May 26, 2021
When it comes time for Harmit Singh to brief Levi Strauss & Co.’s management team regarding the latest performance results, Levi’s CFO will often share a briefing document that features a front page bearing the heading “What’s Working and What’s Not.”
“It’s more difficult to understand what’s not working, and it’s the ‘What’s not’ that helps us to determine the areas on which we have to focus to take the business to the next level,” explains Singh, who notes that the “front page” is carefully rendered by Levi’s Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) crew – a team of forward-looking financial professionals whose past feats of analytic derring-do have included helping the jeans maker to foresee the leap from “skinny Jeans” to the baggie look among young consumers.
It’s here among Levi’s crack team of number crunchers that the “what’s not” often becomes exposed, and it’s here where a new mind-set – one that keeps consumers top-of-mind and favors stakeholders over shareholders – is already visible.
And just as soldiers are known by the things that they carry, so, too, are finance professionals known by the metrics that they wield – and at Levi’s, these metrics are increasingly consumer-driven.
Explains Singh: “As the pivot to the consumer mind-set happens, the metrics that have become critical are: How many new customers are we signing up? What is the repeat rate of the customer? And, What is the lifetime customer value?"
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