Cinde W Ingram -- Casual Living, 2/1/2012 2:00:00 AM
Margaret Chang - Chief Operating Officer
Jeff B. Dorough - VP Sales and Marketing
What does this industry-wide recognition mean for your company?
Chang: It means that our many years of innovation, passion and dedicated hard work are being recognized by our dealers. This is truly rewarding. We always desire to improve in every aspect of our business from customer service, marketing and our sales departments. We continually strive to under-promise and over-deliver. The award also inspires us to do even better next year.
How would you describe your employees' response to the news?
Chang: We are truly honored and grateful to be the winner of this award. It gives us a true sense of pride and accomplishment. We have many dedicated, long-time employees. They enjoy being part of the best shade and accessories manufacturer year after year. We announce and share our award every year to our entire team when we come back from the Chicago show.
What are some of the best practices your company has adopted that have helped it rise to the top of your category despite the tough economic climate?
Dorough: We believe in always being there for our dealers. We have carried more inventory over the last few years to assist our dealers to get through these challenging times. While others may have cut back on inventory or service, we have ramped up. We have continually offered ‘Special Promos' to provide good quality products at competitive retails to attract consumers for our dealers. We have improved and updated our websites to be more dealer-and consumer-friendly with many new features.
How important is inventory tracking, on-time shipping and quick turnaround to your customer today? How does this differ from earlier years?
Chang: They are all very important. We are constantly reviewing our quick-ship programs to ensure that we are in stock and ready to ship at all times during the peak demand. Consumers want shipments faster, due to e-commerce sites that specialize in fast turnarounds. This is a very challenging task, but we do improve every year.
Customers' demands and expectations have changed dramatically over the past decade. Consumers have unprecedented access to information and ultimately they are in control.
Inventory tracking, on-time shipping and quick turnarounds are vital, especially in a seasonal business. We understand that customers want instant gratification.
What other challenges has your company addressed and resolved in creative ways?
Dorough: We are being proactive in helping our dealers with their merchandising by providing a comprehensive Protective Furniture Cover Signage for all 50 styles.
To help promote the Easy Track, we introduced a mini Easy Track Umbrella Counter Display to show and tell the ET2 story.
To help promote the Pavilion, we have introduced a Pavilion Sales Tool Kit and In-Store Signage to show and tell the features of our new Pavilion style.
Treasure Garden has taken its website to the next level. In 2011, we introduced instructional videos on how to assemble and operate our umbrellas. We also launched Team TG for our dealers. One of the features it offers is downloadable posters and signage to assist in promoting and merchandising TG products in their stores. For 2012, Treasure Garden will continue to raise the bar on its website by introducing a new Design Studio, which will allow consumers to design their own umbrella, add optional bases, lights and then send the confirmed special order to their nearest dealer to order. These new sales and marketing tools will ensure Treasure Garden a very good 2012.
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