Bruce Merrifield, President — Merrifield Consulting
•competitive strategy •WayPoint Analytics •management strategies •industry perspective •change management •Innovate for the Future •innovation •operational excellence •Randy MacLean •Bruce Merrifield •Merrifield Consulting •business strategy •strategic planning
Wednesday, December 04, 2019—Constant curiosity and learning is a key to keeping a business successful over time. With that has to come an ability to forgive oneself. Nobody runs their business 100% optimally, and the ability to acknowledge that you've been running thins ineffectively and then act towards changing them is an important trait that one needs to become and remain successful. We call this "failing forward".
It's okay to continue doing what's worked in the past, but that will inevitably lead to missed opportunities, and an increasing risk of fading into antiquity. In order to take advantage of new opportunities, one must ask "WHY are we doing it this way?", and "does it still make sense?".
Many big changes are in the process of happening in the marketplace, such as the use of "the cloud", warehouse supply-chain innovations, and the methods of how we sell to customers. These are some of the multitude of areas in which the old way of doing things may no longer be the right way, and where your company has great potential to benefit from creating new, innovative solutions.
For a deeper example in regards to the shifting dynamics of sales, the role of the salesperson is changing dramatically. With information on most products easily available, the salesman is no longer needed to educate the customer. Since the customers can get the information themselves, they have no need to spend time with their sales rep. They call the salesperson if they need them, but they're no longer interested in giving them slots of their precious time to listen to their pitch.
As a result of this, the role of the sales rep is becoming more like that of a consultant. The on-demand offering of information and expertise is now what salesmen are valued for; they are more of a secondary source of information; a supplement to that taken from the internet.
One industry where this is different is in highly technically-oriented fields, where a more connected, project-like approach is used. The salesmen in these fields are often experts in the field that can provide unique, valuable wisdom.
Even in fields such as contractor supply channels where the old-school model is relevant and effective (and most likely will remain that way as a consequence of the nature of the business), innovation is necessary. In fields such as this one, the innovation is more focused in the field of analytics. Figuring out who the most profitable customers are and developing strategies to team-sell and capitalize on the best customers with optimal efficiency is the key in this field. For these, using advanced analytics has been the innovative key to success.
For more information about Bruce Merrifield, visit: www.merrifieldact2.com
The 7 Areas That Need Your Focus (brief)
The 3rd of 3 lists defining the markers of Distribution companies outpacing their peers.
The 6 Attributes of Super-Profit Companies
The 2nd of 3 lists defining the markers of Distribution companies outpacing their peers.
An Analytical Boost to Service Excellence
Bruce Merrifield and Randy MacLean discuss the handful of key customers in your business, and how to keep them happy and loyal.
Beyond Business Intelligence
Randy MacLean explains the differences in business intelligence systems, and how to know what you're getting with each kind.
A Culture of Innovation Starts at the Top
Steve Epner and Randy MacLean discuss topics from Steve's book. In this video: How to Innovate.
Why In-House Analytics Fails
In-house analytics initiatives are prone to delivering ineffective information or to outright failure. Here's why.
2020 Q4 Brief - Exploiting / Optimizing the Recovery
2020 Q4 is the time companies can take great leaps in market position, actively shaping their competitive landscape for years to come.
LIPA: Prophet of Customer Needs
See how implementing LIPA can give you the bandwidth to be more accommodating to your customers with analytics-based service excellence
Getting a Deeper Understanding of Costs
Randy MacLean and Bruce Merrifield of WayPoint Analytics discuss different levels of cost analysis, and why deeper analytics can bring much greater benefits.
Customer triage is key to profits in Distribution. Randy MacLean share the key elements of costing required to help you assign the right service level.
Webinar: Profit-Based Sales Incentives (part 1)
Webinar: Quantum Sales Compensation - How to Create a powerful new kind of sales incentive plan
Sales Force Specialization
Discussion of how the most successful companies are adopting specialized sales functions, achieving superior results.
9 Steps to More Profitable Relationships
Discussion about a 9-step process aimed at transforming a transactional relationship with an account into a partnership.
Profit Value-Based Customer Segmentation
Randy MacLean and Bruce Merrifield of WayPoint Analytics discuss profit value-based customer segmentation.
