Executive Search Blog

International Top Executive Video: Euro – CFO – Switzerland

Group CFO with large responsabilities including IT & legal in multinational with broad international footprint with revenues over 1,2 billion euro of which 90% abroad the domestic market.

Check out the full Short Bio of Euro at http://www.ceo-worldwide.com/?rub=partners_club&iman=65718

Posted in Executive Recruitment, International Management, M&A, Top Executives Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Busines Turnaround Case Study

Manufacturing Company Turnaround

The Challenge:

  • Business was unprofitable, cash negative and losing customers. Management in conflict & demoralised.
  • Customers were very unhappy and were reducing orders and changing suppliers.
  • The manufacturing process consisted of extrusion and thermoforming, i.e. a linked batch operation.
  • Disorganised and dirty factory that had been put on notice by BRC to improve in 6 months. Poor delivery lead time, weak safety, bad maintenance.
  • Order lead time was very long and OTIF very Management had therefore decided to make trays to a forecast and this had exacerbated the problem further and driven up WIP and FG. WIP and FG stocks were in excess of 6 months.
  • Stock counts were uncontrolled and not carried out regularly at month end.
  • Although cash was very tight there was no effective cash forecast regime in place.
  • There was an inadequate sales plan in place which was subsumed by the need to constantly deal with customer crises related to late delivery and quality problems. There was excessive dependence on two customers.
  • Customers in UK, Ireland and Benelux.

 Productivity = Profitability.
 Develop your team and plan.
 Engage, energise & empower your people.

The Solution:

  • Reduced headcount from 138 to 65, dismissed all directors and two managers and in the process eliminated two layers of management.
  • Developed management team & strategic plan & implemented Lean. Reviewed sales & production through value stream analysis & drove integration of these functions.
  • Changed ‘make to forecast’ to ‘make to order’. Reduced FG stock to 10 days & WIP to 5 days, eliminating a 3000 sqm store. Cut order delivery time to 24hrs on identified lines.
  • Set up shop floor data collection and installed IT that provided real time performance measurement on 2 extruders & 8 thermoformers. Measured Availability, Speed, Quality & OEE reviewed by shift. Implemented asset care system. Improved availability & developed planned maintenance.
  • Integrated the order entry and production planning processes, drastically improving service speed, flexibility, order turn around. OTIF 99%.
  • This process together with Kaizens energised the shop floor and forged strong (e.g. T/F tool change cut from 4 hrs to 2 hrs then 15-30 mins).
  • Reorganised management & segregation of rework and reduced bad waste to <0.1%.
  • Implemented safety improvement plan with monthly meetings. Guarding, ASIs, Risk assessments, changed material flow, implemented safe WIP roll handling. Removed FLTs from production aeras.
  • Reduced NPD lead times from months to 4 weeks through key alliance with tool maker.
  • Worked closely with sales team & key customers. Weekly reviews of existing customers and new business development.
  • Established detailed monthly financial reporting & 12 month rolling cash flow updated daily.


  • Reduced breakeven from £13m to £7m, brought company to profit in 12 months, reduced stock by 80% in 8 months. Improved OEE by 73% in 18 months.
  • Cash positive in 18 months.
  • Direct labour reduced from £2.4m to £1m pa, material cost decreased by 22% in 12 months.
  • Reduced low margin business, grew sales profitably to £9m in 2 years.

Written by    Written by Mike Stewart, BSc Chem Eng, MBA

Strong practical experience at MD level. International experience includes being ‘parachuted in’ on a number of occasions to turn around troubled companies, as well as entering new markets and growing businesses.

Led 3 turnarounds in 7 years at £40 -£60 m pa businesses (330-500 people). All were complex multi site manufacturing businesses with very demanding JIT customer service requirements.

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Posted in Interim Management, Interim Manager, Top Executives, Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

Why should your customers do business with you?

Written by Joe Orlando

If you can’t explain why customers should do business with you, how can you expect THEM to know

Listen and look closely at advertisements that promote that they are the BEST – HIGHEST RANKED – MOST AWARDED – at something and it always come with the key qualifier. Best “in class,” and most awarded  “in their segment…”

THIS is the very key! Eliminate every opportunity to be measured on a level playing field with everyone else in your markets. Unless, of course, you are already the market leader with a substantial share…but I suspect, to achieve this, the market had to recognize uniqueness and a “bar” was raised with which to measure all others.

