A frequent question with potential clients recently is the ability to deliver value in a virtual environment. While we are providing targeted value for all our current clients virtually today, we will explore some of the most demanded services with the current economic environment in this 3-part series.
Cash management and forecasting services – These are services where we can provide cash flow forecasting along with other, deeper services such as inventory analysis, sales management assessments, market research, etc. For example, sound cash flow forecasts require a deep dive into current expense outlays and a detailed analysis of the P&L. These deep dives identify subtle areas of expenses that can be reduced that are not easy to see at first glance.
These types of engagements use many of the techniques highlighted in the Assessment example discussed in our previous segment. There are typically more interviews in these cases and more iterative type processes depending on how deep we go into the P&L for an area. And we will typically ask for more information that spans Sales, Marketing, Legal, Operations, Human Resources, Finance/Accounting/Tax, Real Estate, etc.
For example, let us say that the IT spend has been growing quite dramatically over the last several months and the Amazon Web Services and/or MS Azure spend levels in the cloud are the highest spend areas. This will require digging into the recent invoices for the services combined with a review of the current contracts and interviews with the IT team to understand the major drivers of the spend. Again, most of this effort can happen through secure document sharing and phone/video calls.
Based on the cash management review, serious turnaround techniques may need to be deployed. Things like cutting up the corporate credit cards, discontinuing third party services, renegotiating major contracts, etc. are easy to accomplish remotely. These can be put into ‘checklists’ that have accountability and due dates assigned.
The more difficult items such as organizational changes, reduction of property, plant and equipment can be identified using remote techniques. These will also require a fair amount of video conference calls to drive prioritization and decision making.
Hopefully this demonstrates with examples how our consulting projects can be delivered in today’s changing business environment. Please don’t just ask us though, ask our many clients for their views on the work our team does, how we do it and the business results we help to drive.
Visit us tomorrow as we explore Transformation Initiatives in Part 3 of this series.
– Jim Wadella, Managing Member