Sunday, May 26, 2024

 Are you a Business Leader with talented, hardworking commercial and IT teams, but still seeing profitability declining or growing less than you know it should?

Are your Marketing and Sales teams struggling, buried in data, but unable to get the information needed to grow your business?

Strat-Wise® can help. We work primarily with the commercial leadership of companies in a wide variety of product and service industries.

If your investment in information systems (e.g. ERP, CRM, BI) is not providing a real competitive advantage and helping your team increase market share, revenue and profit, you are not alone.

Strategic Business Leaders often find their marketing and sales teams struggling to increase profitability because their Business Intelligence is not accurate, clear or strategic; In other words it is inefficient and improperly designed to support commercial operations’ needs.

If your commercial team is frustrated by not being able to get the information they need, they probably realize that your corporate information consists mostly of internal raw data that neither has strategic meaning nor provides the immediate strategic analysis and direction necessary to grow your businesses profitably.

Do You Recognize Any of These Situations?

Your company employs highly competent IT professionals and runs sophisticated enterprise software (ERP, CRM, Business Intelligence) to support the day-to-day operation. However, folks in strategic functions cannot easily and quickly find the information they need to grow market share, revenue and profit.

Your Marketing and Sales organization feel like they are drowning in an ocean of data yet they’re thirsty for the strategic knowledge they need to grow the business. Every time someone needs a quick answer about market share, profitability or growth of a particular market, product line or customer, it takes weeks to go through the process of running the right queries, exporting them to Microsoft Excel, manually cleaning data errors, adding look-ups from other data sources, and finally creating pivot tables to find the right answers. Even worse, they have to go through the entire process over and over again every time they need a progress update, either the following week or at month-end, quarter-end or year-end for each one of the business units and markets you serve. You can’t help but ask, “Is this a good use of my marketing and sales people’s time?” Shouldn’t they be investing that time doing market research or in front of customers finding opportunities to grow the business?

You cannot instantly monitor which parts of the business are ahead of forecast and who is far behind plan and understand why. You know that the growth can vary dramatically across different business units, markets, customers, products and sales people. You need this detailed information to develop an immediate action plan to promote the growth of underperforming areas.

Your team cannot clearly visualize the business opportunity pipeline. Nobody knows whether next year’s growth will be organic, if it will come from new markets or from aggressively taking market share from your competitors and at what price.

You risk losing a major customer because your organization gives the same priority to a five thousand dollar customer as a 50 million dollar one. Outside the commercial areas, your employees cannot recognize your strategic customers— much less understand why you deem them so.

It is nearly impossible to quickly visualize the profitability of global products or develop a Key Account Strategy for global customers. This is a tedious and time consuming manual process because different companies, subsidiaries and business units use disparate and incompatible legacy systems that classify business units, markets, segments, customers and product lines differently. You know there has to be a better way to organize and automate the information so the sum of the country views makes up the regional views and their integration, in turn results in the global view–instantly.

Your sales people seek volume at the expense of profit. Actually, they don’t have a clue about how profitable their customers are across their territories. They have never seen a P&L of their own territories showing which customers and products generate profits and which ones drain cash. If you pay them a commission, shouldn’t it be based on profitable growth and not on volume or revenue?

Business Intelligence is much more than software. Business Intelligence should be a reliable, analytical process that transforms raw data into relevant, accurate and useable strategic knowledge. We use BI software to integrate your enterprise data with your market intelligence and execute this analytical process fast and effectively so your strategic teams can focus on growing your business.

Marketing and Sales folks get the information they need to increase market share, profitability and cash flow. Our electronic Strategic Analysis Toolbox™ help them:

  • Immediately identify the products, customers and markets that drain cash, and visualize the reasons for poor performance and take corrective actions.
  • Find segments that are extraordinarily profitable, understand the reasons behind them and design new products or services to replicate the success.
  • Keep track of the competitive opportunities pipeline and monitor each competitor’s market share.
  • Gain a clear understanding of how profit is generated in each sales territory and stop pursuing unprofitable volume. They will be able to see a profit & loss statement of their territories and for each individual customer and account location instantly.
  • Quickly analyze the profitability of the entire product line at any point in time and eliminate low performing products accordingly.
  • Monitor Product Innovation Metrics fast and regularly. It will be easy to measure the year-to-year profitability progress of new products and the product differentiation-to-commodity index.

As a result of our work, clients have reduced working capital by 42% in as little as three months and increased profitability consistently by 10% per year.

We have transformed raw data into interactive strategic analytics that our internal and external clients have used to increase profitability since 2001.
 We know that our record of success can work for you too.

Explore our website to find out how your strategic and commercial teams can grow your business profitably. You can learn about the kind of companies we work with and the issues they face by clicking here.


You can also visit our free resources page 
to see and download reports, our Corporate IQ test and other utilities. Thanks for your visit.

Bill Cabiró
Managing Director
Strat-Wise, LLC

 Is This for Your Company?

Our clients are companies in a wide variety of product
and service industries.

We work with strategic business leaders
 (CEO's, GM’s, CMO’s, commercial directors, marketing and sales managers) who struggle to get the information they need to improve profitability.

Although our clients come from different industries, they all share the frustration of corporate information that consists mostly of internal raw data.   The problem is that raw data neither has strategic meaning nor provides the immediate strategic analysis and direction necessary for driving profitable growth.

 
Do You Face Any Of These Challenges?

Your company employs highly competent IT professionals and runs sophisticated enterprise software (ERP, CRM, Business Intelligence) to support the day-to-day operation. However, folks in strategic functions cannot easily and quickly find the information they need to grow market share, revenue and profit.
 
Your team cannot easily spot the 40% of your customers that drain your cash flow nor understand the reasons why. If your business is large enough to be statistically significant chances are the top 5% of your customers generate 50% of your profits while the bottom 40% of your customers is likely to generate no profit at all. You need to know at any time of the month, quarter or year exactly which customers fall in each category, and understand the reasons why, in order to drive the profitability distribution towards a higher, more balanced and stable bottom line.

A large portion of team meetings is spent arguing whose data is correct instead of focusing on the critical issues. The numbers generated by Finance do not agree with the analysis performed by Marketing or the explanations provided by Sales. You need a single version of the truth, but different folks run different queries, made different data cleansing assumptions and customized their Excel sheets based on different metrics.
 
