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Navigating Economic Challenges. Charting a Course for Survival and Prosperity. by John Mehrmann. How did we get here?. Global Community – Global Marketplace. How did we get here? How long will it last? What should I expect? What can I do about it?. 2006. A History of Home Values.

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Navigating economic challenges

Navigating Economic Challenges

Charting a Course for Survival and Prosperity

by John Mehrmann

How did we get here
How did we get here?

Global Community – Global Marketplace

  • How did we get here?

  • How long will it last?

  • What should I expect?

  • What can I do about it?

A history of home values


A History of Home Values

Cause and Effect in our industry

United states house prices
United States House Prices


  • Latest quarterly, median, existing, single-family home price provided by the National Association of Realtors.

  • Trailing house price index data provided by Standard & Poors and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

  • Inflation data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the shadow of foreclosure
In the shadow of foreclosure

New York Times Sept 7, 2008

The great depression oct 1929 1940
The Great DepressionOct 1929 - 1940

This chart compares total debt (“credit”) in the U.S. to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on a percentage basis. Current total credit-market debt stands at more than 340 percent of total GDP.

The stock market
The Stock Market

Ten Year Trend

18 Month Trend

A global trend


A Global Trend

S&P 500


Dow Jones

Hong Kong


Consumer tendency survey
Consumer Tendency Survey

Consumer Confidence Indicator

The domino effect
The Domino Effect

Cause and Effect in a Global Market

Jobs & Unemployment

Banks / Financial

Consumer Spending

Consumer Confidence

Stock Market

My Business / My Life


Real Estate

Many theories about how it all started. Many guesses about when it will end.

The domino effect1
The Domino Effect

Cause and Effect in our industries

Consumer Confidence & External Factors

Retail Sales Decline

Manufacturers Lower Production

Less Demand for Material, Price Drops

Recycling Impact

Retail sales impact
Retail Sales Impact

Impact to one is impact to many

Consumer Confidence & External Factors

Retail Sales Decline

Retail Dealers

And Stores

Forward Logistics Freight Carriers

Reverse Logistics Freight Carriers

Product Return Processing Centers

Installation &

Field Services




Credit / Finance

Customer Service


Producers adjust to market

* Feb 2009 Headline News

Producers adjust to market

Manufacturers in many industries react to challenge

Consumer Confidence & External Factors

Retail Sales Decline

Manufacturers Lower Production


11% drop in profit

cuts 5,000 jobs*


Net Loss $1.7 billion

cuts 16,000 jobs*


Closes factories

cuts 5,000 jobs*

Jones Apparel Group

$840 million write downs*


Profits drop 45% in Q4*


46% drop in earnings*


33% revenue decline*

Across all industries, manufacturers react responsibly to economic challenges

Global economy
Global Economy

Consumer confidence down. Spending “buying” declines

Production decreases due to lower demand

Less production means fewer jobs, factories close, GDP down

Less production also means less demand for material

Commodity prices plummet
Commodity Prices Plummet

Supply and demand.

Eroding Profit

Consumer Confidence & External Factors

Retail Sales Decline

Manufacturers Lower Production

Less Demand for Material, Price Drops

Recycling Impact





Navigating economic challenges

Where are you in the product and service supply chain?

Where are your clients & partners in the supply chain? What are their challenges? What makes them financially secure?

Now what
Now What?

This is a wave of economic transition

  • Recognize changes in the economic cycle and identify the waves of change coming your way. There are more waves of change coming.

  • Watch what is happening to your clients and their cycles. They are your source of revenue.

  • This is not a recession or a depression, this is a transition. Make changes and adapt to new conditions.

A brave new world
A Brave New World

The World is Flat, Hot, and Crowded

  • The Internet connects business and individuals real time with global resources

  • Automation and integration have improved and bypassed consolidation for efficiency

  • Communication, data, visibility, ability to effectively collaborate (outsource & partner) have changed dramatically. Have you?

  • “Status Quo” is the new “Road Kill”

Don t fool yourself
Don’t Fool Yourself

Threats may be opportunities

  • Just because you may not have felt the impact YET does not mean you won’t

    • Thousands of jobs reduced. What happens to all that equipment and assets? A threat to reduce service and support, or an opportunity to help companies with excess assets?

    • Fewer employees does not mean less work. Can you be the outsource solution for some of those functions and operations at a lower cost?

Your clients
Your Clients

Customer Satisfaction is not good enough

  • How are your clients being impacted?

  • How financially stable are your clients?

  • What can you do to help them right now?

  • What are their plans for the future?

  • How often do you communicate with them?

  • Are you poised to immediately help new clients if your competition fails?

