This Tool is made to help and support for the volunteer counselors.
Although the volunteer counselors are very experienced business people and possess great professional competence, they may well be uncertain about the advisor function. The attached tool, is a list and dialogue tool that in a simply and easily manageable manner shows the focus areas necessary to consider, when a company finds itself in crisis and must be turned in another direction.
 
Liquidity:

  •  How is the liquidity, and where are the areas that draw on the liquidity?
  • How is the working capital composed?
  • Is the equity week and how is investments financed?
  • From where it is possible to improve liquidity?
  • Is there any credit in the bank or other credit institutions left?
  • Is there possible investors or possible sales of projects, so that any project can be financed?
  • Are there store inventories that can be sold and converted into cash?
  • Can disposition/buying procedures be changed and minimize the inventories?
  • Can suppliers extend payment periods or make consignment stocks available?
  • Can payments from customers be shortened?  Can customers pay cash against discount?
  • Possibilities for invoice mortgaging?
  • Are there machines / equipment that can be sold and leased to provide liquidity?

 Economy:

  • How are the current earnings of the company - where is it good, and where are problems?
  • How have earnings been previously – are the problems new or have problems existed long?
  • How does the company follow up on budgets and plans in relation to actual results?
  • Are there any orders in the pipeline? 
  • How many offers have been submitted and what are the follow ups and expectations for them?
  • How is the balance sheet? Can debt be paid? Is there positive or negative equity?

Employees & Management

  • Where has, the management failed and where has it done well?
  • How engaged are the employees?
  • Who are the key persons among the employees?
  • How are relations between management and employees?
  • Is there reason to change management or recruiting new employees who may have specific skills to help with the current challenges?
  • How and by whom should the employees be informed about the current situation?
  • Who should be involved in a team for the turnaround process?

Products & Markets:

  • What products and markets contribute negatively or positively?
  • Are there products/markets that make a positive contribution, but require large capital tied up and can be put "on hold"?
  • Where can we get more out of the products / markets, which contributes positively?
  • Is there a uneven cost allocation on products/markets?
  • Are there any products, markets that could be taken out of assortment, could be paused, or should be developed? 

Production:

  • Is it possible to produce more efficiently and cheaper?
  • Can logistic processes be improved?
  • Could outsourcing be a cheaper solution?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing?
  • What does this mean for the company's cash flow if production is outsourced?
  • Can the capacity be better utilized?
  • Is there any services or functions that can be put temporarily on hold – such as expensive product developments/ special requirements for quality and safety, which not will compromise with the product's overall quality.

Customers:

  • Which and how many customers does the company make supplies or services to?
  • Are the customer portfolio loyal customers or characterized by "shoppers" (looking for cheapest buy)?
  • Has the company lost some important customers? And if so, why?
  • How and how much do the individual customers contribute to earnings?
  • Are there customers who do not contribute to earnings, or customers who is a loss for the company?
  • How have prices developed? Can prices be set up?
  • How does the company organize and manage their sales efforts and function? 
  • Can it be simplified? Can it be improved?
  • Are there any new customer opportunities, new customer segments or new sales channels, which can be processed?
  • How big is the claim amount and how does the company handle this?
  • Are there any expensive marketing activities that can be paused?

 Suppliers:

  • Is the company dependent of few specific suppliers?
  • Can buying and payment conditions be improved?
  • Can buying be combined to fewer suppliers to obtain discounts?
  • Can delivery times be shortened? and can you buy smaller delivery rates?

Other important relationships:

  • Competitors - who are the competitors?
  • Where does the company distinguishes itself from its competitors?
  • On quality? In price? By service? And/or in special features and unique selling points on the product?
  • Could there be efficiency through cooperation with some competitors?
  • Lease/rental agreements - could some contracts be terminated?  What are the obligations? Notice periods?
  • Are there any legal factors that affects the operation of the business?
  • Could there be other companies or individuals that are related to the company and who could help?

Conclusion
After review and analysis of the abovementioned focus arrears, can a recommendation for good turnaround management be pointed out in the following few conclusions:

  • Find the healthy activities in the company and cut the unhealthy out. 
    It can be a difficult process, but essential for its survival.
  • Require a competent management/turnaround team. 
    This may be difficult in owner-managed companies, for example, if the owner or one of his family are included in the management and is part of the problem. Make sure in this case that the turnaround team must be supported by necessary skills, either from the company's key employees and/or by external consultants - e.g.  more EW volunteer mentors. Without a good and competent management to execute the turnaround plan, there is no prospect of success.
  • If the turnaround plan will require capital, and the company cannot finance this, is it important to have a good dialogue with the bank - and involve the bank with the plan. This can only be done by open and honest communication, where the company management continuously inform the bank about the decisions and initiatives etc. Will the bank be convinced that the turnaround plan and the management behind can give the company a promising future, there is also a good chance to get further capital/credit from the bank - also because this often will be in its own interest. Further capital/credit will probably also lead the bank to require increased security, which of course also must be accepted by the company.
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