Category Archives: Convenience Stores

What Distinguishes My Business and Real Estate Investment Coaching and Consulting Practice From Nearly All Others and Is The Foundation of My Results Guaranteed Coaching Program

Fail Proof System!

There is a fail proof system to organize and manage any business. In fact cities and countries should use the system. Note this does not mean it is cookie cutter. It must me adopted for your company.

Successful Experience

I have extensive experience as an executive, business owner, entrepreneur, consultant and coach in the following industries:

Real Estate Investment – the focus of my business now
-Convenience Stores
-Women’s clothing (big international business)
-Auto Parts
-Heave equipment
-high tech
-Auto Glass
-Service Provider
-Social Media
Long Haul Trucking
Utility Trailers
General Contracting/Construction

A number of the businesses are very large. One is more than $15 billion. Others are small to medium size companies and I have helped many independent entrepreneurs. This experience led to fine tune systems for success. Last year I released my first book “Building Business Profits Fast

Enhanced Systems

I have since been coached and mentored on enhanced system which are touched on in the book but not in-depth. The three main parts of the enhanced system are:

1. Organization Development or the Org Board
2. Admin Scale or The Spine
3. Management by Statistics

The scope of what are in these three categories is extensive. If we work together you will know the source and I will guide you step by step on how to implement these major tools. For now here is a brief summary

Org Board

Every company has 7 divisions and this applies to whether you are one person or millions. Knowing how to set up and manage your company within the structure of these divisions literally takes out the guess work in how to succeed. The next two areas actually fall under the umbrella of the org board – or at least that is how I think about it.

Admin Scale

My mentor refers to this as The Spine because like the human spine if one of the parts are damaged or out there is great pain. The Admin Scale consists of

Ideal Scenes
Valuable Final Product

Before I continue with the last part I want you to know that my coaching and consulting work accelerates the implementation of all of this by my attention to what is most important now and the gradually painting the entire picture. My message to you is do not be intimidated by the scope of what I am briefly describing here. Welcome it because you are now learning about the processes that if followed mean you cannot fail. You cannot!

Management by Statistics – There are 6 Basic Statistical Trends

(From a priority point of view capturing the data and running the graphs are just about the top of the list. This specific tool is the  reason I can confidently offer

Results-GuaranteedResults Guaranteed Coaching 

Non- Existence

I am including one example of one graph. Here is the important point: once you know the condition (what graph you are in) for any function, division or overall company performance there is a precise formula you follow for that condition. To follow it effectively the principles of the Org Board and Admin Scale must largely be in place.

affluence stat

Most of the detailed implementation steps that are published on my blogs and in my book are all used depending on the scope of the project. Going into all the details on marketing actions, The Gold Formula tm, Financial modeling, training and development is outside the scope of this article.

Schedule a Free Consultation and let’s see what will have the most value for you and your business. Click Here


Intellectual Understanding Does Not Mean You Will Implement 

One of my clients this morning told me the number one benefit of my program was keeping them focused on what is important.

In my experience people make a lot of progress during coaching and lose momentum if they interrupt the coaching process. For a Free Coaching Consultation Click Here  

May Your Success Exceed All Your Dreams and Desires

Steve Pohlit, Managing Partner
Steve Pohlit International, LLC Email Ph 727-587-7871
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Steve Pohlit, Business and Real Estate Coach, Consultant, Real Estate Investor. Published Author, Professional Speaker

Steve Pohlit, Business and Real Estate Coach, Consultant, Real Estate Investor. Published Author, Professional Speaker


CVS Stops Sale of All Tobacco – Does Not Make Sense Here Is Why

“Your Success –Is My Business” tm

Build Business Profits

CVS today announced they would no longer sale tobacco products in their stores because they are a health store. Based on that definition they should close their stores. Take a look starting with the Pharmacy. The Pharmacy is a legal drug dealer. Most of the products there are prescribed by doctors who are not promoting health they are fixing a specific issue based on a protocol from the pharmaceutical industry.

