The reason for this blog is to share some exchange thoughts on experiences with organizations that I have supported during 2011. In particular, an Interim Controllership role within a manufacturing company (see below for brief synopsis), where there were areas of operational excellence, combined with areas that needed improvement – primarily in Finance and Administration. The impetus for change came when a new President was hired externally. Would these changes have been possible without that? The answer in my opinion is no – for some organizations, positive change can only happen with changes in senior staff.
Interim Controllership at manufacturing company – best practices and areas of improvement noted:
After experiencing a significant downturn during the recession, manufacturing orders for this company are very strong and growing rapidly, primarily due to the company’s commitment to quality, on-time delivery, and investment in technologies which allowed them to provide unique products and services to its base of loyal customers.
Investments included upgrading the company’s ERP system with manufacturing software fully integrated with the financial reporting system, which provides automated product costing and gross margin capabilities, among other robust features.
Somewhat offsetting these strengths were many business processes which were manual, paper based, and basically anchored in the past as in “that’s how it has always been done, why change”. Existing staff did not have the time to develop or implement process improvements. For various reasons, the motivation to improve really wasn’t there either. The result was that there were many cost savings left to wither on the vine.
I think many companies and organizations are in a similar situation. They are doing fairly well given the recent economic conditions, but struggle to move forward to the next level of improvement. In this situation, the company needed external resources to provide the expertise, experience and time to implement change – some were system enhancements on an existing process, and some were changing the process itself.
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