Because your organization doesn’t have the information to safely discontinue products, your working capital continues to grow. A bloated product line requires higher inventory levels, clogs your manufacturing efficiency and fills up warehouse space. Everybody agrees they should reduce the number of SKU’s and brands. However, nobody wants to take the risk of irritating, or worse, losing a good customer over a product discontinuation. All the while your working capital is used up on products that don’t contribute.
 
Errors in your business data cause widespread inefficiencies misleading management into potentially expensive decisions. Many folks in your company recognize the transactional data has plenty of errors, at least at the customer, product line and market level, but they never get fixed. Marketing and Sales people think this is an IT problem and expect the data warehouse analysts to fix it, while IT thinks it’s a business problem and expects Sales or Marketing to take action. The result: the data seldom gets corrected, people give-up and running raw or bad data through your expensive systems becomes the norm.

You don’t know how to drive new product profitability since you cannot monitor product innovation metrics quickly and regularly. Your organization invests significantly in R&D, product design and engineering. However, it’s always difficult to measure the year-to-year profitability progress and vitality index of new products and understand if the product differentiation-to-commodity ratio is moving in the right direction. 
  

If you recognized yourself in any of the above scenarios, please continue to read.  You're in the right place.

Clients are likely to be successful working with us if…
 
If the following characteristics fit your company, or your vision for where you want to take your company, you are likely to benefit from our services:
 
Market Driven  -  Your organization has extensive knowledge of the markets, segments and sub-segments where you operate and their dynamics.  You collect and update competitive intelligence and understand that your commercial team’s unlimited access to this knowledge is crucial to ensure your continuous success. 
 
Customer Focused  -  Across your company, employees know your customers deeply and clearly understand how your products and services create value for them.
 
Committed to Innovation -  You strive to achieve value and differentiation in the products and services you offer.  You realize that being able to clearly measure the market and financial performance of new products is key to the profitable growth of your business.
 
Value Strategic Thinking  -
  You understand the difference between raw data and strategic knowledge.  You realize that providing your entire team with instant access to strategic knowledge metrics and analytic tools 
beyond the industry standard 
constitutes a true competitive advantage.
 
Embrace Change.  -
  You understand the need to change.  Business as usual, while comfortable, may not be the solution in the long term.  Your leadership style encourages and supports cultural change from the top down.  
 
Continuous Improvement Mindset. -
 Good enough isn't. You know that continued progress is all that keeps you ahead of the competition.

Willing to invest in those areas where the probability of return is high  -  While your current investment in information technology is designed to support your day-to-day operation efficiently, you know it is not adequate to provide the strategic direction necessary for the long term profitable growth of your business.  You understand that investing to accelerate profitable growth is a necessity.
 
If you fit the profile above, you will certainly benefit from the transformation of your corporate data into strategic knowledge. 

If you’ve found the information here helpful, you can learn more about what you can do to grow your business by scheduling a free, no obligation discussion at (262)681-2869 or by visiting our contact us page.

You can also learn more about how Strat-Wise works to help you get more bottom line impact from your Business Intelligence investment.  Or read some of our Case Studies. 

 Corporate IQ Test

Would you like to test your organization's Strategic Knowledge I.Q.?
 
If you are interested, please print the following Sample Questions, get a marker and:
 
I. Select ten questions you find most valuable to have answered in your organization.

II. Ask these questions independently to six people (marketing, sales, financial analyst, IT, accounting or business management) requesting confidentiality and a prompt response.

III. Keep track of the time it takes to obtain each answer.

IV. Compare the answers for quality and consistency between respondents.

Note that answering most of these questions should take a few minutes and the answers need to be consistent across the different respondents.

Sample Questions

  • Where are we more profitable: strategic customers, key customers or distributors?

          - Why? Is it due to pricing, volume or product mix?

  • What is our current market share in a particular business unit in Europe?
  • Are our differentiated brands more profitable than the commodity ones? Why?
  • Are our new products more profitable than the old ones? How much? Why?
  • Who are the top 5% of my customers that generate 50% of profits? Why?
  • Who are the customers and what are the products that drain our profits? Why?
  • How much of which product is Sales-rep X supposed to sell to each of his customers in March of next year?

           - What will his profit margin be?  

  • Why is profitability by customer / region / country / business / market segment or sales territory significantly down this month?

          - Is this because we lost volume?

          - Is it product mix?

          - Too many price exceptions?

          - Has raw material cost increased?

          - Has manufacturing cost increased?

          - Have freight / distribution expenses gone up?

          - Combination of which factors?

  • Show me a comparative P&L

          - By region / country / state

          - By market segment / sub-segment

          - By sales representative / distributor

          - By brand / Product line / SKU

          - By product technology

          - By customer location

          - Differentiated products versus commodity products at our distributors

  • Who do our distributors, agents and dealers sell to?

          - In what markets / segments / sub segments?

          - What is their mark-up? / Profitability?

          - What is their new versus old product ratio?

  • What does our opportunity pipeline look like?
  • Which pieces of business are under competitive threat? (By product, competitor and customer location, in units and dollars).
  • What is each of our competitors’ current market share?

Scores:

  • If you got less than 6 answers, they took longer than one day, or the answers are completely different; your BI deployment maybe supporting the back-office operation but it’s unlikely to drive profitable growth since most strategic decisions are based on raw data and intuition. 
  • If you got more than 5 answers within one hour with 50% of the analysts in agreement, you are in the right track but need to refine the process further to compete on analytics.
  • If you got more than 8 answers within one hour and both analysts and casual BI users from different areas agree; your BI deployment has become a competitive advantage that allows the organization to perform strategic and competitive analysis on-the-fly while ensuring a single version of the truth.

Using traditionally deployed corporate information systems will take most companies several weeks to answer some of these complex questions accurately, through analysts’ manual extrapolation of data from many different sources in Excel.

Our Strategic Analytics solution is designed to enable everyone in the organization find accurate answers to thousands of complex questions like these within seconds not days! 

 What's it like to work with Strat-Wise? 

On this page we’ll tell you about the kind of results you can expect when you work with Strat-Wise.  We will also give you a sense of our principles, our unique approach and what makes us different from any IT or strategy consulting firms..

