Harman Luxury Update
New Year’s Resolutions
When did ringing in the New Year become such a big deal? Turns out, it isn’t just a marketing scheme of modern Americans. Some 4,000 years ago, Babylonians rang in their new year with an 11-day festival in March. In 46 B.C., Roman emperor Julius Caesar had moved the first day of the year to Jan. 1 in honor of the Roman god of beginnings, Janus.
The origin of making New Year’s resolutions traces back to the Babylonians, who reportedly made promises to their gods in hopes they’d earn good favor in the coming year. They often resolved to get out of debt. Many of us are still making that resolution today. So what’s the secret to keeping it? Turns out, simply wanting to change is not enough; you need to make it stick. One way to do this is to share your resolution with others.
When you keep resolutions a secret, no one is going to check up on you. You’re only accountable to yourself. That is why I want to share my New Year’s Resolutions with all of you and I expect you all to hold me and my team accountable to them.
Become a better partner to our customers and our suppliers. In order to build best-in-class products, we need to work more closely with our partners. We need to explore new materials and new methods to improve the performance of the products we make. That means we need to meet more often. Last year our team decided to invest in Dealer Councils. This year we will be holding several Dealer Councils to closer align your product needs with our technologies and engineering assets.
Our first Dealer Council will occur during ISE 2020 in Amsterdam. With Harman’s investments in immersive audio, our first dealer council will be with JBL Synthesis dealers and distributors. We currently have room for a couple more participants for the February 13th at 8:00 AM in Amsterdam. If you are planning to attend ISE and want to be a part of this inaugural session, please contact Scott.Campbell@harman.com .
In March, we will hold another JBL Synthesis Dealer Council at the Northridge Campus. For those of you who aren’t going to ISE, you will still have another opportunity to meet with the team developing our future products and services under the JBL Synthesis brand.
Our commitment doesn’t stop with customers. I have asked that my team visit with our Tier 1 suppliers in the first four months of 2020. These visits will allow us to review performance metrics attainment in 2019 and to allow the many companies involved the opportunity to share roadmaps and opportunities to be more innovative and quicker to market.
Improve the way we bring new products to market. Last year our team was very focused on making sure that we delivered more new products than ever to the marketplace. However, not all those product introductions were accompanied with a detailed plan on how to get our customers ready for them. By reviewing our business unit’s processes to bring a new product to market, I realized we were lacking in a couple of very important deliverables.
One of those deliverables is education. I am proud to say that Chris Robinson and his team have launched Harman University, our eLearning initiative, to help address this need. In the New Year, we pledge to have product training available before the products go into mass production. That means that our product development team now needs to work with our training team to determine the best way to launch new products. I have told the team that I will not approve any new product concept or invest in any engineering costs if the product managers have not built in enough time and resources to create the launch and follow-up training deliverables. That means that Chris Robinson and our partners at Training Allies will be hard at work in 2020 to meet your current and future training needs.
We ask for your help to help us achieve our 2020 resolutions. Shortly I will be sharing another survey in which you will be asked to rate Harman compared to your other suppliers. I look forward to receiving the 360° feedback from all of our customers.
By the way, I also want to share my personal 2020 resolution. I call it my “20 in 20 resolution.” I resolve that I will lose 20 lbs. in 2020. For the record, I weighed in at 232 pounds on January 1st. The holidays were not good to me for calorie intake prevention. I know I will feel better and be a better leader for the business if I lose some weight and I ask for all your help and encouragement as I work to achieve this resolution.
Happy New Year!
VP & GM - Luxury Audio