RAKs for 2017

58084506 - hands holding random act of kindness card with bokeh background

By Ron DeVoe
Total Marketing, LLC

We are now embarking on a New Year as we leave behind 2016. I am reminded daily of my time on this earth and how it has exceeded the mid-range of my sixth decade. Yesterday, I was again reminded as my phone rang and I was assailed by the specials for walk-in tubs, men’s diapers or cures for loss of memory… I think. My reaction was crotchety and hostile, but I then returned to my newspaper. I suddenly read that we should strive to Make America Kind Again and that we should daily practice a few random acts of kindness (RAKs).

I have never really thought of myself as unkind, though there were probably drivers in Dallas Fort Worth traffic or certain telephone solicitors or the guy next to me in the car whose subwoofer shook the walls of Beijing who may think otherwise. Regardless, I know I can do better.

I have been in this industry for more than two-thirds of my life and I stay in it partly because I do not know anything else, but also because I really enjoy the comradery with genuinely nice people. I do believe our industry can refine its own kindness in this year. Here are a few ideas:


  • Make quotas and targets realistic and attainable.
  • Introduce products only when they are ready to ship.
  • Make certifications mean something and have them last longer than Monday through Friday.
  • Only consider four to five mergers this year.

Freight Companies:

  • Change your definition of drop-ship.

Dealers and Integrators:

  • Hug a rep.
  • In lunch and learns, don’t just eat the sandwich; try digesting the info.
  • Only consider four to five mergers this year.


  • Crack your doors a little more for new technology and new people.
  • Determine if some “cut and paste specs” are past their prime.


  • Return phone calls or at least respond to emails.
  • “Talk to” more than “text to.”
  • Be a mentor to our aging industry. New blood is better than hardened arteries.
  • Strive to perform one RAK.

I hope that you will kindly accept my thoughts and have a Happy New Year that is prosperous, healthy, safe and full of kindness!