At this time of any year we would be starting to come out of the malaise that affects most of us from our end of year holidays and we would be starting to execute the plans we put into place during the planning-budgeting cycle from last year. Those plans were probably based on a management perspective that included continued bad economic conditions and news. They no doubt reflected a hunker down, conservative fiscal philosophy that had the impact of putting a moratorium on hiring and on investing in new products, services or change-outs of any sort. In short, this translated into “let’s do the same with less…and keep our heads down.”
Peter Drucker would ask us not to yield to the temptation to “just get on with it”. He would recommend that we step back and recognize that “virtually no program or activity will perform effectively for a long time without modification and redesign.” Business professionals “are likely to respond to the failure of a program, process or program by doubling the efforts invested in it.” First class resources, especially those scarce resources of human strength need to be pulled out immediately from operations that have ceased to be productive and put to work on the opportunities of tomorrow.
We talked recently with a company where the ShelfSnap service had uncovered assortment voids ranging from 10% to almost 30% of the plan for that manufacturer with facing-shorts much more significant than that in a major account. They were hoping that their recently purchased information program consisting of some new DSR tools and some Task Management reporting systems would take care of the problem. Those tools had already been deployed in the account where ShelfSnap had found the significant deviations from plan. In other words, their new information system might have yielded other benefits but it was not helping them in dealing with their compliance issues. Dealing with those issues would yield between 8 and 20% volume increases.