Not all good news…Is good news
Everywhere we look we see evidence of a booming economy. Just try to find a business that isn’t either hiring or making changes in how it operates to allow it to get by with fewer of those hard to find new workers.
Full employment is great, but it comes with another challenge that will may well come sooner than later: inflation.
With our country operating in the enviable position of having more folks employed than ever before and with more job openings than people looking for those openings, we’re approaching a tipping point that few are talking about.
That point is being advanced with wages beginning to increase (often dramatically) to attract – or to just keep employees. With those increased wages comes more spending … and as wages increase faster than the supply of goods, we could see spiraling inflation.
This means that we need to start thinking about what actions we’ll take to safeguard the profitability of our businesses. For the most part the last decades have been a period of little in the way of broad price changes. Sure, the costs of some commodities have risen and fallen as supply has changed. But too much demand has not played a very big role.
That may soon change. The answer to dealing with inflation is to be ready to adjust pricing when those signs appear, not later. Because if we delay, getting caught up can be a big challenge.
Next up: Following the lemmings off the cliff.
Drift andIce bergs
Last time out we addressed our tendency to allow that titration method we use to creep, and with that slippage perhaps our customer’s results to suffer. If that were the only area where “backsliding” was a problem, we’d be fortunate. But unfortunately, it’s the tip of the ice berg and the others where it happens can be a lot more damaging to our businesses.
Take the matter of collections and how diligently we are in carrying that up to date report that lists every invoice that’s still open. We used to do it and knew it to be a pretty effective tool that we used daily to remind customers that the last bill hadn’t been paid. But perhaps recently with a great economy, we’ve become a little less diligent and don’t keep it as up to date as before.
Then there’s the old habit of operating with a well-managed territory coverage plan that scheduled every service call and had our accounts efficiently organized by geographic areas. It maximized our time and made certain that our customers saw us on a disciplined schedule that neither over or under serviced them. Perhaps we now sort of use that plan, but just not as carefully as before.
These two are just two of many areas that might be suffering from that drift problem and like getting back to titrating the right way, these two … and those others might just deserve a serious look. Just sayin…