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Resource Management – Steel trap or steel sieve?

April 10th, 2009

     The last Quarter has seen no shortage of financial folks in my network asking about my perceived prospects for the rest of the year. Unlike many others out there, I am not going to make any predictions for what lies ahead for the rest of the year. As of now, I am treating each Quarter as a new battle with different conditions that will have to be dealt with and the need to employ an altering strategy. The analogy that I continue to reference is that we are living a lesson in Darwinism and only the fittest will survive. There is no room for complacency.

     With that in mind, I treat each day as an opportunity to review the deployment of our resources and determine if our capital is being utilized in the most efficient manner. Whether this is in the form of headcount, operating expenses, small capital purchases, or vendor contracts, the week:week management of these resources will determine if we are going to make our Quarter. Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not micro-managing and losing sight of the longer-term picture by playing in the weeds all day. However, as I’ve written in a previous post, it’s about those smaller incremental Base Hits than going for the huge home run. We are managing our resources with the approach of a steel trap and not letting our results get diluted through smaller expenses trickling through because they fall below the radar.

     Fortunately, we have a great team and there is little concern that needs to be placed on our personnel. While there’s always improvements that can be made to productivity, we’ve made huge leaps over the last 8-months. Our spending is significantly down over the prior year. We’ve implemented new payment terms with vendors that allow us to take early pay discounts, which were previously non-existent. We’ve brought our inventory levels down by over 30% on a year-over-year basis, while being able to achieve an increase in sales.  These results are only achieve with a strong discipline, short-term management of resources, and a long-term goal that is clear to all employees.  There’s no question we’re operating with a steel trap mentality. How are you managing your resources ?

Thanks for reading . . . .

Jeffrey Ishmael

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