0 comments on “Management Insight: Status Quo is Riskier than Change”

Management Insight: Status Quo is Riskier than Change

Experiences certainly present lots of old and new challenges, and adds more valuable learnings to become better in future dealings.

As can be expected, change will always certainly happen – whether planned or unplanned.  Either because it is internally initiated or externally triggered by events. Impact of changes can either be isolated or widespread, short-lived, or longer-lasting. But when is change good or bad?  When is it too soon or too late? When is it too little, too big, or just right?

People can either welcome or resist change.  People can either choose to be the catalyst and be in the forefront or choose the status quo and risk being left behind.

Whether we like it or not, change will undoubtedly happen – so might as well be open to liking it rather than resisting or fearing!

And in case we fail, we fail early.  And when we fail early, we learn earlier than the many. Remember, we can always stand up… and change again!  Just continue moving forward but not without the learnings!

Here’s an inside story of real happenings in a company who pioneered an industry segment years ago: Visibly a lucrative, profitable business, it quickly attracted other businessmen to enter the market like mushrooms, growing exponentially.  The multitude of entrants grew faster than the pioneer’s own business and consequently reduced its share to merely 35% of the market it dominated during its earlier years.
Although the enterprise was quick enough to implement the growing technology-enabled products, the head office administration, support services, finance and management organization remained traditional.  Instead of propelling the front businesses, these head office services and practices slowed down business expansion thus allowing the rest of the market to grow faster.
Realizing the need to change, they hired executives, managers, and professionals to enable transformation of its central operation and management.
New people in the organization expectedly introduced surgical transformational changes. Expectedly as well, the natural resistance to change of the homegrown people prevented the faster realization of the advantages and benefits. Just as when the initiatives were about to peak further and reach new highs, significant external events triggered tsunami-like waves of challenges risking all the great business creativities.
Suddenly, the entire organization scampered for further and quicker changes.  Many of the postponed actions in consideration of homegrown people’s sensitivities became absolutely urgent and thereby executed swiftly. Only this time, rightly or wrongly, there was no longer regard to human sensitivities as crisis situations require desperate (not necessarily deliberate) counter measures.  What were intended to make the business thrive are now being made to merely survive.

In this story, change initiatives introduced but sidelined in the past turned out to be the most sought life-saving medicines when needed desperately. See, protecting the status quo is riskier because the rest of the world will continue to change anyway. Don’t forget: LIFE HAPPENS!

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How we can help?

Developing and implementing a solid finance transformation agenda is the hallmark of our ACCOUNTING SERVICES model — we build, operate, and transform fundamental capabilities in people, processes, and technology. We go beyond change management! Contact us to know more about these services.

0 comments on “How to Ensure Success of Finance Operations during Christmas Break”

How to Ensure Success of Finance Operations during Christmas Break

Christmas is just around the corner and we can’t help but get distracted with parties, reunions, shopping, and out-of-town trips!  However, we should not lose our hats and forget our responsibilities as a Finance organization.

We don’t need to be physically reporting to the office, but safeguards should be in place for business continuity – and stress-free Christmas break!

MAINTAIN CREDIT STANDING. While you can be conservative and not expect collections from customers during holidays, don’t expect the same from your suppliers.  Review your payables and settle due accounts before the long break.

SECURE CASH POSITION. Some banks open their doors even on holidays.  Make sure you have enough cash to cover account payments (auto-debits, PDCs, outstanding checks) and emergency purchases during this period.

MANAGE INVENTORY. Head office may be closed during the holidays, but this is the busiest time of the year for those in retail and manufacturing.  Study your historical data: forecast sales and analyze inventory behavior to avoid losses due to out-of-stock fast-selling items and stocking up instead on the not so popular ones.

PLAN HEADCOUNT. Expect people to file vacation requests that, most of the time, will extend beyond declared legal holidays.  To avoid unpleasant surprises and business disruption, ask for at least one-month notification and ensure proper delegation of tasks and turnover of important files (electronic and manual) to those who will be temporarily covering for them.

STAY INFORMED. Take advantage of cloud-based technology solutions to keep in touch with your business anytime, anywhere, and with any device for as long as you have internet connection.  View sales and inventory balance with just a few clicks, approve purchases, invoices, and payments online, even send (scheduled) management reports even if you’re enjoying a long vacation yourself!

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How we can help?

Developing and implementing a solid finance transformation agenda is the hallmark of our ACCOUNTING SERVICES model — we build, operate, and transform fundamental capabilities in people, processes, and technology. Contact us to know more about these services.

0 comments on “Ways to Manage Seasonality in Small and Medium Businesses (Sales and Inventory)”

Ways to Manage Seasonality in Small and Medium Businesses (Sales and Inventory)

Filipinos are known to celebrate Christmas early. Once September kicks in, you’d hear Jose Mari Chan songs blasting on mall grounds, see Dapitan Arcade stalls abound Christmas decorations for sale, and of course, experience unimaginably worse standstill traffic.

We call it the “-ber months”. Filipino businesses rely on this four-month period for their entire year’s sales.  This may be true and established for some, but many are just following suit and don’t even know when the exact period of their business’ seasonality peaks. In fact, in its recent reader survey, Rappler found that -ber season is a myth – to quote: “Though many retailers begin their Christmas campaigns in September, consumers aren’t making the bulk of their purchases that early.”

