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Who “owns” your company’s Annual Budget?

March 25th, 2008 Comments off

     For most individuals working in a senior level finance position, the annual budgeting process can be an incredibly frustrating and thankful experience.  It can be an experience that lasts for not just a week or two, but likely months at a time.   More often that not, the budgeting process, goals, and subsequent deliverables are “owned” by Finance and are then distributed to each functional area.
Things would be different the next year……
Read my comments in “Who owns the Budget?”

When strategies involve more than just a financial decision –

March 25th, 2008 Comments off

            I can’t tell you how many discussions I have been involved in that involved extensive financial considerations as to whether or not we moved forward on a particular capital expenditure, re-signed a lease, increased headcount in certain areas, or outsourced certain activities to a 3rd party provider to save costs.  The decision to outsource has not been a very common occurrence since the majority of the organizations I have worked with have typically run in a very lean capacity.  However, one of the companies had made the choice, prior to my arrival, to outsource all Call Center operations that fell outside of a standard 8a-5p timeframe.  We were fortunate enough to have a very talented individual, who was very passionate about her management of the Call Center, challenging us to bring all operations back to our corporate headquarters and expand to a 24-hour capacity. 
Ready my full commentary….Not all $$$$

55% EBIT Growth & no reduction in headcount?

March 25th, 2008 Comments off

     As I wrote in my last commentary, Altered Perceptions, that’s exactly what we were tasked to do. Although we were planning for a 13% increase in sales, we were confident with the work that we had done over the prior year that we could commit to increasing our EBIT levels by a full 230 basis points.  However, this was not the situation of a turnaround or a company that had a poor prior year.  This was a Southern California based manufacturer that had prior year EBIT levels of just under 11% and was about to seriously challenge itself to achieve such an increase.  Read more on 55% EBIT…..

Altered Perceptions – An exercise in Benchmarking…

March 25th, 2008 Comments off

     For a number of years, I was working within the North American operations for a manufacturer based out of France.  For the majority of those years there was no shortage of comments about our entity’s EBIT performance and how we continued to “lag” the results of our European counterparts.  Our global Chairman had one number in mind and that was the consolidated EBIT results and how our North American results “dragged down the overall global results”.  For a manufacturing entity, we had EBIT results in high single-digits versus our counterparts were just approaching the teens. At the request (mandate…?) of our global Chairman we scheduled a comprehensive benchmarking study between the North American and European operations.  I was to headline this effort and present the final results to the Executive Team. 

Read more in my full commentary….”Altered Perceptions”