Executive vice-president of Richmond Hill, Ont.-based A/V services provider Duocom Canada Inc.
RECESSIONS OF THE EARLY 1980s AND 1990s
KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN AT ALL TIMES
Marg Hachey is one of those lucky entrepreneurs who notices an upswing in sales when the economy tanks. During hard times, people tend to have more meetings; and when they do, they call on Duocom to supply the A/V equipment and set up the meeting rooms they need to communicate with their employees. But even though Hachey's firm tends to thrive when others flounder, she has learned that communication is the key to maintaining a viable customer base and efficient supply chain. "Strong communication builds your relationships with existing clients," she says. "By taking the time to understand what they're feeling and the challenges they're facing, you can help meet their business needs. That really builds and solidifies the relationship, so that when things get better, they're coming to you with more business.
"In past recessions, we've seen our customers' sales decrease, so we've worked to equip their salesforces with better technology to get a more uniform sales message out to their customers. We also make sure we're in constant communication with our suppliers so we can offer the best possible equipment to our clients." Following the recession of the early 1980s, Duocom grew by 1,100% over six years as a result of that constant focus on communication, a strategy Hachey continues to employ during the current economic downturn.