Financial Goal Setting Tools for Beer Wholesalers

It’s December and time for financial goal setting.

In the beer business we set goals for all sorts of things: Sales Goals, Margin Goals, Marketing Goals, and so on.

In this post, I’ll share tools that you can use to set goals for your inventory and collections managers.

Inventory and accounts receivable are two of the biggest assets for beer wholesalers, and are often over-looked in the financial planning process.

This season, give your managers the gift of these financial goal setting tools. It’s the gift that keeps on giving (improved cash flow) throughout the year.

Inventory Goal Setting

Here’s a simple two-step goal setting process you can use for inventory:

  1. Write out the goal in words
  2. Write out the goal in numbers

The goal in words will be a written outline of what you want the inventory team to accomplish in the new year. Below are some examples.

  • Establish formal inventory policies/procedures and standards for documentation related to physical counts, cycle counts, support for inventory adjustments, etc.
  • Get better information from our route accounting software – improved use of system, use of forecasting tools, use of additional inventory reports (such as an inventory aging to identify old stock)
  • Continuous improvement related to safeguarding our biggest asset(inventory)

And of course, no goal setting exercise would be complete without an awesome spreadsheet. Use a tool like this one to track and monitor inventory metrics against the goal.

Accounts Receivable Goal Setting

Use the same two-step approach to set goals for your A/R manager: write it out in words, and use a cool spreadsheet to track the numbers.

Below are some examples of written goals for A/R:

  • Reduce the average days sales in accounts receivable (DSO) by at least 6% from the prior year average – Reduce from 25 days to an average of 23.5 days
  • Reduce the amount of accounts receivable over 45 days from the current $250k (or 10%) to an average of no more than 5%
  • Set credit limits ($) for accounts
  • Establish formal credit/collections policies/procedures (standards for documentation, timing of phone calls, letters, use of collection agencies)

Use this A/R Tool to track collections and key metrics for accounts receivable.

Wrap Up + Action Items

I love setting goals and plans for the new year. It’s always a chance to start again, to learn something new and to improve over how we did last year.

Isn’t that what life, and the beer business, is all about? Doing a little better than we did before. Improving a little bit, step by step, so that you can do better for your customers, your employees and your supplier partners.

This season, give your team the gift of financial goal setting. Use the written goals, use the spreadsheets, and set some awesome goals for the new year.