Our Approach is to:

Seek first to understand your market structure, business model and the issues you face.  We explore your business intelligence system and determine if additional elements are required.  We discuss the objectives underlying your needs for strategic metrics and customize the tools to fit your needs and culture.

Work closely with your team.  Your team will need to actively participate providing the necessary market information so we can cleanse, organize and structure your marketing databases.

Integrate the data from all your systems.  We work closely with your IT organization to integrate your customer, market intelligence, and transactional data to create your custom made Strategic Knowledge System™.

Provide clarity and simplicity.  You won’t have to rely on IT or Finance experts to interface with complex systems.  Everyone in your commercial team will be able to find the answers right away.

Create accountability.  The ownership of your business results will become evident.  Everyone in your team will be able to see the cause and effect of business results clearly by area of responsibility.

Our objective is NOT to revamp or replace your entire data warehouse, data marts or enterprise systems.  Based on what you already have we will create a Strategic Analysis Toolbox™ that your strategic and commercial teams can access for nearly instant answers.


 Expected Results

1) When you work with us you can expect to see desirable and sustainable changes in the way your teams approach Strategy to achieve Performance. Your commercial folks will make decisions based more on quantifiable market and business facts and less on intuition. Our Strategic Analysis Toolbox™ will help to transition marketing and sales from art to science. You’ll see:

2) Improved customer profitability. Everyone in your team will be able to see which 5% of your customers generate 50% of your profits and why. They’ll also find out who the bottom 40% of your customers are that generate no profit at all. They will be able to monitor this at any time of the month, quarter or year, and understand the causes, in order to drive the profitability distribution towards a higher, more balanced and stable bottom line.
 
3) We save precious time for your strategic folks by providing the answers they need to run the business right from the Strategic Knowledge System™. Your team will finally share a single version of the truth. Analyses run by Finance will be in agreement with those run by Marketing and Sales. Additionally, extensive manipulation of the data in ad hoc spreadsheets will no longer be necessary.
 
4) Your product portfolio and working capital come under control. Your Product Managers will quickly analyze the profitability of the entire product line any time they need to. Easy to understand customer-product-profit relationships will provide the information
 needed to develop an effective product rationalization plan and reduce the risk of offending strategic customers. This will not only reduce your inventory cost, but also will add efficiency to your manufacturing and supply chain operations.

5) Increased new products profitability. Your entire organization will be able to monitor Product Innovation Metrics fast and regularly. It will be easy to measure the year-to-year profitability progress of new products, its vitality index and the product differentiation-to-commodity ratio.
 
6) Performance vs. business plan. You’ll be able to instantly visualize which parts of the organization are ahead of plan and which are behind and understand why, anytime. With this information handy, your team could develop an immediate action plan to promote the growth of the markets, sales territories, customers or products that are not delivering the expected results.

7) Your Strategic Customers enjoying the priority service level they deserve. Everyone in your organization, not just Sales or Marketing, will recognize your Strategic Customers and Key Account locations and treat them accordingly. Your people will no longer give the same priority to a five thousand dollar customer as a 50 million dollar one.

8) Consistent global and detailed local business views and performance metrics. You will access integrated performance overviews of your different businesses and regions. It is important to see how your individual customers and products make up the 30 thousand feet view. You will be able to calculate global metrics, understand the impact and profitability of global products or develop a Key Account Strategy for global customers. Even if different companies, subsidiaries and business units use disparate and incompatible legacy systems.

9) A clear view of your Business Opportunities Pipeline anytime. You’ll instantly quantify the impact and probability of success for new business, as well as the risk associated with those pieces of business under competitive threat. Additionally you will be able to keep track of your competitor’s market share in different segments.
 
10) Your sales people increasing their profitability by becoming “General Managers” of their territories.  They‘ll have a clear understanding of how profit is generated in their territories and stop pursuing unprofitable volume. They will be able to see a profit & loss statement of their territories and run P&Ls for each individual customer and account location, showing which products generate profits, which ones drain cash and more importantly, understand why and manage for profit.


                                            Our Principles

Business Intelligence is much more than software.   Business Intelligence should be a reliable, analytical process that transforms raw data into relevant, accurate and useable strategic knowledge.  We use BI software to integrate your enterprise data with your market intelligence and execute this analytical process fast and effectively so your strategic teams can focus on growing your business. 


Profitability is not optional.  You are in business for many reasons but the main one is to make a profit.  The whole objective of providing your commercial teams with strategic analysis tools is to help you increase your market share, revenue and net profit.  If we are not fully convinced that our work will improve your profitability we won’t take on the project.

Customer Value.  Our goal is to get your entire team on the same strategic frame of mind; in this way they will be able to have a deeper understanding of the Market-Business-Profit interaction necessary for the creation of value for your customers.

We don't like Bureaucracy.  Processes are important, but if your organization is passionate about complexity or bureaucracy this is not for you.


Our Unique Approach

We are Flexible.  Different clients need different things.  One size does not fit all.  We custom design a Strategic Knowledge System™ that can produce the results your company needs with the least amount of effort.

We spend the time to understand your business its issues and competitive environment.  Our unique approach is to capture your business model in our Strategic Analysis Toolbox™.  Our objective is for everyone on your team to find our system an accurate, intuitive, and easy to use representation of your markets, business and profitability engine and to be excited about using it to grow your business.

We are not IT consultants.  We work very closely with your IT organization however; to ensure your Strategic Analysis Toolbox™ is seamlessly integrated to the transactional data and functioning properly.

We strive for accuracy. Most deployments of business intelligence software contain only tactical data; aiming to serve just the day-to-day operations.  We specialize in exploiting the BI software for the benefit of your strategic functions, those in charge of the profitable growth of your business.

We use a focused 80/20 approach that immediately identifies those products, customers, sales-reps, markets, segments, businesses or regions that drain cash, allowing you to visualize the reasons for poor performance and take corrective actions.  More importantly, we also identify segments that are extraordinarily profitable, so that you can understand the reasons behind them and design new products, services or training programs to replicate their profitability.

What make our consulting stand out are our hands-on experience in marketing & sales, our expertise in automating strategic metrics in a user friendly manner and teaching people across the organization how to use them for maximum bottom line return.

What is Next?

Now that you have a better idea about our work and the results you can expect with our approach, you can learn more about what you can do to grow your business by scheduling a free, no obligation discussion at (262)681-2869 or by visiting our contact us page.

