Pepsi Uses Fact-Based Selling to Maximize Store Performance

Pepsi Uses ‘Fact-Based’ Selling to Maximize Store Performance. They analyze the client’s own sales velocity information. They take the total sales by product and subtract the costs to show how much margin is generated from their beverage category. Using facts from the client’s historical sales allows the customer to see an objective analysis of the total profit that their sales provide. These facts allow decisions for future category indexing that make expectations for future sales realistic and easy to verify.

Looking at Total Impact on Cash Flow

The need for margins and cash-flow is high. C-Store operators have a lot of capital needs. Labor is tight, regulations require maintenance and/or new equipment for many items and margins are getting squeezed. The combination of high capital outlays and tighter margins can make up-front money from vendors very appealing. It is important to consider the total return when making product mix decisions. The decision may be wrong if considering only part of the total return. The up-front money and the margin provided over the course of the contract determines the complete return.

Fact-Based Category Indexing to Maximize Profits

By looking at past sales and costs, the projection for the future profits is based on sales patterns at specific stores. That is, rather than a promise of sales made on industry patterns, it uses margin analysis on the real sales that have already occurred at the client specific store(s). While sales patterns can change, it is reasonable to expect a similar pattern of sales over time at given stores. So looking at the margin for future sales based on the past-year of sales can make it possible to see which new contract should provide the best profitability. That is, based the new contract decision on the total profitability using past sales with the new contract margins.

Vendor Accountability to C-Store Performance

The same approach to study past sales can be done going forward to ensure the newly promised sales and margins are achieved. That is, once you have your projections in place, then you can track the results each month (or week). If things are not going as expected, there is a good reason to expect your vendor to help analyze the situation. Catching a small issue early provides time to adjust. Catching a success early, provides time to expand and reap the benefits of good execution over the remainder of the contract.

Partnering with Suppliers to Maximize Store Performance

Having a partner that will look at the data and help make a plan can provide a basis for decisions for new product sets. Establishing a defined expectation can help not only your vendor management, but also provide your management team a clear expectation for future results. A good partner wins when you win. Spending time to review results and plan for the future together with your partner may bring new ideas and a share commitment for success.

The best partners realize that a store needs to provide choices. All suppliers want to maximize their sales. Having a partner that considers your store needs along with their needs makes for great results. The fact-based approach to maximize C-Store sales that Pepsi uses is an innovative method. Have you asked your suppliers to prepare a margin based sales plan?

Fact-Based Selling to Maximize Store Performance – Related blogs and posts

You may also like a related blog regarding Is Knowledge Power – Can It Drive C-Store Sales?

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Things Preventing Me From Getting Stuff Done

My company provides Store Performance Systems to help companies get better results with less effort. Our culture calls for us to work the same way we recommend to our clients to work. I changed roles when I joined this company and I had to not only learn a new industry but also a new role. Despite a strong desire for the change, I found there were some things preventing me from getting stuff done. I was struggling to meet certain goals. I learned a few things over the past few months. Change for me came down to some key elements:

  1. Simplifying and repeating certain behaviors
  2. Attitude towards change
  3. Keeping track of my work

It sounds straight forward, and I have a written process, but there’s a lot of STUFF that gets in the way.

Things Preventing Me From Getting Stuff Done

Mindset. We also call it head stuff – a lot of habits and tendencies don’t go away overnight. They need to be managed well, personally by me and ideally with an accountability partner.

I’ve had some tough conversations with my business partner about professional development, meeting milestones, hitting certain goals, etcetera. He’s my accountability partner, so we frequently review what I’m doing to meet these goals. We assess where I’m failing or not following through and focus on how that affects me personally. These are milestones I set based on career development and – importantly – they are aligned with the company goals. This isn’t just accountability in my company role, it’s long term professional accountability.

Buying into the Process

During one of our reviews we discussed obstacles by asking the question “What are all the things that are getting in the way accomplishing one of my critical goals?” For example, I had a specific goal for the week. We sat down and looked at every activity not related to meeting the goal. What can we remove from that list? What does that look like? We were getting to the bare bones of “what actions do I need to do, how much, and what’s stopping me?”

