On an early spring evening, I joined 40 of Australia’s top retail CFOs and FDs aboard the Jackson Superyacht to talk about planning, peak season and the opportunities that lie ahead.
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone to learn that CFOs are charting a course through choppy waters, navigating inflation, supply chain disruption, and the cost of living crisis. There were three big insights for me from the event, giving a picture of what’s on the horizon but also some sense of what support CFOs need to weather the storm.
Batten down the hatches
Although things have been tough for a while now, the consensus is that the full impact of ongoing inflation increases, mortgage rate hikes, and labor shortages is yet to be felt. Australian consumers are dipping into their savings now, so consumer spending is flat, but this can’t last forever. They all agreed that the downturn will strike at the turn of the new year, so we’ll see supply chains recover just as demand for big-ticket items drops right off.
Who’s at the helm when it comes to pricing?
CFOs are ultimately responsible for the management of the P&L, but they’re often only on the receiving end of pricing data and are rarely called on when it comes to pricing and margin management. Some of them even told me that they could be the last person to see the data, and at that point, it’s too late to be able to make a difference. Pricing and margin management at a SKU and category level typically sits within the pricing team’s category management, so they all wanted to be empowered by greater information sharing.
Margins need to be shipshape
After a decade focused on topline growth, now it’s all about the bottom line. Maximizing profits and margins are the top priority during these more challenging times and CFOs are looking for ways to do this that won’t impact revenue.
Luckily that’s where we come in, ready to throw CFOs a lifesaver. With the right planning and technology in place, retail CFOs can regain control of pricing and margins. Flintfox can help with everything from automating rebates to executing prices across multiple channels with speed and accuracy, giving real-time visibility of margins and at any time in the trading month.
This visibility enables fast, responsive pricing changes fast, so retailers can capitalize on opportunities or avoid margin erosion when costs go up or volumes slump.
The next few months might not be plain sailing but with Flintfox onboard retailers won’t be left high and dry.
All nautical puns are very much intended!