THE CHOCOLATE STORY
As I said before, change something: software, people, or management. Change is an excuse for the so-called new system, like mine. I was fortunate in the respect that I was the “new and improved” accounts payable person.
You will be on a C.O.D. basis for a while, so make sure your collections are going as above. Do not relent because you will need the cash flow, and at this point, you will be tested.
You will need to keep in contact with the vendors, possibly daily. The vendors holding merchandise will want to see that you are seriously trying to pay your bills on time. Do not dodge phone calls and always return them promptly if called. Keep the dialogue going. Be as honest as you can, no matter what.
If you go into your reminder file and pull out a bill, you need to pay and cannot, call that vendor immediately and tell them it will be late and why.
Let me tell you what occurred next. Mr. D. had been upgrading the outside of the building because it needed to be painted. It was a vast building, and the work was put on hold until I could come up with the money. Honestly, I was against spending money on this project, but I was just an accounts payable person, and the owner was in charge.
I had to call the corporate head of the credit department, Floyd. I had been in contact with him regularly. I called him on the day money was promised to go out. I was apologetic and told him that Mr. D. was doing some renovations on the facility, and I would send the money as soon as I could.
Floyd was not ruffled in the least because he would be in town the next day and wanted to meet me! Boy, was I glad that I was honest because when he showed up, he was a bit shocked and then commended me on being truthful? Floyd knew he was coming before I explained why the money would be late.
Consequently, I was off hold with All-Steel and could have merchandise released on a credit basis. Who knew!! That is why I admonish truth whatever your circumstances.
When you cut a check and hold it, you can let the vendor know the check number and the dollar amount. But do this only when you will mail it within two (2) days, or you will not be trusted again. Use your discretion.
I am proud to say that today Mr. D. is a millionaire with two locations!
Part IV: The Chocolate Story
The chocolate story is a quick note about my time at Mr. D’s and the end of my experience there.
By then (two years later), the company had a monthly newsletter, principally to promote sales by posting, among other things, the dollar amounts sold by reps. Clever, huh?
Anyone in the company was allowed to put their “2 cents” in. Therefore, I put my “5 cents” in, and it went something like this:
“Furniture will be released on a chocolate basis. The sooner I get the chocolate, the sooner you will get your merchandise released.”
Boy, did I get a load of chocolate!
My attitude was going downhill at this point because Mr. D. thought I had too much power, and I was still making $6.75/hr.