Monthly Archives: July 2017

70. Who’s Nibbling Your Cheese?

Spencer Johnson, who wrote many motivational business tales, including Who Moved My Cheese?, recently passed. Published in 1998, the book sold 25 million copies. The short fable starred two mice named Sniff and Scurry and two small, challenged humans named Hem and Haw. All four lived in a maze feeding upon a depleting pile of cheese that one night got moved. How does Cheese relate to distribution?

The mice teach the humans to have courage, to take risks and explore, looking for new opportunities, instead of dying in place. The book became a bestseller because of its inspirational message to pursue necessary changes.

But, inspiration alone doesn’t effect change. Who Moved My Cheese? doesn’t offer a full change management recipe. For a fable with the full recipe, read John Kotter’s Our Iceberg is Melting (2006). In this tale, some clever penguins teach the reader Kotter’s eight-step process.  Continue reading 70. Who’s Nibbling Your Cheese?

69. The Many Faces of Amazon

Amazon (AMZ) is continually pushing the boundaries of innovation in distribution. Following their ever-evolving methods for consuming channel volume is a full-time job. Depending on your perspective, AMZ has become your friend, your foe, maybe even your partner. However, one thing is for sure across the board: Amazon should be your role model for innovation in distribution.

My presentation at the Advanced Profit Innovation Conferences coming up this fall take a deep dive and explain why I say this. Here are the dates:

The live discussion will take a look at AMZ’s latest moves in the marketplace. I will attempt to answer and analyze what I think are the most important questions so we can all learn from the master. Continue reading 69. The Many Faces of Amazon

68. Customer Profitability Analytics (CPA) for Reinvention and Amazon-Proofing

On June 29th, I did a one-hour webinar for the Health Industry Distributors Association ( on Customer Profitability Analytics (CPA) for Reinvention and Amazon-Proofing. We had 118 folks from 60 different companies sign up, and 85 from 40 companies attend. 60% were HIDA members, and 40% were distributor friends from other channels. And, most of these HIDA guests have been pursuing the webinar’s title themes and likely skewed the three survey-question results below.

We did survey questions upfront to reveal a bi-modal audience regarding: CPA; Rep compensation; and open-book management (with potential gainsharing) for all. The chasmic results were:

  • 47% were getting traction with CPA; 31% had never even experimented with CPA
  • 31% incented reps on customer net-profitability; 39% paid on gross margin dollars
  • 63% practiced Open Book with all employees; 35% were quite closed

Continue reading 68. Customer Profitability Analytics (CPA) for Reinvention and Amazon-Proofing