  • How are you using your internal resources to protect your current sources of revenue?

Executive level
Executive Level

Leadership in tough times

  • Understand the Financial Crisis

    • Recognize key indicators for your business

  • Monitor Internal Cash Flow

    • Be in touch and constantly monitoring cash flow within the organization. What is working?

  • Monitor Clients

    • Communicate effectively with lines of business and all points of customer contact

Empower the sales force
Empower the Sales Force

The right equipment for your team

  • Do you have sufficient training for your sales force? Regulations, processes, technology, and economic factors are changing. Have you educated and prepared your sales force?

  • Do you have easy to use and effective CRM, ERP, and tracking tools that are shared between the front line and back office?

  • Customer acquisition and maintenance is a responsibility for the whole organization. Does it feel that way in yours?

Human capital
Human Capital

Your most valuable asset

  • Reallocate resources to Revenue sources

    • Put your best people on most important programs

  • A goldmine of quality candidates available

    • Are any of them from your company?

  • Employee Confidence

    • Motivate and maintain morale

    • Communicate frequently and honestly

    • Reassure personnel with recognition

How can one person cope
How can one person cope?

Can you spare 30 Minutes per day?

  • 5 Minutes to create an action list for tomorrow

  • 5 Minutes to review Headline News

  • 5 Minutes to Review Short Term Projects & Metrics

  • 5 Minutes to Reflect on Long Term Goals

  • 5 Minutes to do something for someone else

  • 5 Minutes to relax and do something for yourself

Short long term
Short & Long Term

Act now and plan for tomorrow

  • Short term projects

    • Identify short term projects to reduce costs

    • Assign teams to concentrate on urgent needs and quick implementation for results

    • Long term goals

    • Align short term projects with long term goals

    • Invest in infrastructure and new business, watch the waves of change for future growth

Short term improvements
Short Term Improvements

Close to the source

  • Need to identify internal improvements? How do you empower suggestions from your employees to improve and thrive?

  • Six Sigma

  • Small Group Activities

  • Quality Circles

  • Or an empty suggestion box?

  • Bottom up starts from the top down . . .

Internal metrics
Internal Metrics

What gets measured gets done

  • Identify your core competency

    • SWOT Analysis

  • Create or Maintain Internal Measurements

    • Monitor key metrics

    • Know your costs and your performance

  • Outsource for other core competencies

    • Do what you do well, rely on experts for part time projects and areas of specialty

Partner or perish
Partner or Perish

We are all in this together

  • Even if you could do it all yourself, can you do less cost or better efficiency with a partner?

  • Can a partner help you fill a weakness?

  • Can you outsource part time requirements, dispatch to remote locations, or utilize special skill sets?

  • Are you outsourcing your underutilized talent, resources, and competencies to generate revenue?

Triage remote diagnostics
TRIAGE & Remote Diagnostics

Effective intelligence

  • Reduce using field service dispatch to diagnose

  • Improve First Time Fix / First Time Complete ratio

  • Reduce Labor costs, improve quality and customer satisfaction

  • Improve technician quality, accuracy and productivity with pooled knowledge. What was done before and what worked?

Route optimization
Route Optimization

More productivity with the same labor

  • Reduce Travel Time (non-productive labor)

  • Reduce Fuel charges

  • More Repair Events per Day (more revenue)

  • Greater accuracy planning & scheduling

  • Compare costs to maximize internal resources and contracted resources

  • Have you integrated customer schedules, vendor schedules, parts, and dispatch?

Part prices freight charges
Part Prices & Freight Charges

Hidden costs consume profit

  • Do you compare multiple vendors prices?

  • Do you compare cost of freight and hidden charges?

  • Do you route parts for most efficient delivery location? (center, customer home, technician)

  • Do you integrate parts delivery schedule with technician dispatch and route optimization?


You want what where when?

  • Are you using the empty trucks?

  • Are you optimizing your routes?

    • Do you identify client specific time requirements compared to flexible schedules?

    • Are you effectively mapping your fleet to contracted supplemental carriers by cost, schedule, route, weight, and contents?

Skill based scheduling
Skill Based Scheduling

The best person for the RIGHT job

  • Are you using the right skills for the right jobs?

  • Are you maximizing throughput with junior technicians on appropriate tasks?

  • Are you effectively utilizing the time of experienced skilled labor on the right tasks

  • Are you effectively monitoring internal resources and contracted labor?

  • Do you have pay for performance?


You cannot manage what you cannot see

  • Do you have real time visibility to monitor your process and identify gaps, interruptions, or anomalies?

  • Do you provide real time visibility to clients & partners?

