Growing and protecting client profitability is our number one objective. We achieve this goal by applying proven ingredient procurement strategies targeted to avoid unexpected price volatility while optimizing food costs.
Many commodity advisors are available to food industry organizations. Some participants rely on their suppliers and sales brokers for market intelligence. Client Advisory Services satisfies the need for ingredient acquisition advice that is not tethered to making a sale or commission.Our revenue stream comes solely from providing clients with high-value consulting services.
It begins with continuous ingredient market monitoring on commodities specified by the client. Supply-chain managers are typically focused on vital issues involving continuity of supply, inventories and staff management duties with few, if any, internal resources dedicated to market intelligence and analytics.We fill this void in a unique, cost-effective way with knowledge and experience and a high sense of urgency.
Our services depend upon the client’s needs. Some clients just want a reliable service that provides raw price data that is accurate and timely. Other partners opt for an aggregation service that collects information from authoritative sources and condenses it in an easily understood format. Still others request our confidential acquisition strategies that define timing, acquisition percentages and target pricing.
Clients benefit from a food purchaser’s perspective thatis authoritative, concise and unbiased. CAS offers straight talk in contrast to endless scenarios and circular arguments. Food cost managers need to manage ingredient price risks not engage in high-risk market trading schemes or costly derivative contracts.
Client Advisory Services Companies are a consulting resource for food industry professionals providing food ingredient market data, intelligence and purchasing strategies. Our client organizations range in size from multi-national food companies to individual entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Cost of goods surprises can jeopardize the best business plan especially given often razor-thin manufacturing margins.Consumer packaged goods manufacturers need ingredient cost predictability generally over a shorter term horizon than other food sectors depending on purchasing philosophy and unique business requirements.A balanced, matrix-style purchasing approach that weighs key ingredient coverage thresholds and year-over-year costs together with seasonal trends and historic price averages can help to achieve management objectives.
In the restaurant business key ingredient price fluctuations can take a severe toll on the bottom-line especially under conditions where it is not possible to pass along higher prices to consumers.Menu price development in the business plan can provide “tolerance ranges” for major ingredients assisting in the establishment of ingredient purchase price targets and acquisition coverage time frames and amounts.Integrated purchasing for both franchisor and franchisees offer benefits and risks. Our unbiased advisory services make a welcome addition to the planning and decision-making process.
International trade increasingly takes center stage in moving key commodity prices. Exports have changed the dynamic just as the advent and growth of bio-fuels have altered traditional bakery buying patterns.Strategies must be based upon casting a wide net that continuously measures global supply-demand, weather events, currency fluctuations and international macroeconomics.Client Advisory Services offers multi-unit retail and large wholesale bakeries fundamental market research and timely, objective purchasing solutions.
Food Retailers and Wholesalers -“We subscribe to a price sheet service but then spend hours of staff time manipulating the data to make it usable. Can CAS provide us with ingredient price quotations formatted to our specifications as data tables and charts for an affordable price?” Information without analytics, customized to your organization’s exacting requirements: CAS Price Tracking & ChartingFood Manufacturer - “Our bottom-line can swing into the red if vegetable oil prices spike so what are the price risks this season and what kind of pricing strategy do you suggest to give us cost predictability?” One size does not fit all. Recommendations to manage risk: CAS Market StrategiesChain Restaurant Franchisee - “Our food costs are all over the map creating a nightmare when it comes to budgeting and making good on our profit commitment. What can we do to minimize ingredient price fluctuations without buying futures contracts?” Many ingredients are not represented in futures markets so we offer specialized analytics to provide you with a competitive cost control edge: CAS Statistical Buy AnalyticsIndependent Wholesale Baker - “Can you provide us with a continuing independent analysis of the wheat market and strategies to manage risk? We don’t like to rely on our supplier’s advice because we have do not share a common bottom-line objective amid an ever shrinking base of suppliers.” CAS collects, analyzes and recommends timing and coverage amounts for all elements (mill-feeds, cash grain markets, trading exchanges) that works together to guide intelligent forward flour pricing: CAS Market Commentary Analysis & StrategiesRetail Bakery Franchise - “How can we use synthetic vertical integration techniques to smooth food cost price volatility and gain margin advantage on our major ingredients?” We offer analytics and forward contract integrations that seek to manage price gyrations and provide retailers with a new measure of ingredient cost control that combines CAS Statistical Buy Analytics with CAS Analysis & Strategies
ResearchOur work entails continuous evaluation of agricultural economics research, macroeconomics, crop development and international weather conditions influencing supply-demand and prices. We access world renowned sources from government, private sector analysts and academics specializing in applied economics.AnalyticsFrom a data platform of divergent opinions and perspectives on a wide range of ingredient markets we analyze information but uniquely from the ingredient end-user’s viewpoint. This is antithetical to a commodity trader or broker’s daily gains and losses mindset and in sync with the client’s profit objectives. We help clients avoid the problematic conflict of interest when assessing information from vendor brokers and ingredient suppliers.
