Examples of interventions in business consultancy
Here are examples of our contributions in the framework of transition projects. These projects have all required restructuring and change management. All were also distinguished by positive, measurable results. For the sake of discretion, we have deliberately not revealed company names.
An international company specialising in high-end chemicals and industrial gases is experiencing problems with the management of its three units in Switzerland. For several years, the latter have been managed remotely and on a part-time basis. The result is a gradual deterioration in results and the working environment, coupled with structural problems (organisation, human resources, compliance, equipment, etc.) that are detrimental to their development.
Following the departure of the manager in charge due to illness, the group’s management decided to take action and hire a transition manager to take over the general management of the 3 entities and prepare them for their future challenges. The mandate starts with an exhaustive operational review of the 3 entities allowing for an in-depth analysis followed by a package of recommendations (transformation plan) on the strategy to be followed, the structure to be put in place and the resources needed to restore productivity. The implementation of the transformation plan will be done with the active participation of the employees in order to encourage their adoption and involve them in the change.
The result is a repositioning on the core business. A new operational organisation (purchasing, production, sales, administrative management) is being put in place and teams are being consolidated. Some unprofitable activities were abandoned, production structures were modernised, and premises were transformed for future needs. The sales and marketing strategy is redefined taking into account the new market conditions and the constantly changing legal environment. For operational optimisation, several digitalisation projects are initiated and support functions (finance, HR, quality) are redefined, partly outsourced.
It will take more than 2 years to execute the transformation of the 3 entities, ensure their stability and allow them to gradually return to performance.
A young entrepreneur with no real entrepreneurial experience started his own business a few years ago. His business idea is good and the results are making nice progress. The number of employees is constantly increasing. Unfortunately, due to a lack of time and experience he fails to adjust his operational structures (organization, processes and monitoring tools) as he grows. Suddenly his development slows down and the results decrease.
A mentor/coach/advisor is hired to support the young entrepreneur in his adjustment efforts. The objective is to assist him to set up an adapted structure, clear and robust procedures to ensure continuous growth. His willingness to adapt the business plan, the strategy and the structures to the new environment is part of the change management process.
An operations review is conducted in order to get a better picture of the overall situation. The initial business plan is reviewed and adapted to the new economical environment. A new structure is defined and implemented, processes are adjusted and fundamental management tools are implemented. Today the company has reached the next step of evolution and is well on track again.
A local SME experiences a very rapid growth and a good profitability during many years. It employs 40 people. However, the organizational structure, the management tools as well as the different roles and responsibilities have never been adapted to the changing requirements of their fast growth. As a result, employees complain about overload and an overall efficiency and profitability loss becomes visible. Ultimately, the business risk is increasing.
The company hires business consultants to assess the situation. They analyse all the roles and responsibilities as well as the current organization of support functions. The deliverables are to define the future operational model and to come up with all steps necessary to achieve this goal within 6 months. For the assessment, all employees are actively involved in order to get a full picture and to facilitate the change management.
The result is a well organised structure and clear defined roles and responsibilities at every level of the organization. New management tools are implemented in order to monitor the business and increase profitability. The overall involvement of the employees and a solid internal communication policy gives transparency and helps to strengthen the positive work climate.
A hotel establishment (120 rooms and 3 restaurants) with an infrastructure for seminars and banquets, offers good benefits, but fails to generate the expected return. Their dependence on a few large customers is too strong and it has difficulty managing slack periods outside seminars. A too frequent staff turnover also harms their business.
A manager is hired to make changes. The contribution is orderly, quick and efficient in the following points : change in the hotel management, market analysis and definition of target customers, adjustment of offerings, implementation of a sales strategy, development of an internal/external communication, establishment of quality and key performance indicators (KPI), recruiting and coaching new manager.
In the months following the implementation of the action plan, all indicators are already improving. A year after the contribution, the establishment achieves the best operating result in its history. A team of empowered employees are involved in the change and ensure the sustainability of this successful transition.
A business active in the service sector, suffers a massive drop in profitability. Much restructuring seems inevitable, including the merger of two independent national entities active in the Asian markets with high potential. Despite some major large accounts, business volume of each of them is too weak to support their operational structures that are too expensive and poorly organised
The business decides to hire an experienced manager to proceed with the merger. The main steps include the creation of a common headquarters and management structure, maintaining the national operational units in each country. The action plan was prepared in close collaboration with the two management units in place. The goal is to bring the two organisations together as smoothly as possible and to ensure support for human and effective change.
The plan was executed in accordance with the budget and deadlines. Through open and transparent communication, the change has been integrated and accepted, despite the layoffs and the new reporting lines line substitutions implemented within a short timeframe. The new management has proven to be available and open to dialogue, which helped to avoid tensions, and quickly rededicated themselves to business. The business was able to resume growth.
A centralised administration department serves many national divisions of a business. It handles thousands of sensitive transactions related to HR administration and must ensure flawless quality of service. The operational costs of the entity are too high, complex work processes, unclear roles and responsibilities being spread over different people. This creates tremendous stress and tensions.
A project manager is employed to define and execute the plan to improve the entity’s performance and stability. The project begins with the careful analysis of all the tasks, the time required for their execution, the cost of the task, the division of responsibilities, work processes and quality indicators.
In a second phase, a “Lean” approach is implemented in order to review and refine work processes and tasks. This approach allows the keep only tasks that add direct value.
To ensure a better centralised management, careful division of labour, an analysis of performance by transaction, a model of shared service centre is developed and implemented with the involvement of employees.
With operational transparency, cost reduction has been completed as expected, while the satisfaction of employees and customers has increased. Quality indicators established allow continuous monitoring and adaptation.