Executing with excellence
But coming up with a strategy is only the first step. It’s the execution of that strategy where companies fail — not only with their own mission and vision, but also overcoming those unexpected challenges, Vasquez says.
You can stand up and speak to the masses, but it’s the actual filtering down — communicating and having people understand this is the most viable option, and then implementing that strategy — that can be difficult.
You need a homogenous team with people throughout the organization who are competent, substantive and have the ability to turn things around.
It’s also key to monitor the entire implementation.
Vasquez says in the case of losing the supplier, Henry Schein Animal Health measured on a monthly, and sometimes daily, basis how it was doing getting business from other competing lines. Every week, it looked at how it was performing with increasing market share in other areas of the company.
The result was a resounding success — the company replaced the business lost and actually increased profitability.
“You just don’t put out a strategy and say, ‘Here’s how you execute’ and then hopefully wake up a morning six months from that point and say, ‘Did it work?’” he says. “We focus and we finish.
“Focusing and finishing is paramount, and part of that is measuring and monitoring, and making sure that the strategy and the tactics that you’re putting into place are becoming a reality on a daily, weekly, monthly basis through tracking and monitoring that performance.”
Thanks to today’s technology, Henry Schein Animal Health monitors its performance for everything, at the product, sales territory, channel partner and product segment levels.
“That can tell us exactly how one customer out of 26,000 is performing against the previous year, and against a goal that we may have for them,” Vasquez says.
Henry Schein Animal Health also has consistent business review sessions to go over that data.
Manipulating mounds of data
Compiling data is easier than figuring out what to do with it, or how to get the most value. Investing in data analysis and interpretation is becoming more important every day.
Henry Schein Animal Health has an entire department, the sales operations improvement department, which does nothing but monitor data.
Vasquez says the leadership team comes up with ideas for benchmarks it wants to create and monitor every month, including what signals to send out once it has the information.
Then, the staff analysts create reports with views and data to enable the executives to make intelligent, substantive and creative decisions.
In addition, Henry Schein Animal Health has an executive director of the sales operations improvement department to ensure it remains a top priority.
“We make sure that our analysts are really in key positions,” he says. “This is not something that is with someone that is way on down the ladder.”
When the supplier pulled out, Vasquez says Henry Schein Animal Health already knew exactly what it was selling and where. This allowed the company to understand quickly what it needed to do to pick it up.
It also gave the team the ability to pinpoint the high profit areas that could help bridge the budget gap with a slight improvement.
“Everything we do quite frankly is data-generated,” Vasquez says.