Category Archives: Supply Chain Partners

133. Your Reply to the 2020 “Crisis of Capitalism”

FIRST-WORLD EMPLOYEES ARE RESTLESS

The “Yellow Vest” protests in Europe echo the “We are the 99%” (Occupy Wall Street movement) – back in August ’11. Both are symptoms of declining, discretionary income for the bottom 95%+ of households (in first world economies). Buying homes and having kids in the US is unaffordable for the average Millennial. And, if you have any promising, young employees, are they job shopping?   

Continue reading 133. Your Reply to the 2020 “Crisis of Capitalism”

131. Rethinking Rep Caliber, Skills, Territories, and Incentives

“What Is the Best Incentive Plan For My Reps?”….

A question that always sparks heated debate amongst distributor principals. The ancient “5% of all sales in a territory” (and its refinements) has accumulating drawbacks. Now, with accelerating Omnichannel Cloud Commerce targeting B2B channels, what other Sales-Force questions come first?    

LOOKING-BACKWARD QUESTIONS

  1. Have you written down and ranked the drawbacks and injustices of your current plan?
  2. (Assuming no fears about losing best reps), What account reassignments should be done?
  3. Can any incentive plan magically cure:
    • Weak reps whom you would not hire again?
    • Veteran Reps coasting to retirement while harvesting their (and possibly your) best accounts?   
    • A weak, unfocused, me-too strategy?   
    • The many net-unprofitable customers and SKUs leeching your business? (Get a cost-to-serve model – at the line-item level – to identify and fix them!)

FORWARD-ENVISIONING QUESTIONS TO ASK

  1. What accelerating trends will converge to make 2021 selling different, and stress traditional rep orthodoxy to possibly breaking?
  2. What are your suppliers envisioning for B2B, Omnichannel, Cloud-Commerce in 2021?
  3. How do you plan to develop e-selling skills?
  4. How will you score current reps for their 2021 fitness? 
  5. In ’21, how will you segment your customers to then sell them:
    • Different service-metrics’ benefits and terms?
    • Customized supply-chain replenishment solutions?
    • Factory Omnichannel scenarios involving both dis and re-intermediation?
      • With what multiple selling-cost models?  
      • Are too many, too-small accounts currently assigned to reps?
      • Are some huge accounts desiring supply-chain solutions that require a team selling process still assigned to solo reps?   
  6. What analytics will help answer these questions and guide action plans?
  7. Based on answers for 1-6: how will you “right-size and upgrade” your reps to:
    • Solve all historic problems?
    • And, spark a big increase in sales and profits from best accounts?
  8. Finally, what will be an incentive plan that will be customer-centric and please your best reps within a new e-selling era?   

Help With Answers?    

I could write an e-book on “B2B Distributor Sales Management Opportunities: 2019 to 2024”. But, only if:

  1. I get lots of “do it” demand from regular readers who in turn…
  2. Persuade others to vote “YES” and get trade or buying groups to offer some sponsorship.

Interested? Email your thoughts to:  bruce@merrifield.com. Otherwise, blogs will continue!

129. For Big Gains in 2019, Forgive to Change

2019 STORM-CLOUD SOLUTIONS?

The global, debt-fueled, everything-bubble is deflating. Will the US economy go into recession? Accurately unforecastable and uncontrollable by us! Why not, instead, make controllable changes that will out-perform possible downturn effects?     

Continue reading 129. For Big Gains in 2019, Forgive to Change

128. Brand Power-Shift To Your Service-Value Solutions

Invasion of Better Clone SKUs for Less

Retail “hard discounters” (HDs: Aldi, Lidl and Trader Joe’s) and Amazon have attacked B2C factory brands in the past 18 months. In 2017, the HDs announced big expansion plans for the US, while Amazon ramped up their B2C private-label-clone SKUs. Then, in October (’18), AMZ quietly announced their “brand accelerator program”. Prediction: this program will spark the creation of new B2B clone products on Amazon.

The Clone Formula: Equal or Better Quality For 50% Less

Continue reading 128. Brand Power-Shift To Your Service-Value Solutions

122. Amazon News; Uberization of Local Deliveries?

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

AMAZON’S LAST MILE, LOGISTICS NEWS

    1. (Oct. 10) “The USPS seeks a 12.3% price increase” on the 40% of AMZ’s packages that it delivers. AMZ suggests that the projected $1B cost increase won’t matter in 2019. (?)
    2. (10/17) Hiring “Seasonal Delivery Associates” (for $17.25/hour). Doesn’t this compete with AMZ’s new “Delivery Partners” (6/28)? The Partner start-ups will use the 20K (initially 4.5K) of leased Mercedes Sprinter Vans. Perhaps: a) shipments are growing faster than total delivery capacity. Or, b) AMZ believes it can innovate lower last-mile costs than the USPS, etc.
    3. (11/5/18) Free holiday shipping for all (matches Target’s promotion). AMZ will win any battle of fulfillment-cost attrition because: a) It has best customer clickstream advertising income and b) most efficient warehouse costs.

Continue reading 122. Amazon News; Uberization of Local Deliveries?

120. Your Best Cloud-Commerce and the Mythical Cassandra

THE MYTHICAL CASSANDRA

…Was a beautiful princess of besieged Troy who enchanted Apollo. To win her charms, Apollo gave her the gift to foresee the future. But, when she reneged on romance, he compromised the gift so that no one would believe her predictions. She begged fellow Trojans to not take the Wooden Horse (left behind by the Greeks) into the city’s walls, but to no avail. Continue reading 120. Your Best Cloud-Commerce and the Mythical Cassandra