Bruce Merrifield, President — Merrifield Consulting
•distribution management best practices •management strategies •industry perspective •Distribution Personnel Training and Development •Innovate for the Future •innovation •Bruce Merrifield •management techniques
Monday, November 27, 2017—Innovation, with its uncertain outcomes can be scary. Many companies shy away from major innovation because it's too abstract and feels risky. But, innovation comes in many forms, from common adaptations done by everyone, to disruptive supply chain innovations like Wal-Mart's cross-docking quick response or Amazon's 2-hour Prime delivery.
One way to boost your company innovation IQ is by adopting the Anti-Nitpick Rule and the Wheel of Learning Tool.
The rule is simple: If anyone offers a question or idea about how to change for the better, no one can nitpick it unless they have a can-do answer for their nit or an alternate change improvement idea. Arguing against change and for the status quo is not an option.
Wheel of Learning Tool
Since people nitpick to preserve their world out of underlying fears, one way to take action is with baby-step change experiments. If the steps are small, low-risk, and inexpensive, then even the most anxious teammates can be comfortable and even courageous.
The Wheel of Learning Tool is a cyclical curiosity tool that starts with questions, which lead to ideas and theories for possible answers. Theories must be then tested with baby-step experiments that reveal new findings. Reflecting on the findings will lead to new questions to start the circle again.
Here's Your Opportunity
I explain the wheel in a short video clip and in a new video course called Cost to Serve Math. The course, which consists of 50 five-minute videos, will give you starter questions to start your own wheel work. This video is an excerpt from Lesson 46 of the course, where I discuss the Wheel of Learning and how this simple tool can catapult you forward with innovative thinking.
The five-minute lesson in full teaches your team:
• Why it's good to have multiple ideas/theories when it comes to solving questions internally
• Why it's good to look at and learn from other channels and industries with similar (but maybe not so obvious) problems
• How to move from theory to action and new learning
Enjoy the excerpt, and I encourage you to consider making the Wheel of Learning an active part of your organization's culture. Also, remember to take a close look at the entire CTS Math course for your company. If you have any questions, contact me or get in touch with Kerri over at iKlarity (Kerri.Laryea@iKlarity.com) to experience the entire course.
For more information about Bruce Merrifield, visit: www.merrifieldact2.com
The 2nd of 3 lists defining the markers of Distribution companies outpacing their peers.
Bruce Merrifield and Randy MacLean discuss the handful of key customers in your business, and how to keep them happy and loyal.
Steve Epner and Randy MacLean discuss topics from Steve's book. In this video: How to Innovate.
The top business know not only how to innovate, but where to spot opportunities where innovation will bring the greatest results.
See how implementing LIPA can give you the bandwidth to be more accommodating to your customers with analytics-based service excellence
Randy MacLean and Bruce Merrifield of WayPoint Analytics discuss different levels of cost analysis, and why deeper analytics can bring much greater benefits.
Webinar: Quantum Sales Compensation - How to Create a powerful new kind of sales incentive plan
Discussion of how the most successful companies are adopting specialized sales functions, achieving superior results.
Discussion about a 9-step process aimed at transforming a transactional relationship with an account into a partnership.
Randy MacLean and Bruce Merrifield of WayPoint Analytics discuss profit value-based customer segmentation.
A discussion of the benefits of segmentation and how this approach can help distributors achieve far greater levels of profitability.
Top companies like Amazon can leverage big data to predict consumer buying habits. Bruce Merrifield discusses how you can do this too!
Most distributors have naturally occurring, high gross margin percentage accounts and high gross margin percentage (small dollar pick) SKUs.
How to identify and protect the accounts at the core of profits.
Randy MacLean and Bruce Merrifield sit down for a talk about the issues and opportunities, tactics and strategies for increasing profit performance.
Continuance of the Enterprise Account Selling Model video series. Refers to a preceding video. Drawn from Bruce's presentation at APIC on March 1, 2016.
A continuation of the discussion between Bruce Merrifield and Randy MacLean over Bruce's Enterprise Account Selling Model (part 2).
Bruce Merrifield and Randy MacLean discuss Bruce's Enterprise Account Selling Model, as presented at APIC on March 1, 2016.
Using the negotiation process to achieve CTS savings, allowing you to offer your customers lower prices while leaving the table with a larger profit.
Customer whale curves are a great opportunity to view the overall picture of your customer profitability and apply appropriate sales models to each
This video by Bruce Merrifield and Randy MacLean describes why you can't rely solely on gross margin to determine profitability.
An in-depth look at some historical limitations to sales compensation, and why those factors no longer apply with the availability of LIPA.
A fixation on gross margin – without looking at cost-to-serve (CTS) – has blinded countless distributors and limited their ability to achieve profitability.
Learn how this distributor was able to massively ramp up its profitability even as it lost many of its customers.
Learn why distributors can't simply rely on gross margin when determining whether a sale will add to the bottom line.
Randy MacLean talks about the emergence of a new sales strategy.
A discussion on how little extras can sometimes add up to a lot of infrastructure cost in wholesale distribution companies.
Randy MacLean discusses key profitability metrics for QPM.
Randy and Bruce explain why it's important to optimize inventory in the same way you optimize personnel and other resources toward the best profit opportunities
In this video, Bruce Merrifield turns the tables on Waypoint President Randy MacLean, and asks Randy to strategize on how to beat the competition.
Randy discusses the benefits of the extraordinarily valuable High Volume Account Report.
It's not necessary to compete with AmazonSupply on pricing when you've got your ordering and delivery systems, fill rates and customer service at a high level.
Randy MacLean introduces the core principles of QPM and illustrates how it's the most effective way to run a business.
Have you had trouble conveying the importance of CTS to your team? Learn how this course provides an affordable and convenient educational solution.
What is the value of the APIC conference for a business, and why does it stand out above other education programs?
Bruce Merrifield and Randy MacLean discuss profit strategies for wholesale distributors that will raise their cost-to-serve and profits.
Webinar: Quantum Sales Compensation Plan Part 2
Webinar: Quantum Sales Compensation: Designing Your Plan
Webinar: Quantum Sales Compensation for the Wholesale Distribution Industry: Launching Your Plan