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Posted in Business Development Tagged with: , , , ,

The security challenges of the Industrial IOT Wireless Networks

by Didier Guiraud – Smart N Secure


This paper will illustrate how important it is to ensure a very high level of security within all the upcoming Industrial IOT Wireless networks. It represents an absolute necessity that requires to be shared and understood at the highest executive levels of the Solution Providers and of all the Industrial Users.

These networks already are and will be more and more characterized by the need to implement bi-directional communications between devices without any human support or any access to any Server and/or Gateway/Data Concentrator Unit. This is setting up a huge difference in term of security architecture versus more traditional point-to-point or point-to-multipoint communications, alike the cellular communications that already are very well secured in case of sensitive transmissions or receptions, such as money transfers or cellular phone subscription management.

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Posted in International Consulting, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

Business Case Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Business Case analysis has become mandatory for important decision making and planning in government, business, and non-profit organisations everywhere. As a result, most case-building responsibilities now belong to those who are not “finance” people.

Everyone talks about the business case but surprisingly few people really know what that means.

That was true in the early 1900s, when business case analysis was born along with a new, developing discipline called finance. In those days, most people thought that business case analysis was “finance.” They thought the job of building and using case results should be left to financial specialists.

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Posted in Business Development, International Management Tagged with: ,

Why Video Marketing Works

Whether you own a small business or part of a multinational corporation, there is a constant truth in the marketing landscape: videos are more effective than images, banner ads and sound bites. But what strategies can businesses employ to get the most out of their video campaigns? Here’s a look at techniques and the statistics behind video marketing and why it works.

The Appeal of Video

Humans perceive the world predominantly with vision. While sound, smell, taste and touch make up the remainder, humans rely most heavily on what they can see. A person can get a sense for a visual in about one-tenth of a second, and a video ad is 12 times more likely to be watched than a text ad is to be read. There are a couple reasons for this; one of the simplest ones is effort. If people have a choice, they’ll typically pick the option that is easiest. For instance, how many people do you know who have seen a movie based on a book, rather than reading that book? While the book may be a more immersive and fulfilling experience overall, many people feel as though they don’t have the time and video conveys a message much quicker. But how does video match up against still photography? While, images are worth 1,000 words, video is far superior considering motion catches the eye easier than a still image.

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Posted in Business Development Tagged with: ,

The Epitaph of Managerialism

My mentor Dr Jules Goddard at the LBS MLab presented the following paper that I thought worth sharing with you.

He reminds us that reducing costs is only a means to an end, not a strategy.

The art of management is to manage a business in such a way that the need for operational excellence, continuous improvement, “right first time”, cost leadership, process redesign, corporate renewal, cultural change, charismatic leadership, employee engagement and financial incentives is redundant; and the declared pursuit of these objectives counts as a clear admission of failure.

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Posted in Business Development, HR, International Management, Top Executives Tagged with: , , , ,

Executive recruitment is overpriced and inflexible

Executive Recruitment Banner

Exorbitant pricing with upfront payment and no guarantee of placement. Lavish hospitality bills racked up by lacklustre candidates. Sluggish processes and stretched out notice periods. Multiple hurdles in multiple territories. Executive recruitment is an outmoded model failing to serve the needs of a rapidly evolving modern economy. And it’s ready for disruption.

In this blog, I will challenge the outdated thinking dominating C-level executive recruitment and share innovations that will save you time and money while making some of the most critical decisions your business will face.

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Posted in Executive Recruitment, Executive Search, Top Executives

New Leaders Transition Principles

A few pointers as each of you enter a new phase in your careers:

  • New Leaders have the opportunity to create a new image by building on past experience. The New Leader has no history or context on which people can judge so each action carries disproportionate weight.

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Posted in Executive Recruitment, Executive Search, HR, Top Executives Tagged with: , ,

Managing the cultural gap with chinese companies who want to do an IPO in London

Written by Frank Lewis

I have been working with Chinese Companies for over 5 years and have been Associated with 3 Chinese companies as Chairman or NED that have listed in London (AIM).

With the globalisation of world business, China has become an appealing market for foreign investors. The problem of cross-cultural management arises as the cooperation between China and its culturally different Western partners continues to increase at an unprecedented rate.

The biggest barrier in doing business in the world market is managing cultural differences.  It ranks first in areas such as “law, price competition, information, language, delivery, foreign currency, time differences.  The spread of businesses onto the global stage brings the issue of national and regional differences to the fore – particularly in business –thus creating a number of management issues.

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Posted in Uncategorized