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Focus on Financial Data

Owners of AMC of Wisconsin learning more about what’s working and what isn’t as they strive to move their business forward

Story by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher

April 2017

One month into the work to put out the fires in their business, Axel and Carmina Mendez said they’ve already experienced a number of “aha moments” when focusing in on the performance of AMC of Wisconsin in Fond du Lac through the perspective of their refined financial documents.

One of those instances was recognizing that one of its key profit centers wasn’t making the fabricator of decorative stone countertops any money. Axel had an intuition that might be the case, but it wasn’t until they took a detailed look at their cost of goods sold with Gary Vaughan that he and his wife could place some definitive logic around their work with this particular vendor.

That’s just one of the many lessons the Mendezes hope to discover in their five months of work with Vaughan, president of Appleton-based Guident Business Solutions. As part of B2B magazine’s 6th Annual Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin initiative, Vaughan is donating his business consulting services to AMC of Wisconsin at no cost. In return, the Mendezes will share the progress of their journey with B2B readers.

At their first meeting together, Vaughan and the Mendezes reviewed the financials and operations of AMC of Wisconsin, working toward the development of an annual operating budget to use as a road map to achieve various goals during this next year. Vaughan gave the book, Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs, to the Mendezes to read and learn many of the financial terms and GAAP principles that will help them better understand their company’s financial documents. It’s already been of help, Vaughan said.

“Having a common financial vocabulary has been a benefit for us in just the short time we have been working together,” Vaughan said. “Once we set the strategies, the financials will tell us if we made the correct decisions. If we have great results we will plow forward full throttle.  If not, we will pivot and redirect our efforts to accomplish their goals.”

In their second meeting with one another, the Mendezes discussed which profit center contributed to what percentage of the company’s overall revenues. Vaughan helped point out that certain profit centers drive more profit to the bottom line, confirming much of the intuition Axel had on which aspects of their business create the highest gross profit.

“It’s very motivating to know that we are being coached by a professional like Gary,” Carmina said. “Together we are setting the foundation for the improvements we can already see will take place.”

Most recently, the group discussed strategy for the business moving forward. Vaughan asked the Mendezes to evaluate how efficient they feel their operation is and where they feel the opportunities are for increasing profits.

Ultimately, Vaughan wants the Mendezes to think about what success looks like at the finish line after they wrap up their five months working together later this summer.

“My answer was ‘to increase owner equity by increasing efficiencies, resulting in higher profitability from their business operations and having standard operating procedures in place to help the business grow into the future,’” Vaughan said.

B2B will provide a second update of the Mendezes work with Vaughan to improve the profitability of AMC of Wisconsin in our May 2017 edition.