Monthly managerial meetings in between training sessions also help keep everyone on the same page. “All the managers from all our stores come to these meetings, and we get the latest info back to them,” says Imaging Services administrator Phil Kinstle. “Each manager then has a store meeting to bring it to the next level.”
Every employee needs to be certified in one of three areas during their probationary period: CPC (Certified Photographic Consultant)-certified on the sales side, SPFE (Society of Photo Finishing Engineers)-certified, or certified for the scrapbooking area. “Some of the managers here are certified in all three areas,” says Martin. “It’s vital to our success. That’s the only way customers will come back to us, if we get them better pictures and better scrapbooks.”
And it’s the company’s loyal employees that have helped grow the business so successfully over the years, some of whom have been with Cord for more than two decades. ‘We have a strong blend of strong Cord associates who have been here, who know the products, the culture, the customers, and the demographics, and then we have people who have come from the ‘outside,’ like Bill Fletcher and myself, and we’ve put together a team that works well together and challenges each other,” says COO/CFO Gary P. Binkoski.
And it’s evident they all possess the same passion for their work that transcends the usual 9-to-5 mentality. “The neat thing about being in our industry, if you have to work retail, is that there’s no better industry to be in,” says Martin. “The rewards are so great. When you have a customer you sell a camera to, and you help them take great pictures of their children or build a better scrapbook, they come back to you and say thank you. When I first started here in 1986, one of our customers had two small children. I just saw her a few months ago, and her kids are all grown up now and married. You strike up a bond because it’s a more personal relationship. We’re selling a means of remembering the special moments in people’s lives, and we have that through the whole fabric of our store.”