Let’s move to other categories in the store starting with snacks and food. Do you think soda, beer and wine are health products? What about snacks like chips and cookies? Are they health products?

Continuing, take a look at beauty care. Look at the ingredients in hair color, make up, skin care and more. Do you think those are products that promote health.

Understand I am not against what CVS or any other convenience store sells but you cannot come out and get publicity with one category by saying you are a health store and ignore all the other products offered that are opposite that theme.

If CVS does have strategy to be health store then my advice is to create a separate brand for the message and product offering. There are some great examples of companies that primarily offer organic foods, healthy products and services. Soon CVS will be announcing massive layoffs like Dell, Radio Shack and others and blaming Obamacare. There is nothing good about Obamacare but many of these companies need to be taking a close look in the mirror and remember this phrase when doing so “I am responsible”

CVS I hope I am wrong but I don’t see your company Building Business Profits Fast

Guaranteed Results Building Business Profits Fast

If you are in business I will coach you on growing that business to achieve mutually agreed upon targets within agreed upon time frames. Doubling sales and more than doubling profits in six months or less are common targets. If I accept you as a client, I guarantee the results. Of course you need to do the work.

Guaranteed Profitable Business Results New Business .
Start your own real estate investment firm and be in a profitable deal in 90 days or less. Then flip that deal and be in profit in 90 days or less after that. I will coach you and guarantee you will be in a profitable deal that will more than pay for your coaching program. You do not need the money to buy the real estate. You do not need good credit. You may have even filed for bankruptcy. I don’t care. What I do care about is you being willing to work, follow instructions and you are ethical. Click Here for the detailed article I wrote about this incredible opportunity. There are many people out there holding seminars, selling courses and coaching on how to make money in real estate. I know of only one other firm who is offering a coaching program and guaranteeing you will be in a profitable deal.

Recommended Businesses Especially For Those Very Inexperienced in Business and Marketing

Building Business Profits FastIn my book Building Business Profits Fast I talk about the valuable lessons I have learned from companies in the Network Marketing Industry. The one rule I have now is promote those companies marketing products that a lot of people are already using and using a lot of those products. This is why I continue to recommend the healthy coffee and tea product line of Organo Gold and the greeting card business of Send Out Cards. What I really like about both these companies that even if you decide not be an active business builder you will love using the products personally.

The Time To Get Started Is Now

Contact Me If You Have Questions or If I Can Help You In Any Way

Phone 727-587-7871

Your Gift : A Complementary Coaching Session Click Here

May your success exceed all your dreams and desires

Steve Pohlit, Business Coach and Consultant Steve Pohlit, Business Coach and Consultant

Steve Pohlit


Most Retailers Miss This Huge Black Friday Opportunity

The ads are prolific for the biggest retail sales day (not profit) of the year…Black Friday. However, most businesses including physical retail store never go the extra step of developing a relationship with their customer.

Black Friday Sales are Brisk and Largely Unprofitable – Should Be Viewed As Lead Generation

Shopping Savvy customers are more often than ever making their list of deals, buying the deals and leaving. Cross over selling is declining. This means that most of the sales on Black Friday are unprofitable or just slightly profitable. Attention: take advantage of Black Friday’s increased traffic and look at it as a great lead generation opportunity.

Why Do Retailers Continue Black Friday Promotion If They Are Not Profitable?

If retailers do not compete on Black Friday someone else will grab that customer and there will be a loss of customer loyalty. Several years ago WalMart moderated their Black Friday and holiday promotion strategy and it was costly. Following that season they vowed never to be out of that game again. Since you are in the game capitalize on the the traffic at a minimum with a name and email capture campaign include text messaging lead capture if it is appropriate for your business.

Most Retailers Continue To Ignore A Great Opportunity When A Customer or Prospect Walks In The Door.

Customer Relationship Marketing is a huge opportunity. People want information and want to know “their store cares”. It is insane to focus on recruiting the store staffing with the right image and customer service attitude then not go the extra step to capture name and email address for a follow-up thank you.

