Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rolex makes a nice watch too.

I was surprised to find so many people in the industry that disliked the "Top Dog".  I would be talking to a jewelry store owner or Manager about watches and would find a general dislike for the brand.  Maybe I shouldn't say "the brand" because usually it was about the way people were treated by the company or how controlling they were when it came to anything from parts to the smallest image detail.  Nothing was too miniscule to over scrutinize when it came to The Image.  And the world has never seen a company that spent more time and effort when it came to controling parts and inventory.  Wether it was in the companies hands or that of an affiliate.

I once heard someone in upper management telling of how a Company representative would walk into a prospective jewelry store to determine if the store might end up selling their watches.  If anything was amiss in the slightest way, the Representative would simply walk out  of the store without another word or the slightest explanation as to why.  The message was clearly; if you have the clout to act haughty and arrogant and can find a reason to, then perhaps you should.  Thus reinforcing your position of superiority through shear audacity, however distasteful it may be.

While I am on the subject of management, I found it interesting to note that while it is often good practice to promote from within, under certain circumstances a business may end up being run by an entire team of people that has no real business experience, much less education beyond technical training.  Generally, Watchmakers are wonderful, ingenious, diligent workers.  They do not however  tend to be naturally business minded, overly educated (at least what I saw), or in any way socially skilled. 

In a business where higher education is not  an automatic requirement, I believe a business culture is able to de-evolve into a more emotion based routine with tradition being used as the rudder and pride and determination (BFH) the powering force.  Unfortunately, excessive pride can cause a company to aim for class and dignity while ending up with nothing more than fear and intimidation.  On the other hand, the gold still polishes up nicely, so what does it matter?  If you place your factory far enough away from other job opportunities and mostly hire those that are desperate for an income, this can work out rather nicely...assuming you can keep a lid on the facts.