The Advantages of Segmentation
A discussion of the benefits of segmentation and how this approach can help distributors achieve far greater levels of profitability.
How to Turn Big Data Into Big Profits!
Top companies like Amazon can leverage big data to predict consumer buying habits. Bruce Merrifield discusses how you can do this too!
Gross Margin Percent: A Poor Indicator of Profitability
Most distributors have naturally occurring, high gross margin percentage accounts and high gross margin percentage (small dollar pick) SKUs.
Triage Customers & Set Priorities to Increase Performance
Randy MacLean and Bruce Merrifield sit down for a talk about the issues and opportunities, tactics and strategies for increasing profit performance.
Discussing the Enterprise Account Selling Model (#3)
Continuance of the Enterprise Account Selling Model video series. Refers to a preceding video. Drawn from Bruce's presentation at APIC on March 1, 2016.
Getting Your Salespeople to Negotiate Smarter
Using the negotiation process to achieve CTS savings, allowing you to offer your customers lower prices while leaving the table with a larger profit.
Looking at a Customer Whale Curve
Customer whale curves are a great opportunity to view the overall picture of your customer profitability and apply appropriate sales models to each
Increase Innovation with a Rule and a Tool
Bruce Merrifield discusses the Wheel of Learning and how this simple tool can catapult you forward with innovative thinking.
Cost-to-Serve Math: Why Gross Margin May Fool You Every Time
This video by Bruce Merrifield and Randy MacLean describes why you can't rely solely on gross margin to determine profitability.
The Changing Face of Sales
An in-depth look at some historical limitations to sales compensation, and why those factors no longer apply with the availability of LIPA.
Maximizing Account Potential through Segmentation
Randy MacLean discusses the value and utility of segmenting your customer accounts.
Working on Your Best Accounts
What to do with your top accounts.
Gross Margin Fixation
A fixation on gross margin – without looking at cost-to-serve (CTS) – has blinded countless distributors and limited their ability to achieve profitability.
A WayPoint Client and Whale Curve Success Story
Learn how this distributor was able to massively ramp up its profitability even as it lost many of its customers.
Cost Structures: What Makes for a Good Sale?
Learn why distributors can't simply rely on gross margin when determining whether a sale will add to the bottom line.
Changing Sales Strategy Using LIPA
Randy MacLean talks about the emergence of a new sales strategy.
Why You Should Sweat the Small Deliveries
A discussion on how little extras can sometimes add up to a lot of infrastructure cost in wholesale distribution companies.
It's Not Who You Think It Is
Randy MacLean discusses key profitability metrics for QPM.
Why You Should Be Optimizing Inventory
Randy and Bruce explain why it's important to optimize inventory in the same way you optimize personnel and other resources toward the best profit opportunities
A Two Step Strategy for Being Number One in Distribution
In this video, Bruce Merrifield turns the tables on Waypoint President Randy MacLean, and asks Randy to strategize on how to beat the competition.
Using WayPoint's High Volume Account Report to Increase Profit
Randy discusses the benefits of the extraordinarily valuable High Volume Account Report.
How Customer Segmentation Unlocks Hidden Profits
Bruce Merrifield of WayPoint Analytics teaches the importance of customer segmentation and the insights it can offer your distribution company.
The Element of Pricing
It's not necessary to compete with AmazonSupply on pricing when you've got your ordering and delivery systems, fill rates and customer service at a high level.
Why Come to APIC?
What is the value of the APIC conference for a business, and why does it stand out above other education programs?
Making Money by Giving Away Product
Bruce Merrifield and Randy MacLean discuss profit strategies for wholesale distributors that will raise their cost-to-serve and profits.
Webinar: How to Create a Sales Compensation Plan (pt 2)
Webinar: Quantum Sales Compensation Plan Part 2
Webinar: How to Create a Sales Compensation Plan (pt 3)
Webinar: Quantum Sales Compensation: Designing Your Plan
Webinar: How to Create a Sales Compensation Plan (pt 4)
Webinar: Quantum Sales Compensation for the Wholesale Distribution Industry: Launching Your Plan