley


oakley sunglasses


cheap oakley sunglasses


oakley sunglasses


oakley sunglasses outlet


oakley sunglasses outlet


cheap nike shoes


nike free


nike store


nike free


cheap nike shoes


nike store


nike running shoes


mulberry


mulberry handbags


mulberry bags


mulberry outlet


mulberry handbags


mulberry outlet


mulberry outlet uk


mulberry handbags


mulberry bags


mulberry outlet


mulberry bags


mulberry outlet


moncler


moncler jackets


moncler coats


moncler


moncler coats


moncler


miu miu


miu miu outlet


miu miu


miu miu bags


michael kors outlet


michael kors handbags


Michael Kors Outlet


Michael Kors Handbags


michael kors watches


michael kors watches


michael kors outlet


michael kors watches


michael kors outlet


michael kors handbags


marc jacobs watches


marc jacobs handbags


marc by marc jacobs


marc jacobs


marc jacobs watches


marc jacobs handbags


marc by marc jacobs


louis vuitton


louis vuitton outlet


louis vuitton handbags


louis vuitton


louis vuitton


louis vuitton outlet


louis vuitton


louis vuitton outlet


louis vuitton


louis vuitton outlet


Louboutin Shoes


Louboutin Outlet


red buttom shoes


louboutin shoes


christian louboutin outlet


juicy couture outlet


juicy couture handbags


juicy couture


juicy couture outlet


juicy couture


juicy couture handbags


juicy couture


juicy couture handbags


juicy couture handbags


jimmy choo shoes


jimmy choo handbags


jimmy choo


jimmy choo outlet


nfl jerseys


nfl football jerseys


cheap jerseys


nfl football jerseys


insanity workout


insanity


insanity workout dvd


insanity


hollister outlet


hollister jeans


hollister clothing


hollister kids


hollister outlet


hollister kids


hollister


hollister outlet


hollister kids


hogan


hogan shoes


hogan


hogan outlet


hermes handbags


hermes birkin bag


hermes bags


hermes handbags


hermes handbags


guess handbags


guess watches


guess handbags


guess outlet


gucci


gucci outlet


gucci


gucci outlet


gucci handbags


gucci outlet


givenchy


givenchy handbags


givenchy dress


givenchy outlet


givenchy handbags


givenchy


givenchy outlet


givenchy


ghd straighteners


ghd flat iron


ghd hair iron


ghd hair


ghd straighteners


ghd hair iron


ferragamo belt


ferragamo shoes


ferragamo outlet


fendi handbags


fendi bags


fendi outlet


dolce and gabbana handbags


dolce and gabbana watches


dolce and gabbana handbags


dolce and gabbana watches


dolce and gabbana handbags


dior handbags


dior


dior shoes


dior homme


dior handbags


dior homme


dior shoes


dior handbags


coach outlet


coach outlet store online


coach outlet


coach factory outlet


coach


coach outlet online


coach outlet online


coach factory outlet


chi hair straightener


chi hair products


chi hair straightener


chi flat irons


chi flat irons


cheap nfl jerseys


cheap jerseys


jordan


jordan 11


jordan 4


jordan 3


cheap jordan shoes


air jordan


air jordan shoes


jordan retro 11


jordan 3


jordan 11


jordan 1


nfl football jerseys


nfl jerseys


nfl football jerseys


cheap nfl jerseys


cheap jerseys


Jordans For Sale


Cheap Jordans Online


chanel handbags


chanel bags


chanel purse


chanel


chanel handbags


chanel bags


chanel


chanel handbags


chanel bags


celine outlet


celine handbags


celine


celine sunglasses


celine outlet


celine outlet


celine handbags


celine bags


canada goose parka


canada goose


canada goose parka


canada goose outlet


canada goose jackets


canada goose


canada goose outlet


canada goose


canada goose parka


burberry handbags


burberry scarf


burberry outlet


burberry outlet


burberry outlet online


burberry


burberry outlet


burberry sale


burberry outlet


burberry handbags


bottega veneta outlet online


bottega veneta


belstaff clothing


belstaff


belstaff jackets outlet


belstaff jackets online


belstaff clothing


belstaff bag


beats by dre headphones


beats by dr dre


monster headphones


beats by dre solo


barbour clothing


barbour coats


alexander wang


alexander wang handbags


alexander wang bags


alexander wang


alexander wang


alexander wang


alexander wang handbags


alexander wang handbags


alexander wang bags


abercrombie outlet


abercrombie kids


abercrombie & fitch


abercrombie kids


abercrombie & fitch outlet


abercrombie outlet


abercrombie kids


abercrombie & fitch outlet

I think data driven decisions have a definite place in making business decisions. However, I wonder if Thomas Edition did a survey to determine the statistically probability of market success for the incandescent light bulb. I, too, wonder if Henry Ford perused the market analysis report before he ventured into the Model-T concept.  Those that have a vision take the most risks and most fail.  The few that succeed are the revolutionaries in the industry and/or society.  However, since the risk is so high, I believe it makes sense to achieve some sort of balance.  As I write this, your poll indicates that 69% believe in “gut instincts” and 31% believe in “statistics and facts”.  I think that is a very good balance for business managers when making business decisions.  To put it another way:  “ I make my decisions very close to the results of the poll,  69% gut instinct, tempered with 31% of statistically support.”

Abe Gaskins, President MGM Industries

We very carefully gather data (from our sales, and customers) and continously review & analyze it to assist in our decision making, mostly in regard to how we spend our marketing / advertising dollars.  While we leave room for a bit (20%) of speculation, our 2012 plan has already been laid out.  We are intelligently positioned to change course quickly if need be but don't expect any significant surprises.

Small companies, like us, don't usually have access to the kind of data that is locally focused enough to allow us to use it to make business decisions.  In my case, I try to stay connected to my community in various ways (Rotary - City planning commissions- etc) and talk to my builder customers.

But more important, IMHO, is the postive passion of management in motivating employees.  Our competitors are "down in the dumps" over this economy.  But my salesguys go out there armed with "good news".  We were UP in 2011 and have already got the word we will be awarded a contract this year worth almost 25% of 2011 sales.  Why?  The way we *serviced* this builder in 2011.

Working with "data" allows you to stay with the crowd.  I prefer to soar with the eagles.....alone.

RoySuperior Windows & DoorsAshland & Medford, Oregon