For an increasing number of businesses adding text messaging marketing makes sense. However, it will not replace email marketing anytime soon. Email marketing and text message marketing will not replace the positive feeling someone gets when they receive a physical card. There are many businesses that should Send Out Cards.

I advise every one of my clients to implement a relationship marketing campaign.  There are numerous success stories. A recent very notable one is a company  just beginning to implement a relationship marketing strategy and the results are very positive in less than 60 days.  The winter season is the slowest time for their business. There have been cash flow problems in the past.  This season is shaping up to be very different in a positive way.

Action Steps:

Develop a customer relationship marketing strategy.  Part of the relationship is educating your customer on products, services.  Focus on the value you deliver rather than the latest deal.

Get A Business Coach! If you already have a business with more than 10 employees, Hire A Consultant who is  able to work with you part of the time on-site.

Would you like to be in the next group of very successful companies and entrepreneurs?

Contact me now.

Steve Pohlit

International Business Development Consulting
Real Estate Investment Consulting
Executive Coach

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

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About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of  major domestic and international companies.  Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.

Steve offers his  build business profits expertise to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting.  His  focus is on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.  Steve incorporates health and wellness plus relationship guidance in his work as they are at the foundation of achieving all goals.

All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.


How Successful Retailers Earn Customer Loyalty

Mark Albright, staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times published an article in the Sunday paper a while back on retailers struggling to win back customers. He does an excellent job at identifying the key issues customers face when shopping in many stores. In summary, customers know what they want from their shopping experience and they don’t get what they want most of the time.

Two charts were provided in the article. One showed that 68.4% of those responding to a recent poll said knowledgeable, helpful, friendly staff was the most important criteria for a positive shopping experience. The other chart reported that 50% of the people surveyed reported retail service has gotten worse.

Shoppers have always wanted a friendly environment with knowledgeable staff. What is most alarming is how poorly retailers continue to meet the expectations of their customers. With almost 70% of the customers ranking knowledgeable, friendly staff as most important, why is it that so many retailers continue to be obsessed with having compelling price? Studies have consistently shown and Mark points this out in his article as well, that less than 10% of the shoppers name price as the most important reason they shop a store.

Let’s examine pricing and promotion a bit deeper. The paper that Mark Albright writes for has a daily circulation of about 1 million. On Sunday, like all large metropolitan areas, the paper is thick. Most of it is advertising circulars. Most have between 4 – 20 or more color glossy pages and this format is used by most of the major retail chains. Stores attempt to show items attractive to the largest number of people and offer special buys or sale pricing. The goal is to drive traffic to the stores.

Normally on a store by store basis, retailers are able to tell how effective a particular circular was by measuring customer count (customers that actually buy), average sale and items sold. Most retailers have these statistics, but there is one critical piece of information they do not have. They do not know who it was that purchased something. They do not know their physical address, they do not know their email address and do not know their customer’s phone number. There are exceptions and I will address those shortly. However, in general, large and small retailers spend huge amounts of money on print advertising to drive customers into their stores and they don’t even know who their customer is. Consequently, they are unable to thank the buyers, hear their comments and suggestions and they are not able to personally invite them back.

Even more serious: with the development of preferred buying programs, membership programs like those used by Sam’s Club and Costco and even those retailers that have captured customer information, the way that data is used is pathetic.

Here is a brief summary of the issues so far: consumers want knowledgeable and friendly sales staff and over 90% of them place importance on knowledge and friendliness over price. On the other hand, retailers spend a lot of resources developing promotions based on price to drive traffic to their stores. When the customer gets there, not just the price shopper but the loyal customers as well, the retailer is not properly staffed and the staff that is working is not properly trained and managed. I call this a mismatch in expectations and delivery. The result of that formula is a high rate of retail business failure with stores that fail being replaced by new ones that operate the same way. You know what you get when you keep doing things the same way. What is the solution? Keep reading.

