I interviewed Fred Randall, owner of Tom Randall Distributing
1. What are some of the most common areas in which your company goes over budget?
Repairs, maintenance on trucks and buildings, insurance- these are all areas that are hard to budget. We try to set aside money for each of these but it’s hard to foresee if we need to repair something and how much it will cost. It’s also hard to estimate how much insurance is going to cost.
2. What have you noticed works most effectively in cutting costs of these problem areas?
Preventative maintenance, having workers be attentive to the trucks and buildings to report any repairs that need to happen before they become catastrophic.
3. Have you ever had to lay people off as a result of consistently going over budget? No
4. Do you find it beneficial to keep employees aware of budgeting concerns? We handle it ourselves, myself and the other owner of the company. We will sometimes discuss ways that specific position holders in the company can be smarter at eliminating waste within their process or daily job.
5. Are there certain categories of your budget that seem to be unpredictable? (patterns of being over than under budget?) repairs, maintenance, property taxes, estimated tax payments.
6. Would you see it beneficial to provide a cost breakdown of over budget areas? Yes, we itemize everything and can pinpoint where we need to focus on in order to not go over budget.
7. How often do you spend time looking over the budget? Monthly at least for a couple hours.
8. Do you include staff or other leaders in budget discussions? No, Just me and the other owner.
9. What tools or programs do you use to stay on budget? Accounting software program, it categorizes everything we do and helps give a picture of where we can improve and where we are doing well.
10. What concerns you more, keeping the month to month budget or the year to date budget? Year to date. Month to month fluctuates a lot but the yearly budget is what concerns us more. We want to be on target for the year, or we may be less profitable as a business
11. What has been your greatest success in keeping budget? Monitoring it closely, using the reports we have. Understanding how the software works and how it collects data in order to help us see where we need to focus our efforts on.