Operational Excellence

  • Strategic Planning Process: 3 Ways to Maintain Flexibility

    Having an annual strategic planning process is essential, because it forces you to understand your company's core capacities, its strengths and weaknesses and its competitive markets (that is, the behavior of your customers and movements of your rivals). It also demands that you make assumptions about the future and some short-term financial projections. In terms of defining and executing your strategy, this annual learning process may be the most important action you take all year.

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  • Are you Staying Personally Connected to your Team?

    Being a Middle Market CEO is in many ways comparable to raising teenagers: You’re no longer providing the day-to-day life-sustaining interactions that an infant needs, but you’re not off the hook like you are with adult children. In fact, that’s one of the challenges of parenting teens and growing a Middle Market team: you’re charges still need your guidance, but your increased distance from their daily activities makes it difficult to do so!  Read More >
  • Funding Your Business: Local Versus National Banks

    Funding your middle market company with the right financial partner is a key business decision. Whether you're expanding your operations, building new facilities or investing in projects, access to financing is critical. When you go to a bank for help, you expect several things: the bank will understand your business needs, the bank will have a decision-making executive with whom you'll form a relationship, the bank will have the financial products you need, the bank will be efficient and the bank's funding will be affordable and competitive.

     

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  • Leadership and Strategy Planning: Balancing Time Among Priorities

    Strategy planning is a key function for middle market leaders. The process requires them not only to develop goals, but also to align their organizations around strategic priorities. They need to focus on sustaining and growing their company's long-term profitability, and that requires engagement from every part of the business. However, they can't spend all their time focusing on one thing. Effective leaders must put their effort where it's most needed, whether that means getting departments on board with change or analyzing where to develop the business next. While this sounds simple in theory, it's maddeningly difficult in practice because leaders often get bogged down in day-to-day complexities.

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  • How to Optimize Your Travel Budget

    Getting the most return on a travel budget is critical to a middle market company's success. Controlling costs and making wise investments can improve your bottom line and help you develop sustainable relationships with clients and stakeholders. The need for business travel will probably never disappear because personal relationships and face-to-face communication are highly important. Before sending a representative, though, your company should ask two basic questions:

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  • Build Supply Chain Resilience to Prevent Potential Crises

    By Rob Carey

    A middle market firm needs cash flow and supply chain resilience to maintain daily business operations. Whereas most companies can predict the cycle of available funds and use 12-month planning to maintain liquidity, supply chain integrity is less predictable and not entirely within a company's control. For proof, look no further than the recent labor "strike with pay" at West Coast shipping ports as reported by The New York Times, which hurt companies across hundreds of industries that import raw materials, components or finished goods.

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  • Test Your Company's Cyber Security to Protect Important Data

    By Rob Carey

    It's an unfortunate reality that can't be ignored: Although committed successfully against only a small percentage of the millions of businesses in the U.S., data theft is lucrative to perpetrators and damaging to corporate finances and reputations. On another front, the system paralysis caused by denial-of-service attacks is a satisfying turn of events for anti-corporate activists, unscrupulous competitors or even disgruntled former employees.

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  • On Being Lean and Mean

    For Middle Market CEOs, there is not a dollar to waste in Operations. Waste of any kind, in fact, is the bane of their existence. That’s why lean business principles are ideally suited for Middle Market firms.

    Put simply, being lean means having a constant focus on finding and eliminating waste, wherever it happens to be lurking in your organization. Mr. Shawn Kaul, President of Lean Synergy International, an ROI Strategic Partner, explains “Waste is anything that doesn’t add value. If your customer doesn’t pay you to do it, it’s waste.”

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