When the subject of price in retailing is mentioned, Wal-Mart’s name always comes up. Here are just a couple of things I noticed about Wal-Mart recently. First they are increasing the number of more upscale items offered. Why are they doing this? It is because they understand that appealing just to the low price crowd long term is a risky business model. No retail chain founded on the low price model has ever survived long term. None. What else have I noticed? The other day I noticed a Wal-Mart banner on the front page of This particular ad was what is known in the Internet Marketing circles and Direct Response Marketing circles as a lead generation ad. I followed it through and noticed interesting “bribes” to get you to register for on line information. You could even categorize the information you were interested in receiving. Wal-Mart promised to give you advance notice of their best deals for the store closest to you. Notice I said store closest to you. When you entered your information they asked for your zip code so they could match you with relevant regional promotion.

Wal-Mart is taking the lead again in building their customer data base. I don’t think they have taken this to the store level, which where it really needs to be implemented. But they are headed in the right direction.

Do you need to have Wal-Mart’s system to implement a similar program? Last September I was testing the implementation of program with a small retailer in a small market. We used incentives as a motivator to provide their contact information. This program was hugely successful in a short period of time and confirmed the value of capturing the contact information of your customers and communicating with them. That is the first step in bridging the gap between what customers want and what retailers deliver. Note: if you are a grocery store, restaurant, nightclub, shoe repair store, dry cleaner or any business that has customers, this applies to you.

If you are a local or regional chain of stores, outsourcing this customer contact program is the most cost effective approach. If you are not sure that is a true statement Email Me and I will prove it to you. National Chains should outsource this program in the test phase and then it is likely that in-house technology will be needed long term. Regardless, it is easy to build your customer list, easy to communicate with them and this communication builds loyalty and value. This communication process is the critical link that breaks down when this process is managed internally. In summary, outsource this entire program initially; bring the technology piece in house if and when that makes sense but keep the communication program outsourced. Does this sound like Direct Response Marketing 101? Yes ..well that is because it is and you know what…basic blocking and tackling work all the time.

Does all of this solve the problem of bridging the gap of what the customer wants and what the retailer delivers? Absolutely not! All of the fundamentals successful retailers are paying attention to today must continue. Having the right product in the right place at the right time is a good goal. Having staff properly trained and managed is a great goal.

But this is the planet earth folks. When all the best logistical systems and human resource development processes fail .. and they will from time to time, a strong binding relationship with your customer will overcome any isolated execution failures.

Are there any examples of anyone doing this more right than wrong? I remember in 1996 when I was in my second year of operating an Internet Service Provider company that I founded. I was focusing on industries likely to benefit a lot quickly from using the tools of the Internet. One of them was mail order. I knew there would be huge benefits to catalog retailers from using the internet. Of course when I contacted many of them and they had no idea in 1996 what I was talking about. So I let it slide instead of pursuing that idea along with a number of other billion dollar ideas I had in the early days of the commercial Internet.

Today there are numerous examples of catalog retailers doing a great job of communicating with their customer base. Now the big gains are coming from the “brick and mortar” companies who are communicating like catalog retailers. Who are they? Circuit City gets a vote. Circuit City sends me wonderful emails in addition to their weekly print advertising circulars. Wal-Mart used to do a good job now that I am on their list but not any longer. In the catalog retail business, one of the best is Fredericks of Hollywood. There are other catalog retailers that have an effective communication program in place. In fact if you order on line from any catalog company and give them your email address, I would bet you start getting information from them. Even if you don’t order, sign up for some of these lists to see what they send you.

The biggest mistake made by companies that have you in their data base, is dropping your contact information when you have not purchased for awhile. I know of one very popular retailer with a huge mail order division that sends me tons of catalogs but not one email. When asked about this I was told I no longer receive emails because I am not a current buyer. But they continue sending me expensive to print and mail catalogs. Go figure! Recently.

