We have access to mountains of data these days. So, it took some thinking to narrow down the Top 5 reports every beer wholesaler GM should run. But when we had our list we knew they were the right ones for us:
- Sales growth by supplier MTD and YTD vs plan
- Margins by supplier (this was a big eye opener for our GMs)
- A/R by customers and suppliers, with Days Sales Outstanding calculation
- Inventory value, with Days on Hand calculation
- Inventory count variances, out of code, and breakage
This list covers the biggest opportunities (sales and margin improvement) and the biggest challenges (managing A/R and inventory).
How we chose these top 5:
We started with some simple questions: What are the key business numbers we need to track, what are the biggest areas of opportunity for our company and what are the biggest problems we need to solve?
For us, the biggest opportunity was faster collection of customer and supplier A/R. Our biggest problem was out of code inventory and breakage. Creating simple reports around these things gave our GMs visibility and numbers to work with. Teaching GMs to run these reports, and requiring that that do so on a weekly basis ensured that these issues remained front of mind.
Next, we looked at our overall business strategy. What was most important strategically and what reports could we produce that would help us measure progress on our business strategy?
We didn’t want to over-think this too much, but our goal was to align with our reporting with strategy, mission and core values. Profitability and operating performance were obvious choices, so we chose to include reporting on sales growth (no brainer) and supplier margins.
Everyone focuses on sales growth, but not everyone focuses on margins on a regular basis. It’s key, and it had a huge impact on our operating performance.
To run these reports, and quickly review the results will take 15min/day. And this will keep your GM focused on the most important numbers in your beer wholesaler business.