You can also see how our services can help your team deliver more profitable growth. 

 Client Results - Case Studies


As their market share approached 45%, a midsize global business-to-business company was struggling just to achieve modest, GDP level growth
.  The commercial organization and strategic leadership team completely adopted the daily use of our Strategic Analysis Toolbox™.
 
Within a few months of implementation, the commercial team was completely addicted to the convenience of making decisions using the strategic tools. They were able to visualize market, business and profit reality, accurately and in real time like no previous business intelligence (BI) implementation did before.
  • The strategic teams did not have to manipulate data in Excel to find trends as they were clearly delivered by the strategic tools, saving precious time. 

  • In addition, the analyses run by Finance were in agreement with those run by Marketing and Sales. They all shared a single version of the truth. 
  • Marketing People would run the tools constantly in the background of their PC's to check sales & profit progress of their respective market segments and territories versus a previous period and business plan and understand the reasons behind deviations. 
  • Everyone could see the most impactful competitive opportunities and threats in real time.
  • Sales people were able to clearly monitor profitability of their territories by customer, location and product. They were able to proactively start the week knowing whether they had gained or lost business to a competitor or their customer had gained or lost market share, and develop the week’s action plan accordingly.  

    As a result, they increased market share from 45% to 60% in four years, driving profitability and cash flow along with it, simply by understanding market and business metrics far better and much sooner than their competitors did. 

    A Small Transportation Company had a myriad of static reports, each containing thousands of pages. Management had to go through those reports every week to understand business performance. In addition, they had to perform extensive manual extrapolation and analysis in Microsoft Excel to generate metrics and advanced reports not included in their basic ERP reports.

    After the implementation of the Strategic Analysis Toolbox™, management was able to pinpoint issues or areas in need of attention instantly. This saved many hours and eliminated the tedious task of going through thousands of pages of data; allowing them to make a more productive use of executives’ time.


    A mid-size specialty products company had grown consistently through new products. But over time, their product line had grown to an unmanageable 1,300 SKU’s. This required higher working capital to maintain the necessary inventory levels. In addition, the extensive product line was clogging their manufacturing efficiency and filling the warehouse space. Many folks in the organization agreed they should reduce the number of SKU’s and brands; however nobody wanted to take the risk of irritating, or worse, losing a strategic customer over a product discontinuation.
     
    After careful analysis of the client’s sales by product and customer, it was obvious that 80% of the profit was generated by only 20% of the SKU’s. This means that the top 20% of the SKU’s were 16 times more profitable than the bottom 80%. After taking a deeper look into the situation we found the top 5% of the products, the real stars, contributed 50% of the profit, while the bottom 40% of the SKU’s was not contributing any profit at all. This analysis made the first pass at selecting product candidates for rationalization a lot easier. The second step was to use the Strategic Knowledge System™ to evaluate the individual customer situation related to each of the SKUs singled out for rationalization.

    The final result was the reduction of the product line from 1,300 SKU’s down to 400 SKU’s, without losing any business or irritating any customers. This exercise resulted in $800,000 of annual savings, as the process continued every year in order to keep the product line stable at around 400 SKUs and the inventory level under control.
    Working closely with Supply Chain, Marketing and Sales teams moved 25% of inventoried SKUs into made-to-order status on a yearly basis. They achieved an additional savings of $750,000 annually.
     
    Based on the success obtained by optimizing the product portfolio, the 80/20 Analysis and Strategy was extended to map and understand the profitability distribution of customers, dealers, market segments and R&D success rates and continuously optimize profitability.

    "Bill Cabiró has a rare combination of skills: He understands marketing and sales dynamics and their need for strategic business information, but also has detailed knowledge of finance, IT and back-office functions; an uncommon ability to connect those two worlds.
    Bill is business-like, focused and is a good listener. He has always been able to provide complex strategic business analysis on the same day it was requested. Mr. Cabiró possesses a strong customer focus and has a professional customer service mentality."
      

       - Dr. Richard W. Chylla, Director Engineer Tech Transfer
        University of Michigan
        Formerly Director of Strategic Business Development
        BASF Corporation

    Now that you’ve seen how our clients have grown with our Strategic Analysis Toolbox™, and what you can expect with our approach, you can learn more about what you can do to grow your business by scheduling a free, no obligation discussion at (262) 681-2869 or by visiting our contact us page.  
     
    You may also want to learn 
    about who we are.  

 About Us

Bill Cabiró started Strat-Wise consulting to help strategic business leaders make sense of their own companies' ocean of data to grow their business.  Bill has published technical articles in trade journals and has been a guest speaker at Executive Agenda to discuss “Profit Optimization with the 80/20 Principle” and at the Manufacturers Alliance to discuss “From Corporate Information to Strategic Knowledge”.

Bill has over twenty five years of industrial sales and marketing management within the specialty chemicals business at the SC Johnson family of companies - the $10 billion privately held consumer and industrial products multinational – and BASF – the $80 billion global chemical company.  During the last ten years he has specialized in the optimization of business intelligence software to transform raw business data into interactive strategic analytics.

The ability to perform strategic analysis on the fly has enabled Marketing and Sales clients in different businesses to achieve top line profitable growth.  Bill has firsthand experience in successfully exploiting strategic analysis tools to implement Market Driven Management, 80/20 Analysis & Strategy, Product and Customer Portfolio Management and Theory of Constraints Metrics.

Bill holds a BS in Physical & Mathematical Sciences and spent his early years managing Quality Assurance and Research and Development labs in the consumer chemicals industry.

  alt text  
How I got involved with electronic Strategic Analysis Tools.  For a long time I had had a passion for the exact sciences, and a fascination with the way math and logic support the thinking processes that drive technical innovation as well as business improvement.  I love metrics, all kind of metrics, from the physical and chemical units to the financial, business and market metrics.
 
I think the value of the scientific method is the ability to make accurate predictions beyond the physical world and into the business world.  The immediate business application is to influence and exploit the outcome of those predictions better and before than our competitors, in order to increase market share, revenue and profit.

Over many years working in marketing and sales I felt firsthand the frustration of realizing that the deployment of expensive and sophisticated Business Intelligence software, while acceptable to most tactical functions in many companies, was not at all helpful to me and other marketing and sales folks.

