Tuesday 5 November 2013

The Customer's P&L - A road-map for your business?

Despite the fact that using a customer's latest P&L for guidance can be a little like driving via the rear-view mirror, five years after the global financial crisis, the effects are now truly evident in most retailer's Annual Accounts.

For instance, where retailers were producing ROCEs of 15+%, Net Margins of 5+% and Stockturns of 20 times per annum, latest results are showing performances of half these levels, or worse...

With one exception: Walmart, the retail elephant in the room.

This global player, on a low-price platform, continues to generate an ROCE of 19.6%, a Net Margin of 5.5% and a Stockturn of 10.7 times/annum, thereby demonstrating that it is still possible to achieve these results in retail... 

(incidentally, for those with an eye for detail, Walmart's 'low' stockturn reflects their mix of categories and the geographical scale of the US. When and if Walmart ever comes under ROCE pressure, they can simply insist on smaller, more frequent deliveries from 'eager-to-jump' suppliers...)

In turn, Walmart's performance puts pressure on other retailer's to revert at least to their pre-crisis performance levels in order to support their share prices.

...and as you know, a low share price encourages takeover bids, even in well-ordered, 'growing' economies...

In other words, retailers need suppliers, more than ever before.

In turn, NAMs need to be able to cost out each element of the remuneration package - margin, terms, trade-investment and deductions - and demonstrate each element's impact on the retailer's P&L and Balance Sheet, using the supplier's own P&L to measure progress...

Hopefully a little more engaging than making endless excuses ref inadequate trade investment funds...? 

(For a focused discussion on how this can work in your case, pls give me a call +44 (0)7977 273409)

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