Billcutterz.com’s main goal is saving their customers time and money through an analysis of their bills and negotiating with their service providers for a lower rate. President and Founder, Barry Gross had a leg up when it came to competitive advantage because he virtually had no competition in the industry. Barry’s previous experience gave him the negotiation skills to use on behalf of his customers. The company was successful right off the bat, with a gross profit margin of 64% in 2013. While it was successful to begin with, he did not put a high importance on leading the company to move forward with its exponential growth. This was not something the company was ready for. They were barely even able to stay profitable. In order to get back on track, Barry would need to come up with more long term and short term goals and adjust his strategic plan to keep up with the changes and booming business.
Regarding Billcutterz.com’s operations, strengths include monthly billing packages. They have trained employees who negotiate with the service provider to reduce the cost of utility bills from your home. Ultimately, they take care of minor inconveniences of negotiating with the service providers. Finally, they are fast and efficient with no direct competition. Weaknesses include people trying to negotiate themselves to get out of the fee from Billcutterz.com and 50% of savings go to Billcutterz.com. Also, some sensitive information is exposed. It is an industry where there is no competition, which makes room for imitators. Since it is an undefined target market, it hard to segment
Their core competency is training and hiring the best negotiators to give their customers the best deal possible. Their weakest link right now is a lack of exposure. They do not have a large amount of customer attention and when they do, customers are uneasy to give out personal information to a company that is still in the middle of their startup/growth phase.
Overall, the business concept is a great idea because a lot of customers have no idea how to negotiate prices with their service providers. However, customers don’t want to sign on to this business because Billcutterz.com wants 50% of your savings. Billcutterz.com needs to be able to relate to their target market on a closer, relationship based stance to increase trust and understanding of what it is they do.
From the start of 2014-May 2014, it is clear that there are great results from quickly looking over the balance sheet. In looking at the financial statement one can see that revenue increased by 3% since 2013, despite only being 5 months into the year. Contrarily, in another alarming area, total expenses increased by 188% leaving the company at an overall loss with an extreme decrease in net profit.
The increase in wages makes sense due to the increase in employees and mandatory employee training in order to keep up with the increases in customer sign ups. This is also composed of training hours. No details were given as to the reasons for the increase of 140% of “other expenses” and will need further analysis to discover why there was such a large increase. The increase in the Merchant Processing Fees account could be as a result of the increase of business or could be a result of processing errors due to new staff at Billcutterz.com. Much investment was put in to the employees and their training, a further look into the rest of the 2014 data and later data will show if this major investment was worth it or not.
In looking at the balance sheet, you can see that accounts receivable in 2013 was around half of the total assets. However, in 2014, it greatly decreased to only about 12% of the total assets. Additionally, the cash account has only increased in a minor way. This could be due to customers using the early pay discount option. iA new incentive program should be released to where the company does not end up losing that much money as they are right now.
Overall, Billcutterz.com is a profitable company when net income is being considered. However, there are a lot of moving parts with the organization that have not been successfully worked out. They have a lot of opportunity to grow since they do not have any direct competition in the market.
Billcutterz is somewhere between the startup phase and the growth stage of the business life style. This company is relatively new, and they are gaining revenue quickly, but it is difficult to say that they are a stabilized company. They have a lot of kinks to work out. They need to find a happy medium between making the most money that they can but also saving their customers enough money to use their service. They could create better relationships with their customers so that the 50% that needs to be returned back doesn’t seem so “painful” when it comes out of their pockets and back to Billcutterz.com. Additionally, a large adjustment needs to be made on Barry Gross’s behalf. He is excellent at negotiating but needs some help when it comes to the strategic planning portion of his job. A better strategic plan and adjustment to the company’s goals can help them save money when they have large changes they can’t handle such as the customer influx in 2014.
Operational issues faced by Billcutterz.com include: a slow processing system, the company was unable to meet the demand as a result of the processing system, too much manually entry with the forms, short staffed and overall unorganized in the chaos.
Strategic issues include: the business idea did not take long term planning and future development into consideration, the CEO doesn’t focus on strategy as much as he should but spends all of his time training, because of the systematic issues and the company not managing to fill all the orders the accounts receivable will be slowed down.
Some recommendations to handle the operational issues include: to Increase employee base to handle future growth, upgrade the processing system to handle large amounts of sales
Recommendations to handle the strategic issues include: better strategic planning that considers the future development of the company through more detailed short and long term goals,