Eventually, I realized that corporate information consists mostly of internal raw data.   Although internal data is necessary to manage logistic or tactical areas like, supply chain, manufacturing, accounts receivable, transportation, accounts payable or customer service; it is far from enough to perform marketing and sales management jobs effectively.  The reason is simple, raw data neither has strategic meaning nor provides the immediate strategic analysis and direction necessary to grow the business profitably.

Having spent time understanding the wonderful capabilities of Business Intelligence software I knew there had to be a better way to handle your data—I became determined to move the use of BI software to the next level: to perform strategic analysis interactively and on the fly in order to grow the business.  This is how I got involved with the Strat-Wise concept.  Today I love seeing how Marketing and Sales people successfully use the Strategic Analysis Toolbox™ to make the right decisions quickly and repeatedly.

 

Are you interested in exploring how we can help your organization?  you can learn more about what you can do to grow your business by scheduling a free, no obligation discussion at (262) 681-2869 or by visiting our Contact Us page.

 Free Resources

Welcome to the Strat-Wise free resources page a valuable selection of reports and other information to help grow your business based on a clear and strategic view of your company's market and business data.


Get our Free Report: 


From Corporate Information to Strategic Knowledge

 The roadmap to increase profitability

This Free Report reveals how to provide your commercial teams with instant strategic analysis tools to help your company increase market share, revenue and ultimately net profit.

Learn the principles of exploiting business intelligence software to perform strategic analysis on the fly and the reasons why this will enable the growth of your business. Fill out the simple form below and get your free how-to report now.

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Print:  Free Strategic Knowledge Company IQ Test 

Print:  Free Useful Definitions
 
If you’ve found the information here helpful, you can learn more about what you can do to grow your business by scheduling a free, no obligation discussion at (262)681-2869 or by visiting our contact us page.

You can also explore the kind of companies we work with and the issues they face by clicking here.   

 Services and Programs

Strat-Wise offers a variety of programs designed to provide your company with the Strategic Knowledge System™ you need to grow your businesses profitably.  

 

  1. Strategic Analysis Toolbox™. - Our analytic tools are custom designed to represent your business model and reflect the competitive landscape you face.  This integrated information tool provides your company with a competitive advantage by ensuring a 360° view of the market-business-profit reality—the critical information needed to make the right decisions fast, time and time again. 
  2. Training. - We provide the training necessary to maximize the effectiveness of your Strategic Analysis ToolboxTM and ensure they are continuously used by your organization, in order to increase profitability by:

•  Increasing Sales Throughput
•  Reducing Inventory and other Working Capital Investments
•  Decreasing Operating Expenses

  1.  Analysis and Maintenance. - Even though we provide training for your group to perform their own business analysis and market intelligence updates, we can manage the process for clients that prefer outsourcing this task.

 
 
1.  Strategic Analysis Tools

The following tool set provides a clear strategic diagnostic overview of your business, market and profitability.

1.1)      Interactive Sales & Profitability Tracker – You can evaluate and compare progress on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis.  It fully integrates your actual business results with strategic market intelligence dimensions like business unit, customer location and market segmentation.
Sales marketing and senior management will benefit from the business analysis capability  with no intervention of financial analysts or IT support.  They can instantly diagnose the causes for lagging business results and find accurate answers to complex questions such as: 

  • Where are we more profitable: strategic customers, key customers or distributors?
  • Why? Is it due to pricing, volume or product mix?
  • What is our current market share in a particular business unit in Europe?
  • Are our specialty brands more profitable than the commodity ones? Why?
  • Are our new products more profitable than the old ones? How much? Why?
  • Who are the top 5% of my customers that generate 50% of profits? Why?
  • Who are the customers and what are the products that drain our profits? Why?
  • How much is our profit by customer growing versus last year?  And versus budget?  

  1.2) Dealer, Distributor, Agent Tracker - you can compare progress of how your distribution partners sell to their customers and monitor their profitability on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis.  It fully integrates their actual business results with your strategic market intelligence dimensions like business unit customer and market segmentation.
Sales marketing and senior management will benefit from the fast business analysis capability by finding out the causes for your partners’ business results instantly with no intervention of financial analysts or IT support.  They will be able to find accurate answers in seconds to complex questions like the following:
 

  • What are our most profitable channels?
  • Who do our distributors, agents and dealers sell to?
  • In what markets / segments / sub segments?
  • What is their mark-up? / Profitability?
  • What is their new versus old product ratio?
  • Who are their most profitable customers?  

1.3) Business Plan Viewer - Your team can view the details of your business plan by understanding how much of each product is expected to be sold to each customer in each market during the future plan year.  This is extremely useful to eliminate surprises.  This provides sales and marketing teams plain with a clear picture of the expectations and full accountability for results.  They will be able to find accurate answers in seconds to complex questions like the following:

  • How much of each product is Sales-rep X supposed to sell to each of his customers in June of next year?
  • What is the profit margin by customer expected to be?
  • What Revenue and Profit do we expect to generate next year in a particular market segment in France?  

1.4) Competitive Opportunity Tracker - Your marketing and sales teams can constantly update and monitor your own and competitors’ market share.  They can also evaluate your company’s growth opportunities as well as the pieces of business that are at risk due to competitive threats.  Using either your own CRM and ERP data or other data feeds, this tool provides your team a complete interactive overview of the markets in which you operate and allows you to clearly visualize the pieces of business your competitors enjoy at each one of your customers.  They will be able to find accurate answers in seconds to complex questions like the following:

  • What does our opportunity pipeline look like?
  • Which pieces of business are under competitive threat? (By product, competitor and customer location, in units and dollars)
  • What is each of our competitors’ current market share?
  • What is our share of the business at customer B?   

1.5) Interactive Market Study Viewer - Have you ever performed market research or purchased a multi-client market study that has thousands of pages and tables that are not precisely formatted in the way you need for your business.  We can integrate them into an easy to use, interactive market intelligence tool to allow your team to explore the market data fast and make comparisons with your own sales and profitability data in the exact way you need it. 

2. Training Programs

2.1) Strategic Analysis Toolbox™. Although our tools are designed to be intuitive and extremely user friendly, we provide the necessary training in order to fully exploit their potential in your business. Attendees will learn how to perform strategic analysis and find the root causes for performance, instantly and interactively. This is a six hour hands-on training session, three hours in the morning, lunch break and three hours in the afternoon. This computer classroom style session is designed to find the answers to complex questions specifically related to your business. It includes practical exercises to perform diagnostics of your business.

