Category Archives: AmazonBusiness

157. “Only The Paranoid Survive” 2.0

Andy Grove’s Book and Quote

Grove was a founder of Intel, and its CEO from ’87 to ’98. He wrote an acclaimed book on what he had learned: “Only the Paranoid Survive”, published in ’99.  His summary quote:

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153. Analytics for Silos to Supply Chains

Invent Your Own Analytical Insights

Analytics software is big news.  But, your richest analytical insights are hiding under foot. To uncover these insights, get curious. Make specific observations about the good and bad activity that you know intuitively exists within your business.  Are these observations symptoms of what underlying root-causes? Write down the questions and theories that arise. Do some customer field research and quick statistical analysis to test and refine your questions and theories. Then, do small, fast, learning-forward experiments to find the golden insights.

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150. Increase and Improve Your Beliefs

Humans are Belief Inventors

Human brains evolved to survive as a tribe in a hunter-gathering world. We accumulated both practical and magical beliefs through experience. If belief-guided actions worked (we didn’t die or got lucky), then we kept doing them. (Lucky Charms v Gremlins!)      

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149. What Distributor Roll-Ups Will Become Zombies?

Private Equity (PE) Distributor Roll-Ups: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

PE Good News:

In ’08: The Central Banks rescued PE firms from their over-paid, over-leveraged ’07 deals. By lowering interest rates to near-zero for 10 years good things happened:

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146. Analytics’ Credibility Within Your Firm?

Science Deniers Past and Present

The “scientific method” has enabled all the fruits of modern civilization.

The Scientific Method’s steps are (modified for distributor results):

  1. Observations.
  2. Questioning.
  3. Theories/Hypotheses.
  4. (then) Gather new data.
  5. Do iterative experiments ever smarter.
  6. Uncover Strategic Insights.
  7. Sometimes nail something new and profitable. 
  8. And, Scale it.

Until 1660, when the Royal Society of England was founded, scientists who published discoveries that conflicted with the beliefs of the church or dictators could be burned at the stake. Even today – politicians, churches, economists, CEOs, etc – will undermine any (scientific) facts that get in the way of their agendas (comp plans) or belief-identities. Want to get ahead? Tell these bosses what they want to hear! 

Science-denying leaders have good audiences for their data-free opinions. Besides obedient underlings, surveys reveal that citizens are OK on everyday-science facts.  But, they often struggle with the scientific method process and statistics.

Belief Types: Finance, Sales Relationships and Family-Company Values

Every company is dominated by the voice of finance. Be financially pragmatic. Pay timely taxes. Service debt and meet lender’s ratios. Meet the payroll. Please the auditors. But, what are the blind spots of financial operating assumptions like “buy-low, sell-high, and sell-more”?    

What “observations, questioning, theories, and new analytics” should challenge financial management? Do financial numbers measure the improving effectiveness of leaders, strategy, and the culture and systems that support the strategy? How measurably great and guaranteed your “service value” is for best, most net-profitable, target customers?  

Switching to the sanctity of “relationships that reps have with their customers”. Where are the metrics by which to manage and improve the quality and win-win economic benefits of these relationships?

Family businesses also have beliefs/values. But, to paraphrase Tolstoy, “Happy family businesses are all alike; every unhappy family business is unhappy in its own way.” Have any unhappy, family beliefs to question?

Concluding Questions:

In your company, if scientific method analytics clash with data-free beliefs, what happens? Is the C-Suite open to experiments? Or, do they want “new” data that supports the status quo beliefs and compensation schemes? Big profitable gains come (unfortunately) from big changes to old ways. What will happen to your company, in fast-changing times if scientific method analytics can’t challenge dysfunctional, profit-drain beliefs? For more on scientific, big-change analytics for distributors, be in touch:  bruce@merrifield.com

140. Channel-Model Innovations Ahead

BIG CHANGES BY 2020+?

Big players (Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, etc.) are combining many technologies to create the onrushing Cloud Omnichannels to which B2B brands must respond.    

Amazon’s (AMZ) “doorstep-back-to-producers” value-channel is all in the cloud. It incorporates technologies like AI, machine learning, robots, and cobots. And, AMZ has already hugely pre-invested in exploiting 5G bandwidth, instant-startup-clone brands, info-videos with watch-me reward points, last-mile-uber-metro-delivery platforms, voice commerce, drones, fintech, blockchain, etc.      

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