  • Do you have real time updates from your vendors, suppliers, and contractors?

  • How real time is your data and your decision-making process? How are you alerted?


Ready or not, here it came

  • Gramm Leach Bliley, HIPAA

  • State regulations being created now

  • Do you handle computers, servers, hard drives, or other memory?

  • Do you processes customer records or handle financial transactions? (Do you bill anyone?)

  • Are you properly prepared and have you taken reasonable steps for privacy protection?

Recycling sustainability
Recycling & Sustainability

Extended producer responsibility

  • Fourteen States have regulations today

  • Federal Regulation have been proposed

  • WEEE & RoHS are being updated

  • Are you a collector? Do you take product?

  • Do you provide data wiping services?

  • Do you refurbish or provide asset recovery?

  • Being prepared for regulation creates opportunity. Failure to prepare is a threat.

It budgets
IT Budgets

How will IT spending change in 2009?

InformationWeek Analytics Outlook 2009 Survey


76% Investing in Cost Cutting and Long Term Goals

It driven results at ups
IT Driven Results at UPS

Real Bottom Line Results!

  • Route Optimization

    • 30,000 miles saved in 2008 by using package flow technology to optimize routes for packages and vehicles. Fuel, labor, and time!

  • Integration and Communication

    • 30,000 packages a month ship globally without three copy invoice it used to take (Project launched January 2008 with 100 countries)

  • Collaboration and real Cost Reduction

    • Working with HP, “spray on” locations and instructions reduce printed labels. 1.5 million packages per day (3.1 million by 2010)

Navigating economic challenges

  • ZSL Inc is dedicated to help you through this transition.

  • Visit us at the Reverse Logistics Trade Show Conference & Expo in Las Vegas Feb 3-5, 2009

  • Triage & Remote Diagnostics

  • Route Optimization

  • Parts Price & Freight Comparison

  • Integration & Data Collaboration

  • Real Time Reporting & Visibility

  • Private & Shared Public CRM

  • Skill Based Resource Management

  • Coordinated Dispatch & Tracking

  • Scheduling Control Software

  • Technician Profile Management

  • Inventory Control & WMS

  • Unique Logistics Management

  • Collector Systems for Recycling

  • Solutions for Recyclers

Reverse logistics conference expo
Reverse Logistics Conference & Expo

Conference & ExpoFeb 3-5, 2009Las Vegas

Third Party Service Providers (3PSPs) will be exhibiting their Reverse Logistics services & solutions at the Reverse Logistics Conference & Expo in Las Vegas in February 2009.

At the RLA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, the focus of 3PSPs will be to help OEMs, Retailers & Branded companies become aware of RL support on a global basis. This is a rich opportunity for OEMs and Branded companies to identify future service partners. There has never been an opportunity like this for 3PSPs to sit down face-to-face with the key outsourcing decision makers from the major OEMs and Branded Companies.

John mehrmann vice president business development zsl inc speaker reverse logistics conference expo
John Mehrmann, Vice President, Business Development - ZSL IncSpeaker - Reverse Logistics Conference & Expo

John Mehrmann is Vice President of Business Development for ZSL Inc., a leading Technology Solutions Provider. John has over 20 years of experience that spans logistics, operations, sales, e-commerce, accounting, customer service, marketing, and training. His experience as an author, speaker at several trade conferences, and consultant for many of today’s executive management, has made John a valuable resource to colleagues in many industries.

Prior to ZSL Inc, John served as Director of Service Operations for Toshiba, Regional Sales Director for Data Exchange Corporation, as Operations Manager for SatisFusion. In 2005, John founded Executive Blueprints Inc, an organization dedicated to the advancement of human potential in business. John has had the privilege to design strategic solutions with esteemed colleagues and clients at Toshiba, Fujitsu, FUNAI, Sirius, Service Net, Wells Fargo, Deloitte & Touche, P&G, AT&T, AIG, Zurich, GE Capital, UPS, Iomega, CDC, and NSA.

John Mehrmann is author of the award winning book, The Trusted Advocate: Accelerate Success with Authenticity and Integrity. This groundbreaking book demonstrates practical applications to grow profit and retain loyal customers with honesty, integrity, and obligation. The Trusted Advocate contains entertaining stories and easy activities to personalize the experience, not only to boost revenue, but also to achieve a greater sense of personal satisfaction by an ethical approach to business.

Past RLTS Participation:

Topic - "Evolve or Become Extinct! A RL Model to Deliver Expanded Shareholder Value" - Singapore 2007Las Vegas 2007

Topic - "Create Your Reverse Logistics Financial Model: Putting Dollars to the Metrics to Measure Your Options" - Las Vegas 2008