2.2) 80/20 Analysis and Strategy. At first glance, you might assume that 50% of your profits come from 50% of your customers. This couldn’t be any further from reality. Over a century ago Vilfredo Pareto discovered that 80% of the reward was produced by 20% of the effort. While the 80/20 rule is widely known, companies seldom understand how to exploit it to gain productivity and increase profitability. By applying it, we can immediately identify those products, customers, sales-reps, markets, segments, businesses or regions that drain cash, visualize the reasons for poor performance and take corrective actions. More importantly, we can also find segments that are extraordinarily profitable, understand the reasons behind profitability and design new products, services or training programs to replicate their profitability.

The implementation of 80/20 Analysis and Strategy improves profitability. It brings a clear picture of how the 80/20 principle impacts profits, R&D success rates, customers, products, distributors and inventory levels. In addition, 80/20 is used effectively to perform product and customer portfolio management, SKU rationalization and inventory reduction on an ongoing basis.

Through our 80/20 training program we will show your team how to exploit the Strategic Analysis ToolboxTM to impact the bottom line. This program covers how to use the 80/20 Principle to find out which products or customers drain your company’s cash and how to stop the bleeding through product and customer portfolio management. Additionally, it covers how to determine which products, customers, regions, distributors, sales representatives, projects and markets are really strategic for your company, uncover why they are profitable and what to do to replicate their profitability.
We provide 80/20 Analysis training to optimize profitability in the following areas:

2.2.1) Eliminating Underperforming Products – Your team will very quickly identify the unprofitable products and have all the elements to develop an individual action plan for each of the low profit SKUs, taking into consideration each particular customer risk. The objective is to simplify and reduce the size of the product line with no loss of revenue. This is normally a four hour computer class style training session.

2.2.2) Optimizing Customer Portfolio – Your sales and marketing folks will be able to understand profitability by customer group and account location, define customer segmentation and develop an action plan to increase profitability of customers and account locations that are not satisfactory. This is normally a four hour computer class style training session.

2.2.3) Optimizing Agent, Distributor and Dealer – Your Sales and Marketing teams will be able to evaluate profitability by distribution partner, understand underlining reasons for performance and develop an action plan to increase the profit of those partners that are not delivering. This is normally a four hour computer class style training session.

2.2.4) Increasing New Product Effectiveness – Are your new products delivering the expected results? Your team will visualize the profitability of new products versus old ones and identify the stars and dogs. Understanding the reasons for performance will help you R&D and Engineering teams developing the next generation of products. This is normally a four hour computer class style training session.

2.2.5) Optimizing Sales Force Profitability – Who are the top 5% of your sales force that deliver 50% of your total profit? Why are the top 5% 100 times more profitable than the rest of the team? Finding this out would be useful to develop training programs to bring everyone’s sales throughput up to speed. This is normally a four hour computer class style training session.

2.2.6) Business and Market Segment Profitability Metrics – Your team will be able to find and compare the profitability of each market segment and sub-segment in which you operate in seconds, not days or weeks. This is normally a four hour computer class style training session.

2.2.7) 80/20 Inventory Matrix/ Inventory Reduction/ Inventory-Dollar-Days TOC Metrics – Identify the star and dog SKU’S in your inventory instantly. Create a matrix that will help your team set effective inventory reduction strategies while maintaining targeted customer service levels. This is normally a four hour computer class style training session.

2.2.8) Critical Raw Material Profitability – Find a Quick way to maximize the profitability of scarce or critical raw materials. Visualize the products and customers that yield maximum amount of sales throughput per unit of constrained resource. This is normally a four hour computer class style training session.

2.2.9) Theory of Constraints Metrics – This is an effective way to align personnel performance targets with department goals and company profitability objectives. This is normally a two hour training session.

3. Analysis and Maintenance

Even though we provide training for your teams to perform their own business analysis and market intelligence updates, we can manage the process for clients that prefer outsourcing this task.

Where do you go from here?

If you have read this far, you might be wondering whether this program could work for your company or not. One way to help answering that question is our complimentary Strategic Analytics Session.

During the session we’ll explore the challenges you and your team face, the kind of results you’d like to see, and whether this program will be of help or not. Even if the program isn’t a fit, you and your team will leave the conversation with more clarity about your issues and excited about what’s possible for the future.

If this introductory session is something you could see your team doing, the process starts with a brief, no-obligation call to get acquainted, discuss your situation, and determine who needs to be involved. And rest assured. We’ll never push you to make a decision or pressure you in any way - that’s simply not how we work.

The initial conversation will take about one hour and can be done ideally in person, or by phone. Click here to arrange a time to have a strategy session and I will be in contact with you within the next 24 hours.

Looking forward to seeing how we can help.


Warmest Regards

Bill Cabiro

Managing Director
Strat-Wise Consulting

 

Analytics Driven Profitability Program

How can you improve profitability when your commercial teams are drowning in oceans of data but thirsty for the strategic information they need to grow the business?

Increasing profitability is hard even for the most talented and hardworking commercial and technical teams:

Customers demand better products at lower prices, global competitors are becoming more aggressive while costs continue to rise, new technologies threaten to change your industry and corporate data continues to grow at a whopping 41% annual rate(1) making it more and more difficult to get answers about what's really happening.

Your Strategic Marketing should be headlights of the business constantly anticipating future trends and exploiting them in a manner that increases market share, profit and cash flow.  Their focus needs to be mostly outside and in the future but your corporate data is internal and in the past.

Research shows that organizations with strong analytics outperform the S&P 500 on average by 64%.(2)  You’d like to be in that group, but your IT investment is designed to support Accounting, Finance and Operations instead of enabling the strategic activities you need to fuel growth.

As a leader you’d like your organization to be more market driven and customer focused.  Turning data into Strategic Knowledge becomes a competitive advantage as anyone in your team can understand market trends and customer needs before and better than your competition.  However, this can be a challenge because your IT tends to be technology driven, doesn’t speak the same language your commercial folks do and is tied up with technical priorities, internal policies or governance constraints.

(1)  Aberdeen Group

(2)  Harvard business Review: Analytics and the Bottom Line – September 23, 2010

Why it’s so hard to develop a strong Strategic Analytic Capability for growing your business.

