Well, a lot of different areas contribute to the P&L. Not just the price of goods delievered. Grocery requires tight cost controls as cash demands are high and everything from weather, fuel costs, and taxes can affect the bottom line quite a bit. Typically, companies like Fleming are run by old school executives that are OK with waiting for month-end reports that are already dated and it's late to make adjustments.
I've never understood why a data warehouse isn't in place that presents essentially real-time information at the fingertips showing current financial, warehouse, and buying data.
Instead, you tend to see data under various owners that isn't timely or in a format that makes it easy to see the weak and strong points of the business.
Fleming will have to cut costs, take a charge, and consolidate the business into serving areas that are profitable only. At the same time they need to make sure cashflow is available to write the 20-250 mil dollars in A/P checks nightly.
Without inflation, check float interest, Lifo, the bottom line is tight. I wouldn't be surprised to see wage reductions at somepoint here.
Any Fleming exec who waiting for month-end reports would have been gone a long time ago. When I left, and I'm sure it would have only increased since, there were a multitude of reporting that had to be done by weekly and daily. There are daily reports showing anything that impacts the P&L, buying and inventory; weekly forecasts have to be submitted to corporate with action plans regarding anything short of plan. I'm not saying that they're the best, most efficient of data systems but they are there and they are used. Now this information is only a tool, and the decision making is still up to humans. And Fleming is not on a monthly but a 13 period accounting calendar.