Category Archives: Cost-to-Serve Math

130. The True Sources of Your Profit-Power?


Financial KPIs urge: “try harder, be cost efficient”. Good stuff. But, what are your analytics to achieve unique service-value capabilities which win and keep big, targeted, net-profitable accounts that average higher margin dollars per order than their average service-cost per order?  And, do they keep and motivate best-service-ethic people to:

  • Achieve the service-metric goals for the target accounts? 
  • Cure root causes for net-unprofitable customers and SKUs?


This note is one of 130 blogs posted at A big underlying theme for these postcards has been “inventing analytics to better measure and manage true causes of Profit-Power”.  

I’ve rotated through sub-topics (or lenses) including:

  1. Finance. What are the dysfunctional financial-management assumptions and blind spots that plague many distributors? 
  2. Profit-Equation Management (or order-size economics). You make money at the line, order and customer level when: Margin Dollars minus Cost-To-Serve Dollars equals Positive Profit Dollars. Most distributors vastly underestimate their losing customers, SKUs, and Sales Territories – all of which have losing Profit Equations. Building a cost-to-serve model is not hard. What is? Giving up old beliefs that all customers and gross-profit dollars are all equally good. 
  3. Customer (and SKU) Profitability Ranking Reports. By creatively focusing on the top/best and bottom/worst 5% of these reports, huge profit improvements are possible.
  4. Field research to discern next-level, service metrics for most net-profitable customers and customer niches (“nichonomics”).  Distributors who do this kill those who don’t.  
  5. High-Performance, Service Cultures to attract, engage, and focus talent needed to turn insights (from topics 2-4) into better service-value and profits.
  6. Key, defining capabilities that customers reward and no other competitors have. Topics 1-5 create these capabilities which win profitable order-streams from best customers. Then, all financial numbers (which are downstream, aggregated, averaged-out symptoms) improve.  
  7. Envisioning Omnichannel Cloud Commerce circa 2021. Do you have the analytics to inform and enable your digital transformation strategies? Topics 1-6 provide the profits, agility, and confidence to change to win in 2021.  


Would an E-book that re-sorts my blogs into sub-topics with additional comments and discussion questions be useful? If YES, let me know:

125. Rent An Analytics Champ To Jumpstart a Renewal

Baseball’s Lessons For Distributors

Two books document the rise of game-changing analytics within major league baseball (MLB): Moneyball (’03) and the highly-recommended, Astroball (7/18)[i]. The 2018 MLB playoffs featured the best, most analytically-empowered teams (along with big-talent payrolls).

Studies on MLB analytics departments from ’03 to ’18 reveal that: Continue reading 125. Rent An Analytics Champ To Jumpstart a Renewal

123. Teach Customers To Be Better, Win-Win Buyers

Customers Aren’t Equally Effective Buyers

Customer profitability analytics reveals a wide range of buyer effectiveness. And, SKU profitability analytics measurably pinpoints the root causes for their variances in hidden, unnecessary buying activity and servicing costs.

Customers also vary in their openness to changing how they buy to achieve: Continue reading 123. Teach Customers To Be Better, Win-Win Buyers

121. Full-Employment Woes? Reinvent Service-Value!

Nov 2, 2018 Employment News

 250,00 new jobs were added to the economy in October. Unemployment dropped to 3.7%: a 40-year low. Yearly wages increased 3.1%: the biggest gain since the financial meltdown 10 years ago. The best young employees are starting to job-shop and hop. Besides more pay, smart ones want:

  1. A believable and engaging vision, strategy, and culture – that will reward all stakeholders.
  2. And, personally: job security, pride, education, growth – all with great team satisfaction.

Continue reading 121. Full-Employment Woes? Reinvent Service-Value!

119. Will Commissioned Reps Be Un-Bundled?

Traditional-Markup, Service Bundles

Many distributors mark-up goods to hopefully cover the costs of their “free services” that come with the product. These include service-costs like: outside and inside reps, fulfillment, delivery, free returns, and trade credit.

What happens when digital-buying millennials increasingly take over B2B buying, and they find lower prices for equal or better goods from online sellers (with zero outside and inside rep costs)? Continue reading 119. Will Commissioned Reps Be Un-Bundled?

118. Financial Blind-Spots of Most Distributors

What Do Line-Item Profit Analytics Reveal?

Waypoint Analytics is the only cloud-service firm that offers distributors an array of tools based on a Line-Item, Cost-To-Serve (CTS) model, and a calculation engine. The firm has, over its 10-year existence, created CTS models for well over 100 distributors in over 50 different channels. The aggregate stats for this pool of progressive distributors are startling: Continue reading 118. Financial Blind-Spots of Most Distributors