May 16 2006

The Apprentice:Donald Trump 5, Episode 12

The Apprentice just keeps rolling along, and here we are down to the final five…I can almost taste the ending!

The teams met with Trump in the Donald J. Trump watch showroom….I kid you not. Is there anything this man won’t put his name on? This week the henchmen are Bill Rancic and Ivanka-the-Pouty. The teams are to set up in-store displays in Wal-Marts for the X-Box 360, the winner will be based on judgement by executives by both companies. Sean would be Project Manager for Gold Rush and Tammy for Synergy.

This week someone finally did what I have said has been missing on this show for ages…they outsourced! BUT, they did it incorrectly. Sean opted to hire pros to build his display:one for signage one for floor and roof so he could make a 360 degree display. The signage guy came through, but the floor and roof guy didn’t, causing the display to look like it was falling down. His problem was he didn’t build in penatlies for failur of completion. Any time you are going to work on a time sensitive project you have to build in fauliure-to-deliver penalities. I wish someone had mentioned that, but oh well.

Over at Synergy…they decided to go with a “Red Carpet” type event, but it ended up looking more like a living room and too inviting to just sit down and relax. Their signage was your typical Kinko’s type signage which was way too small and too easily lost in a sign-heavy enviroment such as Wal-Mart. The other problem had was a total lack of respect from Allie and Roxanne. Nothing says you have to respect your boss. Just like any situation, a person has to earn respect, in a team situation, team work is essential. Instead of working with Tammy though, they questioned him and then committed the ultimate faux pas, Allie rolled her eyes about Tammy repeatedly in front of Bill when he came to visit. You know, I don’t care how much you dislike your boss, you NEVER show disrespect in front of their superior. It reflects on you, it refelcts on them and it reflects on the corporation.

I know this isn’t exactly a recap more than it is a commentary. but this episode was one of the best episodes yet for showing differences in business operation. While Gold Rush’s display was unfinished they met the requirements better. It was a full experience, cross-sold accessories and focused on actual products as opposed to making it an event. That is what so many people have forgotten over the years of this show, it is ultimaely about serving the needs of your clients, and the client here was Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is about sales. So even with an unfinihsed display, Gold Rush won it. THeir prize was to fly our to Dreamworks SKGs production facilities and recorded voices for their upcoming movie “Over The Hedge“.

Meanwhile, Synergy headed to the board room and Tammy was fired for having no control over her team, but both Allie and Roxanne also gor verbal dressing-downs for their actions.

Over all it was a great episode for business lessons. Nice to see that happen once in awhile.

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