An Acquisition Gone Wrong! A Coup D’Etat in the Boardroom!

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The CEO called an emergency meeting in the Boardroom.  The President of our Division, myself, the prior owners of a company we had just acquired, and one of our major shareholders/board members were to attend.  The sh*t had hit the fan with our latest acquisition.

It had only been a few months since the acquisition had been completed.  This was certainly long enough for the honeymoon period to be over.  But now it looked like we were quickly heading for a divorce.

What went wrong?

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Spreadsheets – A History and a Future!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Most of us create, use, present and work with at least one spreadsheet each and every day.  Spreadsheets have proven invaluable.  And many businesses even observe, and complain, that they are run on spreadsheets.

Yet there was a time not that long ago when most people didn’t even know what a spreadsheet was.  In the early 1980s I was given one the first IBM Personal Computers to use, along with the spreadsheet software Visicalc.  Spreadsheets forever transformed my productivity and skill set.

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Enable Spend Aggregation in Procurement!

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Aggregating your procurement spend for the purpose of delivering greater value is a sound objective.  Theoretically you should be able to generate better service, better terms and conditions, and better cost.  Therefore you should enable spend aggregation.

Yet there can be many obstacles in your way to achieving this seemingly simple goal.  Loss of control, fear of job loss, questionable benefits, and a perceived loss of margin are some of the obstacles you may run across.  We discussed these in greater detail in our post Procurement (Part 1!) – The Spend Aggregation Obstacle Course!

You may be trying to aggregate spend within your company or across companies, or you are trying to outsource this to a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO).  To overcome the Spend Aggregation obstacles there are a series of enablers you need to enact to make this successful.

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A Formula For Achieving Game Changing Results!

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Many projects often fade away over time and fall well short of their original goals.  People face many very real challenges in leading these projects.  So how do you avoid having your project become another program-of-the-month and disappear from view?  Is there a formula?

As we have discussed in other blog posts we have tackled Inventory Turnover several times, amongst many other challenges.  We have doubled turnover and achieved industry leading results in very short periods of time.

Your challenge may be trying to improve Inventory performance or trying  to create a transformational improvement in some other area.  We have found that there is a formula and a set of key principles that are critical to driving the game changing results you are looking for.

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Cash Is King! Creating a Culture Focused on Money Management

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“We have to make a decision.  We only have enough cash to either pay our employees or our suppliers next week, but not both.”  The old saying was true:  Cash is King!

Wow!  This was what my Controller just told me.  We had just acquired another company.  The decision was made to operate it at arm’s length from the parent company.  And this meant that we had to fund the operation with our own cash, which was at a dangerously low level.

Neither option that the Controller just mentioned was palatable.  We needed a strategy to tackle the immediate cash shortfall and to then create a strong cash position moving forward.

We had the Call to Action!  This would prove to be my first real lesson in Cash Management which could not have been made more intense and immediate!

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World Class Inventory Turnover Infographic!

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Achieving World Class Inventory turnover performance is an aspiration, a requirement and a challenge for many companies.  We’ve written several blogs on this subject to share our experiences in achieving truly game changing results in inventory management.

Attacking just a single element of inventory has, in our experience and observation, proven to be an insufficient approach to making significant, sustainable changes.  The entire ecosystem of processes, variables, and stakeholders requires taking a holistic approach enlisting a variety of tools and techniques (eg. lean inventory management) to drive game changing inventory performance.

Given the breadth, depth and complexity of the Inventory Turnover management ecosystem it is not surprising that there is much to be addressed in this area.  We’ve captured much of this in our article Featuring our Top 10 Inventory Management articles

In this blog article we’ve captured much of this content in a single Infographic

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Indirect Procurement – It’s Time to Rise and Shine!

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Indirect procurement of goods and services can be one of the largest areas of expenditure in any company.  And the operational impact that the provision of Indirect goods and services can have on a company can be significant, either positively or negatively.

Yet the lack of attention and focus that Indirect Procurement is often given is inconsistent with the true importance of this area.  Indirect Procurement takes a back seat to Direct Procurement unfortunately.

But it is time for Indirect Procurement to stand up and be counted!

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The Supply Chain Detective™: The Case of the Unpaid Invoices!

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The CEO called.  “I need you to go down to Mexico right away.  They aren’t paying their invoices and suppliers are stopping shipments.  Our manufacturing lines are going to stop.  I need it fixed right away.  Get those bills paid now.”

What on earth was going on?  Why didn’t the site just pay their bills?  This shouldn’t be a big deal.  And this was their problem, and responsibility, not mine.  But as with any crisis situation it’s all hands on deck to get the problem fixed.

Little did I realize that while on the surface this seemed like a simple problem, and solution (ie. just pay the darn bills), the reality would prove to be much more complicated.  This would be a case for a Supply Chain Detective!

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Is Your Supply Chain A Cost Centre or a Value Creator?

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The Supply Chain function within your company has many responsibilities.  From planning to negotiating to buying, from moving goods to processing goods, and from managing data to managing inventory.  These responsibilities are at the core of making your company run.  But is Supply Chain a Cost Centre or a Value Creator?

Yet often the Supply Chain is undervalued.  While every function must help your company grow and prosper when the heat is on uninformed Executives can view Supply Chain as merely a Cost Centre.  As such there can be unrelenting pressure to continue to cut costs.

Why is Supply Chain often undervalued?  And how do you increase the value of Supply Chain in the eyes of your Executives and other functions?

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