Case Studies

Financial Consulting Services

Costing

A manufacturer of textile machinery parts desired an improved costing system based on ABC concepts. Results? Development of a costing system that enabled the organization’s management to change the manufacturing flow for improved design for manufacturability.

Learn More

A manufacturer of metal parts desired an ABC system to provide better information for pricing and profit improvement. Results? The new costing system provided information about several product lines and manufacturing processes that enabled management to reprice recouping the consulting fees immediately and, thereafter, improving profitability in the longer-term.

A major municipality wanted to understand better the costs associated with providing service to constituents and undertook departmental costing projects. Results? An improved understanding of costs and a methodology to outsource services and measure effects of private sector proposals.

Business Valuation

The General Manager of a high end hosiery firm desired to purchase the president’s interests and to begin a process of upgrading equipment and facilities. Results? The valuation served as a starting point for negotiations with the added benefit of highlighting how much shareholder value had been lost over time due to poor management.

Learn More

The majority of shareholders in a computer hardware/software integrator wanted to sever ties with a disgruntled minority shareholder. Results? The valuation established a price to purchase the minority interest and remove the shareholder’s interference in day-to-day operations.

Changes in the medical industry deterring self-referrals pressured an orthopedic practice to value its physical therapy practice segment. Results? Once a range of values were determined, negotiations focused on real and perceived value to the prospective purchaser gaining the highest sale price received locally for a physical therapy practice.

A former principal in a ladies lingerie manufacturing firm died, leaving a minority interest to his spouse who needed a value for the estate. Results? The valuation provided an opinion sufficient for IRS purposes.

Product/Product-Line Profitability Analysis

A men’s apparel manufacturer desired an analysis of the different product lines with the intention of improving margins and/or reducing unprofitable products. Results? Several lines were identified which lead to an incremental re-pricing with their customers and improved profitability.

A floor covering distributor desired to raise the profitability of remote distribution centers through an analysis of their respective profitability and contribution to headquarters operations. Results? Three remote warehouses were closed and the remaining inventory was consolidated in the remaining four distribution centers raising profitability markedly.

Profit Enhancement Programs

A distributor of floor coverings wanted a plan to turnaround sagging sales and decreasing profits. Results? Both a short-term and long-term profit enhancement plan was developed to include increasing sales volume, narrowing the product line, and changing the mix of products while lowering inventory levels, closing unprofitable distribution centers, and developing expense controls for the headquarters location. Operating expenses were dramatically reduced and the company returned to a profitable state in only 18 months.

A regional building supply chain desired a plan to improve profits, build on organizational strengths, and develop a plan to boast declining sales in a highly competitive DIY market. Results? A profit enhancement program provided a series of actionable items management undertook. Unprofitable ancillary operations were sold for a gain with the proceeds being invested in the core business. Physical appearances and store merchandising were marked improved, while inventory turnover was increased through improved purchasing.

Incentive & Bonus Plans

A metal forming job shop desired to have a plant-wide incentive compensation to reward for improvements in productivity. Results? Productivity increased over the short-term by 13 – 17%, and employees were paid incentive compensation biweekly. Over the longer-term, the company became recognized as “a place to be employed” because of its reward systems.

A pharmaceutical manufacturer desired to have a bonus plan designed to tie the attainment of strategic goals to compensation. Results? Management activity was more focused on the specific tasks associated with the goals and objectives of the long-range plan and management bonuses were based on personal and group achievement.

A wood molding manufacturer wanted an incentive plan for plant and supervisory personnel. A gainsharing and a value-added plan were designed and installed. Results? Productivity improved, communication among the various work process groups improved, and both employees and supervisors were monetarily rewarded for improved operations, productivity, and profits.

Operational Consulting Services

Operation Reviews

A garment manufacturer desire to have an independent assessment of accounting and finance department operations. Results? The accounting function was streamlined and systems were improved.

A non-profit agency wanted to have an assessment of its administrative functions. Results? The administration was reorganized and focus placed on goal setting and attainment.

A textile firm wanted an objective assessment of the operations of one specific function. Results? Management was changed and operations improved.

