Passive price taker or active price strategist – you choose

I get it. You’re selling in a commodity market which by definition makes you a price taker…right? Setting aside your willingness to accept the premise that your product is undifferentiated from your competitors (topic for another day), let’s look at the two pricing postures you could have when selling product in a commodity market: 1)   … Read more »

Will Amazon enter the meat industry? Spoiler alert: They already have.

Amazon’s swan dive into grocery will do more than transform food retail, it will transform the entire food value chain. Let’s look at the likely impacts specific to the meat sector. As Amazon brings its analytical horsepower and culture of fast charging innovation into food retail, other retail chains will be forced to build similar… Read more »

People need the bacon: 4 questions to consider in market uncertainty.

Even the laws of supply & demand agree that one of the stars of the meat industry (life?) is bacon. The price of pork bellies may have been rising for some time but according to the Wall Street Journal, in 2016 alone pork belly prices rose a whopping 80% while frozen inventories decreased 60%. The… Read more »

Whether You Call It Trading or Not, Your Company is Taking Market Positions

Introduction: Market Risk at Commodities-Driven Companies When an investor buys a stock, she is taking a position, placing a bet on the stock’s value going up so that she can sell it later for a profit. In commodities industries like food processing and mining, many executives see their companies solely as producers of commodity products… Read more »

Millennial Meat Preferences: What am I Supposed to do with a Chuck Roast?

Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1997, make up the largest living generation in the United States, numbering 74.4 million. Many readers in the meat industry will be surprised to learn that millennials are spending almost 75% more than baby boomers on meat (Midan Marketing, “Millennials, Boomers and Meat: A Closer Look). Despite this increased… Read more »

Humans or machines

Humans or machines: Which makes better business decisions? (Spoiler alert: both)   Within the past year, a series of unrelated technical glitches brought the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to a grinding halt for more than three hours, delayed hundreds of United Airlines flights and took down the Wall Street Journal’s home page. Experts agree the… Read more »

Restructuring Sales Territories

Restructuring Sales Territories During the past 20 years selling software, I’ve seen Territory Division Strategies come and go. When Sales Executives make a decision to change strategy, some sellers get creamed and others get famous. Over time, it doesn’t matter which strategy you choose– only that you leave it the same long enough for sellers… Read more »

What is in a Forecast?

By Eugene Chen, Ph.D. Forecasting as a human activity has a long history. In ancient Egypt, priests monitor the level and clarity of Nile River using the Nilometers. From the measurements, they predict how good the crops would be for the coming year. It is fair to say that these priests are one of the… Read more »