Simple and Organized

That week it came down to creating an organized, simple list of actions, and opting out of certain meetings that weren’t important to personal or company goals. I may not be able to take away all activities every week, but how can I turn this planning into a process that’s sustainable and repeatable? Better yet, is the template good enough to be useful to someone else?

Here are a few takeaways that help me get on track and start doing the things that I needed to do

Start of the Day Plan

I have a start of the day plan. For me it’s a daily repeated calendar event of things I want to reference or keep at the top of my head, including goals for the month or week. Not just company goals, but the personal goals I set. I’ll even include certain attitudes and behaviors of to strive for a certain mindset.

I want to be more: insert adjective. For example: I want to be more focused I want to be more discerning I want to be more tough. Those are real things I’ve written down. It’s a bit of a mind trick. Sometimes it seems strange to write down attitudes, but there are times it has kept me on track for the day.

Be Organized

So, what are all the important things that I need to review each morning?

I lay out the important things that need to get done and either mark them off as I go or use them for staying on track. The cleanest example of this in my world is when I have a backlog of people I need to call. If I have a list of all the people there in front of me, contact info, the reason I’m calling them back, what we talked about before, it starts to take away reasons not to just call. No searching for their number or remembering what was discussed. Keep it simple and clear so I can just Do the action. Even on days when I do not feel like picking up the phone, if I have everything in place, it makes it so much easier to just do it. I find that I’m less stressed knowing that I’ve contributed to my own goals, which, yes, are aligned with company goals. Also, when I keep a record of this, the meetings with my partner become more factual and to the point. They are also shorter and oriented towards higher level problem-solving.

Focus on High Value Work

Systemizing the work helps me to focus on the more interesting work, brainstorming new ideas, or having more free time.

Simple not Easy

Working these steps into my day wasn’t easy. Our DevOps team uses a similar system. They even score themselves, measuring how they do daily and review every morning. We’ve created these systems for ourselves and developing them and sticking with it took a lot of effort, some difficult conversations, and buy-in from everyone.
We still work on ways to improve, but it has become more routine, takes less time, and is an important operational function. The results are improvement or knowing why something was missed.
When motivation is aligned expectations are clear, and behavior is simplified, the pain of change is temporary, manageable, and worth it.

For more information on C-Store Performance – Accountability

You may also want to read about our blog on Five Minute C-Store Expectations Plan?
or
Here is an article based on research of change from Harvard Health Publishing.

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Five Minute C-Store Expectations Plan

Great C-Store Expectations

There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth.
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Given the impact your store manager has on your store performance, many think helping them to choose daily work items wisely, is a key to success. Many use the five minute C-Store expectations plan to set priorities. It just takes a few minutes to assess the situation and make the right choices IF you have the right information available. If you only had five minutes a day to set C-Store expectations, what would you expect your store manager to consider?

The store manager is often considered the key to great store performance. They are the best people in the store to meet customer service expectations and understand the company plans. We want them to be spending time with the customers up-front. They must ensure that the staff know their jobs and the store is ready for business. Many say, the store manager is the most important part of C-Store Success. Steven Covey in his coaching in regards to the habits of highly successful people, stated ‘the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.’

Given the importance of their job and the demands on their time, it is worrisome to assign more work. We want to streamline their jobs. They must be focused on the most important work – setting the C-Store expectations plan into action. What then is the best use of time and how does a store manager focus on the main things?

Five Minute C-Store Expectations Plan Considerations

  1. Same day sales – same day of week, last week or last year
  2. Monthly sales – year over year comparisons
  3. Categories that are going up or down compare to the same period last year
  4. Top selling items
  5. Items that are not selling at all
  6. Items that sold last week but are not selling this week
  7. Customer feedback on bathrooms, service and selection
  8. Store inspections
  9. Store maintenance items

Five Minute C-Store Expectations Plan – Make It Easy

If there is a place that the most important information can be found so that the manager is not spending time gathering the information, then it becomes a quick check to decide what things need attention. Creating a list of actions and getting them done becomes a short task each day and leads to success. Knowing where to find the answers is a big part of the job. Make is easy. Set great expectations.

Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

For more information on C-Store Performance – Accountability

You may also want to read about our blog on C-Store Operations – Keep It Simple – The Hard Work?

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