www.randymaclean.com Randy MacLean

The Five Secrets of Effective Profit Management

Randy MacLean

Each Account Imposes a Unique Cost Structure

Product mixes, volumes and purchasing effectiveness vary widely between accounts, and directly impose differing transactional costs your company in servicing the account. In every business, there are accounts that purchase less frequently and with a smooth process that impose very little cost. Conversely, there are also accounts that impose a very high cost through a frequent or chaotic interaction with your company.

Recognizing these differences is vital to effectively managing the profit generated in the business. Use accurate account cost data so your team can differentiate between high- and low-cost accounts.

Takeaway: Obtain or develop accurate account-level cost information so your organization has visibility on the most important metric needed to actively manage account profitability.

Account Gross Profit and Servicing Costs Must Be Balanced

The gross profit generated by an account can be thought of as a budget for servicing the account. Keeping the servicing cost within the gross profit envelope guarantees profit on the account. Traditional gross margin management misses this critical fact with an inherent assumption that cost rates are the same for all accounts, which they are most certainly are not. In reality, every account has its own unique cost structure and therefore needs its own unique gross margin target.

One-size-fits-all margins cause lost business when low-cost accounts are overpriced, and virtually guarantee losses on high-cost accounts, leaving a tiny handful in the sweet spot where the target margin is accidentally close to the ideal.

Takeaway: Obtain or develop accurate gross profit and cost reports for every account, and have your team use this information for all aspects of account management. From bids and pricing, to product delivery and customer service, balancing gross profit and cost structure is essential for sustained profitability.

Key Accounts Need Unique Strategies — Others Can Be Grouped Homogeneously

You can only make or lose big money on big accounts, so effective management mandates that you work the top and bottom of your profit ranking reports. It's critical to create and execute an individual strategy to manage the pricing, margin and cost structure associated with each of your high-volume accounts.

Each key account should have a frequent periodical review so your team can fine-tune the account's individual strategy. Accounts that fall in the middle of the list can be bucketed into homogeneous groups where broader solutions can apply. For example accounts could be bucketed by size, or industry, or product category, or other factors until the groups tend to be populated by companies that look and act the same. At this point, broad-based strategies can be developed to fit each of the groups, eliminating losses and guaranteeing profitability within each group.

Takeaway: Use your profit rankings and your cost information to develop short-term strategies to protect and penetrate your best accounts, and to work with your worst accounts to make them profitable. Create broad strategies for the homogeneous groups.

Know and Manage Profit Deltas

To lock in an upward trajectory, it's important to know which accounts are generating profit increases in which are doing the opposite. Obtain or develop profit delta reports that show the differential as compared to previous periods.

Recognizing that each drop in profitability requires an equivalent gain somewhere else (just to stay even) will help your team focus on activities and tactics that drive those gains and prevent losses. This element alone is a critical secret of perpetually winning companies.

Takeaway: Obtain profit delta reports for every account, territory, product line and vendor. Utilize these reports to protect and replicate growth areas, and to tackle and reform those that are taking your profit gains in the wrong direction.

Use Profit Metrics and Incentives to Engage Your Total Organization

Every organization employs people of goodwill and good intelligence. The fastest and most pervasive gains are always driven in organizations that harness the majority of the company's collective brainpower, and apply it to profitability. Be sure your management communication, your systems and processes, and your measurements and incentives are all working in service of the previous points.

Having parts of your organization drawn away by historical or traditional incentives that are only loosely related to your core objectives will certainly limit your ability to realize fast and permanent gains.

Takeaway: Develop communications, measurements and incentives that are directly related to profit and profit change, and then apply them at all levels. End traditional incentives that pay people to lose sight of of the objectives, or worse, pay them to draw and protect money-losing business.

The 7 Areas That Need Your Focus (brief)


The 3rd of 3 lists defining the markers of Distribution companies outpacing their peers. These are the specific areas that many companies commonly miss and places where your focus on new strategies and tactics will make a huge difference on your productivity and profitability.

The 6 Attributes of Super-Profit Companies


The 2nd of 3 lists defining the markers of Distribution companies outpacing their peers.

The 5 Things Customers Want (brief)


The 1st of 3 lists defining the markers of Distribution companies outpacing their peers.

Customer Segmentation


With the right segmentation you can define customer service levels, delivering high service levels to the accounts that need and can afford it. You can set price levels appropriate customers needing every level of support from "no frills" to "gold-plated". You can focus your sales efforts precisely — working to acquire new customers that perfectly fit your strategy and deliver increased profitability through optimally-efficient logistical relationships.

New Money – How to Analyze & Boost Profit from Delivery


Fleet and delivery operations are a frequently overlooked opportunity to add much more profit to your bottom line. In fact, every dollar you save or charge is just as beneficial as $25 in new sales. No wonder today's top companies are using surprising new methods to measure and optimize fleet costs, and implementing advanced analytics to set pricing and policies for deliveries.

New ideas and new tools are shaping customer choices, and increasing competitiveness. This video shares what we've learned from hundreds of the best companies across more than 15 years of strategic planning and on-the-ground tactics that have generated millions in new profits.

How Distributors Can Double Their Rebate Income


Rebates have grown tremendously as a percentage of the bottom line of distributors over the course of the last 3 years. In fact, in most instances, they now account for more than half of year-end profit.

In this session you'll gain insights on: How rebates are impacting your true line-item profitability / How to leverage your existing agreements / How real-world product mix add-up.

Novelties and New Core


We've added exciting new capabilities to the waypoint user interface. In this video we show you all the newly added features that will increase ease of use in the WayPoint program for a more convenient experience.

WayPoint Presentation


In this session, Randy MacLean walks you through the newest and most effective analytics for profit management. Using these metrics, companies produce record-breaking profit rates and growth. In just 17 minutes, he covers the hidden dynamics that are adversely influencing profit rates, suggests the not-so-obvious solutions executives are using to address them, and shows how WayPoint measures and reports on them. You'll see the only reports available that give company executives the ability measure, monitor and manage the real drivers of company profit.

How Money is Made in Wholesale Distribution


Randy MacLean shares his analysis of over $65B of distribution business to help others shed incorrect assumptions about how to make money. Businesses that have stellar results have been able to understand profit dynamics and move the profit needle not just by five or ten percent, but by doubling or tripling the bottom line over their competitors.

You've Lost Your Biggest Account – Now What?


Everyone eventually faces the loss of a significant account. Sometimes it's one that represents such a large share of business, that "normal" operations are no longer possible. How you handle the situation will determine whether it's an unpleasant blip, or a near death emergency. This video shows what to do to keep your ship from afloat when the inevitable happens.

Profit-Driven Customer Service


There's a strategy that sets apart the companies with astronomical profit rates from everyone else. These amazing companies have profit rates not double, but six to eight times those of their competitors! They all utilize the same strategy for driving the highest-possible profit rates, the greatest cash-flow, and the fastest growth. In this video, I'll share the strategy, and how you can get started implementing it.

Maximizing Account Potential through Segmentation


Effective account segmentation dictates how your sales force interacts with your clients and customers and informs the types of policies and procedure you use to service different types of customers. Segmentation is a convenient and efficient way to streamline customer management, rather than servicing each individually and uniquely.