What I look for .......seamlessly linked Customer requirements to Working Capital Management,  Cash Generation, Cost Reduction, Profit and Operational Improvement.

Are you sure that your customers come first? 

The top performing companies build their relationships around each customer as if they are their only customer. Excellent CRM platform providers offer great solutions but companies aren't necessarily aware of the full suite of products and how they can enhance the customer experience. When was it the last time a detailed review was performed? Have you focused on Technology rather than People and Process? 

Are you paying for tailored digital / cloud solutions without understanding what it is you are paying for? 

Have you ensured that the processes are streamlined so that any frustration your team may have is minimised if not eradicated?

Do you have one secure source of data where very disciplined usage parameters are in place?

Playing to the strengths of a team is key. Isolated actions can work, but from experience, a large proportion of these underperform, in-year befits diminish and teams become overstretched. The tendency is to add initiatives without understanding their true impact. This is, unfortunately, becoming typical. 

So, what to watch for:- 

  • Who owns the customer relationship?
  • Who is focusing on the customer?
  • Who is focusing on Cloud, Digitisation etc. Is this customer centric.
  • Does the team recognise how initiatives are performing and are they customer focused or "nice to haves"?
  • Have the true causes for any initiative shortfall been identified, analysed, and the impact reduced? 
  • Are the business's cashflows and demands on working capital monitored and managed on a weekly, if not daily basis? 
  • If the company has subsidiaries, are the true cost of a running a subsidiary understood in detail? 
  • Can the number of initiatives be reduced to single numbers? Remember key stakeholders might oppose any changes. Senior management and these stakeholders MUST be part of your story and taken on the transformation journey.

What can be different? 

Remember, reducing cost and optimising working capital will help generate cash and quickly enhance profit.

  • Review your digital strategy and deployment progress. 
  • Do you have the skills, processes and technology in place to achieve this strategy?
  • Review the selling process and customer relationships?
  • Segment customers against strategic importance and payment history.
  • Do you check if your customers are financially sound? Customers with a poor credit rating might not be a bad "Payer".
  • Understanding what you can afford and when - 13 week cashflow forecasting.
  • Reduce spend by challenging the demand / need. Introduce a weekly review of all planned spend over the next rolling 7 weeks.
  • Proactive Working Capital Management. Develop a full understanding of all of the detail and what does the truth look like. This should include dispute management, aged debt profile, best possible cash position against existing payment, collection terms, inventory strategy and demand variability. 
  • Ensure lean process optimisation in all areas of the business including the admin function. Remove all waste, dwell time and optimise using lean tools and processes. This applies to subsidiaries as well. 
  • A culture of effective data management is vital going forward. Do you have a data architect? 
  • Ensure that any IT / Cloud procurement and implementation plans have undergone a detailed "specification and selection" process.

PS - Any plan A should focus on cash and profit. If it doesn't then you don't have a plan A.

Want a chat, ring Paul on +44(0)7487584832




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