Purchasing StrategiesClient’s often only require price tracking and historic data compilations. We also offer strategic purchasing solutions for those desiring a more comprehensive service. In these instances our advice is client specific, adapted to confirm to management risk tolerance and competitive market challenges.ExpertiseClient Advisory Services Companies was founded by Vic Turner, a food industry veteran with over thirty years of multi-disciplinary management experience as a corporate officer and entrepreneur. He provides clients with the insight gained from hands-on experience managing multi-million dollar budgets over a time period that has seen dramatic changes in commodity markets and supply-chain management techniques.
PURCHASING EXECUTIVE - INNOVATOR ”At Collins Foods International, Vic was responsible for guiding the $490 million CFI enterprise commodity procurement strategies yielding multi-million dollar reductions in Sizzler red meat and key ingredients. He created innovative commodity hedging and contracting solutions for the Kentucky Fried Chicken Division’s fresh poultry that contributed millions in chicken expense reductions annually for seven consecutive years. During his tenure at Winchell’s Division of Denny’s, Vic ushered in a highly successful new era in ingredient budgeting and contracting for sugar, flour, vegetable oil and all other bakery related supplies.”
MANUFACTURING & SUPPLY CHAIN - PIONEER“Vic directed the food product manufacturing operations for the Winchell’s Donut House and Denny’s Restaurants. He was responsible for ingredient procurement and created commodity strategies for the industrial complex and retail stores. Vic successfully implemented a vertical integration strategy utilizing two 100,000 square foot food facilities where products were created, produced and distributed. He directed manufacturing operations, product development and quality control laboratories in addition to distribution/warehousing.”
C-LEVEL RETAIL & WHOLESALE - LEADER”At the Krispy Kreme franchise for Southern California, Vic was a senior manager of the firm where 32 stores were rolled out including the original prototype that resulted in a business generating $64 million in retail revenues. He was responsible for the start-up and development of a wholesale business with manufacturing, store door distribution system, sales and customer service operations. In less than thirty months this business grew to serve 1,000 outlets with over $20 million in annual sales..”
Ingredient Price Tracking & ChartingNever again be concerned that your ingredient price information is accurate, available and timely. Our clients find it convenient and economical to have Client Advisory Services compile ingredient market pricing data on a daily, weekly and monthly for most major and minor markets providing tracking results that can include contemporary and historical futures, cash and basis quotations.We package this information in tabular format using Excel and build custom formatted graphics from simple year-over year comparisons to more complex visualizations that combine several price elements like cash, futures, basis, mill feeds and more. Data folders are communicated to clients on the CAS Cloud at any time interval desired.
Aggregated Commentary, Analysis & StrategiesClient Brief reports are published electronically on a monthly basis, customized to contain client-defined food ingredient market information. These periodic reports condense leading governmental and industry market analytics offering a quick, concise look at factors driving markets. We then incorporate market forecasts with our take on market price probabilities.Depending upon client preference, we also incorporate our Ingredient Acquisition Strategy for each market with precise buying recommendations that include price objectives, timing and contracting time frame shown as tables and in graphic formats. Importantly, Client Brief reports are unbiased, professionally edited and very competitively priced for use in large and small organizations.
Statistical Buy AnalyticsThose obscure food ingredients that in many instances are not represented in futures markets are a specialty at Client Advisory Services. Our in-depth analyses are available on markets as diverse as dry beans and eggs to meat and tomato products.Typically our statistical buy analytics service is requested by clients with long purchase time horizons whose budgeted profitability is at risk from exposure to one or two ingredient markets. Our work product condenses expert market information, expectations and history and combines a unique food industry end-user based viewpoint complete with statistical probabilities, pricing expectations and objectives. Specific purchasing recommendations and tracking are available at the client’s request.
Spring Wheat Conditions Near Record Lows in the Northern Plains Due to DroughtHard Red Spring (HRS) wheat (the largest class of spring wheat) is predominately grown in the Northern Plains of the United States. This key production region, which includes Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, has been greatly affected by a lengthy dry spell that has plunged the area into varying levels of drought, ranging from abnormal dryness to exceptional drought. On July 9, widespread drought conditions were noted for both North and South Dakota as well as Eastern Montana, and the proportion of the HRS crop rated “good” to “excellent” was just 36 percent, 10 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Challenging weather conditions have reduced projected yields, now forecast at 39 bushels per acre, and contribute to a 22 percent year-to-year decline in HRS production for the 2017/18 marketing year. Expectations for a small harvest have helped to rally spring wheat prices in recent weeks and supports this month’s 50 cent increase in the 2017/18 all wheat price. This chart appears in the ERS Wheat Outlook newsletter, released in July 2017.
