As we brainstormed our unique value proposition with our advisory board and marketing team, the topic of financial acumen rose to the surface. Traditionally, we’ve talked about people, processes and systems and how our unique combination of these elements delivers superior business performance; however, this statement failed to include a vital element of our success – financial acumen.
When I was a VP of Operations and Supply Chain, we constantly were pursuing how to reduce costs while improving the performance of the product and service to our customers. Understanding how to get to true costs – not double or triple counting cost improvement programs isn’t as easy as it seems like it would be. Costs are also critical for thinking strategically about pricing, what focus to put on certain products or customers etc.
Thus, having this financial acumen is essential and noteworthy. Fortunately for me, I had a finance mentor early in my career path; thus, I decided to get an MBA with an emphasis in Finance. Of course, although quite valuable, I learned 100 times more from a a Finance Director who worked for me later in my career. He was invaluable because he knew costs, how to analyze capital investments, and what was important when it came to variances, contribution margins and cash flow. What else could you want in a superhero? Thanks Marty!
Thus, we have evolved this unique formula to the “right” combination of people (culture, change, leadership etc.), processes and protocols (inclusive of systems, finance etc.) – and it has a great alliteration of P’s to boot!