Business Turnaround

Context

An established privately held consumer products food business with a well-known and respected national brand, had expanded beyond their functional and financial limitations. Previous management had made critical decisions, like financing long-term capital investments on a short-term basis that were not only eroding the financial stability of the company, but distracting from the opportunities for profitable growth, and denting the confidence of the Board of Directors.

Insight

Don was engaged to assess the situation, consider all the possible options forward, and suggest a course of direction. We immediately recognized the company enjoyed a brand with solid consumer loyalty, supported by an infrastructure that was capable of increased capacity, but with a financial and leadership structure that was an obstacle to delivering stability and growth. The company was treading financial water, redirecting important research, development and marketing funds to simply keep the company afloat. In addition, leadership was top heavy, and sheltering the Board of Directors from the true situation, for all the wrong reasons. Before the situation was to jeopardize the company's ability to continue operations, a business revitalization and formal restructuring plan was urgently needed.

Idea

Teamwork Business Solutions leaned on its experience with other food companies who had let ambitious growth overtake its reach, to prepare a blueprint plan of success for  the company. The plan included three sequential elements:

1. Refocus on the fundamentals of the business model

Resolve operational issues by right-sizing the organizational structure, emphasizing higher margin product/segment/customer sales over low margin business that was simply using excess plant capacity, and implementing manufacturing and supply-chain process improvements.

2. Reestablish trust and confidence

Establish a positive, direct and transparent working relationships with the Board of Directors, shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and all stakeholders.

3. Rebuild with the right building blocks

Re-engineer the business model to dramatically improve P&L, restructure the balance sheet, and reposition the company for sale or strategic partnership.


Impact

With support from the Board of Directors, we were empowered to deploy our recommendations, and the company reaped the benefits almost immediately.

Operations
The internal restructuring consolidated functional leadership roles, put a focus on critical turnaround areas, and lead to significant SGA (selling, general and administrative) savings. Furthermore, a newly energized finance and operations leadership team made it their mission to turn around manufacturing and supply-chain issues by embracing industry best practices, which lead to demonstrable improvements in overall operations.

Revenue and Profit
By reorienting the sales and marketing team towards gross profit goals, low profit sales that were obtained to increase capacity were eliminated, and replaced by new customers supporting higher margin production. This led to a $2MM improvement on EBITDA in the first year.

Capitalization and Collaboration
Once manufacturing and overall business reengineering was demonstrating positive results, two rounds of private equity were completed, providing the funds necessary to relieve banking and cash flow pressure, and providing the working capital to continue momentum. As a result, it became easier to secure a new ongoing strategic business partner to continue to deploy the plans that had been set in motion.