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Route to Market & Supply Chain Blog

Quarter 4 Opportunities for FMCG, Brewing and Pharma Companies

Posted by Dave Jordan on Thu, Sep 27, 2012

Hold on a minute, how did we get to this time in the year? I know time appears to hasten as you grow older but this year has flown by. One minute we were eagerly awaiting the Olympics and now we heading directly into a northern hemisphere winter and towards Christmas.

Reaching sales traget in Q4Those FMCG/Brewing/Pharma companies with financial years closing in December will be presented with the stark reality that there are just a few weeks to get your numbers in line before HQ invites you to a “career discussion” in January.  Act now to ensure you don’t get a one-way ticket as a present this season.

This time of the year is also around the time many companies put their following year Annual Plans in place. Monstrous data collection spread-sheets will be dropping into inboxes across the globe all seeking improved performance. The recession is still with us but HQ wants top and bottom line improvement – so unfair!

What surprises me though is that many executives will be putting a plan together for growth and probably lower cost while at the same time turning sales and logistic somersaults to reach current year targets. Promotions and bulk-buy special offers will push stock into the trade but be honest; when everyone is doing the same you know a proportion will remain unsold. The numbers you have so carefully crafted for an impressive Q1 will be impossible to achieve.

Of course, yours may be one of those businesses where you are looking to slow sales down as the numbers are already in the bag or soon will be. If you are in that fortunate position then you can still prepare now for a bumper new year. Relaxing your company and particularly the Supply Chain too much will cause a loss of momentum and sharpness. Once you have achieved success and see your competitors drowning you really want to aim a hose at their throats rather than let them get a sniff of recovery.

Whether you are struggling to make the numbers or cruising along now is the time to put plans and budgets in place to ensure your new year resolutions come to fruition.


Image credit: HikingArtist


Tags: Christmas, Dave Jordan, Performance Improvement, S&OP, Forecasting & Demand Planning, Sales, Distribution

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