Marketing, Sales and R&D teams often struggle to increase profitability as they can’t always clearly visualize the connection between strategic objectives and tactical execution.

It takes days to answer simple questions about market share, profitability or growth of a particular segment, product line, customer or competitor.  Analysts go through an inefficient manual process where they run queries, export them to spreadsheets, manually cleanse data errors, add look-ups from external data sources, and finally create pivot tables to find the answers.  Even worse, they have to go through the entire process over and over again every time they need a progress update, either the following week or at month-end, quarter-end or year-end for each one of the business units and markets they support.  Not only is this inefficient but using analysts’ personal assumptions to fix data actually makes matters worse. You end up with multiple data silos and different versions of the truth that further complicate and slow down the decision making process.

People spend important meetings’ time arguing whose data is correct instead of focusing on the critical issues that drive growth.  The numbers generated by Finance do not agree with the analysis performed by Marketing or the explanations provided by Sales.  They need a single version of the truth, but different folks run different queries, made different data cleansing assumptions and customized their spreadsheets based on different metrics.  The result: unnecessary long delays to take the necessary actions.

It is nearly impossible to visualize the profitability of global products or develop a Key Account Strategy for global customers because different branches, subsidiaries and business units use disparate and incompatible legacy systems.  They classify business units, markets, segments, customers and product lines differently.  You know there has to be a better way to visualize this information so the sum of the country views makes up the regional views and their integration, in turn results in the global view – instantly.


As a result people don’t have a clear picture of your business:

Commercial teams cannot easily spot the 40% of your customers that drain cash nor understand the causes.  Chances are the top 5% of your customers generates 50% of your profits while the bottom 40% of your customers generates almost no profit at all.  Your teams need to know at any time of the month, quarter or year exactly which customers fall in each category, and understand the reasons, in order to drive the business towards a higher, more balanced and stable bottom line.

You risk losing a major customer because your organization gives the same priority to a five thousand dollar customer as a fifty million dollar one.  Outside the commercial areas, employees cannot recognize your strategic customers — much less understand why you deem them so.

Sales people seek volume at the expense of profit. Most don’t have a clue about how profitable their customers are across their territories.  They have never seen a P&L of their own territories showing which customers and products generate profits and which ones drain cash.  If you pay them a commission, shouldn’t it be based on profitable growth and not on volume or revenue?

How can you drive new product profitability if you cannot monitor product innovation metrics quickly and regularly?  Your organization invests significantly in R&D, product design and engineering.  However, it’s always difficult to measure the year-to-year vitality index or profitability progress of new products and understand if the differentiation-to-commodity ratio is moving in the right direction.

Your team cannot clearly visualize the business opportunity pipeline.  Nobody knows whether next year’s growth will be organic, if it will come from new markets or from aggressively taking market share from your competitors and at what price.


What you really hope to accomplish instead…

Your commercial teams consistently satisfy customers’ needs faster and better than the competition.  This creates customer value, while giving you a profitable competitive advantage.  Accurate analytics driven decision making aligns tactical actions with the strategic direction necessary to grow your business:

Strategic teams save precious time by quickly finding the answers they need to run the business.  They finally share a single version of the truth where analyses run by Finance are in full agreement with those run by Marketing and Sales with no need to perform time consuming data manipulation using multiple spreadsheets.

Global, regional and local business performance views and metrics are consistent and fully integrated.  It’s important to see how your individual customers and products make up the 30 thousand feet view of your business.  It’s also easy to visualize global metrics, understand the impact and profitability of global products or develop a Key Account Strategy for global customers—even if different companies, subsidiaries and business units use disparate or incompatible legacy systems.

Everyone can see which 5% of your customers generate 50% of your profits and why.  They can also visualize who are in the bottom 40% of your customers that generate no profit at all.  They can monitor this at any time of the month, quarter or year, and understand the causes, in order to drive the profitability distribution towards a higher, more balanced and stable bottom line.

Your organization monitors Product Innovation Metrics quickly and regularly.  Everyone can measure the year-to-year, or even the quarter-to-quarter profitability progress of new products, their vitality index and the differentiation ratio of every product line, business unit or market segment.

Your entire team shares a real time view of the business opportunities in your pipeline.  They can instantly quantify the impact and probability of success for new business, as well as the risk associated with those pieces of business under competitive threat while visualizing your competitor’s market share in different regions and segments.

Strategic Customers enjoy the priority service level they deserve.  Everyone in your organization - not just Sales or Marketing - recognizes your Strategic Customers and Key Account locations and treats them accordingly.  Employees no longer give the same priority to a five thousand dollar customer as a 50 million dollar one.

Sales people increase their profitability by becoming “General Managers” of their territories.  They know how to generate profit in their territories and never again chase unprofitable volume.  They can see a profit & loss statement of their territories anytime and run P&Ls for each individual customer parent and branch location, showing the products generating profits, the ones draining cash and more importantly, understanding their causes in order to manage for profitable growth.

If you’re not seeing these kinds of results, you’re not alone.  Very few companies have mastered the transformation of their data into Strategic Knowledge to become true analytic competitors (3).

You cannot achieve this kind of performance by hanging onto traditional approaches that keep IT and Strategic Teams disconnected or by trying to find the magic software to do the trick.  But there is a way to make this happen in your business...

The Solution?  The Analytics Driven Profitability Program

Analytics Driven Profitability is designed to help you gain a significant competitive advantage.  It’s a customized service that integrates your external market intelligence with your internal business data to be used a strategic asset to grow the business.  Depending on the business size, data quality and accessibility it typically takes three to six months to complete.

We build a Strategic Analytics Toolbox that captures your business model, market structure and competitive landscape to give your team the information it needs to find accurate answers through an intuitive and easy to use representation of your markets, business and profitability engine—one that they’ll be excited about using to grow your business.

We provide extensive training so your team learns to perform strategic and competitive analysis on the fly.  We enable your team to find accurate answers through an intuitive and easy to use representation of your business.  Everyone in your commercial team will be able to find answers to complex questions quickly by themselves without having to depend on IT analysts, BI experts or super-users to interface with complex systems.

Our objective is NOT to revamp or replace your entire data warehouse, data marts or enterprise systems.  Based on what you already have, we create a Strategic Analysis Module where your commercial teams can visualize the relationship between Market, Business and Profit and use that information to become more competitive.

