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Distributor Year End Checklist

Distributor’s Year End Checklist

Sales and Customers

  • Who are my top customers?
  • How many customers represent 80% of my business?
  • Do my salespeople know who these people are?
  • Will any of them face catastrophic change in 2011?
  • Who represent our targets for the future? 
  • Advanced – Do I understand which customers contribute to my bottom line via Activity Based Costing or some other method besides gross margin?


  • Who is my most valuable employee?
  • Do they know I appreciate their work?
  • If I had to get rid of someone who would it be?
  • Do I have any openings, expansions coming in 2011?
  • Do I know someone you would like to have on your team?
  • Do I do employee reviews?  Why or Why not?  Being busy isn’t an excuse.
  • If I do not do reviews, how do I insure that everyone understands exactly how I feel about their work?
  • Advanced – Have I set specific growth and improvement goals for my employees?


  • What percentage of our budget was spent on people, buildings, equipment?
  • Are we anticipating any major changes in 2011?
  • Are there areas you don’t understand?
  • Have I budgeted for demos and samples?
  • Have I budgeted for training?


  • Are there major customer events that need to be on the calendar?
  • Will we take part in any trade shows?  How can I be better prepared?
  • Are there association meetings I want to attend in the next year?
  • Have I planned a vacation?
  • What details must be handled 30, 60, 90 days prior to these events?
  • Can I subdivide the necessary details and delegate them to others?


  • Which vendors represent 80% of my business?
    • Have I set a time for review/planning sessions with them?
    • When will we review the plan throughout the year?
    • Who in their management team should I know?
  • Which vendors represent an opportunity for growth from this list?
  • Which vendors not on the list have an opportunity for growth?
  • Are there small vendors critical for our success? 

Business Operations

  • Have I implemented a pricing strategy?
  • How can I improve our gross margin picture for 2011?
  • Have I reviewed existing special pricing agreements?
  • Does my business system (ERP) give me the following information?
    • Customer sales by product line
    • Salesperson sales by product line
    • Accounts tracking upward compared to last year
    • Sales activity falling below 10% gross margin
    • Sales activity falling above 40% gross margin
    • Freight billed
    • Inventory with no sales for 180 days
    • Accounts receivable over 60 days

High Impact Distributor Training

High Impact Opportunities?

People keep asking, what can have the greatest impact on my business?

Based on our observations (and the research of a whole lot of others), there are three areas that deliver real game changing results.

Pricing Strategy – When you have thousands of product SKU’s and hundreds of customers, pricing strategy gets complex.  We believe too complex for manual operation.  David Bauder’s and his Strategic Pricing Associates has historically delivered two points or more additional margin for their clients.  I believe a very large chunk of this increase flows straight to the bottom line. 

Customer Targeting – Selecting the customer who achieves maximum benefit from your products improves your value proposition.  Selecting the right customer improves your sales effectiveness.  Research indicates companies with a dynamic targeting process outperform their peers by 47%.  What would happen if you brought in more of the right customers?

Employee Effectiveness – In distribution employees consume 60+ percent of the revenue.  Most businesspeople claim their employees are their biggest asset.  Yet, very few have a budget for employee training.  Those who do invest in training tend to spend the money at the bottom.  What would happen if your top employees performed better?  Independent research indicates that executive level coaching carries a 500% return on investment.  500% is a big number.


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