The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Posts By Brent Grover

Selling your business can be a difficult decision, but for owners who dont have an obvious successor, it can be the best option to preserve their legacy. In this article, an excerpt from Mergers and Acquisitions for Distributors: Expert Advice for Buyers and Sellers, available from NAW, Evergreen Consultings Brent Grover provides expert insight into this consideration.

This article includes:

  • Selling as an Exit Strategy
  • Thinking Beyond Family Succession
  • Monitoring the Value of the Business

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Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Distribution M&A Playbook, pt. 3: Integration Best Practices
  • Grainger’s Pricing Initiative, pt 2: The Quest for Optimization
  • Commentary: Harvey’s Stark Reminder on Disaster Planning

The following is an excerpt of Brent Grover’s latest distribution management book, The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, published by Modern Distribution Management. In this article, Grover argues that distributors need to focus both on operational excellence and customer intimacy, rather than choosing one over the other.

In The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market, authors Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema adapted the three Michael Porter strategies into a choice of customer intimacy, operational excellence or product leadership. If you agree that product leadership isn’t a viable option for most distributors, the authors leave distributors with two alternatives: operational excellence or customer intimacy. In the following paragraphs I will argue for a third option.

Strategic choice No. 1 in The Discipline of Market Leaders is operational excellence, keeping costs down ...

The following is an excerpt of Brent Grover’s latest distribution management book, The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, published by Modern Distribution Management. In this article, Grover argues that the traditional method that distributors use to plan for the next year is flawed. Instead, they need to link the strategic plan to the annual planning process, and instead of working top-down, build from the bottom up. MDM subscribers get a 20 percent discount on this book.

General George S. Patton knew much about wartime planning and execution, and many of his aphorisms are memorable (“Lead me, follow me or get out of my way.”) and applicable to business situations (“A good plan violently executed now is better than the perfect plan next week.”).

To paraphrase: There are three ways that business leaders get what they want – by planning, by working and by praying. Any great business takes careful planning or thinking. Then you must have well-trained people to carry it out: That’s working. But between the plan and the operation there is always an unknown. That unknown

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This article looks at the roles of each part of the organization in strategic pricing. Using a sports analogy, the author refers to the Sales Function as the offense, the Operations Function as the defense, and the Purchasing Function as special teams. IT, Finance, Credit and HR play support roles, enabling the team to be in a position to win. And management is the coaching staff. Running a complex "play" like strategic pricing requires all functions to work in concert.

Much has already been written about the "science" of strategic pricing. I have written some of it, including Strategic Pricing for Distributors, published by the NAW Institute earlier this year. I intended the book as a do-it-yourself explanation of strategic pricing.

The magicians Penn & Teller famously perform a magic act that reveals the secrets of magic tricks. But even if you know the secrets, learning how to execute those illusions requires skill and experience. And even if you understand the relatively simple concepts behind strategic pricing, successful implementation is challenging work.