In summary, study the companies that are doing this well. Look at your own business. If you are not sure what I am advising you to do will work, call or email me and let’s “kick it around”.  All contact information is at the end of the article.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high. If  your company is not growing revenue and profits,  if your company is not cash flow positive Click Here for more information about Turnaround Consulting Services for Business In Crisis

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About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

John Reese Exposes The Truth of Multiple Sources of Income and Steve Pohlit Reveals How John’s Advice Works Off Line

John Reese Exposes The Truth of Multiple Sources of Income and Steve Pohlit Reveals How John’s Advice Works Off Line

I have been a subscriber of The Reese Report since it’s first issue. John offers sound advice on building on line based businesses including web sites that attract traffic that buys what you have to sell. John is one in a small group of people I have paid close attention too and who have helped me learn and bring value to my business development clients. I always recommend The Reese Report.

John has just released a video commentary that encourages you to focus on one targeted market as your primary source of income. If you are in business or want to be you should listen to his message. Click Here to watch this video. It is about 10 minutes and worth it.

Most of my work is with traditional offline businesses. This year I have worked with several contractors and retailers. In the past I have worked with manufacturing companies, trucking companies, companies operating multiple restaurants, drug stores, convenient stores and more. In each case a primary focus of my work with those companies has been A, B, C management. A, B, C management is simply defining those customers that represent 80% or more of your current and future income and the critical path tasks required to build and serve those customers profitably.

Not every project achieves the goals set out at the start. The single biggest reason a company optimizes performance and profits over time is that they consistently stay focused and execute on the A priority tasks that result in meeting and exceeding the expectations of their customers. The kind of focus John Reese is advocating in his video.

If A,B,C Management is the formula for success then why do companies hire a business development consultant? Good question and here is one example that illustrates the answer. Currently I am working with a very qualified and bright group of people in charge of developing and running their business. They know they are working hard and should be making more money. They also know what they should be doing and are not. They hired me to help them change the way they work. This company like every business I have worked with already has a full agenda when I walk in the door. The are finding the direction provided by the consulting process helps them modify their work to focus on what will make the biggest positive differences in their business long term. In the first week they agreed to several major actions that they have been procrastinating on for quite some time.

I am preparing a special report that addresses the key questions every business should ask when considering if they need a consultant and how to proceed in hiring one. In the meantime if you have questions you are encouraged to contact me by email or phone. All my contact information can be found at or in my resource box below.

Be well and prosper,
Steve Pohlit
Business Development Consulting

Steve Pohlit has more than 20 years experience running very large and medium sized companies. Steve now consults personally with clients to design and implement processes that will deliver improved business performance for the long term. Most projects are self-funding within 90 days. The client then experiences a very high return on investment. Learn more about the process of Increasing Profits by 30% or More In 90 Days or Less by visiting or you can call 727-587-7871 and speak with Steve directly.

Converting Ideas Into Business Revenue and Profits

The following article by my friend Allyn Cutts offers excellent advise and is a courtesy of Steve Pohlit, Business Development Consultant who helps companies develop and implement business building marketing programs and organizational processes to optimize profit growth.

Are You Top Of Consciousness

How many great ideas have you had that fizzled and evaporated into thin air? Heck, they were darned good ideas too! The problem wasn’t the ideas, it was implementing them… making them work.

We’ve been talking about Top of Consciousness Marketing, one of the greatest marketing tools I’ve come across. Now it’s time to do a little strategizing about ways to make it work for you. There’s no sense in letting another brilliant idea vanish!

How often and how many ways could you contact a potential customer outside of normal visits to you place of business? Quick! Make a list…

Here are a few to get you going:

* Seasonal greetings
* Post cards
* Birthday cards
* Newsletters
* Catalogs
* Flyers
* Special sale notices
* Telephones calls
* Emails
* Thank you’s

Listen up, here’s the secret to effectively obtaining Top of Conscious positioning in the mind of your customers… finding 10 to twelve ways to contact them every year.

Newsletters are probably one of the easiest ways to implement a regular contact system with your customers and potential customers. A monthly newsletter written in an informative and entertaining style is something your customers and potential customers will look forward to. It’ll also go a long way in establishing your credibility as an expert in your field of business.

Who doesn’t appreciate a personalized “Thank You?” It doesn’t really matter if it’s a phone call, and email, a card or a bouquet. It’s the thought that counts.

Remember the pleasant surprise of an unexpected birthday card? Hey, it always feels good to have someone remember your special day.

