Last night we attended the JT concert and had the worst experience ever. First, I was told we couldn...’t take in our small camera, even after I spoke to supervisor. They wanted us to bring it back to the car!! I had to show them the email blast from Amway that said small, non professional cameras were allowed. Need better training for your staff. 2nd, all the floor bars ran out of bud light and then all domestic beers in can and on tap. What a joke. It was a Monday night and a concert for adults. Lastly, the sound was terrible for the show, bathrooms a mess. For the money we pay for concerts, you need to do a better job!! See More
But it turns out to be so much more complicated. In 1979, the F.T.C., after investigating Amway, a multilevel marketing company with a vast product line, decided that the company’s business model passed muster — even though recruitment was at the heart of it — because it claimed to take certain steps that (among other things) supposedly showed that its recruits were selling the company’s products to real customers, not just to other recruits. Very quickly, other multilevel marketing companies adopted the “Amway rules” to stay on the right side of the F.T.C.
In this Presidential election, companies that cut their labor costs by engaging in offshoring have come in for heavy criticism. Amway, one of the world’s largest direct selling companies, is a U.S.-headquartered global company that would be hard to criticize on these grounds. Many of their products that are largely sold overseas, actually leverage “Made in America” as a key selling point.
The Sales & Marketing Plan is based on what Scott called “the revolutionary business strategy of duplication.” To illustrate the idea he pointed to an imperfect example: McDonald’s, which succeeded so phenomenally, Scott explained, thanks to duplication—not because it served particularly good food (people who “hadn’t spent a lot of time around millionaires” always amused Scott with their idea that successful businesses required quality products). Ray Kroc had figured out a better way to flip a burger, but instead of hiring employees to do it, he taught it to franchisees, people fired up with the zeal of business ownership. While they willingly slaved to make what they owned more valuable, Kroc made his money by “taking a penny for teaching others how to make a dollar.” His was truly a magical income, expanding whether he worked for it or not, growing whether he lived or died. Long after Kroc had “taken a dirt bath,” Scott joked, duplication still supported his widow to the tune of $200 million a year!
The Amwayers who had brought me to Dream Night were flying high on the drive home, whooping occasionally just to vent their exhilaration. I felt as though I had just sat through a year’s worth of infomercials, with some high school pep rallies and a few Tony Robbins lectures thrown in. But to see all this as an exercise in mass hypnosis, according to Amway’s literature, would be to “misunderstand” what is, simply, “the best business opportunity in the world”—an assessment, strangely enough, with which the rest of world is starting to agree.
The idea of Amway was started in 1949 by two friends, Jay Van Andel and Richard DeVos. Originally called the Ja-Ri Corporation, the pair began by selling Nutrilite and a few imported products. In ten years, they had over 5,000 distributors below them. By 1959, together with some of their top distributors, DeVos and Van Andel broke off to form Amway. They began selling their now famous Liquid Organic Cleaner (L.O.C.) and quickly expanded to more home products before launching into the health and beauty industry that defines their business today.
Their vertically integrated supply chain is one of longest in the industry. In addition to running plants, they own organic farms. They have farms in Brazil, Mexico, and the state of Washington where they grow and harvest key botanical ingredients like echinacea, spinach, alfalfa, watercress, and cherries. They then take those products and manufacture intermediates. Cherries, for example, are processed for Vitamin C. These intermediates they both use in their own products and sell to other companies.