Improving inventory turns

Friday, May 20, 2016
After a recent seminar, one of the participants reached out to me about his company’s inventory turn rate. After learning how to properly calculate the formula, he realized that they had been overstating their turns for a long time and were lulled into state of complacency. When he looked at the real turn numbers, the results were less than stellar. They were of great enough concern that he felt his employment may be in jeopardy if a plan for improvement was not developed. Fortunately, creating a plan is easy. Execution may be a whole other story. Like many companies, this one had been a victim of misinformation and comparison. I have always been skeptical of industry benchmarks when it comes to inventory turns. Not that the method of information gathering is flawed, rather the m  [Read More...]

Get Your Late-Paying Customers to Pay on Time

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Your business was running pretty smoothly - sales growing, and profits growing, too - and then the credit crunch hit, someone said the "R" word and everything started slowing down almost overnight. Most troubling of all, your customers have been paying you later and later, as if they are using your money to fill their own personal credit crunch. Well, they probably are. Most of us don't realize how dependent we are on credit to run our businesses. Vendor open account credit - the kind you extend to your customers - is by far the largest source of borrowing power in our economy. When you sell your products and services on credit, you are making interest-free loans to your customers, even if you are financing those loans with a bank loan for which you pay interest every month  [Read More...]

Millennials and the changing work world

Friday, March 18, 2016
Right now, for the first time in history, there are five generations in the workforce at the same time – Traditionalists (born before 1946) sometimes called the Silent Generation Baby Boomers – generally born circa 1946 to 1964 Generation X – generally born circa 1965 to 1976 Generation Y, aka the Millennials – generally born circa 1977 to 1995 Generation Z – generally born circa 1996 to 2015 Each generation brings its own varying attitudes and expectations to each interaction, which can make working together a bit difficult at times. Many in the two older generations are, or will be soon, leaving and making even more room for younger workers. The work force is being taken over by the young and, with that, comes change in just about every ar  [Read More...]

The Future of DCs and Warehouses

Friday, March 18, 2016
They will be data driven, agile and function in real time Wholesale distributors that have modernized their distribution centers and warehouses have seen big improvements. Their efforts have resulted in significant increases in productivity, reduced transaction costs, avoidance of future costs, improved inventory control, inventory accuracy, and order fulfillment accuracy. Much of this has been accomplished through new or improved warehouse design as well as integrating new processes and equipment. Recent examples of work with our clients has included the design and integration of high velocity pick zones and flow-racking, narrow aisle storage, and gravity-fed and automated conveyors. The benefits have been a more effective use of warehouse space and dramatically increased speed of flo  [Read More...]

Five keys to sales and marketing alignment

Friday, February 19, 2016
If you want to increase revenue and better understand the ROI of your marketing campaigns, then it’s critical to align your marketing and sales teams. However, achieving such alignment is far more difficult for manufacturers that sell through independent reps and distributors. Manufacturers’ marketing teams can face significant challenges in understanding the effectiveness of their marketing and advertising because they receive little feedback from the distributors selling their products. On the other hand, distributors lack the tools to provide that critical feedback and have little visibility into the quality of sales leads sent to them. But this disconnect doesn’t have to be your reality. Follow these five steps to better align your internal marketing teams with your sup  [Read More...]