I’m delighted to announce today the official launch of The Ace Center for Excellence. Our desire in doing so is simply to share our principles and strategies that we believe any company can embrace to better serve their customers, an attribute for which the Ace brand has become famous.
Now, I must confess to you that my initial reaction to this new initiative was that I thought it was the epitome of arrogance. Who are we to tell other companies what to do? But I’ve learned this initiative is driven by necessity not hubris. Eight years ago, J.D. Power and associates started measuring customer satisfaction in the home improvement category. Ace has been fortunate to win the top spot every single year. After about three or four awards, we became surprised by the number of companies who were seeking us out with but one familiar question, “How does Ace do it?”
Well, I still feel uncomfortable “preaching” our principles – for we have a lot yet to learn, but I can say with some degree of confidence; our nearly irrational pursuit to be the best, most helpful hardware stores on the planet has yielded some effective strategies that we believe, many companies can embrace and deploy.
• For over 90 years, we’ve been blessed to be in the business of serving others. Ace was built upon a bedrock of values and a culture of excellence that can in fact be replicated.
• We stand for people – particularly the underdog. Heck, we are the underdog. I believe we can give you hope that David still can stand up to Goliath.
• Globally trusted ~ locally embraced. Our 4,800+ stores around the globe are locally owned and those small business men and women possess the tools and passion to serve their neighbors better than any business I’ve ever experienced.
• Our keynote speakers and group facilitators are actively engaged with Ace Hardware. In other words, they are the Ace team. We didn’t hire bubbly speakers from the outside to share our message. No, we grabbed the people who have been living it. From our former CEO to our actual Ace owners, our time together will be facilitated not just by those who teach – but those who do!
• A key differentiator for the Center is that we are speaking from success, rather than about success. It’s real world, practical stuff from those who fight in the trenches, just like you.
Helpful is our weapon in the world. Our aim is this: To amaze every customer – every time. Yep; every time. We think we can do that for you, so in turn, you can do that for your customers. I look forward to working with you.
President & CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation