Multi channel, can you make it work?

Milan Panchmatia Blog, Retail 0 Comments

In 2000 I was involved in the music industry. I witnessed first hand the “rabbit in the headlights” strategy of all the major labels, panicking faced with the 10% yearly drop in sales of physical products, such as CDs, while digital was not making any money. They drained CD production departments of all their brainpower and focused 100% of resources …

Benchmarking is crucial to cost leadership

admin Blog, Procurement 0 Comments

Setting challenging KPIs for your business is all well and good, but needs to be done in line with what your competitors are achieving. Many companies are happy to set themselves internal savings and efficiency objectives which result in incremental, year on year improvements. Whilst this approach can provide significant benefits, aligning the process with what similar companies have achieved …

The CFO`s great balancing act

admin Blog, Finance 0 Comments

In an economic landscape characterised by stagnant development, the ability to balance cost transformation with growth is pivotal for any leading business. This situation is particularly true in fast moving sectors, where companies need to integrate long term planning strategies with reactive initiatives. Speaking at The Economist’s CFO Summit 2013, Timotheus Höttges, CFO at Deutsche Telekom, discussed how these challenges were …

Risk optimisation

admin Blog, Risk management 0 Comments

Risk plays an inherent role in the development of any leading business. This is particularly true in the current economic climate, where the most successful companies are often those which effectively manage risk. As the economy becomes increasingly globalised, companies are finding themselves exposed to more risks. Tighter margins and lean, extended supply chains have further magnified the potential effects …

Going Postal – how business should react to the Royal Mail’s price hike

admin Blog 0 Comments

With the Royal Mail today announcing that the price of a first class stamp will go up by 30 per cent, what can businesses do to ensure their costs are not severely affected? The correct response to any supplier radically increasing prices is to try and mitigate it: reduce volumes, switch to a different supplier or change the business model. …

Minimising supply risk

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Given volatile supply chains, commodity prices and currency rates, how are CFOs protecting revenues and profits? On Christmas Eve 2008, Zavvi, Britain’s largest independent music retailer, went bust. But this wasn’t a failure of falling sales and missing profits, indeed revenue was up 10% earlier in the year despite the recession. No, Zavvi went into administration due to a lack …

The changing role of the CEO

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This year’s CFO Summit, organised by Economist Conferences, saw expert speakers discuss strategies to help finance leaders tackle their increasingly complex roles. Turbulent economic times require finance leaders to deal with issues ranging from developing talent and engaging with the media to the more traditional aspects of supply chain. This article examines the main themes discussed at the summit including …

Transformation –making the case for change

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In today’s competitive global environment, companies that consistently transform will survive and prosper.   They once were great – Leaders in their industry with large profit margins, they employed thousands of workers. They grew at what seemed like an astronomical pace. Then something happened, sales started dropping off. Profits fell. They cut employees and closed stores and offices. Finally, they …