U.S. Pulse Crops Acres Set for Another Record Year
Led by expectations of surging seedings for lentils and chickpeas in 2017, aggregate U.S. area planted to pulse (the dry edible seed of a legume plant) crops is projected to reach a new record high of more than 4.06 million acres. Chickpea planted area is forecast to rise to nearly 500,000 acres, an increase of more than 53 percent compared to the prior year. This production growth is due to its sustained price strength and favorable returns relative to other crops such as wheat and corn. Lentil planted area is expected to expand by 13 percent to 1.055 million acres. In 10 years’ time, lentil planted area has more than tripled, boosted by expanding sales to India and growing domestic consumption, both of which have supported prices and encouraged plantings. Dry bean area planted, exclusive of garbanzo bean (also known as chickpeas) is projected to have a modest increase, up about 2 percent to 1.368 million acres and just slightly below the 10-year average area planted of 1.415 million acres. Dry peas are the only pulse crop projected to have fewer acres seeded in 2017. This chart appears in the ERS Vegetables and Pulses Outlook report, released on April 28, 2017.
USDA Graphical Crop Progress & Condition ReportAn excellent resource published weekly by the National Agricultural Statistics Service that details planting, crop development and harvest cycles for the principal crops grown in the United States. Download the pdf file for Crop Progress & Conditionand please note this link is available during the crop development period and is updated Wednesdays at 5pm ET.
Worldwide Crop ProductionCrop status by geography or crop type is available from the Foreign Agricultural Service. These data are continuously updated. Click HERE to access this reservoir of pertinent global crop information.
Crop Stats and Animal Products
Exchange Rate Movements Influence U.S. Export CompetitivenessAgricultural goods can be broken into distinct categories based on value or level of processing. Bulk goods, like grains and oilseeds, are sold in large quantities at relatively low per unit costs. They also tend to be relatively standardized products. U.S. and foreign products in these categories are more readily substituted for each other, as changes in exchange rates alter relative prices among suppliers. Higher value goods, like meats, fruits and vegetables, and processed goods, are differentiated by factors such as brand, quality, or sanitary and phytosanitary standards. As a result, they may be less likely to be substituted across origins on the basis of price or relative price in the case of exchange rates. The U.S. trade weighted exchange rate index from the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis has shown strong dollar appreciation since 2014, resulting in declining exports for both categories (bulk exports declined by 9 percent and high-value products fell by 10 percent). Typically, bulk goods would decline further than high-value goods during appreciation, but the 2012-13 U.S. drought had a significant impact on the supply of several major crops. As a result, export volume decreased, but value remained high because of higher commodity prices. By 2014, production of key bulk commodities like corn and soybeans recovered and have since continued to grow, drawing down prices. As prices have fallen and stocks have been replenished, export volume has increased, dulling the perceived impact of a rising dollar. This chart appears in the Amber Waves article, "U.S. Agricultural Trade in 2016: Major Commodities and Trends," released in May 2017
Contrasting Area Planted Records Projected for Soybeans and WheatThe latest projections for crop area plantings in 2017 indicate contrasting records for soybeans and wheat. Soybean plantings for 2017 are projected to reach 89.5 million acres, a new record-high. In contrast, forecast wheat plantings of 46.1 million acres would be a record low, if realized. Taken together, these planted area projections indicate that many farmers are switching from wheat to soybean production in several key wheat-growing States, including Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. Since 2011, soybean acreage in these seven States has expanded by one-third, while wheat area has contracted. Farmers are likely responding to the higher prices and potential returns associated with soybeans, after multiple years of wheat prices trending lower. For the 2016/17 marketing year, the projected midpoint season-average farm-gate price for soybeans was $9.55 per bushel, slightly higher than the 2015/16 average of $8.95 per bushel. The all-wheat price for the 2016/17 marketing year is projected at $3.85 per bushel, more than a dollar below the 2015/16 season-average price and the lowest since 2005/06. This chart appears in the ERS Wheat Outlook report released in April 2017.
Market Journal - Market Analysis - July 21, 2017Roy Smith, farmer and grain marketing consultant from Plattsmouth, Nebraska, analyzes weather rallies in corn and soybean markets. Roy also discusses selling strategies for old crop grain.Client Advisory Services features selected video segments fromMarket Journal, an educational outreach effort presented by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication and UNL Extension. MJprograms give guidance and information to farmers that can also prove to be very helpful to food ingredient end-users who wish to understand strategies on the sellers side of transactions. Kurtis Harms produces Market Journal and Jeff Wilkerson is the host.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our website today. We appreciate your interest in our services. Our consulting practice was established to serve the needs of all food industry organizations from start-up entrepreneurs to large national companies. The services we offer add value for supply-chain professionals in a broad range of food organizations.Because we make our services available on a straight-forward, non-compete basis we offer services when an industry segment is available. We would appreciate hearing from you so that we can contact you when opportunities to serve your organization’s industry segment are available. Client Advisory Service’s sole objective is managing risk and improving your firm’s profitability, not your competitors. To this end, we accept only one client in a specific food industry segment. For example, if your company is a national retail pizza chain you are our exclusive client in that segment. Your organization’s confidentiality is vigorously safe-guarded. We are a fee for service organization with no “sheltered-income” or alternative revenue streams that can compromise or distort the advice we offer. Our mission is straight forward; manage ingredient costs to maximize your enterprise profits not your competitor’s.Our client based is broad; we serve multi-national food corporations, national food industry organizations and local food operations as well as start-ups. References will gladly be provided upon request.
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