From my prospective, building a great business requires attending to a lot of details. You must strive to accel in the areas of quality, pricing, delivery, product offering, and people skills.
People skills are extremely important in any business and that includes the fluid power business. I have walked into the offices of many fluid power manufacturers and distributors and I have build up a bank of knowledge and ideas about what makes a business welcoming.
First of all the appearace of an establishment is very important. Just the looks of a company from the outside tells you something about the experience you can expect on the inside. The way your are greeted and treated during your visit tells you even more.
I can honestly say that in my decades of visiting fluid power companies, my treatment has mostly been very good to excellent. The thought often comes to my mind 'if they treat venders this way, imagine the great treatment customers must get.' My hunch that treatment of visitors becomes part of a company's culture.
A positive culture affects positive attitudes in the employees. One great example that I can site is when I recently called one of my customers in Canada and was greeted with Good Afternoon, its a great day at xxx company. Wow, I was impressed.
So building people skills really works to help business to become great. A key example in the consumer world is the Marriott Corp. I always receieve kind and pleasant treatment at any location. This kind of attention to detail is part of building that great business.