It’s a Revolution

By, 07/27/2011

For those of you in college, you may be taking a business class that talks about Just-In-Time (JIT) supply chain management, the ideas behind the Industrial Revolution, or the development of the assembly line by Ford Motor Company. These ideas were all innovations. They created not only efficiency for the business but also a noticeable improvement to the end user in both availability and affordability of the end product. At Fisher Investments, we strive to be an innovative firm in every aspect of our business. One idea similar to these historical business innovations—and used extensively in Ford’s assembly line—is specialization of labor. It sounds simple in theory, and I often wonder why more businesses aren’t run like this. The theory is there are very few people in the world who are good at all things. While there are some exceptions to this, it is mostly true that most people can be really good at one thing only at any given point in time. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn to be good at something new, but generally that is after you have excelled at your current task and moved on to something new. And then you are most likely better at the thing you are focusing on now than the one you were doing previously.

In the brokerage world, employees are often asked to do the herculean task of being good at multiple things at the same time, such as any combination of sales, trading, research, client service, and/or operations to name a few, but typically the task list goes on even from there. Here at Fisher Investments, we put our best people in each role. Given the flexibility of a career path at Fisher Investments, you will likely experience several different roles during your tenure, but under our specialization model, the goal is for you to become very good at each specific role before moving on to another. This means our client service employees focus solely on clients’ needs and our best sales people are responsible only for lead development—allowing each group to specialize and excel in its core function. In the end it creates efficiency for the business, but most importantly it brings availability and quality to our clients that they should expect with such an innovation.