The key to staying on at the top of peoples minds is simply getting their attention on a regular basis. Pick one or 10 of these methods and start using them to get the attention of your potential customers and to keep loyal customers feeling appreciated.

Stick around for some more great ideas on implementing Top of Consciousness strategies.

Dedicated To Your Further Success.

All the best,

Allyn Cutts

About the Author

Allyn has spent over 24 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales to current customers.

Allyn consults personally with clients to design and deliver offline and online direct marketing strategies that focus on metrics and measurable results. You can learn more about Allyn Cutts at or you can call 610.437.4106 between 10 AM and 4 PM Eastern Time Tuesdays and Thursdays

Steve Pohlit develops and implements processes and procedures that grow revenue, maximize gross margin and optimize net profit. This approach is detailed in the free course “How To Increase Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less” which can be found at by click here and “Blogging for Profits” which is another free series that can be found here at Steve Reports.

May Your Profits Grow and You Have Fun With The Journey

Steve Pohlit, Business Development Consultant

Google, Yahoo Expand Local Search: Ignore This And Your Business Profits Will Suffer

Business Development Consultant, Steve Pohlit, advises all companies to have a website with local search information now. The trends are clear. Conduct this experiment on your own. Simply ask 10 people how they would locate an apparel store, car wash, CPA, shoe repair shop, dry cleaner, attorney, etc. Even if they know the name of the business but do not know the address, ask them how they would find the address. There is a good chance 70% or more of the people you ask will say they search on-line.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google and Yahoo are making major investments in local search “rushing to add more consumer information about local businesses”. Yahoo has and Google recently changed from Local to Maps which can be found at

Yahoo is building local town squares where users share information about local businesses. Google is accumulating local business information that is already posted elsewhere on line.

If you have a business, you must have domain name and at least one page that provides information on the type of business, products and services offered, location and contact information. Information about your business is going to be available on-line soon, if it is not already there. It is better for you to be in the driver seat as to what is published.

The cost of having an on line presence is no longer an excuse. The entire process can be accomplished for much less than the cost of a yellow page listing. In fact, I am registering domain names for $8.00 a year and hosting a web site can be done for $100 a year or less plus most hosting packages include an email and the ability to set up a blog. Essential design can be done less than $100 assuming the business owner gives the designer basic information. If you need additional information on setting up websites or hosting websites, email me and I will help you.

I have discussed the major opportunity for most companies is previous articles, but here it is again: use your website to provide detailed information about your business, offer visitors a reason to register with your business and then develop a communication strategy with your subscribers. This process will increase revenue and profits. It will dramatically increase revenue and profits when you also capture the contact information of people physically visiting your business and people buying from you. That is the entire basis for the business model presented at The principle applies to national companies as most market to their customers in local communities.

Here is one example of a national restaurant business headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Most people are familiar with the name Outback Steakhouse. You may not know the names of their other divisions which include: Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Roy’s and more. The St. Petersburg Times reported that Outback was concerned about the performance trends of their flagship business, Outback Steakhouse. To further understand the basis for these trends, the company hired a consulting firm to study trends and evaluate customer perception of the business. It was not reported how long this study took or cost. It simply said it was conducted in 2005 and the results are being reported in 2006.

You can monitor customer reaction to your business daily without any special studies when you have a communication program in place. For example, in the restaurant business you could offer an incentive to come in and eat. That incentive can be tracked. When the customer who received the incentive in their email, redeems it you can link it to a survey. The survey can be conducted while they are in the restaurant or afterwards with a follow-up message that includes a big, warm thank you for your visit. This is not hard to do. What must be in place is a culture that reacts to what the your customers are telling you. They will spend money with you when they know you care.

Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies. Today Steve is an expert business consultant focused on helping companies improve their business performance including growing profits, revenues and customers. For a FREE 6 week mini course where you will receive 10 easy to implement action steps guaranteed to increase business revenue and profits by at least 30% in the next 90 days, please visit All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

The A, B, C’s of Inventory Management

The A,B,C’s of Inventory Management

One might think the books have not been written, the software not developed and the knowledge base empty when reading some of the recent headlines. When the largest retailer in the world announces they are reducing the amount of inventory in their stores because they have too much, it crowds the isles, confuses the customer and delivers the wrong message, one might wonder why they have this problem. After all the best and brightest work there and they has not held back on investments in technology. So how does the largest retailer in the world get themselves in a position where inventory levels are excessive?

Inventory management is an art not a science. The levels of inventory are a judgment call based on the available information. Let’s review how it is supposed to work. Before we start, this brief lesson applies to every company that has inventory no matter what industry and no matter what size the company. If you think this does not apply to you then I submit you are exactly the person I was thinking of when I wrote this article.

The primary reason for any inventory is to use it or sell it to make money. If you have an inventory of spare parts for a machine that is 20 years old, you are carrying that inventory to make sure you can repair the machine if it fails. If you dispose of the machine you no longer need the spare parts inventory. If you are a restaurant that specializes in prime cut steaks, you need the inventory to match the projected customers for today and maybe tomorrow. If your projections are wrong, then you either run out of steaks or have an excess. In the restaurant business, there rarely is any need to carry more than a couple days supply of inventory. Restaurant suppliers generally deliver more than once a week. In the fashion apparel industry, inventory is seasonal. In the early Spring merchandise is already in the pipeline for Fall and Winter. If apparel merchants misjudge the style, color, or fashion trend of their customer, they will be left with merchandise taking up valuable retail space. Blowout sales are then used to get rid of it.

Good systems will tell you the quantities on hand, on order, days of supply, gross profit in inventory, inventory turnover in total, by category, by vendor, by item and a lot more. Good systems will automatically process replenishment orders for item that are considered basic or staples. However, people makes policy decisions. Policy decisions are ones like inventory turnover will be at least 4 or we will now carry a higher mix of higher priced items to attract a more upscale customer. Inventory policy decisions drive the organization to action to achieve the goals of those policies.

In my experience, effective inventory policies are a result of business strategy linked to business financial performance and liquidity goals. When there is no clear definition of the goals then how do you evaluate actual results? Actual performance is always relative to the targeted goal.

The following is a brief summary of the impact of less than optimal inventory management:

Sales goals can not be met if you have nothing to sell. Forecasted demand along with replenishment modeling are key.

Gross margin goals cannot be achieved if your actual inventory mix does not match your gross margin goal or your customer demand patterns do not match what you have to offer.

Liquidity goals cannot be achieved if inventory turnover is less than target.

A,B,C Inventory Management Plan

1.Establish clear sales and gross margin goals.
2.Develop the same goals by line of business, product category
3.Identify the A items in each category. A items are the ones that make up 80% of the sales volume for that category.
4.Calculate the gross margin for the A items by category. Calculate the variance of actual gross margin for the A items vs. goal. If the result is the same, your goals are likely too low.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for inventory turnover. Be sure the turnover goals tie into you liquidity forecast.
6. Develop detailed action plans to improve the performance of the A items. Assign a time line to those action plans along with specific accountability for implementation.
7. Extend steps 1-7 to the B items. Include in your action plan a goal of identifying which B items should move into the A category. This is normally done based on buying trends and gross margin opportunity.
8. Calculate the total investment for each level of inventory (A, B, and C’s) Evaluate the actual return on investment vs. target. You do have a targeted ROI, correct?

Project Manager: Make inventory a priority. Many people can be involved but one person should be accountable. If you have concerns about status or progress, hire an outside professional.

Complexities usually flow into the picture when people begin to spend a lot of their time on what they view are needed support tools. Those can include staff, systems and procedures. While tools are necessary to achieve your goals, a consistent focus on actual vs. targeted performance of A items should yield enormous benefits.

Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies. Today Steve is an expert business consultant focused on helping companies improve their business performance including growing profits, revenues and customers. For a FREE 6 week mini course where you will receive 10 easy to implement action steps guaranteed to increase business revenue and profits by at least 30% in the next 90 days, please visit All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.