CEO Strategist - Rick Johnson - Consultant, Speaker, and Strategic Planning Expert for the Wholesale Distribution IndustryContact CEO Strategist Rick Johnson Wholesale Distribution Expert, Speaker & Consultant

Business Assessment

Do you and your management team get frustrated when faced by challenges and constraints where you can’t identify the root cause? Does it feel like the daily grind of running the business keeps you and your team from coming up with solutions?

As successful executives, you deal with the urgencies of running a distributorship on a day-to-day basis. The very practices and characteristics that help you do this on a daily basis may actually be preventing you from seeing the ‘big’ picture with a fresh, open mind while subtly diminishing your diagnostic skills.

Before you can solve these types of nagging problems, you must first accurately diagnose them. It’s easy knowing a problem exists, but much more difficult to put your finger on its precise cause and cure!

That’s why an impartial business assessment by CEO Strategist's founder Rick Johnson is so valuable. It offers a pair of “outsider” eyes with in-depth industry experience, which can help identify the most serious challenges you face.

Real value is built into the business assessment process through identification of challenges, along with recommended actions to specifically address the issues. It’s all about knowing what your true critical constraints are and then focusing your efforts to solve them.


The Assessment Process

It's almost like going to your doctor for an annual physical. Generally, clients come to CEO Strategist showing symptoms, but usually they aren’t aware of the larger problem or understand its cause. Just as a doctor provides a diagnosis for his patient; Rick will do the same for you.

And a thorough, no-holds barred assessment from an outside perspective allows for total objectivity. Obviously, then, choosing an acknowledged industry expert to conduct your business assessment is critical. The result of our assessments is often a surprising clarity of underlying issues and problems.

In fact, one client (a $50 million electrical distributor) once described the process this way...

It’s like taking a punch in the gut, but it will open your eyes to reality!”

It’s equally important that the assessment is performed by someone who is honest, and not necessarily nice. This means they won’t sugar-coat the issues. To be valid and offer true insight into your current situation, business assessments must be conducted by someone who has ‘walked in your shoes;’ someone with actual, hands-on experience and not by someone with only ‘academic’ training or someone who has been groomed as a ‘consultant,’ but who never had to make payroll!

A confidentiality agreement is necessary at the onset of any in-depth business assessment. Next you'll need to provide a detailed 'care package' to our assessor containing items such as financials, strategic plans, sales demographics, compensation plans, and any other data specific to the perceived issues you have identified. This allows us to do our ‘homework’ (research and analysis) prior to our actual assessment visit.

Our on-site visit amounts to a personal, strictly confidential one-on-one interview with your management staff and other key contributors. The interviews will include at least two outside sales people and one inside sales person, as well as representatives of all key functions in the business.

After Rick has reviewed the package and conducted the on-site visit, you'll receive our Assessment Review Report, complete with realistic observations of your issues and recommended practical improvements to your current operations. This report clearly identifies issues and their causes, and most importantly, recommended action steps that specifically address these issues are included in the report.

Lessons Learned
What are the take-aways from our custom business assessment process? Based on past experiences from assessments across many industries throughout distribution, you can expect to learn that:

  • cherished beliefs are not always true
  • change is a function of future state minus current state, as well as a
    of plan clarity and resistance
  • the gap between ‘world view’ and ‘world reality’ will be more clearly defined
  • organization structure is a function of work
  • people truly are your most precious business asset
  • success requires a platform created from the bottom up (not the top down!)

Real value is built into our assessment process through the identification of a problem’s cause and by providing recommended action steps to address that cause. It’s all about knowing what your critical constraints are… and then focusing your efforts to solve these very real problems.

Once our business assessment is complete, more often than not, customers clearly understand the issues, agree with the recommended course of action, and embrace change eagerly. They are once-again excited about solving problems once they have a clear plan of action to take.

What is this kind of insight worth to you?

How can a business assessment support and energize YOUR planning process?

Can you afford to let your company’s competitive advantage, growth, and profitability be threatened by those same-old nagging problems that you don’t have the time or resources to resolve?

Rick Johnson’s numerous and successful business assessments have energized and resuscitated companies large and small, at all levels of  wholesale distribution. He can provide your company with expert assistance in diagnostics, utilizing the assessment process. He’s “walked in your shoes” for more than 30 years, so he has the experience and understands what it takes to create success in the real world of distribution.

Don’t just take Rick’s word for it...

He’ll be happy to provide you with numerous references from satisfied clients he has worked with.

The cost of an assessment varies, depending on several factors such as location, size, number of interviews required, number of branches and days required to complete the assessment process. Fees can range from $5,500 to $15,000, plus travel-related expenses.

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