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Posts By Steve Deist

Done right, customer surveys can provide valuable insights into your customer base. Done wrong, they can alienate those customers and damage your company’s reputation for being easy to do business with. This article examines ways to ensure your surveys provide the best results.

This article includes:

  • Creating Segments
  • Asking tangible questions
  • Measuring actions

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  • How to Navigate Key HR Issues in 2017
  • Top Trends for 2017
  • The Future of Relationship Selling: The Gorilla in the Room, part 2
TargetMarket

Improved market access can drive long-term growth in both a distributors profitability and its market share. But it requires an analytical look at customers and opportunities. This article is the final installment in our series on customer profitability analytics.

This article includes:

  • Customer segmentation
  • Growth and profit opportunities
  • Aligning services with customer needs

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  • Grainger Tackles the Data Challenge
  • Tackling the Profitability Yo-Yo
  • 3 Margin Levers of Customer Profitability Analytics

Customer profitability analytics are an effective way to drive improvements in gross and net margins. This article looks at how distributors can apply the information they have uncovered to improving profitability. Part 1 of this series covered the basic concepts behind customer and transactional cost analysis and presented some key limitations.

This article includes:

  • Profit Improvement Plans
  • Pricing Optimization
  • Services and Channel Alignment

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  • Use & Abuse of Customer Profitability Analytics
  • Tackling the Profitability Yo-Yo
  • Commentary: Analyzing Analytics
Analytics

Distributors are increasingly aware of the need to understand customer profitability, and more tools are available than ever before to help with this process. This article examines how to deploy profitability tools and how to avoid making critical business mistakes in the process.This is the first article in a three-part series on customer profitability analytics.

This article includes:

  • Explanation of activity-based costing
  • Sources of material inaccuracy
  • Accurately measuring selling costs

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

  • MDM Interview: Redefining Competitive Advantage
  • Tackling the Profitability Yo-Yo
  • Commentary: Analyzing Analytics

Author Steve Deist argues that distributors need to move beyond a sales-driven strategy and dig into what customers really want. Distributors can use that knowledge as the seed for a market-driven strategy that will result in long-term profitability.

Deist is a partner with Indian River Consulting Group. Learn more at ircg.com.

Most distributors are sales-driven companies – and proud of it. They are highly responsive to the needs of their various customers, and they rely heavily on long-term personal rep relationships. But while being sales-driven is certainly commendable, it is no longer enough.

A well-run sales-driven company can react quickly, but is unlikely to get ahead of changing customer requirements. A distributor that relies on its sales force as the primary window to its customers will always be challenged to create competitive differentiation. Sales reps are often too emotionally and financially...

The authors of Value Creation Strategies for Wholesaler-Distributors implore distributors to define strategy in terms of closing gaps with the market rather than operational weaknesses. Tactically driven initiatives may meet intermediate goals, but they often produce unsatisfactory business outcomes.

This is an excerpt from Value Creation Strategies for Wholesaler-Distributors reprinted with permission from the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence. Order the book at www.naw.org/valuecreationstrateg.

Strictly speaking, best practices are business operations that are statistically correlated with superior financial performance. The study of best practices is now widespread and has contributed to significant productivity improvements by wholesaler-distributors across all lines of trade. The most comprehensive review of distribution …

During an economic slowdown, a siege mentality" is understandable but not always productive, says Steve Deist of Indian River Consulting Group. Though many industries are still seeing growth, some -including the housing industry -are struggling. This is a timely excerpt from a piece by Deist on how to turn a downturn into a strategic opportunity.
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No. 1 Focus on the Other Guys
Customers, employees, competitors and suppliers are facing many of the same challenges you are. Many are probably playing defense and are reluctant to make long-term commitments. They likely have reduced expectations of performance in profitability and sales growth.
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Commit to sustained and improved customer service. ...