Strategic Portfolio Decisions – Tackling 2021

Richard Sharpe Analytics & Big Data

Strategic Portfolio Decisions – Tackling 2021

reduce SKUs by 20% or more

Summary

2020 was a year of extremes, from seeing five-years of Business to Consumer growth projections being realized in months to the devastating reduction in Food Service and Restaurant revenues and employment.

2020 was also the catalyst for innovation including the evaluation of portfolio strategies to focus on the products that will drive strategic growth. Here is a synopsis from the Wall Street Journal:

In May, Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz reported the company reached a 30% SKU reduction eight months ahead of schedule — contributing to a $92 million cost reduction program

"This is an important achievement that will allow us to improve the match between demand and supply, optimize manufacturing decisions, improve customer fill rates and capture additional revenue opportunities," he said.

Benefits

Companies are strategically focusing on products that will produce outsized gains in market share, revenue and profitability. Strategies that are focused on providing clarity for the prioritization of cross-functional activities while significantly reducing complexity and operating costs.

The goal for all companies during the early stages of the pandemic was survival. However, many companies began to plan beyond the next few months by recognizing that “the long end of the profit offering tail” was adding unnecessary complexity and consuming operational capacities. Others are just now beginning to recognize that need. Here is a quote from Peter Bolstorff - EVP, Association for Supply Chain Management:

It's that population of laggards that are now just waking up and saying, 'Oh my gosh, I gotta do something or I'm not going to survive.'

Decision Criteria

So how are companies making these portfolio decisions?

Clearly considerations have to include sales volumes, brand considerations market share, forecasted demand, resource requirements and competitor analysis. However, industry leaders are incorporating one additional critical in the pursuit of strategic growth; the specific cost to serve profit performance for each product in the portfolio.

Doing this in-depth evaluation on an entire portfolio can be an expensive and time consuming for those without experience in building these solutions. Advances in expertise and technology have significantly reduced the time and resources to implement this effort.

Here is an example. A profitable CPG company had historically sold over a 100,000 SKUs through three different channels. Wanting to improve their portfolio performance, they needed to understand what products were great performers and which ones were marginal or unprofitable. Analyzing billions of transactions using 15 months of data, they found that 7,000 products were generating 80% of their entire profitable performance.

Think of the complexity of the supply chain to support delivering 93,000 products and only getting 20% of your profit (marginal products). Using profit analytics, how many products should be dropped, how much cost could be eliminated? Ask Coca-Cola who dropped 50% of their product lines to eliminate 1% of their profit. source

Conclusion

2020 was a challenging year that served as a catalyst for innovation and reflection. It was a year that drastically challenged the ability to meet channel requirements and buyer expectations. It also served as a wakeup call that an ever-growing expansion of product offerings does not necessarily meet the strategic growth requirements for a company and it’s shareholders.

Informed profit based portfolio decisions are part of the new post-pandemic operating model. Are you ready?

Please comment on this posting or email me at [email protected] .

All the best,

Richard Sharpe

Richard Sharpe

Richard Sharpe is CEO of Competitive Insights, LLC (CI), a profit contribution analytics firm that specializes in helping clients efficiently and continuously transform multiple sources of data into actionable operational insights.

Thriving After COVID – Essential Step 2 – Tackling Uncertainty

Richard Sharpe Analytics & Big Data

Thriving After COVID – Essential Step 2 – Tackling Uncertainty

Einstein quote

Summary

COVID has rocked the operational foundations for industries and companies. End to end business fundamentals from consumer buying behaviors to readdressing lowest cost sourcing are all part of figuring out this unforeseen puzzle.

What are you using as the informational building blocks in re-tooling your business?

Is the driving criteria the same type of financial measurements used pre-COVID?

Do you know what small percentage of your customers and products are actually driving the vast majority of your profits and net cash flow?

We will get to the other side of this COVID chasm. The question is when you get there, how well are you positioned to thrive in this new environment? Will you have used this time to smartly re-tool your business or will you be in the same position as your competitors who have used traditional cost accounting and revenue measurements to survive?

Albert Einstein once said; “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results!”

The focus of this blog series is to challenge you to act on this unprecedented opportunity by breaking down potential roadblocks and not following the traditional “herd mindset” in dealing with COVID.

But how do you get there? What are the roadblocks that come to mind?

Roadblock 2: Uncertainty In Moving Beyond Traditional Accounting Measurements

A profitable manufacturing company wanted to better understand the profit contributions for every customer delivery location in servicing their wholesale, distributor and direct to serve customers. When measuring each customer location based on the Net Landed Profit, less than 3% of customer locations gave them 80% of their overall profits. Equally important, their 11th best customer as measured by revenue contributions, was totally unprofitable. Standard accounting information obscured this important discovery. These new insights allowed re-tooling the operation that drove significant financial improvements.

“We are treating all of our customers with the same level of service regardless of their profit contributions. This is crazy!”
Senior Vice President – Global Operations

Einstein quote

11th Best Customer Based On Revenue – $260,000 Profit Leakage

Standard accounting measurements are a valuable part of running a business. They provide critical information in measuring the overall financial health of an operation. However, they are not designed to provide specific cost and profit insights related to every product being sold to every customer location through every channel.

Post COVID sustainable success will be based on focusing resources on the customers and products that matter the most by identifying and correcting areas that are causing profit leakage.

Said another way, thriving in a post-COVID environment will require not using a “One Size Fits All” go to market strategy. Those who use the Net Landed Cost to Serve to get at true profitability will have the edge.

Please comment on this posting or email me at [email protected] .

All the best,

Richard Sharpe

Richard Sharpe

Richard Sharpe is CEO of Competitive Insights, LLC (CI), a profit contribution analytics firm that specializes in helping clients efficiently and continuously transform multiple sources of data into actionable operational insights.