By Phillip M. Perry
Inflation is rising faster than any time in recent memory. Businesses must deal with rapid cost increases by managing cash flow efficiently and communicating effectively with customers and suppliers. The benefits of inventory reduction must be balanced against the need to maintain critical stock for top customers. Inflation has taken root. Businesses everywhere are dealing with annualized cost increases of nearly 7 percent — the fastest pace in 40 years and significantly higher than the 1.8 percent average of the past decade. The resulting upticks in operating costs can cause serious damage to the bottom line.