Productivity Improvement Plans

A lumber supply dealer, concerned with staffing levels in administration, desired to have an analysis of the workload and staffing requirements. Results? The engagement identified areas for improvement, particularly in the accounting and purchasing functions. Automation was introduced, cutting staffing requirements by over 50 percent in two years.

A municipal government needed an independent assessment of the staffing levels in their utility department. Results? Procedures had not changed and were largely manual. Automation and cycle billing were introduced, reducing staffing requirements dramatically over time.

Clarifying Roles & Responsibility

A six partner law firm desired to improve the work-related interactions of the attorneys. Results? The roles of the partners were clarified and much improved morale and work relationships resulted from the discussions.

Creative Problem Solving

A public relations function of a major telecommunications company desired to develop a “stakeholder management” plan. Results? The public relations managers from around the various regions developed a confidential, task-specific plan to deal with and manage the various stakeholders (e.g., the public, legislators, public utility commissions, etc.).

A manufacturer (rebuilder) desired to enlist management and supervision in the development of a long-range plan for improving profits and expanding markets. Results? A two-day facilitated planning session was held with all management and supervisory staff, bringing them together for the first time, and a specific plan was mutually developed.

A not-for-profit, United Way agency desired to develop an annual plan with participation from management, staff, and the Board of Directors. Results? The first day-long session was so successful, the agency has requested annual “update” sessions for the past three years and, in the process, the agency has changed its focus, improved its funding, and increased its membership.

General Management Consulting Services

Organizational Design & Structure

A non-profit, municipal agency, while experiencing an increase in caseload, desired improved organizational structure to reflect better their changing legislative mandate. Results? A new organization structure was developed that emphasized responsiveness to their clients’ needs together with reduced reporting and bureaucratic structure.

A closely-held, family owned hosiery manufacturer desired to have the management roles, including those of family members (second and third generation) better defined. Results? The second generation owners/managers developed a structure that better utilized the skills and capabilities of their children together with other, non-family management personnel.

Strategic & Long Range Planning

A manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals desired a corporate-wide, participative strategic planning process. Results? The management team developed a five-year plan with specific, measurable goals and objectives, including new product development and market segmentation.

A non-profit, United Way agency, had never planned and desired to enlist the support and assistance of the Board. Results? A comprehensive plan was developed to take the agency into new service- providing areas and to increase their visibility with the United Way.

A state chartered multi-branch savings bank desired to have a series of facilitated planning sessions in order to incorporate all management into the planning process. Results? The participants developed both a one-year operational plan and a strategic plan dealing with expansion of products and services and developed a formal tracking process.

Clarifying Roles & Responsibility

A six partner law firm desired to improve the work-related interactions of the attorneys. Results? The roles of the partners were clarified and much improved morale and work relationships resulted from the discussions.

Operational, Short Term Planning

A men’s clothing manufacturer needed a facilitated process not only to develop an annual profit plan but also a “protected forum” to discuss internal issues. Results? (1) Management developed specific goals and strategies, together with actions, responsibilities, and deadlines; and (2) discussions were conducted in a positive, open atmosphere with plans made to resolve differences.

A manufacturer of pharmaceuticals desired to implement the first ever, collective planning process involving several levels of management, production, and sales. Results? (1) All management personnel participated in the process developing strategic direction, including a five-year growth plan and revised mission statement; (2) development of operational/annual plans; and (3) delineation of key action steps, responsibilities, and deadlines.

The Board of Directors of a non-profit organization desired to develop an annual plan for the agency. All key management and Board members participated. Results? Increased commitment to specific actions and directions.

Business Succession Planning

A family-owned floor covering distributor desired to have the roles and responsibilities of third and fourth generation family members better defined, using the skills, experiences and capabilities of each family member in the business. Results? Roles and responsibilities were changed and modified, with attention being paid to the need for family members to address personal issues separate from business issues.

A family-owned hosiery manufacturer desired to develop a succession plan among family members and remove existing friction. Results? The third generation owners developed a course of action, together with their children, that enable the family to maximize its long-term assets and earning power and ensure that all members were treated equitably.

Copyright © 2015 - David Norman
Top