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Double Your Profits: In Six Months or Less Paperback – 31 Mar 1995
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"Simple and straightforward."--Jack Welch, Chairman of GE
From the Back Cover
This peerless profit-boosting guide presents seventy-eight key insights that are notable for their aggressive approach and contrarian perspective. Top consultant Bob Fifer shows how to turn the tables on hardball-playing suppliers and competitors. He also challenges outmoded assumptions and explains why arbitrary budgets are sometimes the best budgets; computers often hinder more than help; bosses are frequently underpaid; customers can often be persuaded to pay more; and suppliers can often be persuaded to charge less. By following Bob Fifer's advice, you'll be able to cut costs to the bone, send productivity through the roof, and double your profits in the space of only six months.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In today's highly competitive business environment, it is important to instill a culture of cost consciousness. In the author's opinion every cost is up for grabs and needs to be justified. There is waste in any organization such as too many layers of management, the amount of time spent in meetings, spending on offsite meetings, and unnecessary reports. However when it comes marketing, the author recommends outspending the competition in both good and bad times.
Some parts of the book will likely make readers uncomfortable including the lack of concern for many of the people who make up a company's workforce and certain suggestions for extracting concessions from suppliers. In the latter case some people will question the ethics of his approach. This book is certainly not "If Aristotle Ran General Motors." It is not about pleasing multiple stakeholder groups. It is a no nonsense book about improving the bottom line.
There is no doubt a company can improve the bottom line following the author's advice especially in the first few years. I would be interested in case studies of some of the author's client companies. What has been the longer term impact on their corporate culture, employee turnover and relations with suppliers? How have their top line and bottom line growth fared over time?
In reading this book I had to work to separate the message from the messenger. I was turned off a bit by the author's tone. It is interesting that the author left Kaiser Associates, Inc. in 2000 and set up his own firm which I believe is just a one person operation. I did some research and found an interesting quote from a May 28, 2007 interview with U.S. News and World Report.
"I ran one company [Kaiser, his consulting firm] for 18 years. The company did very, very well, but we hit a wall. If I knew then what I know now, I would still be there, and the company would be 20 times larger. I would come into the office and, by force of my person and bravado, try to move the company by myself. It worked until we had eight offices on five continents. If I had had more humility and been more principled in how I treated other people, I would have built an organization with depth. No CEO is good at everything, but when people perceive you are selfish and greedy, the holes remain exposed and don't get closed. When you have a strong character, people rally behind you in a way that plugs those holes."
Fifer makes it clear at the start that this is a book for those who are willing and able to focus on profits. If morale, feeling good about your contributions, writing 3 page mission statements is your thing, you are probably not ready for these lessons. A few will cause long term problems if abused, like getting rid of your staff, not paying bills, not developing employees but the flow is right on.
The most important lessons I learned from this book were: Determine which costs are strategic and over-invest in those areas as long as you can see they are effective. Dont overquantify things especially when the extra precision wont change anyone's mind. Just say no to office space, furniture, reports, travel, price increases, and capital expenditures; If you are wrong they will keep asking until you say yes. Set cost targets and always go to bid.
When you finish this book consider "Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie" by Carmine Del Sordi. Also loaded with tips and writing styles are very similar.