Helpful Information

FINANCIAL CLOSE

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MORE THAN JUST TIME MANAGEMENT

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PRODUCTIVITY

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STRATEGIC AND OPERATING PLANS


PLAN EXECUTION

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CREDIT AND COLLECTIONS

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LOGISTICS / WAREHOUSE COST REDUCTION

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BENEFITS

Strategic and Operating Plans


Successful companies typically have documented long term strategic plans (often five years) and short term (usually one year) operating plans. Sound strategy identifies a company's present situation, uniqueness, competitive advantage, goals, how it will achieve its goals, risks involved, and resources needed. Management must determine the investment needed in people, assets, marketing, and product development. The basics of these plans should address the following:

  • Past and current company performance assessment including financial and operating results
  • Current economic conditions within the applicable industry
  • Competitor detail including size in revenue, employees and geographical locations and market share
  • Strengths and weaknesses of company in relation to competitors
  • Opportunities and threats
  • Goals
  • Action plans needed to achieve goals
  • Sales projections by customer, product, and/or market
  • Pricing strategy
  • Product mix
  • Advertising and promotions
  • Quality Control
  • Employee requirements
  • Capital requirements
  • Distribution channels
  • Projected profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements


It is easy to summarize past and present performance as well as desired future outcomes. The challenge is to identify how to achieve the desired outcome. Flexibility is needed with alternative plans to address changes in the environment or bad assumptions. An operating plan identifies short term plans (usually within one year) that will lead to accomplishing sales and profitability goals. Plans include marketing expenditures, new products introductions, manufacturing plans that address production yields, distribution channels, and productivity plans that improve efficiency. Customer needs and behavior changes must be understood. Resources must be allocated based on opportunities. Basic assumptions must be discussed such as the target customers, the need and reason for purchase, and the actions and plans of competitors.