Not knowing about this behavior as it relates to your business is dangerous and risky especially in inventory management and cash flow. Obviously, understocking leads to lost opportunities and unserved deliveries, resulting to reputation damage. However, another real danger is in overstocking, because cash is tied up to inventories that you may need to undervalue just to sell.

The only way to outlast seasonality woes is through data-driven planning and analysis. Off-peak seasons are a great time to start this deep-dive thinking process so you are equipped when the next peak season comes.

If you already think this is unnecessary time to spend, better be prepared for the worst because truly, it pays to pay attention.

Here’s how:

  • Historical information is good reference point, especially because you want to understand overall direction in a do-nothing scenario.
    • First things first – know your seasonality! Point-of-sale (POS) solutions are top sources for this key information because seasonality should be drilled down as far as days than just months.
    • Then, find out historical inventory balances (at least monthly). Just note that not all POS can provide this, except when it is integrated with a dynamic analytics tool.
  • Find out patterns and plan accordingly — the devil is in the details!
    • Inventory supply must anticipate the demand highs and lows. Understanding and establishing patterns in sales trends help minimize errors in buying inventory.
    • Thorough review of inventory balances highlights slow or non-moving inventory, allowing you to plan returns, exchanges, or proper markdown strategies to prevent inventory losses.
  • Ensure planning is an ongoing process. Monitor performance, see if plans work, and adjust as necessary.

Don’t succumb to being a bandwagoner especially with running your business. Know MORE so you can WIN in business.

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How can we help? Accelerating your analytics journey is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. Our services will help you KNOW MORE through analytics, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!

0 comments on “Expand Your Business with the Trendy Midorexics”

Expand Your Business with the Trendy Midorexics

While Millennials are indeed a strong force in consumer market, did you know there is another rising consumer group called, Midorexics?

In its Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2017 report, Euromonitor International defines Midorexia consumers as follows:

Midorexia is a tongue-in-cheek label for the middle-aged and older consumer who acts younger than their years. However, this label highlights the shifting status and expectations of a demographic whose members are living and working for longer and prioritizing wellness while challenging the typical age-appropriate behaviour of older people. These consumers are transforming what it means to be older in terms of lifestyle and are more demanding in their consumption needs, creating what is increasingly referred to as the “Longevity economy”.

Because Midorexics defy ageing and live their days proving they can keep up with younger generations, they are also tech-savvy, active, and can be influential on social media. Look at the Instagram feeds of Gretchen Barretto, Alice Dixson, and Ina Raymundo (among others) — they all flaunt their youthful skin, fit bodies, healthy choices, and on-trend outfits. Heck, both 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds wish to be like them when they turn 40!

In fact, even retail pharmacies experience this demand shift – the usual maintenance prescriptions availed by this age group has changed to wellness and weight loss supplements like MX3, ATC Squalene, Yaki, etc. Likewise, food and beverage industries have responded as they increase healthier offerings for the conscious Midorexics.

Indeed, Midorexics are a force to reckon with, having the means and willingness to “invest” in youth and wellness. But make no mistake, their experience and wisdom give them confidence to demand the highest standards in delivery and customer service.

Small and medium businesses can expand their business by ensuring they respond quickly and successfully to Midorexics. By knowing who they are, where they are, and how they behave, selling point triggers can be identified and real opportunities are always maximized.

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How can we help? Accelerating your analytics journey is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. Our services will help you KNOW MORE through analytics, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!

0 comments on “Building and Creating a Personalized Customer Experience”

Building and Creating a Personalized Customer Experience

The market is becoming a forum for conversation and interactions between consumer and consumer communities.  This increased access, transparency, and understanding of risk-benefits are making customers more informed, empowered, and active.

Today, one-size-fits-all strategy is rapidly becoming old-fashioned as customers start to expect customized services and tailored recommendations.

There are many ways to personalize customer experiences, though you don’t have to try all of them.  In fact, you can start with the data you already have to see what works and what doesn’t.

Below are tips to get you started:

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS.  Simply using a customer’s name can bring you places.  After all, a person’s name is the sweetest sound.

KNOW WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT.  Use existing data to know customer interests and needs and identify market gaps and opportunities.

TARGETED MARKETING.  Provide relevant content marketing to not risk annoying customers with ads (text blast or emails) they don’t want to see.

CUSTOMER PROFILING.  For instance, millennials are more open-minded with personalized products and services than older customers who may think their privacy is violated.

STREAMLINE PROCESSES.  From initial inquiry to after-sales support, eliminate unnecessary delays, confusing information, and pointless red tapes.

DON’T BE CREEPY.  When interacting with customers, don’t use specific or private customer information (age, address, or family members found in social media) that can make them feel uncomfortable.

BE TRANSPARENT.  When gathering customer data, make sure to be clear with customers what you are collecting, how you will use it, and whether you will share it with others.

CUSTOMER VOICE.  Allow your customers to interact with your organization.  Listening to customers is crucial to a company’s ability to compete on customer experience.  Information from customer feedback can be used to take action and monitor company performance over time.  If you don’t understand the perceptions of your customers or how they experience interactions with your company, it’s nearly impossible to regularly meet, much less exceed, customer expectations and personalize customer experience.

With all these available customer data at your fingertips, the next step is to extract valuable insights that can only be enabled by analytics.

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How can we help? Accelerating your analytics journey is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. Our services will help you KNOW MORE through analytics, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!