Business & Strategic
CFO & Lean Centric Leadership
“In God We Trust . . . All Others Bring Data.” William Edwards Deming
If you ask middle market CEOs how they make key decisions most will say based on cash flow and gut feel. But when you ask whether they truly understand what elements of their business are profitable and why, and whether they can project the value of that cash flow over 12 – 24 months, clarity quickly diminishes.
The reason isn’t surprising. Middle market companies got where they are by focusing largely on the top line - developing exceptional products/services and providing great customer service, not data-based analytics.
But as companies cross certain thresholds, decisions become more complicated because of the sheer number of variables. And then there are the many parties who have an interest in your business, from banks to outside investors, key employees to strategic partners, and not least the founders themselves whose wealth largely exists on paper.
Our work as CFOs is focused on bringing clarity to companies working through inflection points and strategic alternatives, providing long-term cash flow projections, stress test analysis and forward-looking performance indicators to track our clients’ progression against plan.
Many people fundamentally misunderstand lean, believing it is simply about “just-in-time” inventory and repeatedly demanding pricing concessions from suppliers.
This is not the case, lean is an operating philosophy grounded in the belief that organizations must be in a state of continuous improvement and responsive to the needs of their customers. Much of our CFO work is devoted to prioritizing issues which will yield the most benefit to enterprises, identifying mutuality of interest and removing impediments to “yes” internally and externally.