(3) Competing on Analytics – The Science of Winning - Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris  

What makes the Analytics Driven Profitability Program unique?

The Analytics Driven Profit Program is designed to provide a strong analytic advantage to your Marketing, Sales, R&D and Strategic Business teams so they can effectively use the business data they already have to beat the competition and increase market share, revenue and profit.

Our program transforms raw data into the relevant, accurate and useable Strategic Knowledge your commercial team needs to grow the business.  The program focuses on the use of Business Analytics as a competitive advantage to obtain sustainable and profitable growth.

We go beyond dashboards.  We provide your entire team the capability of performing strategic and competitive analysis intuitively on the fly.

We’re always available for you and your team.  While it sometimes means a client will have to wait before we can start a new engagement, we limit ourselves to starting one new Analytics Driven Profit Program per quarter so that each client gets the individual attention they need.

Our program removes the barriers that constrain analysis driven growth by providing:

  • Data Quality:  Our program brings strategic meaning to your data.  We cleanse, organize and structure your business data and make it compatible with your market and competitive intelligence.

  • Self-Serve Approach:  We use tools that stimulate analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces.  This ensures that everyone can effectively obtain the answers intuitively without the intervention of IT, experts or analysts.  This saves the organization a lot of time and effort and enables the decision making process to take place at the speed of thought.

  • Alignment of strategic objectives with tactical execution:  This is necessary to adjust your action plans as soon as results start to deviate from their targets.

    Key benefits of the Analytics Driven Profitability Program

    After completing our program you’ll have:

    A strategic organization that shares the same integrated view of the current facts about your business, regions, market segmentation, product and customer profitability, best opportunities for growth, product innovation trends, R&D projects and competitors’ activities; And uses it to outsmart your competitors through fast, effective and profitable decisions.

    A motivated strategic team where business leaders, marketing, product managers, sales and R&D folks concentrate on creating profitable customer value instead of wasting time manipulating inconsistent data from multiple silos.

    Clarity and Simplicity.  You won’t have to rely on IT analysts, system experts or super-users to interface with complex systems.  Everyone in your commercial team will be able to find the correct answers right away.

    Transparency and Accountability. While that may make some folks uncomfortable at the beginning, it’s crucial that everyone is clear about who is accountable for what and how actions are connected to profit generation.


    What’s included in the program

    There are seven parts to the Analytics Driven Profitability Program:

    Phase 1 – Planning and Objectives.  We talk with your key people to understand your market structure, business model, product lines and the issues you face in the different business units.  Then we discuss the objectives underlying your strategic metrics and customize them to fit your needs and company culture.

    Phase 2 - Data Assessment.  We explore your business intelligence, ERP, Data Warehouse and CRM systems to determine the type and semantic quality of the data available.  We may need to work closely with your IT folks if the semantic aspects of the data are not in line with the needs of your commercial teams.

    Phase 3 – Data Structuring.  Working closely with your strategic and commercial teams.  we cleanse, organize and structure your marketing knowledge base to reflect accurately markets, segments, customer and competitive reality.

    Phase 4 – Integration.  Then we integrate disparate data from your different sources.  We need to work closely with your IT organization to provide the connection between competitive, market intelligence and transaction data and create your custom Strategic Analytics Toolbox™.

    Phase 5 – Testing and Feedback.  We work closely with your teams along every stage of the process to eliminate surprises and improve the quality of the results.

    Phase 6 – Training.  Although the Strategic Analytics Toolbox is very intuitive, we provide the necessary training in order to fully exploit its potential within your business.  Attendees will learn how to perform strategic analysis and find the root causes for performance, instantly and interactively.  Training includes real world practical exercises to perform diagnostics for your own business.

    Phase 7 – Maintenance  Your business is dynamic; nothing stays the same:  market trends change, your competition tries new attacks, new opportunities arise and customers decide to merge.  Your marketing and sales teams are on top of this but need a process to funnel this information and keep the Strategic Analytics Toolbox accurately reflecting reality.

    Personal Support.  The program includes unlimited support by phone and e-mail with same day response in most cases because you shouldn’t have to make an investment decision every time assistance is needed.

    Is the Analytics Driven Profitability Program right for you and your organization?

    We work with companies that struggle to get the information they need to increase profitability.  They all share the frustration of internal transactional data that does not provide the clear strategic direction necessary for driving profitable growth.

    The Analytics Driven Profitability Program was designed for mid size businesses that struggle to increase profit because their strategic business leaders, R&D, marketing and sales professionals cannot make sense of their own data to grow the business.  We show them how to turn their data into a competitive advantage to beat the competition and increase market share, profit and cash flow.

    Our goal is to get your teams on the same strategic frame of mind to instill a deeper collective understanding of the Market-Business-Profit interaction necessary for the creation of value for your customers.

    You are in business for many reasons but the main one is to make a profit.  The whole objective of our program is to provide your commercial teams with the fast analysis tools they need to increase your bottom line by at least 10%.  If we are not fully convinced that our work will improve your profitability we won’t take on the project.

    Different clients need different things.  One size does not fit all.  We custom design a Strategic Analytics Toolbox to produce the results your company needs.

    We don't like Bureaucracy.  Processes are important, but if your organization is passionate about complexity or bureaucracy this is not for you.


    Where do you go from here?

    If you have read this far, you might be wondering whether this program could work for your company or not.  One way to help answering that question is our complimentary Strategic Analytics Session.

    During the session we’ll explore the challenges you and your team face, the kind of results you’d like to see, and whether this program will be of help or not.  Even if the program isn’t a fit, you and your team will leave the conversation with more clarity about your issues and excited about what’s possible for the future.

    If this introductory session is something you could see your team doing, the process starts with a brief, no-obligation call to get acquainted, discuss your situation, and determine who needs to be involved.  And rest assured.  We’ll never push you to make a decision or pressure you in any way - that’s simply not how we work.

    The initial conversation will take about one hour and can be done ideally in person, or by phone.  Click here to arrange a time to have a strategy session and I will be in contact with you within the next 24 hours.

    Looking forward to seeing how we can help.

    Warmest Regards

    Bill Cabiro

    Bill

    Managing Director

    Strat-Wise Consulting