Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.
How many times do we hear all of the reasons for a retail company’s performance being off? It’s the cost of doing business over seas, the economy, the cost of fuel, heath care costs etc. How often do we hear, that we are doing better than the same period a year ago or we are exceeding plan. All of that is nice stuff, but the bottom line is your bottom line. If you top line sales are up and your net profit is up it does not necessarily mean that you have all of your procurement issues under control.
Let’s start with some numbers you might want to look at. Don’t just assume that profit is a good thing because profit could be caused by an imbalance in your category margins.
Here are a few good questions to ask yourself.
1. How do your cost of goods compare to the rest of the industry for a chain of your size?
2. How do your operating expenses compare to other chains of your size?
3. How do your gross margins compare to other chains your size?
All of the above can be good indicators of overall company health and certainly procurement health. If your cost of goods is higher than industry averages for a chain of your size, why is that? Is there a specific category that is causing the issue? Do you know how to isolate the problem and then eliminate it?
If you don’t have or know this information, you should ask your e-procurement provider if they have it, because they should if they want to model an improvement plan for you.
As an example, here is an example of a previous years U.S. based convenience store chains targets for non fuel.
1. Cost of Goods Sold should run somewhere around 71% or 72%
2. Gross Profit should run around 28% to 30%
3. Operating Expenses should run around 26% to 29%
4. Net Operating Income around 2%
While these numbers are certainly off based on Pandemic issues, product or services mix, you can build a case model on them to compare before and after for you company. That is if you have a tool like SafeBIM™ from SafeSourcing. BIM stands for Business Impact Model.
If you are way out of balance with these numbers and want to understand how to rebalance them, contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate.