Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink

Why 40 Percent of Your Business Is Unprofitable and How to Fix It

Jonathan L. S. Byrnes - Author

Hardcover | $27.95 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781591843498 | 304 pages | 14 Oct 2010 | Portfolio | 5.98 x 9.01in | 18 - AND UP
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Top companies around the world turn to MIT's Jonathan Byrnes to figure out where the profit is. Using his systematic process for analyzing profitability, they can quickly determine which parts of the business are worth expanding and which are just a drain on resources. Then, using Byrnes's "profit levers," they can turn unprofitable business into good business and good business into great business.

We now live in the Age of Precision Markets, yet most of the management processes taught in business schools were developed for the prior Age of Mass Markets. Today's savviest managers are exploiting this disconnect. They're rethinking strategy, customer relations, operations, and metrics, and overcoming internal resistance to constructive change. They also reject such harmful myths as:

* Revenues are good, costs are bad

* All customers should get the same great service

* If everyone does his or her job well, the company will prosper

Byrnes reveals an uncomfortable truth: It's possible, even easy, for everyone to meet or exceed their budget targets and for the company still to have an enormous portion of the business unprofitable by any measure. But profit levers can flip everything around. For instance, several leading companies have utilized profit levers to increase their sales by over 35 percent in their highest penetrated customers, while others have reduced their operating costs- and their customers' costs-by over 30 percent One company described in the book raised its net profits by over 50 percent in a three-year period. The book is a practical, step-by-step guide to achieving these results.

Every business has enormous potential waiting to be unleashed; this book offers bold new strategies to help you find and grow those islands of profit.

"Jonathan's rare combination of academic's insight and practitioner's experience has enabled him to create a series of important business innovations that have really worked."
- Roy Shapiro, Philip Caldwell Professor of Business Administration and former senior associate dean, Harvard Business School

"This is a comprehensive guide to improving your company's profitability. Every manager in your company should read it."
- Vijay Govindarajan, Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business, Tuck School of Business, and coauthor of The Other Side of Innovation

"Jonathan Byrnes delivers great news for managers: There is plenty of profit hidden in your company-if you know where to find it."
- Sean Silverthorne, editor of Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

"Jonathan Byrnes has created a systematic process for analyzing profitability. His research offers practical advice that will help organizations unlock their profit potential without costly new initiatives. Companies interested in making more money from their existing operations will benefit from his insights."
- Ron Sargent, CEO, Staples

"Jonathan has provided very important thought leadership that has helped shape my view of business and the development of Accenture's business consulting practice. This book is a must-read and belongs on every manager's desk."
- Bill Copacino, president and CEO, Oco, Inc., and former group chief executive, Accenture's Business Consulting Practice

"Every level of your organization will benefit from Jonathan Byrnes's pragmatic approach to enhancing profitability. From strategic planning to program implementation, this book will outline the path to an improved bottom line."
- Mark Rosenbaum, chief customer officer, Cardinal Health

"Jonathan outlines simple, effective guidelines for identifying and growing profitable business. He clearly describes the need to honestly evaluate the places where it's just not working, and to take corrective action. His recommendations are practical and tested, and they deliver positive results."
-Oscar Munoz, EVP and CFO, CSX's 2010 list of Best Books for Business Owners: "This enormously practical book shows readers how to rethink every part of their companies - from sales to supply chains to service - with an eye toward sweeping up money currently left on the table."

"[Byrnes] explains how to thrive in ... an era ushered in by internet-empowered consumers and fraught with changes 'as profound and disruptive as those that occurred when roads were first paved.'... he also throws in some shrewd advice about handling resistance to change."

"In the corporate world, MIT's Jonathan Byrnes is the go-to man for one reason: he can figure out where the profit is and where it isn't.... In short - he knows what he's talking about."

"Islands delivers an executive ed program's worth of insight. Most CEOs know that some kinds of revenue are more profitable than others. Byrnes explains in great detail how to turn that knowledge into action."
-INC Magazine

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