Over the past week, my work at TMK has continued to expand into new areas and I was able to get more involved in important business activities. I had several interesting experiences that I think are also great learning experiences. My boss, Tom Kovacevich, asked me to accompany him on a visit to Long Island, NY to meet with a company called William H. Kopke, Jr., Inc. This company is a major importer and exporter of produce and has been in the business for over 70 years importing the finest fruits and vegetables from around the world and distributing throughout the U.S. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce a Chinese distributor of chestnuts and apples to Mr. Kopke to help expand the Chinese company’s contacts in the United States. Mr. Kovacevich was already a good customer and was able to connect the two business men. One of the important lessons I learned was how important it is in this business to network with your contacts. Another valuable observation I made was how important a company’s or person’s good business reputation is for growing the business. Because TMK and Tom Kovacevich have such an outstanding reputation, even new contacts and businesses have a deep trust that facilitates business agreements with less concern about being taken advantage of or making a bad deal.
Back at TMK, I was able to discuss work-related issues with my fellow employees to get their experienced comments. In this produce business it is important to keep in perspective that we are selling perishable products that must be properly cared for and sold while still in optimum condition. In some cases it is better to sell remaining inventory of a fruit or vegetable at lower price to make sure it does not degrade to an undesirable level. It is a fine balancing act to know how high to start the selling price for a top quality product and when and how much to lower it, and to what customers, in order to meet shelf life limitations while still satisfying the customer’s needs.
I’m glad that my responsibilities at TMK are really starting to pick up and I am being put into roles that show a growing trust and interest in my input.