DSD’s 2010 BBB Torch Award

Blog by Doug Deane

DSD business Systems was honored to receive the San Diego Better Business Bureau’s 2010 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.  We believe that ethics can be, and should be, a huge differentiator for prospective customers, employees and vendors.   We define our ethics simply as “how we treat people” which means that solving problems always takes priority over everything else, especially our own short-term profitability.

We have hard-wired the BBB Torch Award into our corporate culture.  That means that we have made applying for the BBB Torch Award a normal part of our business activities, every year that we are eligible for the award (because we won in 2010, we will not be eligible to apply again until 2012).  Applying for the Torch Award makes us a better company, whether we win or not.  Our most recent application binder was 4 inches thick, and it documented everything that DSD does in the following areas:

  • Ethical standards of behavior toward our clients, employees and our community
  • Ethical practices surrounding our client service relationships
  • Documentation of our long-standing history and reputation for ethical practices in the marketplace
  • Marketing, advertising, communications, and solicitation practices that reflect a true representation of what is being offered in the marketplace
  • Acknowledgement of ethical marketplace practices by industry peers and in our community
  • Ethics policies that are effectively communicated to employees
  • Ethics policies that demonstrate a long standing history of ethical practices and accountability in the community
  • Training programs that assist employees in carrying out established ethics policies

DSD first applied for a Torch Award in 2009, and we were one of three finalists for the award.  The feedback that we got from the judges was that DSD was exceptionally strong in community service, and in marketplace ethics, but we were weaker in staff development and retention programs.  It was kind of understandable due to the cutbacks we had to make in the face of a weak economy, yet we all agreed that the feedback was valid and that we would work on improvements.

Based on that 2009 feedback, and judge’s feedback from our winning entry in 2010, we have already enacted or are considering implementing the following initiatives to beef up our staff retention and make our company an even better place to work than it already is.  We believe that you cannot have customers who are raving fans, unless your employees are raving fans as well:

  • Creation of a Staff Ombudsman.  We are considering asking one of our staff, or an outside consultant, to act as a sounding board for any issues or problems that our staff has.  That person would also act as a conduit for information of any kind that our staff wishes to relay to our management, in a completely confidential way.
  • Quarterly Staff Surveys.  We will be getting important feedback from our staff every quarter, using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey methodology.  We will track our NPS scores from quarter to quarter, in order to make sure that we’re headed in the right direction or staying at a high level.
  • Quarterly Presdient’s Report.  We will communicate with all our staff, on a quarterly basis, as though they are all owners and shareholders of our company.
  • Staff Reviews.  DSD staff reviews must be of the highest quality, and they must give extremely useful and objective feedback to all our staff in a timely manner.  We are committed to our staff’s professional development, and our reviews are an important part of that process.
  • Compensation Plans That Reward Performance.  We will construct compensation plans that reward each of our staff’s contribution to our progress in achieving strategic goals.
  • Birthday Cards.  We will continue to send birthday cards to our staff’s family members, and even to their beloved pets.  This is something that we’ve been doing for a long time, and our staff who participates in this program enjoys it very much.
  • Employee of the Year Award.  We will continue to honor the brightest and best among all our staff.  Recent honorees have been Ken Phillips, Melissa Secody, Lexi Rodriguez, Joe de Maria and Glenn Linderman.
  • Leadership and Technical Training Programs.  It is extremely important to us that our staff feels like they are masters of their professions.  We will get even more aggressive about providing training opportunities for their technical and professional growth.
  • Involvement in Community Service.  We want all of our staff to have a sense of purpose in their lives.  We will begin an even more aggressive policy of supporting all our staff’s volunteer efforts.

Our goal is to win the 2012 Torch Award, but more than that, it’s to be an even stronger company at that time in all the areas that both the BBB and DSD care about.  It’s nice to win the Torch Award, but the other benefits in terms of staff retention and customer loyalty, are immense.


Doug Deane is President of DSD Business Systems, a national provider of on-demand (cloud) and on-premises ERP and CRM software, specializing in wholesale distribution, manufacturing, warehouse management, inventory, business intelligence and eCommerce software.  DSD offers Sage 100 (formerly MAS 90), Sage 300 (formerly Accpac), Sage 500 (formerly MAS 500), NetSuite, Sage FAS, Sage HRMS (formerly Abra), Sage CRM, Sage SalesLogix, Extended Solutions, and Custom Programming.

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